2018 model X build quality, disappointing

2018 model X build quality, disappointing

Hello all,

I'm writing this as a Tesla investor & customer, and hopefully this reach somebody at Tesla.

I was scheduled to pickup my P100DL today but had to refuse delivery upon inspection at my local Tesla showroom.

What surprised me is that the vehicle passed inspection at the factory and was deemed ready for delivery.
It was disappointing and shocking to see Tesla quality standards on the Model X.

Now, I was offered to re-enter production for a new build.
But with no assurance that the build quality will be any better I might be waiting a month for a car with potentially the same problems.

So the car is now in the Telsa repair shop for maybe 2 weeks waiting for parts, and will require a day of work.
(I was told that the falcon wings can be difficult to work on)

I do believe my cosmetic issues will be resolved. But I cant imagine this is good for the brand.

So the call for action is that Tesla need to put in place an automated quality check process.
Many cosmetic issue can be identified via automation using cameras as the car roll off the assembly line.

No Tesla car should leave the factory with problems with panel alignment, weather proofing /sealant, scratches, etc..

My impression is that if the car was passing inspection with major defects on the outside, I wonder the entire car was build with very low quality standard inside.

I will keep thinking this over, but I will most likely request a brand new build.


PS: another Model X was next to mine for delivery it showed none of my problems.
So it seem to be an erratic build quality issue.

sschaem | 29 september 2018


So I decided to request a new VIN / Build instead of taking the repaired model. I'm concerned that the entire car was rushed and not inspected correctly, and the exterior build does reflect how the electronic /doors where assembled.

Even so my order was placed mid august using my father referral (model 3 owner), I'm told the free supercharging will be replaced with a $100 credit and asked me if I was ok with that. And the new build would be ready in late november.

I was not given assurance yet that it will be accepted, but it seem a request can be placed so I dont lose the referral benefit.

I will also see how Tesla decide to handle the payment I made.

I'm also trying to understand how something like this can happen.

It really come down to : How can a car in this condition pass all the Tesla quality checks and have the green light to leave the factory. Also, why are car not inspected before delivery to the customer ? Its not time consuming to identify most if not all of the assembly problems.

I dont want the delivery lady pushing piece of sealant that stick out of the door with her pen, or having to call the detail guy when there is glue residue on the bumper, etc... Not on a $16K car or a $175K one.
BTW, I didn't refuse the car because of detailing, but major alignment issues from hood to trunk and defective rubber sealant.

Anyways, very frustrating and disappointing. Even more so as a Tesla investor.

genegode | 30 september 2018

Too many words

sschaem | 1 oktober 2018

- Had to refuse delivery from very poor assembly
- Requesting new vin will change my free charging to $100 credit
- Ordered in mid august, fully paid late September, should receive car in late November

(I'm trying to get in contact with higher up at Tesla to understand how this can even happen)

mathwhiz | 1 oktober 2018

You've expended a lot of words but given us precious few specifics, except to categorize them as "cosmetic"...

A suggestion -- If your intent is to escalate, then this forum is not very direct. If you have it, try your MYTESLA account escalation function. If you don't, then run this up the flagpole via sales management and Ownership at HQ. And be persistent, fair and reasonable.

Best of luck.

sschaem | 1 oktober 2018

My hope was that Tesla monitored their own message board... And someone at Tesla would be concerned and would want to get to the bottom of this.

But yes, this is not my main method to resolve this. I officially requested a new build ,and sent photo documentation to two of my Tesla contacts to forward higher up.

I'm also a shareholder, so I'm concerned about the Tesla brand being hurt by lack of QC.

This is not really about my model X, but Tesla quality standard.

sschaem | 6 oktober 2018

UPDATE: After some effort I was assigned a great person to oversee my case.

Every issues seem to have been addressed, and I have a new estimated delivery date.

So hopefully in a month I will be able to report a smooth delivery of my model x.

I'm still interested in addressing the delivery loopholes with Tesla management,
but I will take this on as a separate issue and might have to do it via the shareholder channels.

sbkimyj | 6 oktober 2018

good luck

Uncle Paul | 6 oktober 2018

No need to talk to upper management. Elon himself is hyper aware of these issues and is all over it.
Every delivery gives feedback to Management on ever car. They can see reports on all the issues and track them constantly.

Glad you are getting handled in a professional manner and will soon have the car of your dreams.

Model - X | 6 oktober 2018

Elon's "all over it?", um ok, since when?....

The X has been out for years now, if Elon was "all over it" the issues should have been resolved by now.

jordancolby | 7 oktober 2018

We took delivery of our Model X 100D 10/4/18. We were so excited! However super disappointed to notice that the passenger door window would not seal when closed. ie there is a large gap between the door and window causing a ton of noise as we drive down the freeway. I have submitted for service.... and am hoping for excellent service to get this resolved ASAP.

scotteeboy71 | 8 oktober 2018

I took delivery on 9/25. Everything seemed pretty good actually on my MX 75D. There have been a few issues that have krept up, some items I've seen others encounter, but here's where I stand:

1. Instrument cluster screen completely dead. Will not turn on even after steering wheel restarts, and shutting the car down completely.
2. About an inch of rubber seal on my passenger side falcon wing door has come off. Not major, but needs to be glued back on.
3. Both driver and passenger side windows make loud squeaks when they close.

The nearest avaiable service date I was given is 10/23. Obviously, I cannot drive around without a speedometer, or any of the other cluster details for that long so I'm goint to drive over to the service center first thing this morning. They've always taken care of me (have had my share of issues with my Model 3) so hopefully they can get this all fixed. But ywah, a bit frustrating.

caikangze407 | 17 oktober 2018

never had an American brand car before and not sure if all of them are have the same quality. Finger crossed for my new MX 75D which deliver in December.

sschaem | 17 oktober 2018

If you take delivery in Europe I think the car get assembled in the Netherlands and they might have a higher quality standard in term of final assembly.

Model - X | 17 oktober 2018

So it's been a month. Have you received your new X?

sschaem | 18 oktober 2018

Not yet. But I was assigned a new VIN number about 3 days ago and the car is now scheduled for production.

I contacted my delivery person 2 days ago for an update on delivery estimate, but no reply yet.

So I contacted my local Tesla service center directly and was told 2 to 3 weeks before delivery, so it seem not before November.

avesraggiana | 18 oktober 2018

As the great youtuber, Alex Venz, once said, “It woudln’t be a Teslas without misaligned panel gaps...”

davidahn | 18 oktober 2018

So you never said what cosmetic problems your MX suffered from?

sschaem | 18 oktober 2018

Since you asked,

The two main issues included dismantling the driver side door to replace some torn window seal and dismantling the passenger side falcon wing door for adjustment (it caved in by about a 1/4 inch when closed) I was told this was a laborious task. And this would take 2 weeks to get fixed since it required parts from the factory to be shipped in.

Cosmetically, the work would include doing lateral and vertical adjustment of the hood. it lifted and the gap was pretty wide on the right side. That would have been easy, and could have been done that afternoon if I waited.

The trunk seal was placed under the interior shell (VS over it) at some location (the seal does pop out easy and was reset, so that was an fixed on the spot.. but the seal was a bit deformed from being wrongly installed/squeezed)

When I opened the passenger door the 'triangle' shape seal at the top of the door came off (flapping off the door) it seem to be just glued on so I'm guessing applying more glue would have fixed that. Also some of the seal at the passenger door at the top was sticking out (that seem to have been a rush job , was not fully applied)
There was also a little peice of rubber sticking out from the FWD on the passenger side over the chrome accent.
My guess the service people would just cut it off.

The trunk was also miss aligned, the headlight where sticking out when closed VS the rest of the body, that I believe required a bit more work to adjust VS the hood adjustment. to adjust, the interior shell I understood needed to be taken off.

There was some minor scratch on the drive side passenger door threshold and some 'glue'? residue on the back bumper (threshold between the bumper and body) that the detailer was not able to get out.

Even so the driver side & falcon wing door was aligned, it was not the case for the passenger side.
The technician tried to shift the chrome accent with his hand to make it look better, but since the FWD needed to be dismantled anyway , there was no point...

But its kind of weird when you take delivery of a car and you have people resetting seal, using a pen to push seal in, and the technician moving peice with his hand to have them align better in front of you...

They where other little gap/misalignment with the wheel well and the body, the seal at the top of the WFD where going half way over and under when closed, but those where minor and where not requested to be fixed.

To be noted, the showroom model X showed none of those assembly/build problems.

So far I was not able to get someone in charge at Tesla to tell me why a car in this condition was deemed deliverable. Did they identify the problem, and most importantly, as a shareholder, what did Tesla did to fix this ?

And I do hope Tesla fixed their quality screening, because I'm going to go ballistic if in 3 weeks if I'm presented again with the same build quality that required 2 weeks of servicing and dismantling door and interior to fix.

avesraggiana | 19 oktober 2018

I've taken delivery of two Model X100Ds, both configured identically, and almost took delivery of a third - which was really our first, that was never delivered.

The first Model X100D we actually took delivery of was practically flawless in build quality, not a single cosmetic flaw. Mind you, the factory had scrapped the original X100D intended for us because it didn't pass Tesla's final quality control inspections, and there were just "too many things wrong with it."

Unlike the original poster, this initial car was never delivered to us. Our Delivery Specialist called us with the unfortunate news that turned out to be good news, and gave us a new VIN. She also told us that we would NOT be pushed back to the back of the production queue but would instead incur a delay in taking delivery of our vehicle of ONLY about a week. She was right. Exactly one week later than scheduled we received our near-perfect Model X100D.

About a month later, the middle passenger seat on the left hand side literally ground to a halt. A new seat was ordered for us and when it arrived, our Tesla Service Centre kept our car for a day to replace the entire seat. They also took it upon themselves to fix a slight misalignment in the left falcon wing door that I had never even noticed.

Five months after taking delivery, my dad crashed the Model X100D, and it was totaled. The car is now somewhere in Vienna, VA, where someone had it transported all the way from an auto salvage yard here in Southern California. The car hasn't moved, although I did notice that it took them four days to recharge the battery using a 110V outlet. The car is still on my Tesla mobile app and even though I don't want to, I can still see where it is, and what it's doing.

Our second, replacement Model X100D was delivered this past July. I have to admit, it's not as beautifully finished as our originally delivered Model X100D. Instead of that lustrous red paint covering every part of the car, we have areas of paint overspray and paint underspray: rubber molding and other rubber bits coming loose; the missing "MODEL X" designation that used to be tastefully emblazoned on the upper jamb of the falcon wing doors...gosh, I miss seeing that "MODEL X" every time we open the falcon wing doors; cheaper feeling material on the steering wheel; nothing major mechanically, but just little, little signs of cost cutting on Tesla's part, and/or that this particular Model X had been hastily put together during that huge push earlier this year to ramp up Model 3 production.

Still, our Model X100D is a beautiful car, and I enjoy driving it.

In the end, you were right to request another VIN altogether. You may have to tamp down your expectations of build quality because if my experience is anything to go by, build quality has deteriorated in small, but discernible ways.

sschaem | 19 oktober 2018

I dont get why Tesla need to do any cost cutting on a low volume $80k to $160k car.

I would have expected Tesla would do the reverse and actually improve material and build quality over time.

I mean, will Tesla really go super cheap and cut all corner to rush build their new roadster ? And even if they do I bet you they will inspect the review model two times or more for the model going to the press for review.
And like the showroom model, I bet they will make sure those are at least assembled correctly... sigh

This makes no sense.... absolutely no sense. What in hell is Tesla doing. They gain nothing by rushing and lowering quality standard of the model X.

I will know for sure in a few weeks where Tesla is at.

BTW, I was also told "Your new build is placed under a rush order" ... Well it seem that my rush order will have taken 5 weeks. (And I was kind of cringing when I heard "rush"... no please. take your time building my car. but if you can place me in front of the queue since I already fully paid in September and had my deposit since august I would appreciate)

SteveMost | 19 oktober 2018

Ok, enuf man. Good luck. Be well.

SteveMost | 19 oktober 2018

Ok, enuf man. Good luck. Be well.

davidahn | 19 oktober 2018

Sounds like a mess, man. I wonder if it looked fine in the factory but weren't really torqued down and shifted during transport? I know my MX's driver door was low and required adjustment on the day of delivery.

It does feel like some of the materials in my 2018.08 MX 100D are cheaper than my 2015 MS 85D, but my impression may be colored by the vegan leather wrap on the steering wheel, which feels noticeably cheaper than the real leather on the MS. Even the control stalks feel lighter and cheaper, but those are made by Mercedes-Benz; may feel better after it breaks in a little.

But I do love my MX.

hpjtv | 19 oktober 2018

@SteveMost, you don’t have to read if you don’t like. I on the other hand find this interesting. Flying cross country to pick up a used late 2017 MX 75D in a few weeks. Assuming build quality will be better than newer models with better materials according to what I’ve read so far. My MS which I bought new back in Dec 2014 had lots of problems also but the service center fixed most of them. It did require taking it in for warranty service on many occasions but now that it’s out of warranty, haven’t had any problems. Even some problems fixed themselves. My auto presenting door handle on passenger side stopped working for months and now out of the blue, has been working perfectly for weeks.

sschaem | 16 november 2018

Update : Lots happened since my last post. But my delivery date is getting closer. My second Model X had paint problem when it arrived at the delivery center, so its being touched up. So it seem that Tesla still did not fix its quality control at the factory yet. But once the paint dry I'm driving to pick it up !

Frankly, I would pay more to get the car assembled/ painted correctly. Hey Elon, where is that option when someone buy a Tesla? :( "Assembled and painted to Toyota corolla standard" - $10,000

I'm joking, but knowing what I know now I would probably have bought that option back in august.

jjgunn | 18 november 2018

It's funny I've been driving my MX 100D for 5 months now. I never once experienced any of the issues you stated. Had some minor paint issues when I first picked up the car & I requested the trunk hatch realignment too.

It's been the most amazing vehicle I've ever driven.

Guess most people received a bad car like you, eh? I must be lucky.

lilbean | 19 november 2018

Maybe you just have good “carma”.

jjgunn | 19 november 2018

Hah! Nicely played, @lilbean

lilbean | 19 november 2018


sschaem | 20 november 2018

More like "Teslacarma" TM

But in fairness I was in the middle of "Production Hell", "Delivery Hell" and got loaners from the service center
So chances of things going bad where very high when tesla people are fresh and probably received minimal training and no supervision.

You guys probably avoided the "New Tesla"

And I'm sure the majority of Tesla cars are built right... but for the one with problems you enter "Tesla Hell"

sschaem | 21 november 2018

Took delivery today, and this time I was able to take the car home !

No seal problem, no major alignment that required week of servicing.
And I could not see where the paint was touched up. Interior looked good, no damage.

Only issue I found was that the glove box is very hard to open, but since I dont plan to use it much this was not a showstopper to refuse delivery.
And "Funny" thing is they forgot to put on the emblems / marking at the factory. So I'm going to get my "Model X" and "P100D" in the mail to apply later.

When I asked, have you ever seen this before.. answer "yes, All the time"... my first thought. if this happen all the time, shouldn't you guys at the delivery center check each car for this ? This car was in their care for over a week.

So a massive improvement over the first delivery attempt. Still wish Tesla had better quality assurance,
its not very hard and a minimum wage person could do a 50 point inspection before rolling the car to its destination.

Seem like Tesla is stumbling on the easiest part.

Anyways, my work is not done yet... they said they cant enable my free charging (august purchase date with a referral code) so I'm told I need to talk with my advisor (that doesn't work there anymore) .

But it need to be said, all the Tesla people today where super helpful. Two especially where incredible and really smooth it all out.
If Tesla management want names, just contact me , because you do not want to lose those people.

rglossin | 22 november 2018

sschaem you comment all you want. People can skip you if they don't want to read about your issues. Too many on forums seem to want to control the comments section.

mishelles1 | 21 februari 2020

We have had horrible issues with our driver and passenger front door window. screeching as you put them up and down. Rain also comes into the drivers side. We've had the car in three times. First time was not fixed and was told that we had to come back. After 490.00 in uber fees that we were suppose to be reinbursed for in December still NO check.. now the car has been in three times, still not fixed. The window rubber seals are now bent, heavy air sound comes in the car like you have the windows rolled down. Car fogs up and won't clear up until you put the air condition on even when it's 45 degrees..