My delivery experience, the good, the bad, the ugly

Should Tesla fix my driver side door and hood?


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Steve S.

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#1


So we picked up our Stormtrooper at the Tesla service center on Tyco Rd in Tyson's, Virginia. The VIN was assigned 5 weeks after configuration and relatively low at the time, which got me concerned with its built-quality on the fit and finish aspect. The actual delivery happened another 3 weeks later, so the time from invite to delivery for me was slightly over 8 weeks given that I'm on the east coast.

The car is amazing and super fun to drive. It is fast and requires little effort to pass other cars and to merge into lanes on the road. It is also very quiet during our suburb driving. We still need to test the noise level on highway. The suspension does feel a bit harsh. You will feel it when going over speed bumps, while I understand that it also contributes to the sportiness of car in corners. So personally I could live with this harsh suspension in exchange for the firm and sporty ride on the road. The EAP was active after about 20 miles of calibration. We haven't quite figured out how to do a lane change while using autopilot yet, and there are still many things we have questions about.

But now let's talk about the delivery experience.

On the day of delivery, I was super excited to see this car I have been waiting for 2-yrs meanwhile I was anxious about its built-quality because the VIN is in the low 10 thousands. At the service center, we were greeted by a Tesla Customer Experience Specialist rather than our Delivery Specialist who had communicated with us with emails right before the delivery. The Customer Experience Specialist (CES) was super nice and very polite. He led us to the delivery area, and there was our Stormtrooper sitting alone, probably because we are the first one on the day (later there was a new Model S pulled in next to ours). The car was shiny and flawless from a distance. I tried really hard to calm myself from the excitement and to focus on inspecting the vehicle while the CES took us around the car, outside and inside, to showcase the features and functions of the new Model 3. He spent probably 20 min on explaining 'everything' to my wife because she didn't spent any time on YouTube or forums like I did before this day, meanwhile I already started inspecting the car's fit and finish.



At the end of his demonstration, he seems to expect that we could sign the paperwork right away. This is where the whole delivery experience started to go south. Although the CES was really nice and polite, he did not offer us to check around the car at all, and we had to asked him twice for allowing more time to inspect the car before going to the paperwork. We told him that we needed to go through a checklist, the delivery checklist from this forum, that I brought with me. From time to time the CES would repeatedly say 'the car looks new and flawless' and made me feel like he wanted us to go ahead with the signatures.

While he stood around, we quickly inspected the whole car inside and out in 10-15 minutes. We pointed out three fit and finish problems:
1. The tail light on the passenger side was installed improperly such that the section on the trunk was not flush with the section on the fender. It bumped out like 1/4" and was very obvious. I did not have picture for this item, but the CES later asked their service technician to fix it;
2. The hood is flush with the fender only on the passenger side, but sits about 1/8" below the fender on the driver side. As we ran our hands on the joints, we could easily pick out the difference. After consulting with his service technician, the CES refused to fix this issue, citing 'the gap does not affect the function of the hood and it was within Tesla standard';


3. The rubber seal between the windshield and glass roof has one section sticking out the glass. The two piece of glass (the windshield and glass roof) were not perfectly flush with each other too. We pointed this out to the CES, and he took a look at it. Later after consulting with his service technician, he refused to take any action on this issue too, citing the same reason: 'the seal piece does not affect its function and is within Tesla standard'. Due to the tinted glass and small amount of the seal that sticking out, our pictures do not reflect this issue very well, I won't post them here. Honestly we thought we could live with it as long as it doesn't leak;

I also spotted the front driver side door was misaligned and took a picture at the service center, but unfortunately it slipped my mind and did not get brought up when we discussed all the issues with our CES. After taking the car home, I thought of it and took additional pictures on it. I think that Tesla should fix it with no question whatsoever, but let me know if you guys agree would too:




Other fit and finish issues include this one under trunklid. It kinda reflects the overall built-quality of the car, at least for the moment when this one was built.


We did not find any major problems inside. All the trims seem to be in the right location, flush and firm. There were couple spots on the rear seats probably because of the drops from the detailing product they used. I don't really worry about it. Bluetooth works fine when playing music and making phone calls.

Finally the CES also pointed out that the automatic charge port cover needs to be replaced on the a followup service appointment. I did not see any problem with it and I did not get a clear answer from the CES why it needs to be replaced. CES just said that the service center would reach out to us later to schedule an appointment to replace it.

Overall this is an amazing car. The fit and finish may not suggest its price tag, at least for the ones with low VIN numbers, but the included technology and features and its driving experience certainly does. Meanwhile our delivery experience was not satisfying than what I had expected and hoped based on seeing other posts on the forums. I hope that we could get the driver side door resolved when the delivery specialist follows up with on the delivery experience next week.
 
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Russell

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#2
I think overall the issues are fairly minor. The only one that doesn’t seem great is the last picture. It’s hard to tell what part of the trunk it is. The door and hood misalignment is noticeable, but fairly minor. Hopefully, they can at least fix the door for you. Would like to see the seal pics.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#4
Re: auto lane change, you have 2 things to look at.

1) Do you have it turned on? It’s a separate option in the autopilot menu

2) Are you trying to use it on the highway? It won’t work on normal surface roads
 

MelindaV

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#5
I would think the panel alignments are within spec, but the patch and subsequent crack at the inner door in the last pix should be repaired



(but I've maybe gotten used to panel gaps on my GM that range from a near touching (if not actually touching) to ¼", so being off by a fraction of that is looking pretty good to me).
 

scaots

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#6
While the alignment isn't ideal, I don't think the issues are too far off. Like they said, probably within tolerance.
I love the white also, but it is probably also the least forgiving color for showing alignment imperfections. On the flip side it will be great for hiding any little scratches, chips, and swirls.
 

Steve S.

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#7
Re: auto lane change, you have 2 things to look at.

1) Do you have it turned on? It’s a separate option in the autopilot menu

2) Are you trying to use it on the highway? It won’t work on normal surface roads
Thanks! We figured it out this morning. You have to push down the turn signal lever, not just tap on it like you use the three-flasher. The change lane in autopilot is pretty smooth. I like it.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#8
Thanks! We figured it out this morning. You have to push down the turn signal lever, not just tap on it like you use the three-flasher. The change lane in autopilot is pretty smooth. I like it.
Ahh yes, I should have added that part too! Agreed, it’s very smooth now. It was quite abrupt a few versions back.
 

theishu

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#9
Congratulations on your new ride, @Steve Shi ! Happy to have one more M3 in the NoVa area, and I can't wait to get mine next month.

Sorry to hear your 2-year wait and excitement had to end in a less than perfect circumstance. But (as an auto noob), I hope these aren't any significant defects. I hope your family enjoys every bit of the car as they should, after all this wait. And keep us posted on your adventures, man! :)

Sidebar personal note: My wife and I are finding it harder and harder every day to keep it a secret from our 6-yo. Whenever we talk about Tesla, we tell her she should definitely buy an EV when she grows up, just to throw her off the track. 3 more weeks, baby!
 

LUXMAN

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#10
They should make the adjustments for you but I am most concerned about that crappy patch job on the trunk. That needs real metal work to fix it right.

Also there should not be any rubber sticking up above the glass! That is only gonna cause trouble later.

My VIN is 80XX and is very good. But now I gotta look closer for stuff like that in the trunk. Thank you for sharing
 

mcn

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#11
f512dcf7-c02b-44e9-9705-fc1f1c00b59e-jpeg.7992
0f884e71-d7ee-4030-b017-39e509348854-jpeg.7993
2b88133c-cde8-4852-8ad3-df78893aa99c-jpeg.7994
I have experienced the glass roof/windshield header problem too. They said they’d replace but we’ll see.Hard to get photos but I will attach. Also had greasy handprints on headliner ( they fixed that).Additionally, the rear window is terribly distorted. Will take the car in for them to inspect this. Paint job not the best either. The car is sure great to drive. Hoping they will fix these other issues.

Your trunk problem is definitely unacceptable!

My VIN is low 19000’s. It took 3-4 weeks from config to delivery. WA State.
 

John

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#13
This scrutiny of non-functional details is going overboard in some cases, and making people more anxious than they should be on what can be a super fun day. Since it always seems safer to tell people to worry more, not less, I guess I'll be the dissenting perspective.

In my humble opinion:

Do:
  • Open all 11 hinged openings, work the windows, test all of the moving parts. Anything that can move, move it. Good exercise to learn where everything is and how it works. If you can't find at least 11 hinged openings, keep looking. Everyone with you can help.
  • Look for anything obvious that would compromise reliability or water-tightness in bad weather. Subtle stuff you can discover later.
  • Look for big obvious scratches, dings, smudges. Don't micro-inspect.
  • Make sure they give you all of the accessories (ask what they are, find them)
  • Ask for explanations of anything you've wondered about or are unsure of ( <-- spend most time here)

Don't
  • Compare two panel gaps on opposite sides of the car
  • Worry about any panel gap that isn't functional
  • Ask them to fix something you've never worried about before, or that already exists on your current cars
  • Make the next family wait 45 minutes extra while you do a forensic analysis of the most awesome car ever
Think long and hard about whether it's worth it to not have the car for weeks as they fix things that you've happily lived with on your past cars, or that you'll mess up within a month of owning it. In the first month I backed into another car leaving a parallel parking space (three tiny dents in plastic), and someone parking next to me scratched a quarter panel in a parking lot (mostly buffed out, one small gouge).

Have fun at delivery. Keep your eyes out for big stuff, but don't expect them. Despite the worry, the vast majority of Model 3s are awesomely constructed (mine is perfect), and of course it will be the best car you've ever owned.

Enjoy!
 

Steve S.

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#14
They should make the adjustments for you but I am most concerned about that crappy patch job on the trunk. That needs real metal work to fix it right.

Also there should not be any rubber sticking up above the glass! That is only gonna cause trouble later.

My VIN is 80XX and is very good. But now I gotta look closer for stuff like that in the trunk. Thank you for sharing
It seems that many people are concerned with the patch job under the trunklid. Maybe I should say something about it to my delivery adviser too when we bring the car in for service. Frankly we did not think too much about getting it fixed: 1. I assume that it is not easy to do anything about it now; 2. it is hidden under the trunklid, people don't see it after all. I never thought about the potential rust thought. I could ask them about it.
 

Steve S.

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#15
View attachment 7992 View attachment 7993 View attachment 7994 I have experienced the glass roof/windshield header problem too. They said they’d replace but we’ll see.Hard to get photos but I will attach. Also had greasy handprints on headliner ( they fixed that).Additionally, the rear window is terribly distorted. Will take the car in for them to inspect this. Paint job not the best either. The car is sure great to drive. Hoping they will fix these other issues.

Your trunk problem is definitely unacceptable!

My VIN is low 19000’s. It took 3-4 weeks from config to delivery. WA State.
Your third picture is exactly what I was talking about on my car! You can see from that picture that the two piece of glass are not flush at the right corner. Also the rubber seal is sticking out the glass. Apparently the problem is kinda common. Not sure if they are willing to fix mine though, unless it leaks.



You also brought up a really good point about the rear window: it is really distorted. It is almost like there is some kind film over it. I think we can live with it, but thanks for bringing it up!
 
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Steve S.

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#16
Just wondering if you have any paint mismatch with the panels and bumper?
I was aware of that some people have mismatch paint on their Model 3, especially for Pearl White. Our stormtrooper does not have that problem. The paint looks great. As much as I have inspected, there wasn't mismatch or scratches. Pearl White usually does a good job hiding scratches.
 

Steve S.

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#17
This scrutiny of non-functional details is going overboard in some cases, and making people more anxious than they should be on what can be a super fun day. Since it always seems safer to tell people to worry more, not less, I guess I'll be the dissenting perspective.

In my humble opinion:

Do:
  • Open all 11 hinged openings, work the windows, test all of the moving parts. Anything that can move, move it. Good exercise to learn where everything is and how it works. If you can't find at least 11 hinged openings, keep looking. Everyone with you can help.
  • Look for anything obvious that would compromise reliability or water-tightness in bad weather. Subtle stuff you can discover later.
  • Look for big obvious scratches, dings, smudges. Don't micro-inspect.
  • Make sure they give you all of the accessories (ask what they are, find them)
  • Ask for explanations of anything you've wondered about or are unsure of ( <-- spend most time here)

Don't
  • Compare two panel gaps on opposite sides of the car
  • Worry about any panel gap that isn't functional
  • Ask them to fix something you've never worried about before, or that already exists on your current cars
  • Make the next family wait 45 minutes extra while you do a forensic analysis of the most awesome car ever
Think long and hard about whether it's worth it to not have the car for weeks as they fix things that you've happily lived with on your past cars, or that you'll mess up within a month of owning it. In the first month I backed into another car leaving a parallel parking space (three tiny dents in plastic), and someone parking next to me scratched a quarter panel in a parking lot (mostly buffed out, one small gouge).

Have fun at delivery. Keep your eyes out for big stuff, but don't expect them. Despite the worry, the vast majority of Model 3s are awesomely constructed (mine is perfect), and of course it will be the best car you've ever owned.

Enjoy!
I agree that many of these fit and finish problems are overlooked and blown out of the proportion: things like fine scratches on the paint, water drops on the seat surface.

In our case, I believed that we gave Tesla enough credit and benefit of doubt. I have followed this company for more than 2 years. I could understand their struggle to get to this point today. I am very proud of this company and being a member of the Tesla family. That being said, this is still a $55,000 car which directly competes with BMW 3 series, MB C-class and Audi A4. In terms of performance, I would go with Model 3 all day everyday, but it is regrettable to find these many fit-and-finish issues (mine and ones from people taking early deliveries).

Elon recently tweeted that their newer built model 3s are comparable to 3 series and c-class in terms of panel alignment and panel gaps. that's great, but it also confirms that there have been lot of us having these problems in the early days. To give them the credit they deserve, they did take those fit-and-finish problems back to the factory to adjust and fine tune those robots. That's why the cars with higher VINs are better built.

My wife and I could live with the hood issue, because you can't see it easily until you put your hand over it; we could also live with the rubber seal and misaligned glass as long as it does not leak; we could live with the crappy patch job under the trunklid as long as it does not rust; we did not inspect every square inch of the car paint looking for scratches, BUT that driver side door is painful to look at it, given the car is white and panel gap stands out in black.
 
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Steve S.

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#19
In case that anyone wonders about the charge port door. A delivery adviser called me today and confirmed that the charge port door needs to be replaced because 'it might leak and cause malfunction to the door sensor. It is a proactive measure from Tesla'.

Initially they would send out a mobile service technician to replace it when the replacement part arrived from Fremont. Because of the misaligned driver-side door (we did email them the pictures), he suggested that we bring the car in for service when the part is there, so that they can take a look at the driver-side door while replacing the charge port door. :)
 
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