Before I get into my Model 3 fit and finish issues, let me first say that overall I love the new Model 3. It's a revelation, a work of genius, and ridiculously fun to drive. But I'm not totally in love with the one I was sold. For a $57K car (I payed cash) I'm a little heartbroken by its surprisingly poor fit and finish. Here's my list:
- Driver's door rear seam bulges outward about a 1/2 to 3/4 centimeters halfway down, causing obvious panel line discontinuity.
- Right rear door handle is sunken in well beyond the other door handles (also by about 1/2 to 3/4 centimeters)
- Lumps under the leather on top of the steering wheel
- Left A-Pillar headliner bulges out towards the bottom (this is a common issue).
- The most minor - right steering wheel stalk plastic top cover pops upward leaving a gap. I'm trying a DYI fix with double sided tape.
While none of these issues impede driving, I can't help but always see them to the point of constant irritation.
The Tesla service people have been typically excellent at doing their best to resolve the issues. I make sure to always be courteous and understanding, so we have a friendly rapport. Their plan is to replace but not repair, so a replacement steering wheel, stalk piece, and door handle are on order. As for the door seam and a-pillar, they say both fall within their tolerances. I'm surprised by this. Every other car I've looked at since (whether its'a KIA tor BMW) has perfectly aligned door seams and a-pillar headliners.
For the door panel misalignment Tesla said I should take the car to a body shop, which I did. The mechanic said he'd never seen a car built so poorly this century. He also said body work wouldn't fix such poor door manufacture and that the rear door needs to be completely replaced. All that being said I have a feeling my car was one of those rushed through production on that last week of the latest quarter - especially considering almost all Model 3 I've seen on the road and at Telsa stores don't have these issues.
Again I love the Model 3. I just wish mine had the same level of build quality as every other car I owned for the past 20 years, wether it be my Audi A4, Audi TT, VW GTI or my very first used beater, a Ford Taurus.
Edit: Link to pictures of the issues: