I've read about a lot of quality control issues on the 3, similar to what happened with the S. Curious what Tesla normally does in these cases. Meaning, are people going back to Tesla and saying that a door panel isn't aligned, and they are fixing it? What's the level of detail where Tesla won't fix it and will just say "sorry, that's how it is"?

SamO | December 30, 2017

Tesla fixes everything/anything.

rxlawdude | December 30, 2017

The only worry is the exclusions on the M3 warranty. No warranty against squeaks and rattles portends a lower level of service.

SO | December 30, 2017

I have found that if the issue is obvious and/or reasonable, Tesla will fix it.

ReD eXiLe ms us | December 30, 2017

Wait... 'exclusions'...? Oh, I see. That's ~*BAIT*~. Nevermind.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017

I too would like to hear examples from owners of the S and X (and 3) of things that Tesla did fix and things that Tesla didn't fix (if any).

FREE ENERGY | December 30, 2017

Why is Tesla’s Quality Control Still So Poor?
Despite Model S deliveries going on for 5 years, the same problems keep occurring with new Teslas.

The dedicated quality control area is likely in direct response to complaints made earlier this year by some Tesla owners who expressed their disappointment over the substandard finish of some Model S and Model X units they received, some of which were painted and detailed haphazardly.

If any, its dedicated QC area also confirms that Tesla is attempting to avoid future service visits due to quality issues on its vehicles as much as possible

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017

It makes no sense to me that the quality control area would be at a delivery center where they can't do anything about issues. Should be at the factory or a service center.

carlk | December 30, 2017

Tesla service is second to none. That's from this person who had owned many high end German and Japanese cars too.

carlk | December 30, 2017

Just want to stress the point even that Tesla has the highest owner satisfaction rating ever there are still a few percent of owners who are not satisfied for one reason or the other. That's mostly all what you are hearing. You just need to put that in the right perspective.

WantMY | December 30, 2017

@carlk I prefer cars ownership experience that excludes any experience with their service. Funny you mentioned Germans next to Japanese - they are at opposite spectrum.

Tesla-David | December 30, 2017

Five year owner on second MS, and Tesla Service was second to none in addressing all issues I have had during the past five years. Door alignment problems and a minor issue with pano roof in my 2012 S85, but virtually no quality issues in my 2015 S85D. I am sure that any obvious quality control issues will be addressed by Tesla SCs.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017


It's not just a few disgruntled owners. I looked over dozens of Model 3s myself and a pretty large number had issues. The issues were mostly minor but they were there. I haven't noticed similar body issues in any of the other cars I've owned in the last 15 years. You should take a trip to the delivery center and see for yourself.

SO | December 30, 2017

@Carl Thompson - go back and look at your previous cars for defects. They are there. The difference now seems to be with people buying 100k cars, we are a bit more picky. Same goes for the new M3 owners who are mostly existing high end car owners and therefore just as picky.

(A little old article but still relevant.)

I’m not saying Tesla is better than the rest in regards to issues. But they certainly are not alone.

SO | December 30, 2017

Also a brand new model probably plays a role in panel gaps being more prevalent.

jlxjl | December 30, 2017

Here is my 2 cent on Tesla quality. I had my MX since 6/16. Just an incredible car with useful features you won’t find in any other car. I expected problems because of the complaints on the forum and news outlets, but none so far. Their service center will take care of any problems and not try to gouge you (I had a wheel alignment done recently). They even upgraded the software to increase 0-60 speed without me asking for it.

Been driving my M3 for 4 days now, Because of the simplicity of the car, I don’t think there will be a lot of issues. The car just feels solid. There will undoubtedly be software glitches here and there. But that is something that will be corrected with customer feedback.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017

"@Carl Thompson - go back and look at your previous cars for defects."

Based on what I've seen with my own eyes these minor defects are more prevalent on Teslas. It's not a big deal but they are not there on my other cars. I'm not going to be picky about it as long as it's not glaring but I disagree that it's no more of any issue for Teslas than for other brands.

carlk | December 30, 2017

@WantM3 Germany companies offer impeccable services, at least on the surface, although you have to pay dearly for that, One thing I really liked about Tesla SC is I never have to second guess their intention when they told me about any service issues.

@Carl Thompson You are welcomed to buy those sorrow cars with perfectly aligned panels if that's how you feel, although like I said you're in the minority minority. With all those "faults" Tesla still got more satisfied "real" owners than any other car brands have.

rxlawdude | December 30, 2017

@RedExile, bait? Read the freaking warranty before posting [bolshevik].

bryan.whitton | December 30, 2017

The problem with your assumption is that we don't know why those particular cars were parked there. For all we know they could be there anticipating rework before sale and all of them had issues. Some we could see and some we couldn't. None of us should be making broad assumptions on individual appearances. That would have skewed casual viewers into thinking that Tesla was having quality problems when there were other parking lots full of cars with no defects that we couldn't see.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017


You make a legitimate point. The cars I saw with issues may have accumulated at the delivery _because_ they have issues. So the percentage of cars with issues I saw may not reflect the percentage with issues that will make it into customers' hands.

However, these types of issues are something Tesla already has a reputation for so it may be a little of both.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017

And I will reiterate that Tesla has an excellent reputation for addressing any issues its customers may have so that's why I'm not worried about it.

ReD eXiLe ms us | December 30, 2017

Wait... [BOLSHEVIK]...? All reports from multiple sources are that the Model 3 is 'solid'. No indication whatsoever of it being rundown, rickety, ramshackle, or obviously substandard in any way... So where are these painful 'rattles and squeaks' you have predictively paused to precisely promote as portents of prognosticated piled upon perilous ownership experience as preemptive prediction to be propagated by your personally perceived ponderings of Tesla's priorties for Service on Model 3...? Until such happens please do refrain, or you could present evidence to prove your negative statement if you prefer. Hint: What the warranty 'doesn't not say' is not evidence, no matter what the FAUX News mandate may be regarding Tesla.

rxlawdude | December 30, 2017

Oy vey. Have you READ THE M3 WARRANTY???

carlk | December 30, 2017

Motor Trend in particular mentioned the car is solid without any signs of rattle or creak. BTW that's pretty much my experiences with my four years old S and two years old X too. Especially the X which is the quietest and most smooth car I've owned.

Carl Thompson | December 30, 2017

I'll agree that rattles and creaks bother me a lot more than slight misalignment of body panels. And BMWs start getting the rattles after around 3 or 4 years. So if Teslas are better in that respect when they get older then that's a significant advantage (in my opinion).

ReD eXiLe ms us | December 30, 2017

"It wouldn't be inaccurate to assume that I couldn't exactly not say that it is or isn't almost partially incorrect." -- Pinnichio, Esq.

I am not a lawyer, but I argue with them all the time.

WantMY | December 30, 2017

Most of the rattles are caused by very benign things, sometimes outright dumb things, but it is hard to get it perfect. So far I did not find a car that do not have some here and there no matter how expensive or old it is. Sometimes it is function of temperature or road surface and etc. Not having rattles is nice goal though.

WantMY | December 30, 2017

Actually, minimalistic model 3 design helps to reduce rattle and squeaks probability. At least, I hope it is true.

eeb9 | December 30, 2017

There’s no such a minimal - in my experience at least - as a perfectly-built car. I expect the Model 3 to have some early teething pains, but also anticipate that Tesla will correct any major issues.

eeb9 | December 30, 2017

Aaarrrghhh... thing. Not minimal.

The joys of posting from an iPhone

Bubba2000 | December 30, 2017

Tesla quality control is quite good in my experience. My neighbor bought one of the early SigP85. Everything worked, not rattles, squeaks. Great performance going from 0 to nearly 90 mph. Alignments were good, though the gaps were wider than usual. 7 months later I got my P85. Every better finish. Newer Model S are even better.

Model 3 has simpler design, and should have less defects. Since it is made in automated plant, initial models may not have perfect alignment, but Tesla fixes those. Paint seems to be ok, but improves with time. The only thing complicated in Model 3 is the HVAC vent... they should have used simple manual vents.

Noises, rattles? That is what my Porsche makes from day one. Including squeaks. Dealer says it is normal. Feels last century driving the thing.

Hi_Tech | December 30, 2017

Two simple points:
1) Please keep in mind that these are very minor "issues" being found and raised, because the company had been excellent in listening to its customers and responding.
2) Other companies have millions of recalls every year... that means millions with safety issues... real issues. Yet we forget about those.

rennerfra | December 31, 2017

Quality has diffferent 'faces' (optical like surface & gaps, mechanical like noise, technical like functional performance,...) + you have to distinguish time schedule (e.g. 0 miles quality = failures @ delivery, quality after a couple of years + quality level after production ramp-up).

It seems, that Tesla made a huge step with MS/X in the last years - but we have to expect, that early M3 VINs will have more problems than later ones...

jordanrichard | December 31, 2017

Can we put things into context here. People want to jump all over Tesla, who has been manufacturing cars for only 5 1/2 years, for defects, yet seemingly give a pass to car companies that have been making cars for well over 100 years........

Ask Toyota how many V6 engines they had to replace due to oil sludge. Ask Porsche why they had to replace ALL, yes ALL GT3 911 engines due to fires. Ask Mercedes why all of their in line 6’s develope headgasket leaks in the back right corner of the head. Ask Audi why all of their engines burn oil....

Until your beloved Mercedes, GM, BMW, Toyota, etc makes a car with zero defects or problems, go sit in the corner.

sosmerc | December 31, 2017

I still believe there is a lot of wisdom in the "1st model year rule". (never buy the 1st model year). Oh well, someone has to break the rule and it appears that quite a few have. I expect by the time I get my will be PERFECT!

rxlawdude | December 31, 2017

Y'all are overlooking that the M3 warranty explicily excludes rattles and similar items. I don't recall that exclusion language for the MS. Since my MS is well out of warranty, I can't find that document. Anyone able to see if that exclusion applies to the high end vehicles?

Does this mean Tesla won't fix them? I hope not, but they have explicitly laid out their LEGAL obligation.

mos6507 | December 31, 2017

Customer satisfaction isn't the full story here. Tesla has been able to get away with providing cushy warranty service on the S and X because of the higher profit margins. The margins on the 3 are razor thin so if a significant amount of them wind up back in the shop with warranty service it's going to destroy their bottom-line.

Most of the problems Tesla winds up with are things that cosmetic, things that could and should have been spotted at the factory, and things that buyers will notice immediately when they take delivery. You'd think with all of the emphasis on computer vision and automation that something as basic as panel alignment could be solved by now, but apparently not. And this is really incongruent with Musk's reputation as a perfectionist. Manufacturing capacity may be their #1 problem, but fit and finish is a close second. Musk should not try to sidestep the issue with funky Model 3 warranty agreements or other obfuscation and attack it head-on at the source.

rxlawdude | December 31, 2017

@mos, +1!

Sudre_ | December 31, 2017

Owning a Feb 2013 Model S I can say Tesla takes good care of their customers. I will also emphasis that an early VIN car is going to have issues (any make). I am still having parts fail on my S. Heck the condensate hose was missing! If you are keeping the car longer than the warranty get the extended warranty. Tesla service will keep you happy.

carlk | December 31, 2017

@Bubba2000 That's exactly what my Porsche was doing too, After a couple visits to the dealer I just took that for granted. Good thing it most noises could be masked by the loud engine and I could still turn up the audio volumn if that does not do it.

People need to aware it's a car we are buying. Things like gap width or panel alignment, although not absolutely unimportant, should be way down on the list of things a great car should be. I searched the internet but could not find even one mention of fit and finish of F1 race car or F35 jet fighter because no one cares of that. Fit and finish has zero correlation to quality and performance. Some of those best cars like early Porsche or Ferrari look like they were put together in a garage and entire car will shake when hit a small bump but everyone still wants to own one. It's when some of those automakers, probabaly started with the Japanese, that could not find ways to make better cars to compete they started this brain washing fit and finish campaign which now becomes one thing many seem to think as highly important or even a show stopper, That's very sad. If this is the only thing, or even a minor thing, to judge the quality a car then you truly deserve what you're getting.

shank15217 | December 31, 2017

@mos6597 Model 3 margins are not razor thin, not sure where you got that from.

tstolz | December 31, 2017

Based on data Model S is above average. Given Tesla’s committeemen to quality I have no doubt M3 prove to be above average as well. Anicdotal ‘evidence’ is useless ... you need data to compare cars.

The quality of my Tesla S is way better than my BMW btw ... and as others point out, customer satisfaction for Tesla remains best in the business by a long margin!

CraigW | December 31, 2017

Could it be that EVs don't have power plants that are continually trying to blow themselves up?

Yeah, I know, rattles can come from the suspension too. IMO, Tesla should have fewer shakes and rattles - because they are EVs and not ICE.

Madatgascar | December 31, 2017

I’ve had Models S and X. The things that needed service were the mechanical door handles (S #1), mechanical front doors (X), mechanical sun roof (S #1), and mechanical lift gate (X). Model 3 has none of these, and benefits from years of development in the electric drive train, so I would expect it should be quite reliable.

The chrome trim and body panels were never that precisely aligned on any of my Teslas, but my new Model 3 seems to be the tightest in that respect. On a stroll through the MDR delivery center I was specifically looking for these things in other cars, because Carl T mentioned there were still a lot of issues. I wasn’t taking a micrometer to the panel gaps, but I didn’t see any of the (usually obvious) misaligned chrome. I think they are getting better.

ReD eXiLe ms us | December 31, 2017

mos6507: Please provide evidence of 'razor thin' margins and 'obfuscation'. Otherwise statements of opinion would be more helpful if stated as such. Instead of stated as fact, because you could (are probably) be wrong.

carlk: Yes. I think we discussed this a couple of times before. Particularly how the very things that are accepted as being 'character traits' for European brands are called 'major missteps' for American brands and when they are corrected, absent flaws on Japanese cars they are considered 'boring' or 'soulless'. If not for the Acura NSX, the Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Countach would have been the height of 'quality' among supercars and 'exotics' for decades. Today, automotive journalists display their two-facedness (Junoism?) by attacking Tesla products as both being 'not luxurious enough' and also 'too easy to drive well'.

CraigW: Indeed. Another term popularized by Lexus and Mercedes-Benz is 'Noise Vibration & Harshness' (NVH). Yet most attempt to avoid pointing out the primary source of those issues is the ICE itself. Companies have learned to either mute the effects with sound dampening materials (hundreds of pounds of it) or to disguise it by making the racket appeal to the sensibilities of owners as a 'good sound'. Those sounds cannot obfuscate the fact their cars are... slow.

"You put your foot on the gas... and just wait." -- Adam Carolla

skulleyb | January 1, 2018

I hope this rattle thing is not true or if it is they fix them for us customers.
My S had a few. Now my 3 had a really bad one either behind the screen or behind the mirror.
i got Wednesday so we will see.

lilbean | January 1, 2018

“Fit and finish has zero correlation to quality and performance.”
Oh really, carlk? LMAO

Mr.Tesla | January 1, 2018

Just slide the straw nozzle of a can of spray-foam through a crevice in the dash, and cut loose!

That'll take care of the problem without ANY ill effects, if you are like me, and enjoy watching how spray-foam expands and oozes all over the place!

Actually, I've been pretty lucky with squeaks and rattles before in my cars. Usually, all it took was a couple of strong tugs on the chassis in the affected area to cause a slight shift, which relieved the squeak. Onene time I used some cardboard as a shim in the bottom rear of the dash (deep in the footwell). So, yeah, lucky I guess.

weluvm3 | January 1, 2018

Me.Tesla, are you sure that wouldn’t make it harder for Tesla to service the car, later? Just curious.

Mr.Tesla | January 1, 2018

I'm sure of only one thing: spray-foam can make one hell of a mess!