A necessary move, but is it good enough?
We recently reported that Tesla is facing a class-action lawsuit over Model 3 paint issues in Quebec. Now, Tesla has begun to offer two variants of a "Model 3 all-weather package" in an apparent attempt to mitigate the issue.
Tesla is offering a choice between a mud flap & splash guard kit and a paint protection film (PPF) kit. Both kits can be purchased from the Tesla website for $50.00. The kits are designed to help reduce paint chips and peeling in lower body panels directly behind the front wheels and in front of the rear wheels.
These areas are particularly susceptible to damage from road salt & sand in the winter months, as well as small rocks and pebbles all year round. Accordingly, Model 3 owners that live in cold-weather areas where there are frequent snow and icy road conditions seem to have more of these lower panel paint problems than those that live in warmer regions. However, the issue isn't strictly confined to cold-weather regions, as we've previously reported.
Tesla has had many well-documented paint issues with the Model 3. It's really unfortunate because Tesla has managed to make an electric vehicle that most people view as the best all-around EV available today, yet after a decade of making cars, they still haven't mastered the painting process yet.
Protect your Model 3 from snow, salt, sand and small debris with the All-Weather Protection Kit. Avoid corrosion around the wheels and protect your paint from stone chips and driving conditions that can accelerate wear and tear.
The mud flap and splash guard kit contain two different sizes of front-wheel mud flaps and the hardware needed for installation. The installation instructions are also available on Tesla's website. The paint protection film kit includes two films and a squeegee for installation. Tesla also offers installation instructions on their website.
For those interested, the kits can be ordered from Tesla's website under: Shop > Vehicle Accessories > Model 3 > Exterior, or by just following this link. It doesn't appear like Tesla will be offering installation of these items at service centers. Personally, I think it's the least they can do considering this is an unusual problem, not something that's to be expected due to normal wear and tear.
Last year, Tesla started including mud flaps to existing Model 3 owners in Canada and including them with all new Canadian Model 3 orders. However, after a few months of use, some owners reported that the mud flaps provided didn't protect the paint well, and were actually causing more problems.
However, it appears that Tesla now has a revised mud flap, because the installation instructions refer to "first-generation" mud flaps as well as "second-generation" ones. Hopefully, the new ones provide better protection and don't have the same issues that the original mud flaps did. Tesla Owners Online tweeted the news last year when Tesla announced the mud flap offering for Canadian owners.
My personal opinion
Personally, as a Model 3 owner, I'm a little disappointed that Tesla isn't taking more responsibility for this problem. There's enough data out there by now to demonstrate that this is an issue that's a factory defect, not something that the customers should have to pay extra money to try to correct themselves.
At the very least, Tesla should offer these kits to Model 3 owners and install them at service centers for free. In my opinion, they should also offer to repaint the lower panels if there's flaking or peeling within the first three years of ownership. Rock chips will happen, but the paint shouldn't peel off as we've seen. I've already ordered the paint protection film for the area in front of the rear wheels and plan to do an installation video and post once I receive them.
We'd like to know your thoughts on this. Is Tesla handling this issue properly? Or would you like to see them do more to rectify this issue? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.