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Long term reviews of Model 3 - 1year minimum.

Long term reviews of Model 3 - 1year minimum.

Rules for the thread are simple - Only folks who owned the car for over a year are encoraged to post.

Not even words of encouragement are appreciated from others. (Hoping to keep the thread clutter free)

Questions to the reviewers are OK, please keep them specific, short and related to the review provided.

creativeguy | December 24, 2018

At the risk of breaking your precious rules, there aren't many people eligible to fulfill your request. At Dec 24, 2017, only a few thousand 3's had been delivered, and many of those were bought by employees.

mabuck | December 24, 2018

@creativeguy +1, This thread needs to go forward in time 1 year from today.

jb1120 | December 24, 2018

9 month owner here. VIN 99XX. Flawless car; still as much fun to drive as the day I picked it up. Loved it so much, I traded my S in for a P3D+. Love that car even more. Am putting some 18 inch rims with snow tires on it to drive it up in the mountains for some skiing. Love all around.

CD3K | December 24, 2018

Three month owner.

Pretty good car. Not perfect.

Fogs up too easily.

No sunglasses spot.

Fingerprints on trunks. No easy way to close frunk at all.

The car handles are stupid. Look cool, but stupid and finger prints are everywhere. When you are in the dark you just want to feel for the handles. Hard to do here. Bad functionality.

Not a fan of the UI, especially for the air.

Wish there were programmable buttons on the bottom of the screen.

Hate the card and lack of key fob bullshit. I understand wanting to change for tech, but very irresponsible to not ship with key fob.

Wipers functionality being in the screen is terrible. Absolutely terrible.

Glove box being tied only to screen is not good.

Sometimes cool tech is a step backwards in functionality. It all looks very cool to have no buttons anywhere really, but you really miss them when you want to adjust your wipers without looking at a damn screen. We just aren't there yet.

I think Elon understands this in general now, as he realized humans were better than robots in building his cars. He needs to understand the same is true for fine tuning air or wipers in the car.

CD3K | December 24, 2018

Three month owner.

Pretty good car. Not perfect.

Fogs up too easily.

No sunglasses spot.

Fingerprints on trunks. No easy way to close frunk at all.

The car handles are stupid. Look cool, but stupid and finger prints are everywhere. When you are in the dark you just want to feel for the handles. Hard to do here. Bad functionality.

Not a fan of the UI, especially for the air.

Wish there were programmable buttons on the bottom of the screen.

Hate the card and lack of key fob bullshit. I understand wanting to change for tech, but very irresponsible to not ship with key fob.

Wipers functionality being in the screen is terrible. Absolutely terrible.

Glove box being tied only to screen is not good.

Sometimes cool tech is a step backwards in functionality. It all looks very cool to have no buttons anywhere really, but you really miss them when you want to adjust your wipers without looking at a damn screen. We just aren't there yet.

I think Elon understands this in general now, as he realized humans were better than robots in building his cars. He needs to understand the same is true for fine tuning air or wipers in the car.

jlxjl | December 25, 2018

Picked up car on 12/27/17. About 12K miles. Still solid, no rattles. Average 211 Whr/mi in SoCal weather. 264 miles of range at 80% charge. Tires still in good shape, although rear tire is wearing out faster. Paint still looks new (hand wash/wax only). Seats show no wear. Took car in early because FM radio didn’t work. Haven’t need service since. Had phone issues early but is now 99% reliable. A couple of times, car didn’t startup right away. But never been stranded or needed roadside service. Use AP 75% of the time. Uneventful, only had to take over one time because of poor lane marks. Overall, the car still drive/feel like new. But the car is much better now with the software upgrades. I still get excited driving it everyday and the thrill of acceleration never gets dull.

mcclain | December 25, 2018

Picked up car in Aug 18 only after a delay because the car wouldn't drive off the truck. Drove it home, 156 miles, and it died in the garage--towed back to pickup point. Three month later, the car died, again, and towed to repair facility. Hoping it doesn't die again. Small rattle near the left side of the steering wheel/dash area. Holding my breath...hopefully not too long!

Bighorn | December 25, 2018

@jlxjl
Not good enough, according to the OP. My 28k miles don’t qualify either:(

jlxjl | December 25, 2018

@Bighorn, that’s a lot of mileage between your MS and M3. Have the batteies degraded much? My wife MX lost about 10 miles in 2.5 years, but I haven’t noticed any on my M3.

Bighorn | December 25, 2018

@jlxjl
My S was down 31 miles (11.5%) at 197k miles when I got a new battery for a secondary issue. My 3 started at 310--I drove 23k miles the first two months and saw my range drop to 299, but it's subsequently gone back up to 307+

lilbean | December 25, 2018

Wow. I posted even though I wasn’t allowed to. The forum let me through! Woohoo!

Bighorn | December 25, 2018

@lilbean
How's the weather there is CA? We're headed east a day early because of Winter Storm Eboni. I'll be taking my Long Term Model S.

shawncordell | December 25, 2018

23k in two months? Wow!

Bighorn | December 25, 2018

@shawn
Yeah, kind of nuts. I think it was 5 or 6 days between Mexico City and Aulac, New Brunswick! Was trying to hold on to first place in the Supercharger challenge. (I did)

vmulla | December 25, 2018

@bighorn/others,
I thought my own 27.4k/11months shouldn’t qualify either :P

I was hoping that the first wave of reviews start trickling in soon enough. There are already a few (just a few) who should qualify for the thread rules.

shawncordell | December 25, 2018

I drove about 5000 miles all of last year. And about 7000 miles total this year.

Magic 8 Ball | December 25, 2018

It's official: hijacked thread ; )

charles.a.braun | December 25, 2018

I dont qualify to post here til tomorrow.

For now I will just say 365 days, 39,553 miles and 8* out of 10*.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

bill | December 25, 2018

10 month owner, VIN 53XX. Still in love with it.

charles.a.braun | December 25, 2018

So today, marks my 366th day of ownership (Leap Year) of my Red LR Model 3 RWD +PUP +EAP + 19” Wheels, VIN 001895, hereafter known as Solo Cup.

I rate the experience 8* out of 10* overall.

I ordered Solo Cup the day before Thanksgiving and picked up the day after Christmas. The order process, financing arrangements, delivery and pickup were all fine and there were no hiccups of any significance along the way. The first advantage of being one of the first non-employees was that the delivery specialist was able to spend as much time as was needed to ensure that we knew everything about the car that we needed to know, including things like setting up phone keys etc.

We noted a couple of minor flaws such as the charge port door was reporting as “Open” on our phones but was closed in reality.

Naturally the first song I played as I tucked in behind my wife, in our Model S, on the freeway for the drive home was “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith. It took about 40 miles for EAP to calibrate and become available but otherwise it was a reasonably uneventful first drive.

On the 3rd day it was time for the first “Road Trip” of any significance, as I headed from Pasadena CA to Las Vegas NV. I experienced many problems with EAP on this trip as the parking sensors were blinking like crazy with no cars around me for hundreds of yards. Multiple hesitant lane changes or half lane changes with aggressive cancelation and swerving back into my original lane etc.

This trip was also when I discovered just exactly how horribly uncomfortable the car is to sit in for more than 2 hours at a time. Also just how stiff the suspension was as every little bump was felt throughout the car.

At the completion of the road trip I decided to give Solo Cup its first hand wash and that is when I noticed the paint flaw of a couple square inches of “Orange Peel Effect” on the driver side rocker arm.

A day or 2 later my wife pointed out that the driver seat was not moving back and forth when switching to her profile. She could move it back and forth with the controls, it just wasn’t moving automatically according to her profile.

It was also noted during these first few days of ownership that the phone key was pretty much useless and walk away door lock was completely useless.

So after 10 days of ownership, I took Solo Cup and her laundry list of issues to her first doctor appointment with the Burbank Service Center and was given a loaner S75 and they kept the car for nearly 2 weeks to complete the repairs. Most of that time Solo Cup was actually at a Tesla Body Shop in Buena Park for the paint repair.

When I got the car back all the issues were either resolved or I was told that future software updates would resolve.

After getting the car back, I drove for 2 more weeks or so before returning to the Burbank S.C. with the next list of issues which included a squeaky steering wheel, horrible suspension rattles that made it sound like the car was basically going to fall to pieces with each bump or rut in the road that I ran over, 12v Battery errors, horrible alignment issues and a few other things all minor but they add up like the glove box just randomly popping open.

This was the next advantage of being one of the first recipients of the Model 3. Service Centers were not completely overwhelmed like they are today. I was given another loaner S75 and I was without my car for another 2 weeks or so as various electrical problems were detected and needed to be repaired before they would give the car back in addition to the other problems.

So 2 months or so into ownership and essentially Solo Cup had been in my possession for just half of the time and the other half it was in the shop. After a week or so in Service the manager at Burbank began giving me calls with my status updates and trying to bend over backwards to make it seem as if he was sympathetic to me being without my band new car for so long. He kept offering me “Free Detailing” and asking if I wanted any other “SWAG”. For example, he gave my wife a Tesla Jacket which was pretty cool of him but he never came through on the jacket he promised for me.

However, when I picked my Solo Cup up after this 2nd extended visit, I was furious. Turns out that when Tesla Burbank offers to “Detail the car inside and out” what they really mean is destroy the car. There were scratches all over the center console and the entire exterior of the car was covered in swirl marks that were not there. Every attempt to get these resolved were completely ignored by Tesla Burbank, including in my communications directly to the manager.

So I crossed Burbank off my list of Service Centers that I would ever return to and started taking the car to Agoura Hills Service Center which is just a little farther from home but was like a hidden gem in the world of Tesla SCs since they were still pretty new and nobody knew about them. My first appointment there was for another 12v Battery issue, tire rotation, UMC cable swap and to find out about the suspension fix for cars like mine that were built before Christmas day to try to smooth out the ride a little bit.

Everything was taken care of pretty smoothly and within a few hours and I got the suspension fix scheduled for a week or 2 later and that appointment also went off without a hitch. That is also when I was told that my BlackVue was the reason for the 12v battery problems I had been having. I guess the 12v is much different in the 3 than the S as we have never had any problem with our direct connection to the battery in the S but the 3 doesn’t like that. Since then though I have taken to unplugging the BlackVue any time that the car is parked at home.

Since the suspension fix in March or April, I have not had any unexpected problems with Solo Cup that required a service visit until just about a week ago. Otherwise, I have taken the car for all the routine maintenance such as tire rotations (I do those at America’s Tire now for free vs the $90 that Tesla wants to charge) and I have had 1 brake fluid flush at 25,000 as recommended. I have also had Safelite repair a fairly significant chip in the windshield.

So what happened a week ago? Well now every time Solo Cup is cold and backed out of the garage, the brakes make a horrible squeal! It goes away within seconds but it is really bad. Hopefully it is just dirt but we have an appointment next week to get it looked at. I made the appointment online and got the earliest available which a year ago would have been the next day but now is 10 days out. I followed up by calling support to see if I could get a “Ranger” to come to my house instead, because I am under Doctors orders to not drive for a few more weeks due to a recent foot procedure. So without a Ranger visit, my wife is going to have to take a day off of work to drive the car (with potentially bad brakes) for the scheduled service visit.

I was told by support that it looks like there have been other regenerative braking issues recently and that it would be best to have a Ranger come out and evaluate as well as arrange for a flatbed if necessary. I was told that someone would give me a call within 48 hours to arrange that Ranger visit. Unfortunately it has been almost a week now and I have not gotten that phone call yet.

So why do I give the car just 8* out of 10* at the start of this review?

The seats are the worst of any car I have ever driven or riden in in my life. I drive A LOT and I can’t be in the car for more than 2 hours without experiencing terrible back, hip and knee pain which sucks because often my commute is 2 hours or longer.

The evil people in Burbank that destroyed my Solo Cup inside and out and still to this day have refused to acknowledge that they did so and make things right.

The terrible implementation of the 12v battery system that doesn’t allow for something like a dashcam that draws minuscule amounts of power.

When I supercharge, I have frequently had my credit card charged more than the amount on the display. If gas stations did that, they would be in a world of trouble from the county department of weights and measures but Tesla gets away with it with impunity.

I love most everything else about the car. We have made multiple trips throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah with the car but most especially I love that since we are a 2 Tesla family that we have gone the entire year without pumping a single penny of gasoline into a car.

My wife’s previous car to her Model S was a Scion xB that got 30MPG. My previous car was a Camry Hybrid that got 37MPG. She drives an average of 25,000 a year and me, let’s just call it 40,000 for the year. Average gas prices in our area have been about $3.50/gallon I would say. If my math is correct that is $6,700 that we did not spend on gasoline and therefore deprived terrorist funding nations like Saudi Arabia of this year. (By the way, that is our reason for going electric / solar. Not “Climate Change” or any other stupid hoax. All about depriving terrorist of as much money as I am capable of.)

A full charge to 100% still gets me 310 miles of range and I have averaged 238 Wh/M over my 39,553 miles.

Lonestar10_1999 | December 25, 2018

@Charles- if you knew then what you know now, would you have waited for some of the kinks to be worked and avoided some of the early adopter misery?

charles.a.braun | December 25, 2018

@Lonestar10_1999 - No, not at all. Many of the problems I experienced are still being experienced by new owners. Big difference being where I was able to get problems resolved with next day appointments (even though Tesla had the car for 10-14 days to fix) today people in So Cal are waiting many days / weeks just to get in the door of the SC.

Lonestar10_1999 | December 25, 2018

I read on this forum that the seats have improved in recent vintages of the M3. @charles- have you resolved the seat comfort issue?

lilbean | December 25, 2018

@Bighorn The weather is perfect: beautiful, sunny, 60s with a gentle breeze.

charles.a.braun | December 25, 2018

@Lonestar10_1999 - If they would swap seats for free like they did with the early suspension fix, I might give it a shot. But I have sat in newer 3s and while there is certainly a difference in the seats I have not sat in one on the open road for 2 + hours and without doing so I certainly would not pay for seats that MIGHT be more comfortable.

chrismurphy | December 25, 2018

Lilbean, I suspect you are like me and wondering if it makes sense to get a M3 before the 1st to take advantage of the federal tax credit or wait until some of the early adopter/QC issues are mitigated by Tesla.

I've been having this battle in my head for weeks now and it's compounded by the fact that the reviews of the this car are at the extremes -- some say their problems have been terrible and they wish they could return the car, and others say they love car and it's the best they've ever owned, despite the issues. Makes it very hard for me to assess what the right move is at this point. That said, I really appreciate this post and the feedback in the thread so far.

Paul.r.freedman | December 25, 2018

13,707 miles and built in December 2017.
Been a great car.
The charge door malfunctioned and has been replaced.
The suspension retrofit made a huge difference in comfort
EAP used to be scary - would disengage on curves and wander in lanes but that steadily improved over the many updates.
Tesla never could solve the bowing of the A piller covers on the Alcanta models.
I am lucky that I have no panel gap issues or weird squeaks. Do wish I had the newer wider seats for my wider butt.

CST | December 25, 2018

It's 31F in my part of CA right now ;). Lots of snow too!

JustSaying | December 25, 2018

9 month owner, 12.5K miles VIN# 99xx. My best car ever. Only complaint it goes like hell. I got to slowdown, got my first speeding ticket in years Thursday.
BTW the Motorcycle cop remarked it was great looking car.

vmulla | December 25, 2018

Please wait a year before you post, shorter term reviews are aplenty. Questions to the reviewers are ok.

casun | December 25, 2018

i’m a rule breaker.

JAD | December 25, 2018

You are going to create an artificially bad image as the first few of any car have more issues. This is built in fud, not reality for new owners.

RedTeslaModel3 | December 25, 2018

Vin 883x, 20k miles, 8-9 months ownership.

Funnest car to drive ever.

Picked up car with: misalligned, sounds issue, water leaked, paint defect.

Within about 3 weeks, they fixed the panel gap and paint defect. Car spent 5 weeks for full wrap.

Took couple trips to SC, they ultimated able to reproduce water leak and cabin noises. These problems are resolved.

Overall 20k miles driven mostly for weekend errants and work, taken one trip from VA to Boston. AP is awesome, but i am still having back and leg issue on V1 seat. Hate the frunk, trunk, door handles all due to finger prints. My guests are still closing the door by using the window as something to push instead of the door.

Car saved my life on numerous occasions, swirled to avoid accident 3-4 times. Detected some one runnning a red light before i did.

Only cost spent on the car after 20k miles: window replacement due to rocks (100 deductable), car wrap and ceramic coating, tires rotation $20, jack adapters $125, soaps, pressure washer, 2 buckets, tons of towels, wireless adapter to charge the phone, wireless usb for dash cam.

Saved about $3000 in gas so far, made about $1000 in per diem milage.

Tires conditiom: 4 and 6mm, so im looking at another $1200 expense for tires. This is due to flooring at every single redlights. Watt per mile after 20,000 is 263.

Theres no price tag on the fun that I have with the car so far. Spending 1.5-4 hours daily round trip commute with autopilot is priceless.

Only regret: did not wait for AWD.

Vsanva | December 25, 2018

I have not owned my car for 1 year but feel I need to respond to someone like Charles.a.braun.

I took delivery in Nov... and sat in my car for 3-4 hour periods at a time and felt 0 issues. To each it’s own but I’ve enjoyed the car and find it comfortable so we all will have different views.

JustSaying | December 25, 2018

"You are going to create an artificially bad image as the first few of any car have more issues. This is built in fud, not reality for new owners."
Oh I just got it. Sorry I fell for it....

vmulla | December 26, 2018

No FUD. First reviews will be from Tesla employees, and Tesla customers who trust Tesla enough to buy another Tesla - folks that Tesla trusted with a new release.

On the contrary to FUD, I'm hoping for well balanced reviews that put everything into perspective.

Madatgascar | December 26, 2018

Do I qualify? Took delivery a year ago, but crashed the first one and I’m now on my second - another red 3, but this one is Performance. I had no issues with the first car but I’ll agree some functions (wipers) are better with tactile controls. Lesson from the accident: glove box wouldn’t open to access my registration and proof of insurance. I believe they fixed this since (glove box now opens after an accident).

Madatgascar | December 26, 2018

More important lesson from the accident: I was not injured. I was the middle of a three car collision, and driver’s in front and back were injured. My seat absorbed the impact and airbags worked well. Very impressed with the crumple zone performance.

Madatgascar | December 26, 2018

Drivers. Damn autocorrect

hokiegir1 | December 26, 2018

I'm a rule-breaker, what can I say.

I'm at just about 8 months, and just under 20k miles on our 013xxx VIN, RWD, 18" aeros. I was in the 2nd round of non-owners to order.

The issues we've had:
1) Screen had phantom touches. They replaced it. We had to wait about a week for it to come in, but then the 1st replacement that arrived had issues as well (they identified before we got it), so we had to wait a couple more days.

2) The glovebox dropped open randomly. There was a sticky switch in in. At the time, they couldn't replace just the switch, so they swapped the whole box. This was done at the same time as the screen.

3) The magnet on our charge port door keeps getting lost, so we can't press to open it. Minor issue for us, as we usually just open from the screen or the phone. I've stopped even worrying about it.

4) We had an orange-peel-like paint issue that developed about 3 months after delivery. It was not there when we picked the car up, but we noticed it later. It was fixed under warranty. They had to sand down to the metal and repaint. The spot was about the size of a quarter on the top of the trunk. It took about 2.5 weeks for that to be fixed. We were stuck in an ICE BMW X3 loaner for this one.

5) Our frunk latch stopped working. It would say it was open, but wouldn't release.This was also fixed on the same visit as the screen/glovebox. Through all of this batch of repairs, we were in a S70 loaner.

6) During our Thanksgiving trip, the switch for the driver's seat broke. It has 3 little "posts" that hold it on, and one of them broke off. The switch itself still works, but the part you press on is wobbly at the moment. We were getting it replaced with our routine tire rotation on return (our service center has yet to charge us for this, and this is the 3rd one), when....

7) The service center was backed up and had to keep the car over night for the rotation/switch repair. We get a call the next morning that a wrecker that was dropping off someone else's car backed into ours. There is damage to the hood (dent, scrapes down to the metal), bumper, broken headlight, and probably a couple joining panels. Tesla is addressing the repairs, but we don't know how long this will take. It was immediately transferred over to a body shop (not the Marietta Tesla-owned one, but a local one that did our trunk repair previously). We went by to look at it and collect some things. They really made it sound worse than it was on the phone. They swapped out the ICE loaner they had us in for the first night with a XP100DL. This happened on the 13th of this month. We are fairly certain we won't have ours back until *at least* the end of next week, and that's really optimistic and assuming they prioritize it since it was on their lot when it happened. I plan to discuss diminution of value as we get closer to getting ours back with whoever's insurance I need to talk to (tow company that hit us or Tesla -- it's not ours).

Overall, we are incredibly happy with the car. We've had some very frustrating software glitches at times -- and they seem to always happen when you most need the car to *just work,* but they are minor and have never actually impacted the ability to drive. My phone key (Pixel 1) has been about 95% the whole time. It was a little lower (90%) when we first got the car, but then the phone updated to Android 9.0, and it's been about 99% since then. Hubby had problems initially with his Blackberry Priv (running android, but I don't remember which version), but since he went to a Pixel XL 1 with Android 9.0 as well, he has also been near 99%. Once in awhile, we need to take the phone out of our pocket -- but not even unlock the screen -- just bring it closer to the car and it's enough.

We've done a 2000 mile road trip (the one on Thanksgiving) and it was fantastic. We just did a 800 mile one in the X loaner and my back was dying by the end of it yesterday (400 each way, and we were there for 3 days, so plenty of recovery time between). We are planning that when it's time to replace our 2015 Santa Fe**, we will either get a Model Y or find a used shorter-range X. We don't really need 2 long range cars, and the 3 is more comfortable than the X for trips, as well as being more efficient and charging faster. Neither of us can stand the S.

**The irony of the accident with our 3 is that we got the 2015 Santa Fe when our 2011 Santa Fe was in the Hyundai body shop fixing some bumper damage from the garage door closing on it. It was ready Friday at 5:30, but they closed the same time hubby got off work and were closed for the weekend, so we said we'd pick it up on Monday. They called us as we were arriving and said there was a problem --- over the weekend, some kids had stolen a Dodge Charger and needed something to ram the gate open. They used our car. Took off basically the whole front end that had *just* been repaired. We ultimately decided we didn't want to keep that one with it's history, so they sold us the 2015 at cost and gave us an excellent trade price for our 2011.

And the Tesla service manager couldn't figure out why hubby was laughing when he called to tell us what happened. We've decided that we need to stop leaving cars at service overnight.

vmulla | December 26, 2018

@madatgascar,
You already provided the most important review of them all:

"More important lesson from the accident: I was not injured. I was the middle of a three car collision, and driver’s in front and back were injured. My seat absorbed the impact and airbags worked well. Very impressed with the crumple zone performance."

jithesh | December 26, 2018

OP.. I am no where near to fulfill your criteria.

but just curious what are you looking from a 1 year ownership review? any specific points you want people to cover.

vmulla | January 25, 2019

It has been a year!! 30,977miles of adventure :)

NascarJoe24 | January 25, 2019

Vin 29xx 12/17 Blue picked up in CA drove it home to South Florida. Best 65 hours 2950 miles of my life. Had a small list of issues drivers window air noise, rear window defogger and whir in speakers. SC adjusted window angle of close (out of spec), replaced rear window (unfortunately new one has distortion). 15,500 miles. Best investment I have ever made. Still in luv with my M3!

elecfan2 | January 26, 2019

3 month P3D+ owner, 15,293 miles so far. 99.9% of the time it has been an amazing experience so far, though worried I won't get all the issues fixed when my warranty runs out in a few months. Wish I had the time to document it all, when I get a chance I'd like to put it all down in writing but until then back to work and back on the road!

vmulla | January 27, 2019

I've been too slammed to give a full review - but here's the bottom line after 1yr and 31K miles:

Do not buy any other car - not even the Model S.

SalisburySam | January 28, 2019

@ewd7: “3 month P3D+ owner, 15,293 miles so far. 99.9% of the time it has been an amazing experience so far, though worried I won't get all the issues fixed when my warranty runs out in a few months.“

What warranty do you mean? I thought bumper-to-bumper warranty was 4 years, 50,000 miles, no?

amusee12 | January 28, 2019

Hmm... it looks pretty good to me. Here's a video I made about my tesla, that might help.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WSDmvz94Ao

amusee12 | January 28, 2019

Hmm... it looks pretty good to me. Here's a video I made about my tesla, that might help.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WSDmvz94Ao

amusee12 | January 28, 2019

Hmm... it looks pretty good to me. Here's a video I made about my tesla, that might help.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WSDmvz94Ao

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