Has quality improved with cars built in February vs. December/Jan.?

Has quality improved with cars built in February vs. December/Jan.?

I've been reading many of the posts on this forum over the last 2 months (thank you everyone for sharing your experiences both good and bad) and am wondering if we are finally starting to see fewer issues with cars that have been produced in the last month. There is no question that production is moving full steam ahead and the delivery folks can't keep up so I'm not talking about delivery delays/issues - just the car. Any and all thoughts are much appreciated. My VIN# is 7046 and the car will likely enter production next week, so I'm thinking cars with VIN# of 6000+.

Docjay | 28 February, 2013

I have had none of the issues reported here. I took delivery last week. Perfect so far.

lolachampcar | 28 February, 2013

Two comments-
(1) Posts here are mostly people reporting issues so your ability to collect a valid sample of Dec and post Dec delivery is limited by asking here. Tesla knows but I am sure they are not saying.

(2) Mine was an early Feb and had the passenger door a little harder to close issue. It developed a very small lift on the frunk lid on the drive home. These are incredibly small issues and I am beyond happy with the quality of the car.

If I were to guess, I would say yes and you will be very happy with the product you get. Per the Q4 CC, temp labor is down and hours to build it down which implies initial build quality is up.

noel.smyth | 28 February, 2013

I had the year end rush email and my car was purchased on dec 31. While I did have a few issues, they have been addressed and the car is amazing. the issues: moisture in one of the reflectors on the back. was replaced at the service center. My winshield cracked, was replaced as well.

bp | 28 February, 2013

My car was built at the end of December - and have only had a few minor issues - nothing major enough to warrant a service visit yet. Biggest issues are the missing "due bill" items - such as the parcel shelf, cover for the rear trunk foot well and the HPWC - but none of those are showstoppers.

While the car was in transit (and the transport truck hit a deer on the way) - I feared the worst - and have been extremely satisfied with my car...

rbgliny | 28 February, 2013

received my S on feb 21st. 2 glitches - driver side door handles would not open the doors. Tesla sent a tech out and reset the door handles - worked for about 10 minutes after he left - next day I drove the car to the Queens service center and they replaced both handles while I waited. No problems since. Waiting for a new charging cable as the one I have does not open the charging port door. As long as there is a work around I can wait. Otherwise - so good so far. Great car.

rsampsonjr | 28 February, 2013

Received mine on 2/15, no issues. Just wish I had more time for longer drives :)

jat | 28 February, 2013

It can't be any better than mine -- my car was shipped on 12/31 and I have had zero hardware issues (there have been software glitches, but all the cars will be running the same software within short order so I don't think that matters). I still maintain that the percentage of cars that actually had problems was fairly low, because the people that post are ones that have something to complain about.

@nnt is going to wait until nobody reports any problems ever. Judging from even his vaunted MB forums or JD Power initial quality surveys, he will be waiting a very long time.

hsadler | 28 February, 2013

Just perused one of the Mercedes Benz complaint websites. I think Tesla is way ahead in the area of quality. It's rare that one gets any new car without a few 'glitches'. If it's a 'common occurrence' problem - hopefully, it gets addressed.

So far, on this forum, we have all positives (except one that doesn't own a Tesla and even cannot prove he has one on reserve, and that all his MB's were immaculately delivered with no issues) and I think that pretty much says it all.

I'm impressed.

StefanT | 28 February, 2013

I picked up 2/16 and based on the long list of forum comments and concerns I did an extensive review. I am happy to report there were absolutely no anomalies. Probably just got the statistical jackpot. Wish the customer interface was a good. Along with a long list of inexcusable interactions, I was suppose to pickup the car at the factory but they accidentally delivered it to Rockville, MD.

cpetrush | 28 February, 2013

VIN 4020 and problem free..until 2 days ago. My left rear window dropped down, all the way open, and won't go back up. Motor makes a noise but no movement in the window. So back to my stinky slow ICE for a few days until my service appointment in Freemont.

JZ13 | 28 February, 2013

Picked up my car on 2/21 and I did a thorough inspection at the factory using the Delivery Worksheet. Found zero issues wrong with the car I have driven over 800 miles since and I have had ZERO problems. Yesterday I did another exterior inspection in the sunlight and still I could not find anything wrong.

It does make sense that they would be tightening up the quality now vs. last fall. | 28 February, 2013

delivered 12/29 no quality control issues

Pungoteague_Dave | 28 February, 2013

Despite my loose bumper nuts, my car was very well put together. SN 4061. I haven't seen anything on these forms that would indicate early or late assembly problems, other than missed qc discussed in my bumper threads. Even with that problem, I would not want to have waited. Every day with this car is amazing. Just wish it had more range...

petero | 28 February, 2013

Received my “S” in late January. Near perfection. Absolutely NO: hardware, software, paint, fit-finish, interior problems. “Near perfection- yes, I have the Tesla fuzzy view at the bottom edge of the windshield (which I knew about from the forum).

It is a very young company, growing at warp speed. Does it really surprise you that they may have some warranty –supplier issues and that the number of service centers are having trouble coping? A little patience and a bit more understanding. It will improve. Every car company and dealership has problems and challenges.

It is rare that ‘reality exceeds fantasy’ and this happened to me with my “S”. I realize I am lucky but this is truly a spectacular car. You can try and compare TM to MB, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Jag, etc. The simple fact, no matter how good the others are … they couldn’t design, build, set up factory, train a work force, create a sales and service team, create a supercharger network in the time and budget that TM did!

FYI, Nissan spent $6 Billion redesigning the Versa into a Leaf… and the good news is they had the factory and all the infrastructure! I don’t think Mr. Musk, et al spent anything close to this on TM, SpaceX, and Solar City combined!

Mark K | 28 February, 2013

nicknike - your constant bias is curious, and you don't own this car.

Reading these posts by real owners, with real delivery of this car ... The overwhelming impression I get is that Tesla is building a fabulous product.

They have matured in months, more than my Mercedes quality experience has in 20 years.

This car easily outclasses my >100K Mercedes SL, and that is a great car.

If you are quality-sensitive, I think TM, while not perfect, is already better than most alternatives.

tcunning | 28 February, 2013

I was SN 3203 and haven't had any major issues. I did have an issue once with the passenger door not wanting to open from the outside. However, it fixed itself after a couple of lock/unlock cycles and hasn't been a problem sense.

bradslee | 28 February, 2013

I have had my MS since Dec 29 and have no issues that warrant a service center visit. Comparing to my brand new BMW 335i and Audi A4 that I bought before, they both have more minor quality issues than that with MS. I have to say that, for an innovative automobile manufacturer like TM with only less 10 years in business, MS absolutely deserves the title of 2013 year of the car.

jbunn | 28 February, 2013

My car was late january. Perfect, no issues.

Nick, buy the car or dont. Stop opining about something you know nothing about.

kisspg10 | 28 February, 2013

1 month so far: NO ISSUES!!! CAR IS PERFECT!!!
My sense is that issues mentioned in this forum represent a minority of car owners

Electron | 28 February, 2013

NNT- You've made your point, if you have one. Do you need to repeat yourself IN EVERY THREAD?

fluxemag | 28 February, 2013

Don't feed the troll...

jemartin | 28 February, 2013

VIN 3226. Got the car for 6 weeks. Perfect so far. Not a single issue. I was actually expecting a lot of stuff to go wrong given the manufaturing rush, but nothing so far. I almost told Tesla to deliver the car on schedule (March/April) instead of early delivery late December because I thought that earlier models were more likely to have defects. Given how much fun I've had with the car so far this would have been a HUGE mistake. Like many others, I had my share of delays waiting for the car to be delivered to my home address, but this all seems so trivial now, and so, so long ago...

jinglehyme | 28 February, 2013

VIN 1605 - Delivered early Dec, Now has over 4000 miles.

Creaks and rattles driving me nuts, but I still love the car. Would have waited another couple of months for a tighter build.

Problems to date:

1)Creaking sunroof - (still creaking, Tesla tried to fix, not better)

2)Glove Box retainer broken - stuck in open position - (fixed by Tesla)

3)Rear seat belt not Latching - (fixed, I used tweezers to remove left over plastic that was stuck in mechanism)

4)Initial attempt at software update aborted and caused software problems - (new update complete all problems resolved)

5)New rattle at rearview mirror bracket.

6)New rattle at driver's side seat belt mount.

In addition to these problems I also suffered damage caused by service personnel:

When I picked up my care from the service center in Los Angeles after the first attempt to fix the sunroof I noticed a large scuff on the side of steering wheel - (I'm reminded of it every time I drive the car.) The plastic/rubber gasket that is exposed on the roof of the car was also gouged and damaged when the tech tried the stop the creaks and rattles.

Getting Amped Again | 28 February, 2013

Feb 15 delivery, mine's perfect. I'd like to bump this thread to thank the Sig owners again, as they took the brunt of the initial production issues. TM owes you guys/gals more than a Frunk net!

lolachampcar | 28 February, 2013

Yet another person introduced to Tesla via a test drive in my MS. It never ceases to amaze me and remind me of my initial reaction.... Most just sit there and go Wow!?!? Oh, and I beleive this candidate is an MB owner.

As for you Nit, stick with the MB; its your kinda car. You really are not cut out for all this new fancy stuff. Its just going to confuse you and otherwise piss you off.

jinglehyme | 28 February, 2013


Got an email address for him? I've posted about these troubles before. And my really bad loaner car experience.

jk2014 | 28 February, 2013

Someone has to keep crapping in the forum punch bowl, don't they?

ir | 28 February, 2013

My issues so far go under the "fit & finish" category:
- Chrome under the rear door windows don't align with chrome on the body. The service center had to unglue and replace it with one that aligns better.

- "<" shaped grease pen mark on the windshield pointing at the VIN (probably when they double-checked it). It doesn't come off if you rub or scratch with your fingernail. The service center said they will take care of it.

- Numerous mico-scratches on the paint. Car was probably sitting outside, detailer probably was in a hurry wiping water / dew and scrubbed accumulated dust over the paint. The service center will re-detail and buff away the scratches.

Funny story: A lady with one of the groups picking-up their car compared the hoods of our cars and said to my wife:

Lady: "Oh my GOD there's a deep scratch across my car's hood!"

Wife: "That's the paint armor."

Lady: "Oh! It's the bra? Why doesn't it show on your car?"

Wife: "Because we didn't order it."

Suffice to say, we had a good laugh. This is why I'm getting after-market paint armor that covers the entire hood.

Alex K | 1 March, 2013

@ir | FEBRUARY 28, 2013: "<" shaped grease pen mark on the windshield pointing at the VIN (probably when they double-checked it). It doesn't come off if you rub or scratch with your fingernail.

I had many of those marks in various colors all over the glass. I removed them with acetone. Make sure you don't get any on the paint or plastic.

gianni.terragni | 1 March, 2013

Mark K
I think TM, while not perfect, is already better than most alternatives.

Of course, "S" has no alternatives!!!

Just kidding, but in reality it is true

eltonf | 1 March, 2013

My car shipped Dec. 30 and I have had no major issues.

EVTripPlanner | 1 March, 2013

Received mine 12/19 - had a few due bill items and just some minor QA items - details at

reitmanr | 1 March, 2013

Picked up my S on Dec 30th. Only significant issue was the supercharger connection failed while on a trip. We had plenty of capacity left on the 85 to get home, and had public charge stations available if needed.
The service I received for this issue was awesome! First I was treated well on the phone while techs examined the data remotely.
Then at the Menlo service center, they diagnosed and got the repair done in Freemont within a day, with loaner car offered if I needed it.
I have had many cars over my 72 years, Vettes, racing Vettes, MB, Lincolns and more. I have never enjoyed both car and support like this. Thanks TM team. Love the entire experience. And so do many of my friends. At least one has a MS on order now.

jat | 1 March, 2013

@ir - I got most of the grease pen marks off with just my fingernail, though a couple I had to use a razor blade on, then a damp cloth to get the last residue off.

TINO F | 5 March, 2013

VIN P05627. Not a hick-up. Picked up on February 21st, and it has been perfect. No Hardware, or Software issues. No rattles, or problems of any kind.

dortor | 5 March, 2013

PIcked up my car today VIN 6483 - not a single problem - only issue is that I had to reboot the 17" screen computer to get Homelink and Driver Settings Icons to appear in the status bar (guessed that workaround myself)…

even drove down to Gilroy to check out the super charger and make sure it worked on the car. Supercharger works great!

car is flawless!

andrigtmiller | 5 March, 2013

I picked up my car on the 20th of February and the car has been spot on. No issues at all.

dr_gko | 5 March, 2013

Vin 4295 delivered 2/25. No problems so far. The fit and finish exceeded my expectations after seeing early production cars.

CC | 7 March, 2013

Vin 4960, picked up on 2/21. The car is excellent. Only 2 minor things:

1. Condensation in the right rear backup light / reflector. Tesla will reinstall the foam seal under warranty.

2. Very slight pressure buffetting due to rear lift gate not tight enough, adjusted the rubber dampeners myself, problem solved.

Vawlkus | 11 March, 2013

If you get that pressure buffeting flaw, even if you take care of it yourself, you should still let Tesla know about it. Otherwise, they won't know that they have to make a tweak there during assembly.

Abby | 11 March, 2013

Picked up our car on Feb 18th and have no issues. Near perfect except for a couple of little things already mentioned that Tesla will fix.