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Tesla Forum - Confused

I have had my M3p just over 6 weeks and like most cars I have had I join a marque specific forum to engage with other owners and enthusiasts of the brand, useful for tips and tricks and foibles of the car, typically forum members are passionate about their purchase and very loyal to the brand and the benefits of owning such a car.

This Tesla UK and Ireland forum is confusing because so many of the posts I read are rather negative about all aspects of the M3, everything from updates, wipers, FSD, AP in general, Elon Musk's comments, even people for just using the Christian name "Elon" in their mail are criticised, Is there so little to like about the car or the company?

I will go on record - I have fancied a Tesla for quite some time, indeed prior to the model 3 I was seriously looking at an S but price was something I wasn't prepared to pay but I followed the development of Tesla and its CEO as he is a charismatic character and seems he has the Midas touch.

I accept a baby car company - what 10-12 years of experience wont be producing German quality engineering (who have had well over 100yrs of experience) So panel gaps may not be consistent, Over the air updates may not always fix everything - but since when did any of the other marques have teams behind them in their garages or main dealers that cared about fixing cars first time - my experience of many main dealers is they are slipshod and trade on a reputation they don't deserve.
I've had 4 Porsche and never been happy with the OPCs - Indeed people like "Revolution" (Porsche indy specialists) provide a much better degree of care, knowledge, experience and most importantly Customer service and enthusiasm.
Jaguar - absolute pits for main dealers and Ford couldn't give a stuff about Customers - they are an interference with their day.

Tesla - its a developing business, limited service centres and even less approved body repair centres - but I knew this prior to purchase, I also knew or accepted Tesla owners don't absolutely own their vehicles as Tesla has the ability to interact with the car or prevent supercharging if they deem it appropriate to do so - so I went into this with my eyes open.

No car is perfect, No car delivers everything you want of it so there is plenty of choice out there for everyone's needs and pockets. Jumping on the BEV bandwagon in its early years means you will experience different characteristics, different problems and issues whilst the technology is refined. Tesla hasn't taken an existing car platform and simply stuck a battery and motor in it (except the first roadster)- its been developed from the ground up - and they like everyone else will get things wrong. Take any product you like and compare its version 1 with its current offering - like chalk and cheese.

Some of the criticisms I read are so minor I wonder why they have even been raised, like the charging flap closing before the owner has had the chance to get the lead out and plug the car in - and of course pressing the nearside rear door handle or getting the phone out is far to arduous to even contemplate.

If I was another car manufacturer entering into producing EVs I wouldn't use slogans about being a potential Tesla beater I would simply post a link to Tesla UK and Ireland and let the negative comments do the rest to dissuade people away from the marque.

I accept there are a lot of informative posts but once negativity is introduced in a comment its like an open invitation to slag the cars functions off.

I don't think the Tesla M3 looks like a frog, I like its lines, I like the interior, I like the functions and toys - even toys that don't work perfectly are still better than having no toys, I like the no VED and No annual servicing bill, I like the super cheap running costs and that's why I bought the car. I'm pretty sure some aspects will annoy me at some point but there is a big difference between constructive criticism and criticism for criticism's sake.

I'm no "Fanboi" either - Just because something is Tesla doesn't mean i think its smashing super great, just a mature fellow (read quite old) that is enjoying a new experience In a ground breaking car and proud to be driving one.
I think the issue largely stems from the price and people's expectations. They forget that this is relatively cutting-edge tech, and the largest investment has been made in the gadgetry, motors and batteries, not in the traditional areas such as refinement - which is often all an ICE car can improve upon. Massage chairs? Aromatherapy kits? laser headlights?

That being said, the forums (like many others) are largely occupied by people who are curious, people who stir, people who have had a negative experience or people who try to help others. Very few forums are full of people waxing lyrical about how happy they are about their car, as they're out enjoying it.


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2019
Bath, UK
Some people have reasonable complaints.

Some people are just asking questions which some others perceive as gripes (the charge port thread you mention).

Forums in general are places where people go when they have issues, concerns or questions. Talking about how great yesterday’s drive was, and how “I don’t have any problems” doesn’t really make for interesting discussion. That being said it stands to reason with the number of cars Tesla have delivered that there are thousands of people out there who haven’t had any issues, or not had any cause to seek out forums like these and express them.

I’d wager if you go to any non official forum for any car or marque you’re going to find threads similar to the ones you’ll find on here, with people complaining about issues, service, or whatever. Tesla - and this forum in general - is not unique in that regard.

I wouldn’t let the threads on here dissuade me from buying, on the contrary I’d consider them as things I need to look out for. Nothing seems show stopping to me? In fact, resources like this forum and elsewhere informed me about the need to do my own checks when I collected the car, etc.


Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
I agree it's odd that people take time out from being irritated by real life to come and tell people here, I can't quite see what they get out of it. Maybe venting.

There is a handy ignore button that will hide people's posts you don't value, I find liberally using this on any social platform is effective at making it more of a pleasure to visit.


Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
Some of the criticisms I read are so minor I wonder why they have even been raised, like the charging flap closing before the owner has had the chance to get the lead out and plug the car in - and of course pressing the nearside rear door handle or getting the phone out is far to arduous to even contemplate.

I think one of the reasons for some of the minor criticisms comes from another direction ... in fact a direction that is a Tesla positive. A big difference from most other cars is that many of these minor points can be (and sometimes are) improved via free software updates. It's therefore worth raising the issues in the hope that they will be picked up and duly improved. This has happened in several areas since I have had a Model 3. In most "normal" cars there would be no point grumping about the way the cruise control works because you have to either like it or lump it .. it aint going to change! When I first got the car the TACC would always initiate at the speed limit (or what the car believed the speed limit to be) ... so we had a bit of a grump .. and low and behold we now have the option in the settings to allow TACC to engage at your present speed. There are loads of other examples and it results in the car actually getting better over time!

(There's every possibily that charge port method of operation may well get a tweak if it becomes a universal "problem")


Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
So how do you think we should interact and use the forum @GlynG? Just be sunshiners and not have any expectations or demand a culture of continuous improvement? This goes for the users of any product from a company. A product that costs north of £40k even more so.

What I don't understand is why people take criticism of their pet favourite brands as some kind of personal sleight. That's how accusations of cultism begin.
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Mar 21, 2021
I do agree with some of @GlynG's comments as I am a new M3 owner too. It's natural that a forum like this magnifies the negative, but I have also learnt a lot from people sharing their experiences. With Tesla pushing the boundaries with EV ownership there are going to be issues. I'm prepared to accept that as a new Tesla owner as the positives outweigh the negatives. Most of the issues I've read about and have experienced myself are minor and there are often very simple solutions. The autowipers is a good example. Many owners on here complain about them. They're not perfect, but neither has any autowiper system I have had on BWM, Audi and Infiniti. There's a manual button. Use it if can't cope with auto. It's hardly the end of the world.

The level of expectation is probably the main difference between this forum and that of other marques. The cars are not cheap hence expectations are high. Compared to other brands, Tesla is still in it's infancy. Being an early adopter has good and bad aspects. Be aware of this before committing.

Discussing the things that are not 'optimal' also drives change. That is one of the USP's for Tesla. By updating software regularly, some of the wrinkles will be ironed out.

I've found the community split as you would expect - some are fanatical, but most of us sit in that middle area where we're willing to share and support each other. I'll keep sharing information and my thoughts on the car whilst reading the forum for advice on ownership and the driving experience.
Well GlynG - You poked the bear.

You will find in-between the general naysayer ranting, some threads that make this forum quite useful.

If you have a question e.g. how do I stop my feet being cold or will this car get down my unpaved road without grounding, you will get answers, suggestions, resolutions etc from this very active community.

If you need a shoulder to cry on because an aspect of Tesla ownership irks you e.g. my effing feet are cold, numerous like minded people will come forth and let you realise you are not alone (problem shared, problem halved and all that) and more often than not propose a solution that will restore your faith and confidence in all things Tesla.

And lastly I find I pick up all sorts of useful nuggets by perusing at my leisure e.g. mountain pass performance make suspension kits to both a) raise your suspension and b) make it handle better.

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No personal slight taken, I guess my view is shaped when i read a post - and i will provide an example. A new post where someone has raised a concern about Orange peel paint - perfectly reasonable to raise this - but, the replies soon changed from the really sensible - get the car detailed and paint corrected to "that's Tesla paint - so thin and detailing may break through the paint etc - and then others join in.

I've been a member on so many different car forums for donkeys years and whilst I accept many posts will be to discuss issues or concerns most of the replies will be constructive, of course, others may well share the posters views too and its all perfectly normal but it does seem that when a negative is introduced it promotes so many more in a similar vein, most Forums I use regularly (many many years after leaving the marque) inject humour - or completely go off topic after a couple of replies - and it makes the forum useful, informative, funny and enjoyable.

I see many comments regarding the % or miles being displayed - some want both and the discussions give perspective - of course its all personal preference - no right and no wrong and this makes an interesting topic. Personally I would like a graphic of a traditional fuel gauge - Full equalling 90% charge - so in those cases where you do a 100% charge the gauge will show full for quite some time before it starts to drop - very similar to an ICE, The red section for low fuel being at 20% and "empty being at 10% - probably me just being old.

Anyway - thoroughly enjoying the car and all its quirks.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't see anything overly negative at all, a continuous drive for improvement is very positive.
If I thought anybody from Tesla read this forum I would agree wholeheartedly with you - otherwise there is not a lot of continual improvement going on just a lot of people getting their frustration's of their chest, which is also fine
Several years ago, before the M3 had been delivered and Fremont was really going through the mill, I was at Coventry Motofest. I went to the Tesla stall and had a long talk with a guy there while drooling over a Model S. And he said to me:

"Don't think of Tesla as a car company, think of it as a technology company."

When I went to test drive a M3 it was with two thoughts:

  1. "Is this a vehicle I could live with, satisfying my journey needs?"
  2. "Is this a piece of technology I want to have in my life?"

The answer from the test drive was "Yes" to both, which is why I now have a (company) car sitting at anchor outside Zeebruge.

I know I'm surrendering a number of hostages to fortune. If Tesla overextends itself they may end up (for example) opening up the S/C network to all comers, and a key differentiator will be gone. If Elon spits his dummy and falls out with Google/Spotify/whoever, the in-car experience may change and I have no control over that.

But it's worth it for the plusses. A previous car of mine was stolen and written off (they broke into my house and stole the key), and the remains were found with parts of a car that had been stolen at gunpoint. Tesla addresses this: casual theft through pin-to-drive, violent theft through over-the-air disabling. And the difference for journeys with my son's Leaf is like the difference between travelling first class and Ryanair: he has to plan his stops in advance with both Plan B and Plan C where public charging is out of order (this will, doubtless improve).

The CEO of VW said something like "Oh *sugar*, these BEVs are for real and Tesla are YEARS ahead of everyone else". And when one player gets a long way ahead, as with Amazon in cloud computing, it's too late to catch up. You just have to offer something that works well but is less advanced. There are better made cars than the M3, but there isn't anything as advanced: that's why the "what I would expect from a car selling at £50,000" argument is flawed.
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Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
mid wales
Personal view is that many of the concerns are legitimate and while the company chooses to ignore them or attend to them in their own sweet time having a place to vent frustration that hopefully might just get back to said company ain't so bad.
New owners will tend to be exhilarated with the car's performance in term of acceleration and its human nature to brag and support a very expensve purchase - if only to try and justify the spend to oneself.
Excuses such as 'they're a young company' shouldn't wash. Engineering and design and quality control procedures are well established in manufacturing.. it's not as if these cars were being built by Elon and a few mates in their back shed. I'm sure their senior employees and designers are poached from existing companies with track records in those areas. Its most likely that they are being constrained by cost savings and short-cuts - the lack of QC, lack of PDI and then folk having to argue about whether something is or is not a warranty issue. Most car owners aren't mechanics and aren't going to pick up on lesser issues that might bite them later.
It takes a while to get used to any new vehicle so often some weeks before folk really discover that fiddling with a touch screen to adjust some function that could have been sorted with a simple tactile button has possible consequences or a simple fact that voice activation only works if there's a mobile connection. Nor should Elon be constantly excused by the phrase 'Elon time'. Don't give a timetable if you can't meet it. And worse when that function is provided it's a poor shadow of what was promised.


Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2019
Nottinghamshire, UK
Odd isn’t it.... or perhaps not. Ignoring the Tesla related specifics of your original post @GlynG, but rather focussing on those which describe the nature of this forum, it seems to me the varied responses serve to confirm that which you describe.

I’m not sure there is any particular point to my response, it just struck me as poignant!
Odd isn’t it.... or perhaps not. Ignoring the Tesla related specifics of your original post @GlynG, but rather focussing on those which describe the nature of this forum, it seems to me the varied responses serve to confirm that which you describe.

I’m not sure there is any particular point to my response, it just struck me as poignant!

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