Tesla Delivery and Paint Issues

Tesla Delivery and Paint Issues

First I would like to say that for the two days that I was able to drive the car I absolutely loved it.
On October 26th I took a delivery of my model 3. Everything mechanically looks fine but there are some problems which I did not expect from a high end car that cost 60K.
1. There are issues with the paint. I have a paint runoff on the driver side mirror and bubbles on both mirrors. I have a section on the rear left quoter panel (luckily on the inside of the door) where "the paint has been burned while clearing a paint imperfection". This is how it was described by the service agent from Tesla. Essentially, in the final stages of preparing the car out of the factory Tesla's technician has tried to buff out a paint imperfection but it burned thought the clear coat and the paint and left a huge white spot. It looks really ugly since the car has Red Multi-Coat Paint.
2. There were some issues with seals on the trunk and the cabin.
3. The last is a very minor thing, but there are two greasy fingerprints on the sun visor that will have to removed by detailer.

I am curious if many other people have had similar experience? I was told that the car will have to go to a body shop for at least 3-4 weeks. This cannot be normal for brand new car. It has kind of ruined the experience and excitement after waiting for two and a half years for the vehicle.

Magic 8 Ball | 30. oktober 2018

Yes, some are reporting getting delivery of cars that do not meet their standards.

Many many more are taking delivery and very happy with what is delivered.

rado | 30. oktober 2018

Don't get me wrong. I still think that the car is an engineering masterpiece. However the final touches are little off. I was able to take a look at few other cars that were on the lot and spoke with two other owner and they too had some minor things. BTW, when I dropped off the car the person who gave me the loaner vehicle said that that they have had over 10 other cars dropped off for paint work recently. I do not know if they are all red color, which I am told is one of the hardest to get perfect.

Magic 8 Ball | 30. oktober 2018

I don't think I got you wrong. Was my answer unsatisfactory?

rado | 30. oktober 2018

Your answer was completely up to par. I am just little frustrated with the situation. Thank you for replying.

Magic 8 Ball | 30. oktober 2018

It is frustrating for many, I am a TESLA "fanboy" now, and also experienced some hiccups. If you read through many of the old threads you will find folks expressing outrage only to come back and say: "it was all worth it". There are many many members with the exact same story: disgust to bliss. Hang in there the car performance more than makes up for any annoyances.

ILoveMyModel3 | 30. oktober 2018

I have a silver Model 3 and I it had minor paint issues as well. However, Tesla resolved all of them in a few days. If you Google biggest issues with Mercedes-Benz you will see it's paint related issues as well and they been building cars for over 20 years. If you Google different car brands, you'll see that all of them have customers that find issues during delivery and some customers that didn't, which is the same with Tesla. Range Rover is a very expensive car but a lot of people complain about mechanical issues and how often its in the shop. Once you get your car back this will be forgotten.

jmslade | 30. oktober 2018

I had issues with my multicoat white. I was frustrated, but also not so bothered to reject delivery. They told me they’d work with me and they did. I also had grease spot on passenger visor. They just needed to buff out the paint spots and all but a couple are gone now. I’m pleased. Perfect paint? No. Excellent driving experience that is pure awesomeness? Absolutely.

The jumpy price changes make me cringe but it’s a new way of looking at vehicles. It’s truly an iPhone on wheels. The tech is just amazing. My car does more now than it did just 6 weeks ago. When was the last time a car owner (other than Tesla owners) could say that?

jmslade | 30. oktober 2018

I should add... I had the paint bubble issues. Simple buffing fixed it. Overnight in the service center was all it took. Great experience.

rado | 30. oktober 2018

It is nice to know that other people have been thought the same before me and with positive outcome. I hope it take less than the estimated 3-4 weeks. Thank you guys

gballant4570 | 30. oktober 2018

My paint is perfect, no issues at all. I got deep blue metallic. My second choice might have been red.... but that would have put me over the Maryland price limit for the tax rebate. That made my first choice blue.

Amazing car. I still feel like a million bucks, 3 weeks and 1.6k miles later.

reedkeech | 01. november 2018

I have multi coat white and found 5 chips and 2 areas of sand in paint on delivery day. Was dealing with not taking delivery and the delivery rep. told me that we had 3 days to come up with anything we needed fixed and to submit to Tesla. On the second day we scoured the car to see if there was anything, and we found 5 chips and 2 areas with sand in the paint. We also noticed irregular stitching in the front seats and noted this as well. I was told to go to service center and give them the list. I made an appt. with service and they fixed the minor problems (grease on several exterior areas, grass and debris under the carpeted mats, break dust hand prints on the interior, car not clean exterior or interior). The service center said they would get back to me on the paint and seats, and to go to their 3rd party paint shop to get an estimate. A week later I was told it wasn't covered under warranty and would need to have Delivery cover the cost. I sent an email to local Delivery Manager, waited a week, and didn't hear anything! Emailed again and waited another week and heard that they would take care of the problems. Delivery said the seats were ordered and was sent an email telling me the original estimate was to high and won't cover it. They said they will look at other avenues to fix the paint issues. It has been over a month and wonder if the paint issues will ever get fixed. Love the car and really wish we hadn't had these first world problems but once again, really enjoy the car.

Atoms | 01. november 2018

Tempe SC does no paint corrections. They send out to a proven paint shop. If Tesla is trying to fix it, then they have no clue what they are doing and you need to escalate up the management chain and tell them that you expect that it be corrected by a well established paint shop with good performance.
This location is probably new and they are learning what they should do. Sorry to hear you are experiencing this. You need to make sure they meet your expectations and escalate without delay if they are floundering is resolving the issues.

tim_d | 01. november 2018

rado, you are not alone. My delivery experience was pretty bad with lots of avoidable mistakes on the side of Tesla. In addition, my red coat had chips, bubbles, and scratches that I mentioned immediately. The engineer who showed us the car said you get three days to complain after delivery. Got the service scheduled for 2 weeks later, dropped off the car and took a ICE loaner. Now I finally got it back from painting after more than 2 weeks. Looks great, but the service guys broke off the Tesla sign of the trunk and placed it in the middle console. It is bent and cannot be reattached.
I would not want to schedule another service for weeks again.

rado | 08. november 2018

It looks like there are are a lot of frustrated new model 3 owner. I spent over 2 hours on phone today with Tesla. The bodyshop where they sent my car is saying that they will need to repaint and blend the quaterpanel and maybe the door. I do not want a repainted brand new car. I demanded exchange. We will see what unfolds next

nguyenvinh | 08. januar 2019

I'm having issues with Model 3 as well. Tons of paint issues: paint scratches, crooked emblem/badge, paint surface not even and dirty/imperfection in paint. I took my car in for service and they basically buff out the paint. I thought it was going to be repainted but it was not. I took my car to a detailing service to do a ceramic coating after Tesla fixed the scratches, but they pointed out more paint imperfections I didn't noticed.

Couldn't even get it ceramic coated and brought it back to Tesla, because the detailer recommend that I bring it back to Tesla. Found cracks in the paint along the window trims and areas where paint was defective and Tesla tried to buff out the paint and it had no clear coat left. They measured the surface of the body and paint and found it uneven in some part of the car. At this point I almost want a car replacement.

Casper702 | 08. januar 2019

I looked over my car with a fine tooth comb and couldn't find any paint issues.
Mine was made in October maybe they got the paint issues fixed

nguyenvinh | 08. januar 2019

My car was delivered recently towards the end of the year, December 13th.

txesla | 08. januar 2019

My car was delivered on Dec 21st and has about 7-8 paint blemishes. When i went to the SC they said they would send it to one of the body shops or I could drive it on my own to an authorized body shop and they will bill Tesla direct for the work done.

nguyenvinh | 08. januar 2019

Mine was sent to Calliber Collision by Tesla, and all they did was buffed it out, and probably billed Tesla a lot more. I suggest taking it to your preferred shop and probably have them repair the paint and add new layer of clear coat. Some part of my car now barely have any clear coat left.

Good thing I brought it to a detailer to check out the paint because some of the things he pointed out I didn't even see. Especially the cracked paint along the window trim. Such a nice car but having paint problems on a luxury car is just not acceptable.

Infiniti Pi | 08. januar 2019

I took delivery 11/3 in Raleigh, NC. There were a few paint “smudges” and what appeared to be tree sap spots. I’m happy to report the mobile detail team just came out today and took care of those spots and a light scratch down the side of the car. It looks 100% spotless! Really fantastic. This is what I was hoping for at delivery but, hey, Tesla is still new to NC and working out bugs. Also, had the mobile service team put on the dual motor badge on the back and take care of a few minor mechanical issues. All Tesla employees were courteous, knowledgeable and pleasant. A great experience all around.

carlarichi3344 | 08. januar 2019

This is a very interesting topic for me. thanks .

sebastian.mangiafico | 08. januar 2019

Any update Rado?

abhishah4444 | 19. mars 2019

Interesting, Did you guys still pay and rely on Delivery team to fix later for you or wait to take on Delivery and payment? I just ordered 2016 Tesla S so would like to know

Blacklamb | 19. mars 2019

My car came with swirl marks on the rear quarter panel from where a paint flaw found during manufacturing was "fixed" I took delivery and showed it to the employee who was delivering the car and he told me to make an appointment and they would make it right. I set up an appointment for Monday, so I could have some more time to find other flaws over the weekend and they would have fixed it yesterday but the detailer was sick, all the other problems they fixed right there on the spot and made an appointment to detail the whole car inside and out since it was also delivered dirty, there was metal shavings on the dash and front passenger carpet, along with the car just being dirty from the rain earlier in the week before delivery.

Overall I'm happy with how they are dealing with it and I love my M3.

rigarner.67 | 28. mars 2019

So I drove over 2 hours yesterday to pick up my new red dual motor M3 and arrived to find a big dent in the driver door. Other issues as well like big spots of tar or black material on the front of the car. Also a paint drip on the front. The SC manager is doing what he can to resolve the issues but it appears he doesn’t have a lot of support from Tesla. I refused the car and will wait for another one. I won’t pay or take delivery until they can deliver an acceptable quality product. If their QC and customer service matched their design and engineering they would be unstoppable.

Kimmer | 08. juni 2019

It’s very frustrating to see my 70k car look like crap on every panel dirt in paint. They wet sanded in 4 areas very poorly and drips on bumpers etc. How do you properly complain to them and get proper support?

Kimmer | 08. juni 2019

It’s very frustrating to see my 70k car look like crap on every panel dirt in paint. They wet sanded in 4 areas very poorly and drips on bumpers etc. How do you properly complain to them and get proper support?

Lonestar10_1999 | 08. juni 2019

My car was delivered with chipped paint on the door. The authorized body shop did a fantastic job fixing the paint. Maybe the third party shops have more expertise than Tesla with respect to painting.

Magic 8 Ball | 08. juni 2019

@Bros123 Most folks are satisfied with the cosmetics so when a customer "complains" they become a high maintenance customer. Cosmetic issues are a judgement call that can be difficult to resolve.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | 08. juni 2019

I've heard a few reasons for the paint and they may both be BS but they sound plausible.
1) California does not allow certain chemicals/solvents to be used so the paint cure time takes longer than the customer expects.
2) Tesla's are delivered to the customer within only a few days (sometimes a week or two) from birth. This exacerbates the paint cure time issue.

Other car companies produce their cars, car sits in lot, car sits on ship, car sits at dealership for several months, until finally someone buys it. The paint has had 10 to 20 times longer to cure than Tesla paint.

All of what I just said could be complete and total BS. I'm just repeating the plausible reasons I have heard elsewhere, probably in the long thread above.

Joni.Savolainen | 09. juli 2019

Have you read the latest news? We owners are fed up because the paint quality is so low and we started group complaint to Tesla. We also putted up facebook group: "Tesla Model 3 owners worldwide with paint issues" Also there are some news about these:

Also pls check tmc forum:


Check our complaint to get the full picture.

Check also youtube "Tesla Model 3 paint issues" . Here is my first video of these issues:

And here is one of our guys video about the issues:


Joni - Finland

TabascoGuy | 09. juli 2019

@Neo - I believe that all Teslas go directly from the paint line to dry storage where they stay until the paint has completely dried. I saw a video about the Tesla assembly line on Modern Marvels (or something) a while back that showed hundreds of freshly painted cars stacked to the ceiling in a clean dry room for just that purpose.

pilotsmith69 | 20. august 2019

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theriv310 | 13. september 2019

Picked up new 2019 Model S. I found 2 dings. One in a fender and another in the rear quarter panel. It became dark so I could not finish going over the car. Very disappointed with the quality work for a vehicle costing almost $90k

spf4000 | 14. september 2019

I have yet to see a Model 3 without paint imperfections. Mine came with several obvious ones which needed to be fixed, and The clear bra installer found several other smaller flaws during the install. The paint QC process at Tesla is terrible.

WantMY | 14. september 2019

@M8B - So according to your post - buying Model 3 is like a lottery. I think is is known among manufacturers with questionable quality control. I always thought pre sale includes removing transportation protection from the car paint surfaces and in case of damage (not QUALITY) it may require paint shop intervention. I think Tesla is taking it to the new low level by simply releasing cars with known quality defects to sale and hoping those at the show room would take care of it.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 14. september 2019

Notice...? Nearly a year since this thread started. And the world hasn't ended, Tesla hasn't 'run out of money', been 'driven out of business due to competition and quality concerns', and hasn't filed bankruptcy. Hmmm... Mayhap some have gone a mite overboard in their critiques and stuff?

WantMY | 14. september 2019

Tesla enjoyed almost no competition for over 10 years, things are about to change and they would be forced to compete either they want it or not. Hey, they already are felling the pressure to compete - you can see it with all of those track rivalry and other hoopla going on currently.

Magic 8 Ball | 14. september 2019

@WantMY Nope, getting a car that does not meet the standards of a few is a certainty, no gambling involved. Ignoring that over 300K units have been sold, and are in the hands of satisfied customers, is also a certainly for those like minded, as yourself.

The continued use of anecdotes, from whiners and complainers, does not sway the intelligent that can see for themselves that most are more than satisfied with the cars delivered. The numbers don't lie and Tesla is well aware of the actual numbers and where they need to improve.

WantMY | 14. september 2019

only few folks would post of the forums, probably the brave ones, most will note and walk away when new car decision is due. do not be so sure, when have no stats to back it up, it is borderline arrogant.

Magic 8 Ball | 14. september 2019

@WantMy It is borderline ignorant to ignore Tesla's continued growth. People are loving the product and buying more. As growth continues we will hear more stories complaining about this or that (there will always be a percentage of vocal complainers). I am not trying to downplay that some complaints are legit just my doubts that they represent the death of Tesla. Everything coming from those like minded as yourself is to the the effect: "if they don't change their ways". Well duh Tesla is fully aware of what they have to change to continue to take market share and so far it looks like more of the big boys are reacting to Tesla vs Tesla reacting to them.

WantMY | 14. september 2019

I just saw recently Model 3 with ripped off undercover "flapping" its wings on the highway. I wonder what this owner thinks it is.

Magic 8 Ball | 14. september 2019

Maybe they have immersive sound up on high and they don't care?

WantMY | 14. september 2019

I think it is Tesla sales model that makes this "gross" possible. Dealers would open their traps if manufacturer would feed them with knowingly defective cars, but as all of those folks get paid by Tesla - they just keep quiet and just do what they can to push those cars to unaware customers. Not a good model after all, because of it leads and encourage this practice.

Magic 8 Ball | 14. september 2019

No one is forcing anyone to buy. People want them despite hyperbolic horror stories. People that can afford them, currently, are typically 5 percenters and above (an achievement for many requiring sound decision making abilities).

WantMY | 14. september 2019

Nice bigotry on your part, but you forgot one important detail those affluent folks have way too many choices, so you better be nice to them, or you get bye-bye.

Magic 8 Ball | 14. september 2019

Nope, no bigotry just profiling a demographic; i hold no prejudice based on the observation.Yes, as more choices come along, that are competitive, the consumer benefits; is that a new concept for you?

Lonestar10_1999 | 14. september 2019

Many posters have accepted the M3 with defects but Tesla has a Due Bill process to address the defects. I have had paint defects and some fitment issues and Tesla was true to their word and took care of it. I am sure that the cost of the body shop and Enterprise car rental cut into Tesla’s profit margin. I was made whole in terms of the repairs cost me nothing. But I still needed to take off time from work to deal with the body shop.

I am confident that Tesla will improve initial quality. It’s comes down to economics; it’s more profitable to do it right than to do it twice.

WantMY | 14. september 2019

Yes, it is more profitable to build defect free cars! But it is a new concept to many likes of M8B.

RADEAN84 | 14. september 2019

I took delivery of a red Model 3 on 9/10 and have an appt at the local Tesla authorized paint shop to review some dull spots, orange peeling, etc. I think most of the issues were caused by an inexperienced detailer at my local dealership.
They will decide what needs to be done and send Tesla a "due bill" for authorization. Most likely mine will not require paint, but perhaps some wet sanding, cutting, buffing, polishing, etc. Hopefully you all have similar services available in your areas. I'm in Northern California.