Consumer Reports: Tesla Model X Has Quality Issues

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 96

Tesla Admits To "Hubris" With The Added Gizmos On The Model X, Which Caused A Q1 Delivery Miss

Tesla Admits To “Hubris” With The Added Gizmos On The Model X, Which Caused A Q1 Delivery Miss

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

According to Consumer Reports, some early-build Tesla Model X SUVs are plagued with problems, most of which are related to the falcon wing doors (which is perhaps not a stunning revelation to those of us following the EV industry closely).

Consumer Reports point to one example to makes its case that early-build X SUVs have some issues:

“Michael Karpf flew earlier this month to the Tesla Motors factory in Fremont, Calif., to pick up his new Model X electric sport-utility vehicle—known for a 200-plus mile battery range and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claim that it’s “the fastest SUV in history.”

“The 75-year-old retiree planned to drive it across the country with his wife and son to their home in New Rochelle, N.Y. But the new-car gleam of Karpf’s $138,000 titanium-on-beige P90D Model X faded with a string of problems as soon as he left the factory—delaying his journey.”

“One of the wildly designed, upswinging “falcon wing” rear doors failed to close. The other falcon wing door failed to open, except from the inside. One falcon door didn’t sense an overhang and bashed into it, leaving a ding in the door. The driver’s door window wouldn’t motor down properly, until it dislodged a piece of chrome stripping that was restricting its progress.”

We should note that this is only one X, but each issue did require a a repair visit, which is an inconvenience, to say the least.

Consumer Reports points to complaints on message boards about falcon door problems, autopilot issues and more:

“Tesla message boards are already swelling with complaints from Model X owners regarding balky doors, interior trim-piece tolerances, paint-spray quality, malfunctioning second-row seats, sheet-metal panel gaps, and climate control issues. The Model X is still very early in production, with only a few thousand vehicles produced to date.”

Most Model X owners still love their electric SUVs, despite some problems. In fact, when Consumer Reports reached out to Tesla for comment on X issues, the automaker responded with a customer satisfaction statement:

“We are committed to making the world’s most reliable cars. While we have seen some issues with early Model X builds, the issues are not widespread, and we are working closely with each owner to respond quickly and proactively to address any problems. We will continue to do so until each customer is fully satisfied. This commitment is one of the reasons why 98 percent of our customers say they will buy another Tesla as their next car.”

Source: Consumer Reports

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96 responses to "Consumer Reports: Tesla Model X Has Quality Issues"

  1. kdawg says:

    And that’s why it’s OK if I get a later build Model 3.

    1. Kosh says:

      This. ~200,000 (but in California) is just fine by me while they iron out the bugs.

    2. georges says:

      @kdawg
      Right. Our other Model X and Model S owner MarkZ said the same thing. He is just a tad disappointed in Tesla reliability issues. That is why he suggests waiting until these issues are resolved after more production.

      Never had a single issue with my Volt though. Not one in 3 years.

      1. kdawg says:

        Tesla being so small, I don’t think has the resources, or time, or experience, to fully test a design before production.

        They are still like California coders who joke “I test my code in production”.

        Thus the popular meme.
        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BHL0K4MCEAAUq7o.jpg

        1. SparkEV says:

          Funnnnny! 🙂

          The way things are going, I think I’m going to have to buy SparkEV while waiting for Model3. It could be 6 years or more before the bugs are shaken out from the base model (4 years to first car?). By then, SparkEV warranty would have expired, a good time for a new car.

      2. quartzav says:

        I believe the sample size also has a lot to do with the problem reported. Mine copy of sample does not have hardware/fits and finish issues and it was delivered during the end-of-quarter mad dash.
        That being said I believe Tesla would benefit from having a few hundred test cars tested months before the actual release and getting rid of signature series(= Model X beta tester discount program) for the model 3 is a good start.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I read a comment recently that suggested one reason that legacy auto makers often (perhaps typically?) stockpile cars in storage lots for months before they start deliveries to dealers, is so they can do extended test drives of some of them, to identify problems and work them out before they ever get into the hands of customers.

          With Tesla chronically over-promising on when they’ll be able to start actually producing and selling each new car model, I guess there’s no chance of that happening, at least not in the near future.

          This is one of several signs that Tesla has yet to mature as a company.

          1. quartzav says:

            What made Tesla unique is at least partly from their unorthodox ways of conducting their testings. By that matrix, I am not sure if Tesla would even mature. Perhaps they will be forever in puberty stage, only getting more polished…

      3. Volt says:

        Lemon Law on my 2013 Volt

        2014 Volt broke down once

        2016 Volt past 3 months so far no problems

        1. tr says:

          New technology growing pains.
          Gotta lovem.

      4. philip d says:

        I’m on my second Volt which is a 2017. I love my Volt but I have had minor problems with both. I had an intermittent creak in the hatch with my first Volt. Tried various solutions to no avail.

        My new Volt has a different intermittent creak and popping sound in the hatch when I turn sharp right. Also my brake pedal will sometimes creak when I press it. I also have a rattle in the overhead button panel.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Well, my brake pedal in my ELR has a brake switch that has developed a slight audible click, but the brake lights still go on and off and the regeneration works as it should so this little issue I’ve ignored.

          Doors opening and closing sound slightly more important an issue.

          I wonder if FORD, by paying $200k for a new X, thinks they can solve all the troubles.

  2. KumarP says:

    Seems like CR was handed a bundle of cash in a dark alley at some point between “best car ever that broke our testing system” and now.

    Good to know, considering that I was once wanting a subscription. No more.

    1. Nom de Plume says:

      Can we cut the crap about “I always knew CR couldn’t be trusted”? There are comments like this every time they come out with a negative report on Tesla. If they were trustworthy when they were giving the Model S the highest ratings ever, they’re trustworthy now.

    2. beta995 says:

      Yes, this is Very UNPROFESSIONAL.

      Is their role Hack Reporter?
      Or, if they’re going to be giving us a STATISTICAL PERSPECTIVE, maybe they should actually wait till the sample size is VALID.

      I expect this manure from Fox News, not Consumer Reports

      1. Ambulator says:

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        Consumer Reports rates cars as they get them, and for new cars they state that the reliability is unknown. When enough reports come in from owners they then rate the reliability.

        How else could they do this? Would you have them hold off on the report on the car for a year just to get the reliability reports in?

        1. beta995 says:

          Yes, absolutely they need to wait for a Larger Sample Size.
          That’s what I said.

          1. storky says:

            These are NOT pre-production models. These are vehicles sold to customers. Even early production defects are inexcusable. Its one thing to wait months for delivery. Its another to wait months for delivery then be forced to return repeatedly to the service department. That’ll tarnish the user experience significantly. This (four service bulletins originating from MY new car) is why I’ll NEVER own a Chrysler product again!

            1. beta995 says:

              A sample size of one is antidotal evidence.
              It’s not statistically valid, so the title is not justified.

              Consumer Reports only conclusion they could validly write is “OUR Tesla Model X has issues, We might be UNLUCKY, or it could be a trend for the first batch of vehicles off the line”.

              They cannot make any kind of Valid definitive statement about the total population of 30,000 to 50,000 Model X’s that will come off the line this year, with a sample size of 1.

              Consumer Reports Reliability statistics also probably OVERSTATE the unreliability of autos, from all manufacturer’s.
              1) They don’t report the sample size.
              2) They’re statistics suffer from self-selection bias.

              For example, look at the BMW i3 stats.
              – Very Good or Excellent in all categories Except for Drive system and cooling system. There was a drive mount bolt that was breaking in the 2014 model year, and the AC wasn’t up to 100 degree heat in southern states.
              -What happened in years 2015 and 2016. CU doesn’t have sufficient data to report the reliability. Why? Self-Selection Bias, owners were not sufficiently motivated to tell CU that they had No Problems with the car.

              Now, with a sample size of 1, they’re going to make generalization about what, the first 3000 Tesla X’s being produced?

              Get a cup of coffee, and then toss a coin 3,000 times. You may find runs of up to 10 heads or 10 tails in a row. What if the first ten coin tosses were 10 heads. Would you conclude that ALL Coin Tosses after that were going to be heads? So, that you expect 3,000 heads to show up? Randomness, doesn’t always look random. It’s perfectly valid to see long runs of one type of coin in coin flips.

              Tesla is going to produce 30,000-50,000 Model X this year, so a report needs to know, what SAMPLE Size is Valid to report Real Information about the Total Population of Cars.

              Here you go:
              https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/determining-sample-size/

              What’s better than a sample of the population? Knowing all the details of the TOTAL POPULATION. Who has that data? Tesla. It would be better for a reporter to report:

              “We have issues with our purchase. Tesla, is this a trend you see? Are you addressing this?”

              But you don’t just shoot your mouth off making a generalization with a sample size of 1.

      2. Spider-Dan says:

        Consumer Reports rates the Model S as best car ever? What a wise and learned institution!

        Consumer Reports rates Model S reliability as poor? Corrupt corporatist rag in the pocket of Big Oil!

        1. Bill Howland says:

          They’ll deny it of course but I think it depends on whether they needed the stock price to go up or down.

          Remember Casablanca – “I’m Shocked! Shocked! that there is gambling!”

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      You’re really comparing apples and oranges, altho Consumer Reports needs to do a better job at explaining just what their different ratings are based on.

      ~”This car is so good it broke our ratings system”~ (that’s a paraphrase) was a comment in an article about a CR driving test, performed by CR’s own team of car reviewers.

      Contrariwise, the various reports about reliability issues in Tesla cars come from tabulations of surveys of people who have owned the car for at least a year.

      Altho it looks like cognitive dissonance, it’s really two different things. This becomes clear if you read the Edmunds.com series of articles on their long-term Model S test drive. Did they have issues with various things on the car needing fixed? Yes. Did the reviewer (and the entire driving team) love the car and wish he/they could keep it? Definitely!

      1. TomArt says:

        Exactly.

    4. sven says:

      KumarP said:
      “Good to know, considering that I was once wanting a subscription [to Consumer Reports]. No more.”

      You might want to also add the Wall Street Journal to your “Do Not Subscribe” list. They found another Model X owner whose “falcon-winged doors wouldn’t open as she prepared to drive her children’s carpool to school.”

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/quality-woes-a-challenge-for-teslas-high-volume-car-1461093171

  3. sven says:

    When I responded to a comment in previous news story that said “tons of happy model X owner reports in the owner groups” with my comment that said “Not everyone is happy” and gave a link, I was attacked and vilified by the resident Tesla fanboiz.

    http://insideevs.com/first-look-inside-tesla-gigafactory-video/#comment-808022

    Tesla fanboiz try to snuff out any discussion on InsideEVs of problems that Tesla is having by resorting to vile personal attacks on anyone who dares to bring up the subject. These fanboiz are doing a disservice to the EV community, by trying sweep all of Tesla’s problems under the rug and create an alternate reality bubble. But the truth eventually comes out.

    Rant off.

    Waiting for the timestamp on my comment to be changed to a time in the future, moving my comment to the bottom of the thread . . .

    http://insideevs.com/first-look-inside-tesla-gigafactory-video/#comment-808022

    1. ffbj says:

      It’s not to wander to far from ones own baliwick. People don’t afford you the statis of the noble opposition you receive here.

      1. staff says:

        sven,

        When you rush to post and/or tag posts at the very top of a thread, with a comment designed to (and knowing that it will) incite reaction, the entire conversation then moves away from the story and to you.

        Your link is a perfect example. Instead of placing your comment below the 4 posts already on that thread about the Gigafactory, you tagged the very top post with a reply talking about the unhappiness with the Model X.

        Now for sure it was quasi related to the top posters comment, but the net result was 29 comment deep diversion, with no one communicating about the story. Which kinds sucks from our end, and it isn’t terribly pleasant for anyone entering the thread unaware of what they are about to have to read through to get back to the topic at hand.

        So yes, when we write a story about Tesla, we’d rather not have the top comment to always be a post that is unrelated and/or written in a way that is intended to incite.

        Your comment was bumped by an hour in this thread (not to the bottom, just away from the tippy top – our intention is never to suppress anyone):
        http://insideevs.com/apple-hires-former-tesla-vp-to-head-up-special-car-projects-aka-project-titan/

        The result by doing this (over not doing it in the one you linked) was giving the community a moment to first communicate and reflect on the story at hand, before potentially turning into a street fight between proponents and detractors. While unfortunate, we hope you can understand the issue from not only our prospective, but for the wider community.

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          Excellent explanation.

        2. sven says:

          I resent the accusation that my “Not everyone is happy” post was “designed to incite” and was only “quasi related” to the top poster’s comment that I responded to. My comment is directly on point to the top poster’s claim that there were “Tons of happy model X owner reports in the owner groups.” At the time, there were many reports of unhappy Model X owners in the forums. Consumers Reports even bears out my observations of owner unhappiness by stating “Tesla message boards are already swelling with complaints from Model X owners . . .”

          Perhaps it is the comments by Tesla fanboiz that are “designed to incite,” ie: you’re a FUDster, you’re a stock shorter, you’re a troll, you’re a Tesla basher, etc. Their comments are nothing more than personal attacks that are not even “quasi related” to the story, and the “entire conversation then moves away from the story” due to their personal attacks.

          FYI, I don’t “rush to post.” If I happen to read a story and there are no posts or only one post, then naturally, my comment will be one of the top two posts.

          1. staff says:

            “FYI, I don’t “rush to post.” If I happen to read a story and there are no posts or only one post, then naturally, my comment will be one of the top two posts.”

            That is true, we shouldn’t speak to your frequency (or ability) to post within a couple minutes of a story launch, or mindset for doing so in this case. Apologies for that.

            As for the reasoning behind your positions, when you choose to express them (and how), or the community’s reaction/maturity level in response – whatever they might be, it doesn’t matter/isn’t relevant to the action taken (even if we understand it)

            The result from your comment’s content and presentation to the group (as well as the timing) is chaos at the top of many Tesla-related strings, which then leads to a lack of enjoyment/ability for others to actually speak to the topic of the thread, as the community was intended.

            On occasion, or in a vacuum, it is no issue at all and wouldn’t potentially result in being bumped down an hour (and that is all the action in response we are discussing now, not supression of what you are speaking to), but the repeated event, and subsequent similar outcomes, on multiple threads has to be addressed for the benefit of wider community and those who want to speak/interact on the topic at hand.

            1. sven says:

              I still don’t understand how my comment that Tesla is hiring Apple’s top employees is “designed to incite,” will result in “chaos,” and does not address the “topic at hand.” The ultimate litmus test is Pushmi-Pullyu’s response to my comment. He is thee Tesla fanboi-in-chief and thee most vocal Tesla defender on this site, yet he had this to say about my comment:

              “sven wrote:”

              “Does Elon also refer to Tesla as the ‘Apple Graveyard’?”

              “Rats, I was gonna post a similar joke. People keep stealing my thunder today! :)”

              1. SparkEV says:

                Sven, not to take sides, but it’s their site, they can do what they want. There sometimes seems perceived bias, but again, it’s their site. Having said that, as far as moderations go, they have been quite good.

                I enjoy most of your comments, and I suspect others do as well. Even the thread about Tesla and resulting banter bring some nuggets of info that’s not common and shows the character of IEV commenters. Regardless of placement, you can be sure some of us still enjoy your comments.

                1. sven says:

                  Thanks.

              2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                sven:

                I may well be the most frequently posting Tesla fanboy (or “fanboi” if you prefer), but I most certainly am not the most ardent Tesla cheerleader here. In fact, you seem to be rather selective in which of my posts you notice and which you ignore. I often take Tesla to task, complaining about Tesla’s hype or Elon’s unfiltered (to put it politely) remarks. You’re also ignoring the fact that many times I have contradicted some of the most ardent Teska cheerleaders when I think they’ve overstated something.

                So using me as the poster boy for ardent Tesla cheerleading is missing the mark somewhat.

                That you have suggested repeatedly that I’m a paid shill for Tesla says much more about your own bias than about mine. Now, it may be that you’re just reacting to my accusing you of being a short-selling TSLA investor, one who’s posting propaganda he doesn’t really believe in order to drive down Tesla’s stock price. Perhaps that’s not actually true; I can’t see what’s in your heart. What I do notice is that you repeat Tesla bashing memes and conspiracy theories I’ve read on Seeking Alpha; Tesla bashing from admitted serial TSLA short-sellers. The point is that whether or not your purpose in frequently posting anti-Tesla FUD is to promote a short-selling agenda, it looks that way from the outside. Clearly I’m not the only one who perceives your posts as being deliberately intended as anti-Tesla FUD, since you just got scolded by a staff member here for posting a comment “designed to (and knowing that it will) incite reaction”.

                As they say, sven: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.” If you want us to believe you’re actually a swan, then you might want to consider not quacking like a duck so often.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  Hey, Sven’s got my vote, and he even owns an EV so he’s got a greater chance of knowing what he is talking about.

                  But he usually talks at a different level, which causes magpie problems.

                  I always appreciate his fact based commentary, and if I’m forced to look harder for his postings, I’ll spend the added time.

    2. beta995 says:

      Reporting initial problems as a statistically valid indicator of the year’s total quality is invalid, and shouldn’t be reported as anything but initial quality problems.

    3. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, I don’t like it when it becomes cult-like. I’m a big Tesla fan but I’ll still call it like I see it. And Tesla certainly does still have manufacturing issues with the Model X. But they are getting better with every batch they run.

      1. storky says:

        That is what Prototyping and Pre-production runs are for . . . ironing out problems BEFORE they get bad press and damage your reputation.

    4. pjwood1 says:

      Inside EVs isn’t a Tesla website, but the worse the problems get the more we’ll quiet down about them. That doesn’t speak for everybody, and hasn’t been my “MO” lately, but there is still a lot of slack I’d cut them. My hope was they no longer needed it. For instance, we dropped how little evolution there was in the “Model S Refresh”.

      Must….bite..tongue

      1. RexxSee says:

        Better bite your tongue. Tesla brings an average of 20 improvements/fixes directly on the assembly line each week. So ModelS/x are *continuously* refreshed.

    5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      sven, you were not vilified for making a passing remark about not all Model X owners being happy, and posting a link to discussion of problems in early deliveries of the Model X.

      You were vilified for copying and pasting a lengthy, angry, vituperative attack; one that appears to be the result of a team of Tesla bashers searching the entire Tesla Motors Club forum for the worst complaint they could find, then copy-and-pasting that in its entirety in comments to Seeking Alpha (or some other notorious Tesla bashing forum). I presume you copied that from some other Tesla basher’s post, rather than finding it yourself. Am I wrong?

      At any rate, you posted that as if it was typical of problems with the Model X, which it most certainly was not. It was the most extreme outlier anybody could find.

      So don’t pee on our legs and then try to tell us it’s raining. If you act like a serial Tesla basher, then expect to be treated as such.

  4. ffbj says:

    Meanwhile…Model III hits 400k preorders.
    Something like a 93% favorable view of the car by those that own one is something to consider too, these reports from CR should be taken into account, and there is room for improvement.

    1. John says:

      The Big3, with all of their problems, do have one big advantage. They have over 100 years of figuring out how to do things right. Part of that involved killing the competition, and creating a legal maze of dealership laws that makes it nearly impossible for newcomers to compete.

      For these reasons, I’ll cut Tesla some slack.
      In business, I’ve always said that everyone makes mistakes; it’s how you fix them that sets you apart. So far, I’ve heard very few stories of Tesla failing to fix a problem.

      1. John says:

        I intended to reply to Taser54’s comment below this one. My apologies.

  5. Taser54 says:

    Tesla apparently did not learn from the Model S quality problems. It’s a shame.

    1. floydboy says:

      The Model S hasn’t improved in quality in all this time?!

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Unfortunately that seems to be an open question. CR’s first reliability rating for the Model S was “above average”; the next year “average”, then the following near “below average”.

        Meanwhile, Tesla Motors says it has improved its quality control as the years have passed.

        So what’s going on? Were earlier CR surveys biased in Tesla’s favor? Did problems only show up in cars that were 2 or more years old? is CR’s sample size so small that the results are erratic and undependable? Is CR using flawed, questionable statistical analysis? Or has Tesla’s build quality actually gone down over time?

        It’s too bad that CR reports seem to be the closest thing we have to a statistically valid analysis of Tesla’s build quality, because their published results for the reliability survey seem to be self-contradictory. How can you get an overall “Poor” rating from averaging together results that range from “Excellent” to, at worst, “Fair”?

        https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/attachments/model-20s-jpg.112606/

        Color me confused.

  6. Speculawyer says:

    This comes as no surprise. They are still trying to get the Model X line up & running reliably. Every batch they run through has some problems but each batch has fewer problems that the previous batch.

  7. MDEV says:

    Tell me about an early production car without issues. I got a Jaguar XJ first production with several problems from transmissions to electrical, they were solved in later models. A friend of mine got a Masseati and spend his first month in the dealer fixing problem of all kind. We know early adopters comes with some issues, my first Tesla was MS 2012 Vin 12K and my new P85D 2 months old is years away in quality and reliability, but I knew that back in 2011 when I decided to be an early adopter, however I enjoyed my fist MS with some issues but it was fun I felt like celebrity 🙂

    1. sven says:

      MDEV said:
      “Tell me about an early production car without issues.”

      Please don’t shoot the messenger. Hate on it all you want, but the Toyota Marai doesn’t have any initial quality issues. (runs for cover) 😉

      1. John says:

        My cousins uncles wifes great uncle on her aunts side said he saw one explode when they drove over a bump. Everyone be careful. =P

      2. kdawg says:

        I waited 1.5 years to buy my Volt, because it was a new car. But in hindsight, the first year was built like a brick sh!thouse, so I shouldn’t have waited.

        (thought I did get hold mode by waiting)

        1. storky says:

          I waited two weeks from the date of my test drive to order my Prius. That resulted in a 5 month wait for delivery. By being around 4000th model delivered to the US, I avoided two electric steering recalls. However, being one of the earlier deliveries features that were offered standard on later deliveries were unavailable like side impact airbags and cruise control. As it was, the car I drove to the dealer to pick up my new car nearly expired in their lot — the brakes completely failed as I rolled into a parking space — it knew it was no longer loved.

      3. beta995 says:

        It’s just got a major design flaw. The car ISIS loves the most. It’s a bomb you can park anywhere.

      4. MDEV says:

        Just 50 Mirai sold to Toyota employees Lol. No complains.

  8. Mad says:

    First year production of the first model. Yeah, it’s going to have some problems. Every car has these types of problems. A big reason not to buy the first year of production. In two years, it’ll be a damn reliable car.

  9. Rob says:

    All manufacturers have more issues with early cars in new models, it’s just that most manufacturers have very little change year to year and even “major” model changes share many components. (New models come every 4 years) Toyota is famous for test new components for 10 years before rolling them out. Tesla does not have the luxury of testing for 10 years.

  10. PVH says:

    I gave Tesla a 5 out of 10 for execution. Maybe this needs reassessment. I will wait more feedback.
    Now it seems that a “corporate ethics” grade needs to be given as well. As going through Tesla 10K of last year.

    http://insideevs.com/can-bmw-fend-off-the-tesla-model-3-charge-part-1/

    It appears that if one substract the expenses in relation with capex (investments) from their 2015 loss, Tesla still had a large operational loss per car sold so certainly not credible when setting a price point fo the M3 lower than the Bolt, so a wildly optimistic price to attract lots of orders and cover up the Model X problems as a side effect seems not to be a problem in Musk’s world.

    So, until further notice:, Corporate ethics: 3/10.

    1. sven says:

      An operational loss might be overcome by selling many lower-priced Model 3. It depends on how much of the operational loss is due to fixed costs (ie: depreciation, rent, debt service), and whether selling a much higher-volume but lower-margin car will be able to cover the fixed costs and put Tesla into the black (become profitable).

      1. PVH says:

        True, but there is still a huge gap between making losses selling $90K cars and profits selling a $35K. what might have happened is that the accountants came up with a $45K pricepoint for M3 & Musk said to them that we will have plenty of time to deal with the price later, that by now what matters is to set all the right conditions for the next stock offering, and for that we need massive preorder figures. If so he made the right decision.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          PVH said:

          “…there is still a huge gap between making losses selling $90K cars and profits selling a $35K.”

          Then it’s a good thing Tesla Motors makes ~25% gross profit on the Model S.

          I wish people wouldn’t keep confusing “investing more money in future growth than we’re making in profits” with “losing money on every car”. If the money is invested, and if that investment ultimately pays off, then there is no “loss”. Nothing is being lost.

          1. beta995 says:

            Some people think that spending 1.5 BILLION dollars on assembly line enhancements, the Giga-Factory, and expanding the charging network, is just like the CEO buying a 200 foot yacht and putting the money in an off-shore account in the CAYMANS.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Those people clearly don’t know that the costs of building a high-volume auto assembly plant, and developing models to be built there, are measured in billions of dollars. And yes, nearly all of it is in the production line equipment and development costs. It certainly doesn’t cost that much to build factory walls and a ceiling!

  11. Get Real says:

    Really PVH, Tesla is a company that is challenging the stodgy corporate world of mostly doing nothing about the fate of our planet and that says a lot more about them then a financial snapshot as they grow their operations VERY aggressively.

    What is tragic is I never saw you guardians of the galaxy accountant types blowing the whistle on the REAL financial shenanigans that led up to the Great Recession?

    1. PVH says:

      …I basically agree with you you know, who cares about the figures if the whole Tesla thing can move this planet in the right direction. I wish it could be made a little more ethically correct at times but I am just an old fashioned romantic I guess.

    2. sven says:

      Really Get Real, SunEdison is a company that is challenging the stodgy corporate world of mostly doing nothing about the fate of our planet, but that does not say a lot more about them then a financial snapshot as they grow their operations VERY aggressively. That financial snapshot says SunEdison is headed for imminent bankruptcy.

      Tesla, like any other company is subject to financial realities (eventually), regardless of whether it is trying to save the planet.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/report-sunedison-the-solar-company-that-has-caused-wall-street-so-much-pain-is-preparing-to-file-for-bankruptcy-2016-4?op=1

      http://www.businessinsider.com/sec-investigate-sunedison-cash-reporting-2016-3

      1. James Dawson says:

        So are you predicting that Tesla is going to fail sven?

        1. sven says:

          Don’t put words in my mouth. Saving the planet is a noble cause, but you can’t ignore a company’s financial health or say that it’s not important like Get Real suggests.

          Tesla can continue being unprofitable and burning through cash for only as long as someone is willing to finance them by Tesla borrowing money, issuing bonds, or issuing additional stock. If Tesla can’t do any of the above, it will run out of cash, become insolvent, and be forced into bankruptcy. SunEdison is insolvent and is filing for bankruptcy, because nobody will lend it money, nobody will buy any new bonds that it issues, and nobody will buy any additional stock that it issues, even though they have the noble goal of saving the world.

          1. Get Real says:

            It looks like the old sven is back to his carpet-bombing ways.

            Tesla has over 15 billion dollars in pre-orders on the M3. Tesla will have no problems getting more money if they need it to launch production of the M3.

            Tesla’s biggest problems are not financial, but rather growing pains type problems. They have to way scale-up production and service and quality-control simultaneously and that isn’t easy for a smallish company with limited resources in comparison to the established OEMs.

            If Tesla can launch quantity sales of the M3 by end of 2017/beginning 2018 they will be fine,

            1. sven says:

              You’re my favorite rug. 😉

              1. Get Real says:

                I would have thought you would prefer Hair Trump sven!

        2. PVH says:

          It should fail according to automotive industry records and because of its ever bigger losses but I have a gut feeling it will succeed eventually, against all odds and maybe within a joint venture with a much larger company that would finance them & assist with execution once the markets will be thoroughly fed up of giving all their monies with nothing in return. If Musk becomes a little more amiable with his fellow competitors it might mean this reality starts to slowly sink in.

      2. beta995 says:

        SUNE was brought down by an Aggressive Naked Short ATTACK that the SEC allowed to happen.

        At the same time this was going on, Mexico took in bids for 1.8 Gigawatts of Solar Projects.

        So, the idiot shorts killed a company that could have made them rich.

        1. sven says:

          Nope. SunEdison was brought down because of doubts over its investment in yieldcos, “a type of financial engineering that fueled explosive growth in the solar sector for two years, and now has investors questioning the entire sector.”

          http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-yieldco-and-how-is-it-killing-wall-street-2015-11

  12. Vexar says:

    When the Model S started rolling off the factory compound, Elon Musk was actually testing and inspecting the early batches. All the Model X I’ve seen in town are having to go through a little post-manufacturing attention, such as weather seals. Perhaps that same “Elon white glove” treatment didn’t happen this time around.

    I think the big take-away is that these things are being fixed. Anyone buying a Founder’s series is asking for quirks and should have a thick skin as quality is dialed in.

    I’d be much more interested in knowing the robots or the humans are to blame for these quality issues.

    1. kdawg says:

      It may not be an assembly issue, but just a bad design. Or the design is bad enough that it is easily susceptible to assembly issues.

      1. georges says:

        @kdawg

        Case in point on the door mis-alignment issue we see. I made a comment about how inexcusable that was. Tesla owner MarkZ then informed me that it was not an issue with the door alignment at all. The cause was the closing latch. The latch actually PULLS the door closed. Faulty latch not faulty door.

        So the problem was not as overwhelming as it looked. Probably an issue with a supplier that was holding up the assembly line so Tesla opted to fix the problem in the field. We were guilty of this in the gas turbine business all the time. We called it “shippin’ sh*t”

        As Tesla gets bigger and bigger they will have more clout with suppliers Doubtful GM has quite as many problems with suppliers because they buy wayyy more parts and can squeeze them to the max.

        1. floydboy says:

          Good observation and points georges.
          As a lurker on the Tesla Motors Club forum, many of the initial quality and operational issues seem to be appearing less frequently.
          It appears Tesla is addressing more of the issues before the cars hit the street.

      2. realistic says:

        kdawg has nailed it. If it can’t be built with the processes you have capitalized and trained to do, the design has flaws. Period.

        They may be fixable with relative ease: the tolerance stackup in a geartrain turns out to be greater than expected, and new manufacturing limits must be implemented. Worst-case temperature on a board is too high for the selected component, so a new part (or a thermal solution) must be incorporated.

        Or they can be unfixable, with line-specific workarounds required to deal with them. I’m guessing the 10mm of body putty used to fill panel gaps is one of those.

        In any case it is an engineering design issue and Elon Musk walkabouts will not cure it.

  13. krona2k says:

    Never by an early production car if you want the best reliability. Even the legacy manufacturers suffer from this, though perhaps not as much as Tesla.

  14. MikeG says:

    It isn’t just a matter of poor reliability on new cars, but the ability to remedy vehicles in the field.

    Took our ’14 Model S in to have service done–fix some dashboard rattles and replace the taillight applique for condensation issue.

    End result: Car came back with more dashboard rattles than it started with and adhesive all over the tail of the car from the taillight repair.

    Tesla really needs to improve the quality of their service depts.

  15. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

    If you leave both doors open and go real fast, will it fly?

  16. darth says:

    This story makes little sense. Why would you accept delivery of a car if the door doesn’t close? Or, after you leave the factory and there are just 2 passengers according to the story, why would you open/close the rear doors at all?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      A driver of a Model X would open and close the falcon-wing doors to show off the “kewl factor” to onlookers. And do so frequently, when the car is new.

      I certainly can’t speak for everyone having an issue with falcon wing doors not closing properly, but at least some of the reports have the doors working properly sometimes, yet at least occasionally not closing flush with the body. (“georges” suggested in a post above that it may be a problem with the door latch, rather than the door actuator. That seems to fit.) So even if the new Model X owner tested the doors before agreeing to pay for the delivery, he may still have a problem that needs an immediate fix.

    2. sven says:

      The story said the problems started after he accepted delivery, “as soon as he left the factory.”

      The story also said there were 3 passengers: “The 75-year-old retiree planned to drive it across the country with his wife and son to their home in New Rochelle, N.Y.”

  17. ffbj says:

    In other unrelated news VW’s Big Stink: “However, the owners of affected cars should receive $5,000 each in compensation and VW will separately have to pay to fix their vehicles, the paper said.”

  18. Four Electrics says:

    My Model X arrived yesterday.

    It has a squeaky spoiler that rattles on the highway and while adjusting. The driver’s side FWD is 2-3mm misaligned, and the falcon wing door sensors are gloriously inadequate to prevent damage inside of parking garages with exposed structural beams. Finally, the pano windshield reflects a very distracting, almost metalic pattern on the dash.

    Those issues aside, the quality of the latest batches looks just fine. There will be more issues found, but the major gotchas have been fixed. I fully expect extra sensors to be retrofitted onto the FWD and front and passenger doors.

    1. sven says:

      Congratulations.

      Heh, I see what you did there with your screen name. 🙂

  19. Get Real says:

    Yes, congratulations on buying the best sporty SUV on the planet, what are your other 3 EVs?

    1. Four Electrics says:

      One X, one i3 and two LEAFs. One of the LEAFs has been put out to pasture.

  20. Mxs says:

    Reading the comments makes anyone with a sense of objectivity to cringe.

    You talk to any good engineer working in car manufacturing field, and they will all tell you that the X doors were a ticking bomb. Hopefully Elon learns from it it doesn’t make the same silly mistake with 3. If he does, Tesla will be gone pretty quickly after model 3 launches.

    Cars under warranty are one thing, but what about after warranty????

    1. TomArt says:

      Tesla Motors already said that they had, in retrospect, overreached with the Model X.

      Musk has also said, on multiple occasions, that for cost reasons, the Model 3 is being designed partly on manufacturing efficiency. As you can see from the reveal, there are no parlor tricks like Falcon doors and self-adjusting headrests and rear seats that slide and do not fold flat.

      IN fact, from everything we’ve seen so far, there is neither style nor technology of the Model 3 that goes beyond anything that they are already producing in the S.

      1. Mxs says:

        Still plenty of other unnecessary designs …. Servo moving door handles, self-opening doors, HUD etc. ….. Cannot wait for these to not function in deep sub zero temps …. Again after warranty.

        People keep forgetting, that thwre’s been very few units past the original owner warranty. The bills will be high ….

  21. fhuioef89 says:

    Why am I not surprised? Tesla seems to crank out junk and fix it later. Not a good long-term business model. Honda and Toyota would get sued into bankruptcy if they did that.

    1. Four Electrics says:

      They’re just adapting to the metrics by which they are measured. If you’re trying to achieve high gross margin, you ship with cheap parts and then count on a huge support staff, and body shop contractors, to fix issues. Those don’t count against gross margin.