Bjorn Says New Tesla Model 3s Have Improved Build Quality, Fit & Finish


Build quality was one of the biggest user qualms, but Tesla seems to be dealing with it accordingly

For the most part, the Tesla Model 3 is a car loved throughout its ownership base. It comes with a snappy electric powertrain, it features an interesting design and comes with lots of room for such a small vehicle. It’s one of the best looking EVs on the market today. Furthermore, the general hype surrounding it has been answered with an equally impressive product by the U.S car maker. While users had to wait a significant amount of time to receive their car after the deposit was made, they are quite thrilled with it.  However, for some users, the build quality and soundproofing were the main qualms they had with this vehicle, pushing Tesla to deal with it accordingly.

In the recent year, there were a lot of rave reviews from owners, but the Model 3 didn’t really stack up that well with professional reviewers. This is completely understandable: while private customers are almost uniquely impressed by the vehicle, taken over by storm due to their highly awaited car’s arrival, professionals do tend to look at things a bit differently.

A Green Car Reports review, posted on March 8 about a Model 3 it tested in February, went all out, calling the build quality “appalling”: Tesla Model 3 quality is terrible, but will it matter to buyers?” There was also a video review from Munro & Associates back in February and it wasn’t pretty as well. Furthermore, we’ve even heard owners complain about some of these items, which most positively pushed Tesla Motors to bring their QC up a notch. And the results are showing.

As you will see in a video below, done by Bjørn Nyland, a trusted Tesla video blogger, most of these issues have been resolved. Bjorn gives us an in-depth look at this Model 3’s paint finish, alignment of the rear boot, but most notably, the improved soundproofing found on this all-new Model 3. To see the complete short rundown, press play on the video above.

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36 Comments on "Bjorn Says New Tesla Model 3s Have Improved Build Quality, Fit & Finish"

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Goes without saying that quality improves over time. It’s a historical fact lost on the shorters and haters that want to memorialize Tesla based purely on a brand new product. That said, it’s still nice to see that Tesla appears to be heading in the right direction.

Finances don’t seem to be improving, is more what shorter focus on…

They just got production going, doing tons of R&D, their revenue should jump dramatically Q3 and Q4. Not seeing an issue here other than it is expensive to start car production. Sure, they aren’t in great financial shape, but their debt vs revenue is not that different than GM or other major automakers. My guess is they have very strong results 2H2018 if Munro is accurate in their cost analysis.

Musk could probably shoot a shorter on live TV and get the case dismissed. And that is a good thing. I think that the cachet that Tesla has will insulate them from most of the financial woes they will go through over the next year as they build production. But it would be nice to see 30,000 Tesla’s delivered in a single month before the year is out. 90k in Q4 would be phenomenal.

Actually, like you David Green, shorters focus on anything and everything negative- finances are only one aspect. Kinda like how you show up on many different topics that have the word ‘Tesla’ in them to share your negative spin.

We’ll just agree to disagree, fair enough pal? Have a great weekend!

Fair Enough… Thanks, I hope you have a great weekend as well…

Tesla’s finances are improving quite noticeably, mostly as a direct result of significantly ramping up Model 3 production. That’s why there has been such an uptick in FUD carpet-bombing by Tesla shorters like you.

#7 from Zachary Shahan’s highly useful exposé of the Tesla Death Cult’s FUD playbook:

7. Tesla shorts are scared, exposed, desperate: With a warning that Tesla is on the verge of showing a profit, and previous indication that Tesla needs to produce just 5,000 Model 3 per week to get into the black, Tesla short sellers and foes who have long expected Tesla to collapse can largely see that the stock price could surge soon. If that starts to happen, other short sellers could bail and just decided to take a loss on their bets. Given that TSLA has been the most shorted stock on the market recently, that could mean a historic “short squeeze.”

(I see “David Green” is also carpet-bombing Clean Technica with his Tesla Death Cult FUD comments!)

Did you download the spreadsheet, aka Vijay’s SIM Tesla game?

Nope. That exceeds my level of interest. I’m not a “financial guy” and I’m not an investor.

I’m not motivated by Tesla’s stock price, as the FUDsters are.

I did, however, start a discussion thread about that over on the InsideEVs forum. Hasn’t gotten any responses, yet. (You could be the first! 🙂 )

“Tesla’s finances are improving quite noticeably”…

What are you talking about? They are trying to clawback money from vendors, they burned well over a billion in Q2, margins are nowhere near where promised and large chunks of CA real estate are covered with unsold Model 3s. And, last round’s bonds are sub-junk, with the credit markets shut down to these guys.
By NO rational metric are the “financials” better than 6 months ago.

Car quality is clearly getting better, but the financial pickle they are in just gets worse.

We’ll see what Tesla reports in its next quarterly statement. Elon is talking pretty big about Tesla showing a profit going forward. He’s made many comments about that in the past, but this time he seems seriously determined.

I don’t exactly have to be a financial genius to understand that as Tesla ramps up its Model 3 production far above levels for the Model S or the Model X, quite naturally economy of scale will help it become more profitable.

I also note you seem to be repeating some pretty obvious Tesla bashing FUD, perhaps most obviously your comment “large chunks of CA real estate are covered with unsold Model 3s.” It’s perfectly predictable that as Tesla ramps up its production, it will be temporarily storing larger numbers of Model 3’s on lots, awaiting shipment.

At least, that’s the opinion of a guy who is an interested Tesla watcher, but who isn’t a “financial guy”. We’ll have more facts to argue over 😉 after the upcoming Tesla investor relations conference call. I think that’s coming next week?

Citation please for the improved financials? – Consider that the Q2 earnings call is pending, I would love to see what document(s) your referencing that shows improved financials, not saying it doesn’t exist, but most folks are going to want to see a bit more formal documentation, that you just saying “things must be better” cause they are selling more (most of which will hit in Q3, so we’re months away from seeing those GAAP numbers) Personally, my opinion, is that Q2 is still going to be very ugly, maybe not as bad as Q1, but still ugly. IMHO, given all the Q2 production, that got pushed into July sales (Q3), that Q3 and Q4 will be somewhat positive. So while there may be light at the end of the tunnel, it’s going to get immediately worse, before it gets better, given the lag of financial reporting.. I’m hoping that a positive Q3 & Q4 sets them up much better to do another offering in 2019, as they have bonds coming due ($1.5B?) in mid 2019, and they will need to start more investment for the semi, for GF in China – They will definitely need more cash for those… Read more »

Everybody agrees that Q2 numbers will be ugly; the matter of contention is what happens going forward. Unless they continue burning hundreds of millions over the next several quarters — which seems very unlikely at this point — the shorters’ claims that they are on the brink of bankruptcy are just total BS.

“Citation please for the improved financials?”

It’s my prediction for Q3, based on simple logic. As Tesla ramps up Model 3 production significantly, economy of scale will improve their profit margin. Why else would Elon be repeatedly claiming, pretty loud and hard, that Tesla will start showing a profit in the third quarter this year? He has repeatedly made such claims in the past, and it’s almost always turned out to be hype, but this time he seems to be quite serious about it.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens next quarter. If I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time regarding one of my predictions about Tesla.

For sure, all the new Model 3 at my work parking lot look pretty decent. I can’t really find any obvious misfit on the outside.

That’s nice. But I truly don’t understand why you haven’t featured his much more interesting first test of the Hyundai KONA. It’s almost suspect how only his Tesla videos appear to be worth your time. Cyberspace isn’t at a premium, unlike traditional print media space, so why not lead some readers to that as well..? I for one am looking forward to the proposed race between Model X and KONA. On the 50 kW chargers the KONA shouldn’t stand much of a chance, but because it’s so much more efficient it could be kinda close. And when the 175 kW (or more, that won’t matter) chargers become widespread, the KONA should win fairly easily. Note to readers who haven’t seen any of these “races”: this is about cars being driven according to speed limits (typically a few percent over to simply follow normal traffic flow), so it not a race in any normal sense. Previously, the Ioniq edged out the Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt) in an 1100 km race, having taken the lead initially when the Ioniq had to stop to charge, but gradually getting caught and finally beat towards the end. Obviously going farther still would only increase the Ioniq’s… Read more »
Another Euro point of view

I suspect that for any US EV site, giving more than, (say) 30% exposure to “non-Tesla” EVs comes at a price in term of readership and overall quality of live. Probably Inside evs writer(s) are still licking their wounds from the abuse received in respect of the nice article they wrote about the Jaguar i-pace, so let them a bit of time :-).

I would like to hear about the Kona but availability matters. The allocation for the US is unclear but it is obviously going to be tiny. So at some point the article count should be roughly comparable to sales.

So if 70% of US EV sales are Tesla, then roughly 70% of the articles should be. There also tend to be more articles about cars that people lust over rather than practical inexpensive cars which of course just adds to the Tesla article count.

So if Norway gets 5,000 Konas this year and 0 Tesla’s, I would not expect 70% of a Norway EV site’s articles to be about Tesla. Is that logical to you?

People (that I know) are not generally enamored with the Tesla because it is a US based car. It is not nationalism – most of these people drive foreign cars anyway. Most people are happy that it is a US based car but it is not the driving force. The US auto market has been pretty open for decades and so have the minds of most of its consumers.

You make a great point David. I am, on balance, likely a bit more nationalistic than average. Yet when I look at the 4 cars in our family driveway, we have a Mazda, a Hyundai, a Volvo and a Ford. So while I prefer US cars all else being equal, only one fourth of my personal fleet is US.

I do have a Model 3 on order and it will replace the Mazda, so the math will change in a few months.

The guy driving the Ampera-E was a newbie:

The Kona’s efficiency at 75 mph was 304 Wh/mi according to Bjorn. That is on par with a Model S. The Kona is a small vehicle, a bit smaller than a Bolt. On a 175 kW EVSE, it could only pull a peak of 71 kW. The charge time was far longer than a Tesla to 80%.

Cyberspace isn’t at a premium, but writers’ time is.

We have an early December delivery 3 and I thought the fit and finish was good enough so that I was not bothered. In comparison to our X it was actually much better. I recently saw and talked to a new 3 owner (a week or so ago he had it for 24 hours) and the fit and finish has further improved. Even after looking thoroughly I could not find anything that stood out to me. It was easily the best fit and finish I have ever seen on any Tesla and as good as Audi or MB or Porsche we used to have in the past. It is a non-issue.

A coworker just got the first one at our office and it looks pretty mediocre. The hood has an obvious large gap on the left side the the right front fender doesn’t line up with the adjacent parts very well either. I compared it to a brand new Audi parked right next to it and that thing was TIGHT.

If Model 3 fit-and-finish quality — or more precisely, consistency in fit-and-finish quality, is much improved, then it’s only very recently indeed.

From reading a lot of often very contradictory comments on the issue of Model 3 fit-and-finish quality, I get the impression that the problem isn’t so much a lack of ability to get the panels fit properly or the finish done properly, but a lack of consistent quality control in making sure that every car is “up to snuff”. One new Model 3 owner on the InsideEVs forum reported that one of his car’s headlights was 1/2″ lower than the other, before he got it worked on!

If Tesla has improved the consistency of its quality control, then that’s great! But I don’t think we can conclude that just from a few anecdotes, even if one of those is from Bjørn Nyland. Much as we all* respect his opinions, examining only one recent Model 3 isn’t a statistically meaningful sample size.

*Well, all but the Usual Suspects

I was annoyed at my fit and finjsh issues, but eventually forgot about them. Rattles and other service issues are harder to ignore. Even on the X, they haven’t yet fixed the halfshaft shudder issue under acceleration. Overall, quality is slowly improving.

Note that my Bolt has been perfect from day one. I haven’t encountered a single issue with it, at least hardware wise. The software was subject to one recall, which was resolved via an OTA update.

Hmmm sure. Someone who has to stoop to writing FUD for a living can afford a Model X.

Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

You don’t own a model 3 or X. Go away

Yeah, he’s the Montana Sceptic of this web site. He reads what other people say on forums and then applies it to himself, as if he is that particular owner with that particular complaint.

@Eleventy Pretend Electrics:

Now, why would you pretend to have bought either an imaginary Model X or an imaginary Model 3, after telling us for years and years how terrible Tesla’s cars are and how nobody should ever buy one?

Which set of lies are we supposed to believe, dude?

I’ve asked him that a bunch of times. All I ever get is crickets. It’s probably the “balance” he says he brings to this site- support a company through buying their products, but “balance” out the purchase by contributing to the cause that wants to see the company’s failure. Makes total sense..

There is no way Bjorn can make a broad conclusion about improved Model 3 quality by reviewing one recent sample. He can hope quality has improved and speak to the one he drove but that is about it.

Statistics – Determine a Statistically Valid Sample Size.

In the absence of having data from a valid sample size, one can better determine improved quality by the number of new Model 3s scheduling appointments for service. The new Model 3 has very low routine service requirements therefore, service requests correlate with a repair of a problem (i.e. quality score).

Perhaps the camera microphone is amplifying actual sounds heard by human ears but the M3 interior sounds riding over expressway expansion joints seems a tad loud.

Jump into your time machine and dial it back just 10 years to 2008 before all these modern EV’s came to market.

You would get laughed off any EV forum for even suggested that panel gap would be any reason not to buy a 300+ mile range, AWD, super fast accelerating, 4-door midsize sedan that seats 5, that can charge at 100+ kW on a network of super fast chargers stretching across the EU, US and Canada. Punks these days have it too good when they start complaining about panel gaps and don’t respect what an amazing leap forward in EV’s that they can order today and have in just a few months. While us old farts remember rubbing our hands together in gleeful anticipation over the arrival of cars like the Mahindra Reva and Mitsubishi iMiev.

It is the equivalent of being a farmer with soft hands back in the days of farming before tractors.

Oh, and all you durn kids get off my lawn!!!!

Thanks, Nix.

I’m thinking back to the very real problem of Tesla’s two failed attempts at getting a workable two-speed transmission for the 2008 Roadster; a problem which resulted in them having to deliver the first batch of cars with that unusable transmission locked into second gear. (Tesla promised to replace that with the new “drivetrain 1.5” once it was produced, and of course delivered on that promise.)

In light of a very real problem like that, it does seem like rather thin whining to complain about minor panel misalignments that only professional car reviewers notice. Tiny misalignments that ordinary car buyers don’t notice, and generally don’t care about when they are pointed out.

The Supercharger network doesn’t yet stretch across all of the EU… (Or major parts of Canada, for that matter.)