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Tesla Model 3 Teardown By Engineering Firm Reveals Quality Flaws Like 'A Kia In The '90s'

Tesla Model 3 Teardown By Engineering Firm Reveals Quality Flaws Like 'A Kia In The '90s'

https://jalopnik.com/tesla-model-3-teardown-by-engineering-firm-reveals-...

I'm not sure what to think of this, but some of it sounds pretty bad. Idk

Lane79 | February 2, 2018

From the article:

It’s worth noting that a representative for the company told me over the phone that Munro’s biggest automaker clients are the “Big Three.”

KP in NPT | February 2, 2018

It’s Jalopnik. That’s all you need to know.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

@Lane - Does that negate the issues....some of the same issues others have reported, about fit and finish, etc?

lilbean | February 2, 2018

I spoke with my dashcam installer about the fit and finish and he said it is awesome. He’s worked on probably 200 Xs and Ss and he said the 3 is solid and awesome.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

@KP - This doesn't seem like a hack job or sound like someone bent on bashing the Model 3. You're saying that his findings are invalid or diminished because they're on Jalopnik?

lilbean | February 2, 2018

See @Lane79’s post above.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

@Lane - Actually it reads "Munro’s company Munro and Associations is an engineering consultancy known for reverse-engineering not just automobiles, but everything from airplanes to household items like rice cookers, to learn how they work. It’s worth noting that a representative for the company told me over the phone that Munro’s biggest automaker clients are the “Big Three.”

To suggest payoff, conspiracy or influence by the Big 3 seems a bit far-fetched to me at this point. Again, I don't know this company backwards and forwards, so there's really no way to say for sure either way.

mntlvr23 | February 2, 2018

I have now studied three Model 3s in person - looking carefully at the fit and finish, and opening and closing each door, frunk and trunk. 2 of them as sold to consumers and one in a showroom.

I just don't see anything here - I didn't see anything at all that bothered me.

I imagine that the experts can look at things with a fine-tuned microscope and find things that I would never notice.
If the thumbnail versus thumb thing is true - I would imagine that this is not common and that it would be fixed upon request.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

@lilbean - So the gaps others have reported, etc., and all just fairytales and customers anyone that reports these issues is lying too? There are other issues with the Model 3 from owners (Facebook Model 3 owners group) that are worse than what's being reported here. You can only dismiss and discount so much.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

are all*

lilbean | February 2, 2018

@coolneworld, I haven’t been following the forum until recently and I only commented on what I learned from someone who has already worked with many Model 3s. Thank you kindly. :)

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

mntlvr23 - Yes I have no doubt that Tesla would fix these things. Thanks for your first hand insight.

jopp2 | February 2, 2018

That article is brilliant!!!!! Tesla 3 is poor man's Tesla POS. I rode in one last week and it frightened the hell out of me. It's for Silicone Valley snobs whom can't afford the really crazy X. I had an S for a month and dumped it. I am SO thrilled with my new 2018 Kia Stinger GT2!!!!!!

EVFORME2 | February 2, 2018

My biggest take, do not store anything valuable in the frunk. Short the two wires in the bumper and it opens right up.

jopp2 | February 2, 2018

@lilbean Think you can use the word AWESOME one more time?

lilbean | February 2, 2018

Wow, what a sweetheart.

lilbean | February 2, 2018

I forgot this is the Model 3 forum where people like to complain about the car.

cephellow | February 2, 2018

Got mine on Jan 3.. no problems with fit or finish. 1 data point, mine; the most important one.

weluvm3 | February 2, 2018

I had a chance to go over a friend’s Model 3 yesterday. I did notice that the frunk was badly misaligned. The right side was nearly half a centimeter higher than the left. It doesn’t sound bad, but it was very noticeable.

Also, the rear passenger side door was much harder to close and latch than the others. The first time I tried to close it, it refused to shut and I basically had to force it closed. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, but my friend said he noticed it, too.

The last time I saw stuff like that was a car that had gotten into an accident and had been repaired badly. Weird. But he did say it drove well and he was otherwise very happy with it.

autoxer7 | February 2, 2018

How is a short person supposed to close the trunk?

mntlvr23 | February 2, 2018

@cephellow - "1 data point, mine; the most important one" +1
Congrats - that is great to hear

Madatgascar | February 2, 2018

autoxer7 - my wife is 4'-10" and has no problem to reach the handles. Of course there are shorter folks out there.

burdogg | February 2, 2018

From the headline - i expected some major engineering issues as he tore the car apart - instead I got fit and finish issues and a handful of nit picks.

I'll take the car, even with fit and finish issues - i am not picky. It is the drive and experience I want, and that is what I will get.

And sorry, when the title starts off like that, the slant is all wrong. It is an attention grabber, with some minor squabbles by someone who has the big 3 as his biggest automaker clients.

Oh well, call me a fanboy, but I truly read the article looking for the aha, tesla messed up and underneath it is not that great. I didn't find it, sorry but fit and finish on first off a new line for a new car is nothing new for Tesla - if that surprises you, then where have you been? No new revelations from this - the car is still amazing (from what I am told by actual owners)

phil | February 2, 2018

The most troubling finding was where they showed an extra length of rubber window seal, glued onto the first window seal because it had been cut too short. On the driver's side, but not on the passenger side. How does that happen in a mass-produced car?

nameless | February 2, 2018

I took a look at official first responder procedures for Model S and Model 3.

* As the video says, Model 3 does not have manual door release handles in the rear. In the event of a crash, if you lose 12v power, you'll be getting out through the front or through the trunk. Model S has manual door release handles both in front and in the rear (though the rear ones are well hidden). Model S: 1, Model 3: 0.

* To cut off high voltage circuits either in a Model 3 or in a Model S, you need to open the frunk. To open the frunk in a Model 3 that lost power, you remove a panel in the front bumper and connect a 12V source (e.g. jumper cables from another car) to terminals behind it. To open the frunk in a Model S, you get behind front wheel arch liners and pull concealed frunk release levers. (There are two levers, left and right, and you need to pull both. Advantage: Model S if emergency first responders don't have a 12V source handy, otherwise Model 3. Does not look like either car is really secure from theft from the frunk.

* In a Model 3, there's a secondary high-voltage cutoff: you cut through the right rear pillar (behind the rear door and below the small triangular window) and you're done. Model 3: 1, Model S: 0.

stevea137 | February 2, 2018

Yea, by the headline I thought they concluded the car would burst into flames as it approached 88 miles per hour or something... instead i'm looking at pictures trying to figure out if they actually illustrate the issues the text surrounding them describe.

Wasted my time just to hear them whine about panel fitment issues (yes, we know, its been an issue since the model S, but the M3 is apparently Tesla's best attempt so far). I think 90s kia's probably had more issues than just panel gaps. Just guessing. Don;t know anyone that actually dared own one in the 90s (but look at them now).

Xerogas | February 2, 2018

Today I learned 90’s Kias were awesomely-built, and ahead of their time.

Frank99 | February 2, 2018

I'm not entirely sure that he didn't evaluate a car that had been torn apart, and rebuilt (kinda like Daimler did). Even so, most of his complaints came down to minor annoyances at best.

I (still) want my Model 3!

mntlvr23 | February 2, 2018

@Frank - From the article, I am not even sure that the car got "torn down".
It sounds like they walked around the car a couple of times.

ModelT3 | February 2, 2018

Seems to be very unbiased and without exaggerating anything. ;-) Like when he states that it is "near impossible" to open the door handle, yet opens it with ease. Honest critiques are fine, but biased ones are not helpful.

stevea137 | February 2, 2018

@Frank99 They stated in the video that they had only done an initial exterior exam, before rigging it for a drive test before a tear down.

Watch the video in the article and they seem to enjoy laughing at the car a little too much. "ha haha look at Tesla, they used an electronic gizmo instead of a mechanical gizmo, what fools, hahahahaaa" That sums up most of the video: grumpy old men who don't like change in the industry.

stevea137 | February 2, 2018

And they also make a huge deal about the emergency HV disconnect. Making is sound like in case of an accident, no emergency responder will dare approach the car before disconnecting the battery. "yea, see, if you're trapped in the back seat, see, and the firemen need to get you out, they won't know how to disconnect the battery first."

I think they will do like they do in every other accident - clip the pillars off will the jaws of life in need be and extract you that way.

Does anyone know the actual scenarios where the battery needs to be disconnected? If something pierced the battery and is in thermal runaway, the HV disconnect isn't going to stop anything. Maybe if the computer goes crazy and won't cut power to the traction motors?

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

mntlvr23 - The answer is at the end of the video. Also, everything he points out is real, not imagined or nitpicky. Denying his analysis because we don't like the message isn't a reasonable thing to do.

coolnewworld | February 2, 2018

@steavea - "Watch the video in the article and they seem to enjoy laughing at the car a little too much. "ha haha look at Tesla, they used an electronic gizmo instead of a mechanical gizmo, what fools, hahahahaaa"

It's amazing that this is actually your takeaway after watching this. I love Tesla but some of the dismissive Tesla fanboyism here is pretty ridiculous, no offense.

GAGSTESLA | February 2, 2018

Sheesh, what a dramatic blowhard! I have been lucky enough to have mine for a month and 1,850 joyful, trouble free miles. I have NO fit and finish issues, not too worried about jumpstarting the "frunk" to open. I figure if a fireman needs in the frunk, they have tools to pop that sucker right open (like they did years ago when my old Ford Fairlane caught on fire. If you have one on order, don't worry, you are going to love this car.

eandmjep | February 2, 2018

@EVFORME2 I read that Shorting the Wires only works 'IF' the 12 volt battery is dead. Under a charge that wont work, you'll have to use the touch screen or your phone. I believe it states that in the Owners manual.

My take is you can pick anything apart. So to each there own. I wonder if they ever state how in an ICE the difficulty in getting to the Oil filter, Fuel filter etc. Or just the necessity of general Maintenance.

So looking forward to never having to crawl under a M3. At the most I may have to replace bearings or Ball joints etc. That's just sitting next to it ;)

rcrouse05 | February 3, 2018

Issues are a little concerning for sure but seems to be a suspiciously heavy bias against Tesla...there are too many positive design aspects that are overlooked and the video definitely didn't show a model 3 teardown as the title suggests. I would be curious to see if they come up with any more than that.

Check out Munroes website leandesign.com, the only other vehicle review available is the bmw i3 which they claim is going to "change the way cars are built" but I don't see it. The model 3 may have larger panel gaps but also has many of the same features as the i3.

stevea137 | February 3, 2018

@coolnewworld Offense taken. Did you read all my comments in this thread? I pointed out all the "big deals" they made in the video: fit & finish, HV disconnect, and using electronics instead of mechanics...what earth shattering message did I miss from this video?

Oh, I guess the message was Tesla quality is on par with a 90's Kia. Sorry, how could I have missed that message.

Bri | February 3, 2018

If the car is such crap why would anyone pay hundreds of thousands to reverse engineer it?

dalesmith1962 | February 3, 2018

weluvm3 | February 2, 2018
"I did notice that the frunk was badly misaligned. The right side was nearly half a centimeter higher than the left. It doesn’t sound bad, but it was very noticeable."

There are rubber spacers on the corners of the hood. Twist them to adjust them to level the hood.

Rthughes77 | February 3, 2018

........There are rubber spacers on the corners of the hood. Twist them to adjust them to level the hood........

Where is Tesla quality control ...? If it's that simple how did it leave the plant
Hood and deck fit specifications for most automotive manufacturer would have gaps hood to fender at about 5mm at most.side to side spaced evenly.
Hood to fender specifications would be 0-1 mm for flushness

Fitting swing metal panels (decks , doors ,hoods) is not brain surgery, but does take training or Tesla dimensionable stability is non existent in their process.

As for Munro and Associates they are the gold standard in automotive benchmarking, I have been there for various vehicles are company produced .......they tell you straight up where you can improve or where you do great.

If you want to get the full report on the Model 3, you can get it......From how much it costs to make a fender liner screw to the weight of windshield wiper blade.....but if you got a extra $500,000 +laying around go for it.

Don't kill the messenger you him to improve your products

.

Shock | February 3, 2018

Some of his comments were true, like the door alignment on the trunk. Some were idiotic and just part of a hit piece. He said the trunk was very heavy and hard to pull down, and then showed the strong hydraulics pushing it up. Okay, that makes sense. But then he says you're in the trunk and push the button and you have to try hard to push it out of the way. Wth? You just showed the thing can pop itself up!

Maybe I'm ignorant but I'd never heard of autoline until this week when this tear down popped up. They have almost no views on youtube and don't seem to be a particularly relevant company. They are doing a good job trotting themselves out over tesla, though.

Rthughes77 | February 3, 2018

Autoline and John McElroy have been around for 20 years and has reported on all aspects of the automotive industry

mntlvr23 | February 3, 2018

@cool - "mntlvr23 - The answer is at the end of the video. Also, everything he points out is real, not imagined or nitpicky. Denying his analysis because we don't like the message isn't a reasonable thing to do"

I was reading the article at work and actually did not even see that it had a video. I just assumed that they would lead with the biggest items at the beginning of the article and include all germaine issues in the text. I will have to check out the vid when I have some time and see if there was a surprise ending .

btw - do not put words in my mouth, I did not deny his analysis - I simply added my three data points to his apparent single data point. For me, I will have Tesla fix the fit and finish issues in my Model 3 (if I find any) prior to delivery - eliminating any "Kia Concerns" that this "tear-down" illuminated.

bjoern | February 3, 2018

My boss has a Jaguar f-type SVR. Talking about alignment issues and gaps. Front right fender is almost 3/4 offset from the panel behind it. Left side aligns perfectly. Brand new $150,000 car.....Jaguar's response.... it is normal. It is a beautifully handcrafted car and it adds to the character....

vmulla | February 3, 2018

About the talk on fit and finish: What nonsense!

About the emergency personnel accessing the car: Those seem to me legit concerns.

eeb9 | February 3, 2018

Monroe and Associates are a gold standard for manufacturing analysis of everything from cars to crockpots.

They themselves don’t tell you if a design is “good” or “bad” or “better” or “worse”. They pick the device under analysis apart - down to the individual component level - to develop a model of how it was made, what it cost to produce and how much time it took to manufacture.

From that point; a customer of theirs can ask and pay for an analysis of ways to improve the cost/time/quality of anything from a single wiper blade or bolt to the entire vehicle.

They are objective engineers, to the extent that it is possible for anyone to be completely objective. Most of them have spent their careers analyzing ICE vehicles, but they have already added BEV and Hybrids to their portfolio. They’ve done this same breakdown/analysis to the Model S, now it’s the Model 3’s turn.

It’s all good

Other manufacturers can peek under Tesla’s Kilt to see how they approach design and build; and Tesla can get feedback on ways to further optimize and tune their own processes. Everyone wins.

It’s also fully in alignment with the EM Double-Secret Master Plan to share/enable/support th development of other BEV from different manufacturers. We’ve all pretty much agreed that Tesla doesn’t intend to be all things to all drivers, so “spreading the wealth” is all to the good - more choices, more competition, happier owners, faster advances in technology as the makers continue trying to leap-frog each other..:

What’s not to like?

applesnkids | February 3, 2018

I don’t know about the rest of the article, but I sure had an audible giggle reading this:
“In addition, Munro notes the high efforts required to close the rear hatch, saying:

This is really a heavy load. The efforts for this car are higher than almost anything we’ve ever seen. Not since the ’90s have Iseen closures like this. So that’s a bit of an issue as well.”

mntlvr23 | February 3, 2018

"This is really a heavy load. The efforts for this car are higher than almost anything we’ve ever seen. Not since the ’90s have Iseen closures like this. So that’s a bit of an issue as well.”

It would be nice if this engineering firm would quantify this with some measurables

for example: Vehicle - Force Required

'17 BMW i3 - 1.53 lb
'17 Honda Accord - 1.12 lb
'17 Tesla Model 3 - 1.97 lb
'91 Kia Whatever - 2.01 lb

then we could really decide based on facts if we wanted to buy the vehicle. lol

carlk | February 3, 2018

Where is @CT to tell us we need to listen to the "authority"? Didn't you see @phil is getting all the glory?

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