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Took Delivery...Unhappy with Panel Alignment

merlin3008

Member
Apr 3, 2021
7
3
Chicago, IL
Hey all...I took delivery of my MY last Friday and I love the car. I mean I love how the car drives. I am sad to say that I have some issues when it comes to the exterior. I'd love to get some of your feedback so I can figure out what to do.

I'll be the first to admit that my pre-delivery inspection was not ideal. It was thundering and pouring down rain so I didn't have the chance to really go over everything. It all looked ok when I drove off. I am also hobby car detailer so I took the weekend to really polish and make the paint pop. That's when I noticed all of the inconsistencies on the front end of the car. Everything seems to be out of alignment. It's almost as if the fenders do not fit the car property. As I looked closely, I realize that someone must have already picked up on this as the paint around the bolts securing the fender in the door jamb is broken as if someone had tried to adjust both sides before. I had it in for service today and the rep indicated that they would be unable to do anything else without taking it to a body shop. That's when I got annoyed.

Here are my observations:

This was the first thing I noticed. The front fenders sit noticeably under the height of the A pillar. They are also not aligned.

FD3A3E74-EA17-4844-A17E-4E621009B83E_1_105_c.jpeg


E03CFE20-A48D-40E6-B12F-CC2ED8693D9C_1_105_c.jpeg


It all snowballs from there. The front of the fender contacts the bumper cover.

31E324F2-EB66-43BB-A322-B5B3E3476CA1_1_105_c.jpeg


The hood seems slightly off center. There is more space over the left side of the bumper than the right.

9334461B-EAA9-4D01-B1DE-72A8CA4FD08C_1_105_c.jpeg


The gaps along the door and front fender appear to be off. It's like the panels get closer together and than diverge again right near by where the body line from the wheel comes in.

CAE45743-DD7C-4132-A032-9076BD8AC5FC_1_105_c.jpeg


There are a few others as well. Anyone else dealt with this? WWYD? Thanks!
 

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jpfive

Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2019
524
501
Pensacola, FL
Hey all...I took delivery of my MY last Friday and I love the car. I mean I love how the car drives. I am sad to say that I have some issues when it comes to the exterior. I'd love to get some of your feedback so I can figure out what to do.

I'll be the first to admit that my pre-delivery inspection was not ideal. It was thundering and pouring down rain so I didn't have the chance to really go over everything. It all looked ok when I drove off. I am also hobby car detailer so I took the weekend to really polish and make the paint pop. That's when I noticed all of the inconsistencies on the front end of the car. Everything seems to be out of alignment. It's almost as if the fenders do not fit the car property. As I looked closely, I realize that someone must have already picked up on this as the paint around the bolts securing the fender in the door jamb is broken as if someone had tried to adjust both sides before. I had it in for service today and the rep indicated that they would be unable to do anything else without taking it to a body shop. That's when I got annoyed.

Here are my observations:

This was the first thing I noticed. The front fenders sit noticeably under the height of the A pillar. They are also not aligned.

View attachment 669084

View attachment 669085

It all snowballs from there. The front of the fender contacts the bumper cover.

View attachment 669086

The hood seems slightly off center. There is more space over the left side of the bumper than the right.

View attachment 669089

The gaps along the door and front fender appear to be off. It's like the panels get closer together and than diverge again right near by where the body line from the wheel comes in.

View attachment 669091

There are a few others as well. Anyone else dealt with this? WWYD? Thanks!

As a hobby detailer you may never be satisfied with the panel alignment on your Tesla. Your eye is just too fine. As for myself, I am on my second. First was a 2020 Model 3. Traded that on the 2021 Model Y I have now. Neither car was perfect. Frunk panel alignment was the weakest point with both cars. In total my Model 3 was superior to the Model Y. Fender alignment on the Y is better than yours at the fascia and A pillar. About the same with the front edge of the doors. Your frunk alignment is better than either of mine was. I've chosen to enjoy the car for the satisfaction of driving it, and the engaging nature of ownership. None of my other cars have given me that. I also try to remember that Tesla has been in the business of mass-producing automobiles for just a short time. I count from the Model 3 and 2017. The Models S and X were closer to hand fitted at the slower rate they came off the line. So, to sum up - I'm cutting them some slack. And myself too - there's something to being a pioneer.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,641
2,609
Maryland
If Tesla has assembled a perfect Model Y it is just by chance. Honestly, just enjoy your new ride. My experience with my Model Y, after a full year of ownership, is that most people don't give the Model Y a second look. They did stop and look at a Model S loaner I had for a week but not the Model Y. Almost no one, other than another Tesla owner, is going to look over your Model Y. Even then, I doubt most would notice the alignment gaps that your eye is trained to see.
 
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Sasmf

Member
Jan 16, 2021
61
71
NYC Metro
Guy - I know this is you. I picked up the Model 3 and same thing. The car drives amazing but the fit and finish is a joke. My frunk hood is so badly aligned and lower on one side below the fender that you can see it while driving. I bought this car with cash!!!

Also; the driver’s seat touches the center console. The panel gap between the front fender and drivers door is so large you could drop a pen in there. I’ve only had the car for 48 hours so I am sure I will find more.

Guess I just have to get used to it, but it’s just nuts that they let these cars off the production line like this.
 

msanborn08

Member
May 26, 2016
61
67
RVA
To me this is unacceptable, but that is how Tesla plays the game. They try and force you into thinking that you need to accept delivery on your phone before you can even sit in the car. Of course you willingly play into that game because you just spent 2 months waiting and here is your chance to end that wait. Look, I understand why they say you have 100 miles to report a issue due to ownership induced issues etc.., but for many, that 100 miles is or may even exceed just the trip to get home. Along with the fact that its your new car! Of course you want to drive it and have some fun now that your long wait is over. Your mind is not thinking about doing a full detail on it the next day so that you can REALLY get to know the overall panel, paint and interior condition.

Is this situation any different then any other car maker, well no, but others seem to have less frequent "poor" examples, then add to that the stuff owners seemingly gloss over during their delivery inspection as no big deal is upsetting. To be honest, this is part of the reason why Tesla is getting away with this type of work. I have watched way to many delivery videos while I wait my 6-to-unknown-10 weeks of time waiting for my MYP and the common theme here is almost everyone blindly accept whatever car they get matched with, pretend to have a look around even maybe pointing out issues then immediately following that up with I an report that and have the SC fix it. What happens when the SC claims its "in spec", when anyone with a eyeball can see it looks like crap? What about situations where the panels are making contact with each other (like in this case on the OP's fender)? Is the SC going to repaint that panel(s), cuz people like us know that paint is going to chip and flake off in that area later down the road due to the panels making contact with each other, driving over bumps or even bouncing up and down on the railroad container or delivery truck just to make it into Tesla's show room? The paint is weaker in that area 1. cuz it's a point on the fender, and now 2. cuz it makes contact with another panel, period...

IMO, once you accept the car, you forfeit any leverage you had to get the car in a condition you expect. If its minor issue, maybe that is acceptable to you and you are OK with the SC attempting to fix things. But to people like us who do work on our own cars and notice this stuff, you just can not accept a car like this. I get it, again you waited for what seemed like forever and delivery day was a bad day to have a good look around on it. I'm sure the SC will make you happy in the end, but personally they will need to pull the car into the building so I can look over it well on the spot. No way I leave the lot with a car that is not up to my expectations, period.. If that forces me to delay or even cancel my order, so be it. I'm not paying $65k for a friday build.
 
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Ormond

MS LR Blue/Cream 21
Jul 10, 2016
857
872
Central Florida
@msanborn08 If you know your VIN, try go finding your car before you accept it. Check out the exterior beforehand. If it’s locked see if a SA will unlock it for you.

I didn’t have a touch less delivery. I saw my car before it was prepped and I drove it too. I came back after it was prepped and inspected it inside, but YMMV. Good luck!
 

linux-works

Active Member
Dec 23, 2019
1,837
3,428
mtn view, ca
tesla thinks this is the 1980's and they are making chevettes and monzas. from the metalwork and how it fits together, sure brings back old memories.

tesla will eventually get it right, I'm sure; but wow is it taking a LONG time for them to get to the level that japanese cars are (or were; been decades since I owned one but when I did, they fit together perfectly.)

definitely have the panels addressed that touch each other and will scrape. the rest - you may have to live with. not sure I'd want to respray a brand new car.
 

msanborn08

Member
May 26, 2016
61
67
RVA
@msanborn08 If you know your VIN, try go finding your car before you accept it. Check out the exterior beforehand. If it’s locked see if a SA will unlock it for you.

I didn’t have a touch less delivery. I saw my car before it was prepped and I drove it too. I came back after it was prepped and inspected it inside, but YMMV. Good luck!
Yup. No way I leave without the car being unlocked for me and at minimum driving around the lot. If it's raining, they pull it inside or reschedule.
 
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Saxgod

Thread Necromancer
May 3, 2019
216
119
Texas
The folks at the SC didnt have any problem opening the car and letting us inspect before asking us to sign.
 
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