The idea is not to slam Tesla but to find out what went wrong and what can be done to fix it.
The speed in which Munro & Associates are releasing videos of the Model Y teardown process is impressive. We'll soon probably have more videos than we can cover. On April 1st alone, we had two major ones we covered in a single article. They related to panel gaps and also to an issue on the Model Y's cowl cover, which was loose. This new video explains what happened to that part and gives suggestions to fix the problem for good.
Sandy Munro makes it very clear that his intention with the videos is not to slash Tesla. In his words, it is "to find out what went wrong and what can be done to fix it." And he gives revealing remarks about getting there.
The cowl cover on the Model Y had a missing part and a broken part. The frunk latch did not hold the lid as it should. Munro does not address the latch issue in this video, only the cowl cover issues. You may want to check the video again. Despite the mask he is wearing, you can see Munro's incredulous expression.
The missing element in it was a plastic clip, also called the "Christmas tree." That problem is a quality control issue, and Munro elegantly says he does not deal with that.
There are two reasons for this approach. The first one is that he deals with lean design, or else, with how things are manufactured and if there is a way to improve the parts involved. If these pieces exist and work, but are not put in place, that is not related to the design.
Gallery: Munro Gives Improvement Suggestions About Tesla Model Y Cowl Cover Fail
Apart from that, if he were to get into that sort of detail, Munro would eventually slash Tesla for the lousy quality control such issues reveal. Unfortunately, we'll probably see more of that in the teardown process. Remember the frunk latch?
The broken part was also a clip, but a different one. It was on the left side fender. The joining part was undercut and had almost no land left. These characteristics make it very fragile, according to Munro. He does not believe this sort of clip can endure the assembly process.
What the engineer suggests is a metal clip that can go into the body of the car and hold the tongue of the cowl clip in a way that it is easy in, but difficult out. Munro mentions the cover and its tongues are perfect. What needs to change is the clip.
A comment in the video – made by the user "chstra45" – tells us more about that:
"The same clips are used on the Model 3. Techs have been complaining about those clips for a long time. They break as soon as you try to install the trim."
The same commenter goes on about that and tries to defend Tesla by saying it is already aware of that, but that "they can't wave a wand and fix everything at once," which would "incur cost." Indeed, but how much more expensive would a metal clip be to make a better car, especially one that is not particularly affordable?
Munro ends the video by suggesting us to tip the people on supermarkets and stores by allowing them to keep the change. In COVID-19 times, these guys are heroes and we could not agree more with such an attitude.
He also mentions his company has sent Tesla an Excel sheet with 250 ideas for the company to save money. Were these fragile clips already mentioned at that spreadsheet? We believe they were not: the engineer would have mentioned that in the video. And would probably say that it was not for lack of warnings that Tesla still had that in the Model Y.
If Tesla already knew about those clips, why hasn't it changed them? If it knows quality control desperately needs to improve, why hasn't it already? These are questions only Tesla can answer, but we are glad Munro & Associates gave thousands of owners a voice to make them. We hope the reply is concrete improvement rather than an excuse.