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The fit and finish on these cars is GARBAGE!

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eye.surgeon

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
1,368
2,353
California
I rejected my second M3P today. Within seconds of walking up to the car I could see a chunk of paint missing at the hood/bumper joint. Approx 1/4" diameter (eerily similar to the first one I rejected). I combed over the rest of the car and took note of numerous other issues with fit and finish. To make sure I wasnt just having bad luck I looked over 3 other cars while I was there. Hardly any of the panels are aligned and/or flush. There is no excuse for this. I found a number of blemishes in the paint that were cleared over indicating to me these are factory defects. If Tesla can't deliver an error free car for $70k then screw it, I'm out.
End rant.
You may be out whether you opt to or not. Tesla in the past has had a policy that if you reject two cars you won't be offered another. They've probably figured out that those customers will never be satisfied even after a sale, so why deal with the post sale headache.
 
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XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,163
1,974
SWFL | Vegas
Again. I feel that people rejecting the chance to drive a fantastic Tesla due to small paint imperfections is like rejecting sex with Taylor swift because she has an accent :) (Feel free to make your own comparisons here)

Constant focus on an imperfection can ruin the whole experience.
True. All things considered for an American produced vehicle with the 3 production push and how new this all is to them it's a fantastic ownership experience. GM has garbage fit/finish and interior and they've been manufacturing cars for much longer than Tesla.
 
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True. All things considered for an American produced vehicle with the 3 production push and how new this all is to them it's a fantastic ownership experience. GM has garbage fit/finish and interior and they've been manufacturing cars for much longer than Tesla.
I know everyone's experience is different, but on my first-year Chevy Bolt, the doors were aligned, the panel gaps were consistent, the windows and weatherstripping were all consistent, and there were no paint defects. And I watched the car come off the truck so it came from the factory that way. That tells me that:
  1. Tesla is ok with delegating everything other than MAJOR defects to the delivery centers and (eventually) service centers so the line keeps moving and deliveries take place. Quarterly deliveries are worth more than labor costs to fix cars post-delivery.
  2. Incompetent quality control inspectors (paint-shop, body fitting, and post assembly).
  3. Competent quality control inspectors but low standards (see number 1).
I don't think it's asking too much to take delivery of a new car with body panels that are aligned... even if the adjustments/repairs happen post-factory/pre-delivery.

Looking at my car, I would have appreciated even a guy like THIS on staff vs nobody:


IMG_0869.jpeg IMG_0892.jpeg IMG_0893.jpeg IMG_0894.jpeg IMG_0896.jpeg IMG_0897.jpeg IMG_0899.jpeg IMG_0900.jpeg IMG_0895.jpeg
 
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EVDRVN

Active Member
May 12, 2018
1,612
2,873
North Bay Area
That much movement from a worker at Tesla would wear them out. Every Bolt I have seen looks pretty good and solid overall. Early seat issues that were addressed but when I look at any car today the paint always seems superior. If I hit something on my other car I don't worry but I cringe that almost anything will damage the paint on my 3, even speeds over 70. Why they can't paint each part the same on all cars is very odd. I saw a 3 the other day with a partially painted door rocker, how in the heck does that car get to delivery? Sabotage or stoned workers? Both? I think NUMI is a 420 world.
 
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yikes...those are pretty damning examples

I have to tell you, the other cars ready for delivery all had their own issues so I didn't consider my issues catastrophic and easily repairable post-delivery based on what the delivery center said. Right now, they're only doing emergency repairs (disabled cars, safety issues) but I was told they documented the body issues and instructed to make an appointment when the Stay-at-Home order is lifted. Have a feeling the front fender will need to be repainted as it is in contact with the A-pillar and hood (so the fender wasn't installed correctly BEFORE painting). Also scared that they may make it worse.

For anyone with paint defects, your man is at 1:19 LOL

And not sure why the guys at 0:49 aren't catching the fender, hood, and trunk alignment issues:

 
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So there's no question... from the drivers seat, I adore my new M3. It could use softer springs, adjustable speed/volume control, and a total redesign of the audio UI. But 2 of the 3 can (and probably will) be fixed in software updates. In other words, I'm not a hater. And based on everything I read before I ordered, I set very low expectations regarding panel gaps and door alignment. I did that purposely so if there were a few minor issues, I'd still be pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, my particular car met my expectations.
This video is from 2 years ago. At 1:12 Elon talks about the Dimensional Engineering Lab and how "the goal for the M3 is it to have 10x the precision of any other car". He also says "We're putting an intense effort to make sure the gaps and flushness of the car are incredibly precise..... until you can't tell even with a precise instrument the difference between one car and the next"

If they DID work out those issues over the past 2 years, then the cars are not being assembled (consistently) as designed. And I also question whether there's a feedback loop for assembly issues. Example: I took delivery at the Fremont Delivery Center. The Factory is a mile down the street. And there's a Sales Center AT the factory.

If a car arrives at the delivery center with a driver's door misaligned, it should be reported quickly to the factory where they can quickly determine who installed it incorrectly or what inspector missed it, and quickly rectify the issue. Same with the showroom. I visited the Fremont Sales Center a week before I took delivery and the red SR+ on the floor had a poorly fitted tail light and the passenger rear door was misaligned. And to be clear, they were obvious. That car should have been fixed before it got to the sales floor. First impressions.

I just watched Ryan Shaw's Model Y delivery video on YouTube and he had a poorly fitted tail light and misaligned doors. Again, they weren't subtle... before he even mentioned them, you could see the door trim didn't line up at all. End of quarter rushed assembly? Incompetent, disgruntled, or over-worked employees on the assembly line? Intentional low assembly quality standards assuming cars will be fixed post-delivery? Who knows?

I just cancelled my Model Y order and gave the feedback that I won't order until cars delivered to customers are assembled correctly.

 
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jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,570
Northern CA
I know everyone's experience is different, but on my first-year Chevy Bolt, the doors were aligned, the panel gaps were consistent, the windows and weatherstripping were all consistent, and there were no paint defects.

We have a 2016 Chevy Volt (first year of Gen2) and I experienced the same. Panel gaps are tight and consistent, no paint flaws and the interior has no manufacturing flaws. The Volt has been rock solid. In comparison, my Model 3 had so many paint defects, Tesla paid to have almost half of the car resprayed and the frunk centered. Two mobile techs apologized to me for the condition of the car and said it should never have left the factory. It also needed an alignment because of an off-centered steering wheel...

I should have never accepted the car, but the delivery advisor told me I would not get a replacement before the tax credit ended...
 

ggmkp

Member
Jan 28, 2020
17
3
Seattle
Are all model 3 this bad? missing paint, chips, scratch, alignment issue etc?
I got my delivery 6 days ago (today is last day to cancel) while not Toyota perfect I didn't find anything too bad.
Or am I just not inspecting carefully?
 

lUtriaNt

Member
Mar 16, 2020
659
608
Los Angeles
i picked up my car this past friday and found NO ISSUES. no dings, no misaligned panels, no missing bolts from what I can see.. just a brand new car!

i expected the car to be in showroom condition because, having been on forums for decades, they are all filled with people looking for help or who are having issues with something. you don't see people post up to say how great their car was and how it exceeded their expectations, but you sure hear from squeaky wheels-and we all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease..:)

your car will exceed your expectations.. :)
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,163
1,974
SWFL | Vegas
Are all model 3 this bad? missing paint, chips, scratch, alignment issue etc?
I got my delivery 6 days ago (today is last day to cancel) while not Toyota perfect I didn't find anything too bad.
Or am I just not inspecting carefully?
My 2019 & 2020 both have paint issues albeit very minor. My examples are minor where direct light is required to see the nibs in the paint. (ex. right quarter panel near the 1/4 glass has a very tiny nib that looks to be in the clear coat) It's not Porsche or MB paint quality but also not so drastic that it takes someone like myself to locate imperfections of this type. It's 99% and I'm ok with it.
 
Are all model 3 this bad? missing paint, chips, scratch, alignment issue etc?
I got my delivery 6 days ago (today is last day to cancel) while not Toyota perfect I didn't find anything too bad.
Or am I just not inspecting carefully?
I think it probably depends on when in the quarter it was built, who was working that day at the factory, and who was inspecting/prepping/repairing cars at the delivery center. My steering wheel was off center too and the service center said the alignment was “way off”. The large interior c-pillar trim inside was not attached at one end. You could clearly see it in the rear view mirror and my 10yo son noticed it as soon as he sat in the back seat. Yet, it left the factory and delivery center prep unnoticed.

Again, if you’re buying a Tesla, you’re paying for the technology. That’s what they do better than anyone else out there. That’s Tesla’s category 1, not automobile manufacturing. You might get a perfect car, sure. You might not. I’m hoping when the nightmare ends, they’ll get my car sorted out because at the moment, it looks like it was in a terrible accident and repaired by a lousy body shop vs a brand new car. If Elon drove to my house and looked at my car, I hope he’d be shocked.
 

Altes

Member
Sep 30, 2016
651
557
SF Bay area
They really have no excuse at this point for such problems but at least they’re getting the underpinnings right.
Well hopefully now...maybe...my S had a huge trunk leak from the factory, motor and axles replaced at 45k... steering controls replaced three times....main screen is now dead at 63K miles and 3.5 years. No, I would say the underpinnings are just as messed up
 
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BlueKam_M3LR

Member
Mar 27, 2020
12
3
NJ
I picked up my 2020 Model 3 LR AWD in Blue on 3/13 and did a super deep inspection of the entire exterior and interior. Unfortunately, paint issues are still occuring for this model year. It had many many paint defects/ scratches and residue. The service center fixed almost everything on the spot and I was there for about 3.5hrs on my delivery day. My car had tons of swirl marks (they didn't fix them all but I have to live with it because I didn't want to wait for another car), about 5 paint pimples, scratches on both sides of bumper and underneath (clearly scraped the car when unloading from truck), and a few paint chips. Some of the paint pimples they couldn't fix but again I have to live with it.

As mentioned on a lot of other threads, the service center workers use dry towels and hand spray to "detail" new cars which causes many swirl marks. The safest way to ensure no swirl marks is to tell your delivery location to NOT touch the exterior of the car when it arrives, no washing and no "detailing". This way you can just wash it yourself when you get home and add your own swirl marks or try a touchless washing method.

Check out this video I made on my delivery experience and the inspections I did.
 

BlueKam_M3LR

Member
Mar 27, 2020
12
3
NJ
Just curious how the SC was able to address the issues you mentioned outside of applying touch up paint here and there? Paint pimples I don't how they address other than wet sanding, which I am not sure I'd want them to do....

They use touch up paint on the chips and buffed out the light top level scratches. Some of the paint pimples actually came off by buffing and the paint looked fine underneath so I guess they were not really deep pimples? Also some of the paint pimples they didn't fix because as you said they required sanding and more work that they were not willing to do.
 
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WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,923
7,017
Seattle, WA
They use touch up paint on the chips and buffed out the light top level scratches. Some of the paint pimples actually came off by buffing and the paint looked fine underneath so I guess they were not really deep pimples? Also some of the paint pimples they didn't fix because as you said they required sanding and more work that they were not willing to do.

Paint pimples. Lol. That's just dust in the paint when they clear coat it. You can remove them to some degree with buffing, but sometimes it's not worth it. My car has a few of them and I just don't let them bother me (pretty much guarantee every Tesla has, whether you notice them or not). Bigger fish to fry these days, of course.
 
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OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,768
4,291
Southern California
I spent around $1,000 to take my brand new Model 3 to a shop that specializes in ceramic coating and paint protection. The paint was in good condition but there were some minor scratches and swirl marks, likely from the detailing they did prior to delivery.

The shop was able to remove all of the scratches and swirls prior to applying the ceramic coating. It seems like a worthwhile investment for those who are concerned about paint longevity and delivery imperfections. I expect it to help with resale value as well assuming the ceramic keeps the paint in good condition.
 
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Just hand washed my car today for the first time, and I've got to say, the paint isn't bad at all. There is a little orange peel on the rear nearside door adn there isn't much paint on the A-pillar. Theres a very small scuff on the front bumper and some small holograms from buffing - that's it.No dust or nubs as far as I can tell.

It's not as good as my Merc, but it looks nice and I like the blue fleck in the paint. I'll the front wing panel gaps with the A pillar done by Service and a few minor closement adjustments and it will be perfectly accetable. Next weekend's job is a fine polish and ceramic coating - will look very nice after that.

IMG_20200405_160622.jpg
 
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