White Bumper Mismatch - Tesla Policy

White Bumper Mismatch - Tesla Policy

Some background: Configured 4/6.... VIN 4/11... 158XX

So I'm at the 1 yard line after all the delays/train breaking down/etc, and finally my vehicle arrived in MA yesterday (5 weeks after it left Fremont...don't ask). Yesterday I got the call saying the car arrived at Delivery Center but did NOT pass inspection and was being sent to a body shop for a "paint" issue.

I went in to the delivery center today, and they confirmed it was the famous "Pearl White Bumper Mismatch". I guess this is now a thing, and Tesla does NOT want these bumper color mismatch clown cars driving around on the roads, so they will not deliver them anymore (It's interesting how somehow it passes inspection at factory though).

So basically you have two options: 1.) Postpone delivery until the body work is done. 2.) Get another VIN.

I chose option 1, and apparently the body work will be done in 1 week or less.

Whats another week after 2 Years and 2 months?

creativeguy | 18 maj 2018

It could be a paint curing issue. The colors might match coming off the line, so there is nothing to fail inspection. Weeks later on a truck or train in the heat and sun might make the difference. Good that they are realizing this and talking action.

wiboater4 | 18 maj 2018

The bumpers could even be painted seperaty in a different place by a subcontractor. Base material of the bumper might be a factor also.

Colatabajonies | 18 maj 2018

They said it’s a manufacturer issue

mdmcfp | 18 maj 2018

I am supposed to take delivery of a white M3 next Wednesday the 23rd. I wonder if this might happen for me as well.

jmiday | 18 maj 2018

Happened to me. Delayed for 1 week. Exact story as OP. In Houston here. I’m happy that they want it to be right before handing it over.

petersciuto | 18 maj 2018

Hmmm... My delivery is the 25th and if it gets delayed into June, I'll miss the WA state sales tax exemption. I really hope my car either doesn't have this issue or somehow gets fixed early!

ReD eXiLe ms us | 18 maj 2018

Heh. He said 'clown cars'... I didn't know Tesla made Volkswagen clones...

jcxg | 18 maj 2018

I picked mine up on 5/4, no paint mismatch. VIN 173xx

petersciuto | 18 maj 2018

I wonder if there was a single bad batch? I haven't been paying attention to the affected VINs.

rainismine | 18 maj 2018

Picking my white M3 tomorrow. VIN 23XXX. Hopefully no issue!

mdmcfp | 19 maj 2018

@jamietsao let me know how it goes my white M3 is VIN 229XX

petersciuto | 19 maj 2018

I'm also 23XXX, picking up Friday.

@mdmcfp What is your delivery date?

noleaf4me | 19 maj 2018

I have a white one in the same VIM range 230xx.....but my pickup is not until June 8 -- keep us posted on those higher white VINs

Special-K-Factor | 19 maj 2018

I picked up my white model 3 yesterday. VIN #196xx. No bumper paint issue.

Beagle | 19 maj 2018

I'm a guy with multiple concours experiences, (not Pebble Beach level). I picked up white #20,400 a couple of weeks ago. If I look REALLY hard I can see it, but if I were not 'trying' to see it on any other car in a parking lot, no. FWIW, I did not really consider turning down the car at delivery, and I definitely don't want it repainted.

eddie.i | 19 maj 2018

I drove by the local delivery center in Tempe AZ, and I saw a white model 3 that must of came off the truck recently. Bumpers matched perfectly, so it seems they have resolved the rear bumper color issue.
They had about a dozen of so model 3’s all with aero wheels, no 19’s in sight.
I’m waiting for a white model 3 with 19’s myself.
Just thought I’d share.

mdmcfp | 19 maj 2018

@eddie.i one of those could be mine, I take delivery 5-23!

cornellio | 19 maj 2018

I've had my white since 5/16, VIN 23XXX, no paint issues I have noticed, or it's so subtle I can't detect it.

vtech22a | 19 maj 2018

I have had mine since 4/20, VIN 15XXX. I would say mine isn't perfect but it's not bad. I suppose it passed QC maybe?

lilbean | 19 maj 2018

Is it just the rear bumper or the front bumper also?

rainismine | 19 maj 2018

Picked up my white M3 today, VIN 23XXX. No bumper paint mismatch issue. I had such high expectations and I was still BLOWN away. I'm in love with this car,

mdmcfp | 21 maj 2018

Glad to hear that jamietsao! 2 more days for me!

Faustic | 21 maj 2018

Had this happen to me (17xxx). I'm still waiting on a timeline for when they're going to complete the repaint. | 21 maj 2018

The bumpers (and all plastic parts) are painted separately from the vehicle. The primary and paint is applied to black plastic, as opposed to aluminum/steel on the rest of the car. The prep is different, and it wouldn't surprise me if the paint used for the plastic parts is adjusted so that the final color matches the body. Tesla has been doing this matching successfully for years with the S and X, so odd that it showed up on a few 3's made, especially only the rear bumper. Sounds like a batch of bumpers went through the process and there was something slightly wrong with the White colorant.

Wilber | 21 maj 2018

First, i dont doubt that Tesla has delivered some cars with the white bumper mismatch. Glad they are rectifying them as they come up.

However, be aware that the angle of lighting can make the bumper color appear different from the rest of the car. So, please dont get all stressed out if you see these subtle differences on your car. Before delivery, I would recommend you take a close look at other brands recent models painted white the next time you are in a parking lot to see that quite often the bumper looks a bit different in color due to angle of the lighting.

My neighbor has a white M3 and it looks this way too, but the paint really does match and my neighbor realizes that. One White M3 owner started a thread and posted a video about this:

shoeless | 2 juni 2018

Took delivery of mine yesterday (VIN 205XX). No paint mismatch that I can notice.

CASEMAN | 2 juni 2018

Ditto @shoeless. Picked up yesterday and looks great with no mismatch.

Warp Drv | 6 juni 2018

I've had my white M3 for over a month now. After reading about this (soon after I took delivery), I checked my car and could notice a subtle difference in the color of the rear bumper area. A few days later I saw a new white Model S; when I looked at it closely, it had the same issue.

When I asked the dealership, they said it was due to the difference in the base material (plastic versus metal). I'm not convinced that that is an excuse; but, for me the difference in color Is so subtle that it's a non-issue. It can be noticed only after having been pointed-out, and then only after close examination.

Michael B | 6 juni 2018

Subtle difference will almost always be there because the paint is actually different. Look at all cars with varying angles of light hitting finder vs. bumper. Some white cars were significant tho.

cnistal1 | 6 juni 2018

Vin 99xx
My White M3 had this issue, rear bumper only. Tesla has corrected the issue for me. They always take care of their customers! I would also like to mention that I have noticed 2 White Lexus models on the Freeway with the exact same issue.
So, NOT specific to Tesla.

carlgo2 | 6 juni 2018

Bumper paint has flex agent added to it. And so does the primer. Paint "takes" to plastic differently than to metal. And if you paint two different panels with different paint guns, air pressure, etc they will often not match even if the same can of paint was used. Often the color is the same, but there is a different look from different angles and lighting as the metallic particles lay out differently. Pearl "tri-coat" paint introduces more chances of variation.

We used to do a ton of bumper matching in days gone by, but it seems manufacturers have it figured out now. It could be a batch of Tesla bumpers did not get the proper primer/seal paint when they were made or they were painted in a different location with different equipment.

Mass production paint must be really tough to dial in, especially the pearls! I remember when pearls were only found on big-bucks custom cars and they could not be left out in the sun for long.

Nexxus | 7 juni 2018

It's not the difference in paint. It's the difference in the primer they use underneath on top of the material that's being painted. Different materials will come out darker or lighter using the same primer. They have to use a different primer on plastic parts than metal so the paint doesn't look different after curing and drying.

A good friend of mine owns a powder coating business and he says that he sees this all the time, because the auto manufacturer's are in too big a hurry to change the primer line for the parts being coated. Normally the metal body is electro-primed in a charged bath so it sticks to the metal surface better. With plastic parts they are done separately and are sprayed, because they can't be charged like metal can.

Thunder7ga | 7 juni 2018

Has Telsa publicly made any statements about this problem and fixing in the production line process? I am nearing the timeline for ordering mine, and I am VERY interested in white, but not having to deal with fixing it after delivery. It could impact my decision on color. I know they will fix it at some point, but just curious of they have even acknowledged it and a plan for the way forward?

eejoby | 7 juni 2018

I dropped my car off at the San Diego service center and noticed one with a mismatched bumper.

jefjes | 7 juni 2018

@eejoby- Thanks for the picture as that really shows that it's not just so slight that owners are complaining about nothing. That is a definite contrasting difference.

dgstan | 7 juni 2018

Yeah, that's a rather pronounced difference. My white Prius bumpers are mismatched, but nothing like that. Of course, I've had the car 4 years and never noticed until this thread.

Colatabajonies | 8 juni 2018

Any cars with VINs over 20K will not have this issue.

LochTess | 14 juni 2018

Originally scheduled to deliver May 27. Rear bumper mismatch on mine. 4-6 wks to repaint it - delivery in FL. Very disappointed...

SUN 2 DRV | 14 juni 2018

@eejoby: Wow, that almost qualifies as a two tone paint job!

Sslnight | 14 juni 2018

Ugh... i hope this is fixed soon. Went to my local SC and they had 3 M3 that all had mismatched rear bumpers. I want white but no body shop to repaint. Come on Schwartz... Come on Schwartz!

forcelite | 14 juni 2018

So strange as this should be an easy issue to see at the factory before shipment.

eejoby | 14 juni 2018

I asked the service advisors about why that particular car was there and they replied that it had some work done and it was ready for pick up. A part of me wanted to leave a post it on the car to tell the owner that his bumper had the infamous mismatch, but then again he can always bring it back if it bother him/her later.

Faustic | 15 juni 2018

Same thing happened to me although the turn around from the body shop is taking a lot longer than anticipated.

I was originally scheduled for delivery 2-3 weeks ago but then my delivery adviser informed me that the car did not pass inspection due to the paint mismatch. I was also given two options: 1) Wait for the body work, which he said could take 5-6 weeks, 2) Get a new VIN. I picked option 2 at the time. One week later, I got a call from my ISA indicating that the original VIN is being worked on in the shop and gave me the option of taking the car with a moved up timeline. I went ahead with that and they scheduled delivery. Scheduled delivery was canceled because the body shop was not ready and they said it would be ready at the end of last week, so i was scheduled for last weekend. My scheduled delivery was canceled yet again because the car was not ready and now another week went by. I don't have a scheduled delivery currently.

This past Tuesday, they gave me an update and indicated the body shop gave them another end of the week time frame. Presumably I should be hearing something today but I'm not holding my breath.

Pretty frustrating experience so far but I'm trying to remain positive.

WantMY | 15 juni 2018

Well at least they did not mismatch black bumper on white car and etc, lol

Warp Drv | 15 juni 2018

@eejoby: Thanks for the photo. That mismatch is far worse than my car and of the Model S I saw. That is definitely not subtle.

gar1116 | 15 juni 2018

I'd want to keep the mismatch. A truly unique car.

Thunder7ga | 15 juni 2018

I posted a question about this elsewhere, and some replied that they have "fixed" this issue at the factory with newer VINs....Not sure if true or not, but this is something that should be fixed BEFORE an attempted delivery. I am interested in white when my time comes, but this has me concerned and could change my mind.

jdtattersall85 | 27 juli 2019

I picked mine up today and the rear bumper does look a little off. Think they'll work with me?

Foottraffic | 27 juli 2019

If it’s just slightly off and you only see when you are looking for it, I’d say just let it be. Most cars that I see on the road have varying degrees of mismatch. If it’s significant and very noticeable, have them fix it. Like has already been mentioned, different batches of paint will have slight variations, and the bumpers may not be paint at the same time or location, which is a possible reason for mismatches.

vmulla | 27 juli 2019

Is there something to work with? If things are off, then they're off - you can either return the car or ask them to fix it.

That said, you're tacking on to a year-old issue that was long fixed. So yes, both issues sound the same - but they're not.

What's best is if you can post a picture of the mismatch and the newer vin.