The people over at The Fast Lane Car are now well into owning their third Tesla and it’s not been a hiccup-free experience.
Tesla’s quality control issues are a topic that has been discussed over and over again, both here and on pretty much all other automotive-focused sites. They stir up spirited debates that pit fans against short sellers and the talks do sometimes spiral out of control and turn ugly.
No car manufacturer’s quality control record is spotless - not all established manufacturers’ offerings are built quite to the same standard, so some models are better quality than others. However, being a new automaker, Tesla has had an above average number of quality complaints, especially in areas where other manufacturers have fewer problems (panel gaps, fitment, bad welds, poorly assembled interiors).
Some are just cosmetic and don’t affect functionality, but others do potentially pose a safety threat, like this defect discovered and mentioned on the The Fast Lane Car YouTube channel. Their Model Y (so far the third Tesla model they’ve owned, after a Model 3 and a Model X) is having problems with its door handles not working (i.e. you pull on the handle, but the door remains shut).
It apparently affects both the outside door handles and the buttons you press to open the doors from the inside. And while this is an inconvenience when you’re trying to open the door from the outside, it becomes a safety issue if you’re inside the car.
If you’re one of the two front occupants, you can open either of the front doors via a small physical lever fitted to either of the front doors. If, however, you’re a passenger in the back, you don’t have the option to manually open the doors and this could ultimately trap you in the car - we don’t have to tell you why that’s dangerous, but in case we do, think about a scenario where the Model Y was involved in a crash and it catches fire; people in the rear would be trapped in the car.
But why did the servo-actuated door opening mechanism fail in the Model Y in the first place? Well, apparently that is caused by the fact that the door itself is misaligned and this in turn meant the latch didn’t line up. When the door acted up the first time, all it required was to be realigned, but then it failed again after just one day; then the actuator itself was replaced and that fix lasted just two weeks.