Tesla Model 3 Fit And Finish Examined – Video

JAN 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 85

The MacTechGenius released another video in its series of shows on the Tesla Model 3 to answer questions related to fit and finish.

Tesla Model 3 (source: MacTechGenius)

As it turns out, a detailed walkthrough reveals few issues with the build quality of the exterior, which were called “minor”.

MacTechGenius said that the Model 3 build quality is fairly good (but not perfect of course), better than the Model X, and important is that there are no rattles  noted over the 500 miles.

It’s welcoming news that owners are generally happy with their cars.

Hopefully alignment of the panels will be even better with maturing of the production process.

Categories: Tesla, Videos


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85 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Fit And Finish Examined – Video"

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Wow, way to start panel gap-gate again…

If you don’t want in it pointed out then Tesla should make sure to close the gap differences.

That looks bad after viewing the video. Not sure I would call this 50K $ quality. More like Yugo of electric car quality.

Way better than my Ampera (/Volt).

Wow, your Ampera must be an early build or something. My 2014 Volt has much better panel gaps than this Model 3. Heck, My wife’s first year 2012 Mexican built Fiat 500 convertible still has better panel gaps than the Model 3 in the video.
I like tech but don’t really consider myself an early adopter. It’s likely that my next car will not be EV yet by the time I buy the one after, EV and autonomous tech will have stabilized enough to make it a good purchase.

It’s a 2012. The bumpers and the charge port have steps against the fenders, trunk lid has a huge gap, the headliner is cut too small and the perforated driver’s seat leather is sewn in crooked.

Yep. 2014 Volt owner myself, fit and finish is excellent and I’m very picky.

“It’s welcoming news that owners are generally happy with their cars.”

Shocking, all those Tesla fans that got their cars, don’t have complaints… Please.

Apparently Steve lives on the Bizarro world of Planet FUDster, where people who buy Chevys and Toyotas and Fords and Hondas generally buy cars they hate, and it’s only Tesla buyers who tend to buy the cars they actually prefer.

If Chevrolet sold a vehicle only to known former Chevrolet owners who applied for the car months in advance then yes, I would take their oppinion with a grain of salt.


Yep, choice-supportive bias is exactly why Consumer Reports survey results are almost worthless.

People who subscribe to CR and buy based on their recommendations are far more likely to overlook minor problems.

People who go against CR and run into minor problems feel like they got “burned”, and rip the brand they bought.

If CR randomly surveyed the entire population, CR subscriber or not, that would remove some of the CR caused selective bias.

Yeah, Steve seems pretty upset with Tesla on this and other threads.

Gee, I wonder why?

Ummmm, that didn’t look real good.

Is it just me?

Glad to get mine later.

There are a few ways to take this car to task. Not these gaps, IMO.

I’d much sooner reject other cars for inferior looks, to M3, than walk away from it because of what that image captures.

It’s a great lookin’ car.

The point here, I think, is that Tesla’s fit-and-finish is now good enough to be up to industry average… altho I’m sure the serial Tesla haters among our Usual Suspects will be along shortly to claim that’s not true.

Or to put it another way, we would not be seeing a focus on the fit-and-finish on TM3s, if this had not been an issue with early production units of the Model S and Model X.

A couple of short videos posted to the InsideEVs Forum also found only very minor, completely normal imperfections with the exterior fit-and-finish of a Model 3:


My DEC 2017 model s one of my door handles do not line up flush with the body and one is a bit slanted, I had a cracked B pillar with green foam sticking out and after about 2500 KM there are lots of random pops and squeaks coming out of the dash, door panels and headliner when its cold. There is no hate this the truth.

If you are writing in KM, then you are living in Canada and there is no way, you could have got Model 3.

BTW, kilometers should be written in lower case as km and not KM.

Its pretty obvious what is going on here.

Several new usernames like Jayydeeee, sandbum, etc have all mysteriously just shown up in this thread to whine about mostly imaginary panel gaps, etc.

Anti-Tesla trolling.

I wonder why and I wonder which existing username shorters/haters that re-registered for new accounts?

He said model S. Read again.

Yeah but he was critical of Tesla. Surely his motives must be bad, his profile fake, and his claims nothing but lies…

It’s funny to see these people engaging in *exactly* the sort of behaviour they imagine they are attacking! Knee-jerk non-thinking attempts to promote a particular view with zero regard to honest consideration.

Well chuck, I think its highly probable when never before seen usernames suddenly appear on these Tesla threads to bash and FUD that someone is trolling.

If you are reading in English, it is clear that he specified Model S….

He said Model S . Please read , it’s in english , you should understand .

Thank you for your honesty, not everyone that spends a large amount of money on a purchase is willing to note the true faults. I understand that no machine is perfect and the level of support you get from the manufacturer goes a long way in keeping a customer happy. Keep us updated on how Tesla handled your issue.

There’s no way those are average on a luxury car. Further, “MacTechGenius” should not be considered the final arbiter of automotive quality–or even of Mac quality.

These are design issues which will takes many months to resolve completely, since car assembly no longer requires skilled artisans aligning panels – or at least it shouldn’t.

Tesla will need to revisit the basic design of these components, perform fresh tolerance analyses, and work with their suppliers and operations people to resolve the issues. This isn’t a matter of taking more time during assembly to align parts properly.

That side trim thing continues to appear, and it looks terrible. Many individual dimensions and tolerances contribute to just that one problem, and they’ll need teams of people to address them all.

Or, perhaps those using a magnifying glass to find very minor imperfections in the exterior fit-and-finish of Tesla Model 3’s, need to give a few other randomly chosen cars the same examination, as a reality check.

The only “cars” which are actually perfect in this regard are those impossibly perfect ones seen in car commercials and ads these days. Auto makers now all use CGI cars, rather than real ones, so they can show them at a level of perfection which very few if any real-world cars achieve.

Or perhaps those that claim other car makers have these same issues should find some evidence that that is true rather than just claiming it.

Choose any mass produced car. Literally any one at all. Go to Google, type in the make and model of the car, then type “panel gap”, and choose Images.

If you still claim that there is any car which doesn’t have these sorts of almost microscopic imperfections, do let us know.

I should have been more specific: When I said “mass produced”, I was excluding very expensive, partially hand-built cars such as a Rolls-Royce or a Ferrari. I can certainly believe that such high-end cars have care given to individual panel gaps during assembly.


You must not have any experience with cars nor had the opportunity to see one up close. Maybe one of those poor souls who are too poor to even get a driver’s ID to vote.

GM, BMW, Mercedes – they all have panel gaps. Even had a new Mercedes with a slight rattle. I have been in a TM3 and the fit/finish matches any entry level luxury car.

There’s a difference between a consistent panel gap and one of varying width. There’s also a width of gap that becomes completely unacceptable.

It’s my belief we all act foolish at times, and one calling another a fool is hypocrisy. Adding – “ish” conotates someone acting like a fool. In that, these “panel gappers” sound very foolish indeed and out themselves as such. Mercedes has a reputation that has lingered worldwide since the management changes in the nineties — of flaws, breakdowns and all sorts of quality issues in and beyond mere panel gaps or blemishes. Mercedes toils with this daily to regain their premier luxury mystique of days gone by. Facts of life and mass produced products = nothing is perfect. Show me one car short of a Rolls Royce that has no visable flaws and I’ll pay you in gold. Austin Martins are hand-built yet full of paint defects, panel imperfections, loose threads and misaligned stitches, let alone mechanical reliability issues. Many owners who dished out two times+ The price of a Tesla for their coveted 007 ride describe these imperfections as, “character” or “artisan” in nature! 🙂 They don’t love their cars any less. Take your wife (Please!), LOL. You love her, right? Is she perfect? Of course not. Perfect for you, maybe. So shut up. Shut your trolling mouths… Read more »

*Correction to my post:

Each Tesla has ONE moving part in it’s motor,not two.

Please correct if you can.


My post awaits moderation.

I worked hard to write a good clean post. It may be my best ever.

Sure hope it passes said moderation. Can’t see why it would not.

Because he didn’t say there were imperfections with other manufacturers. He said, other manufacturers do not have those problems. And you can’t find evidence for someting that does not exist.

But fortunately you took to the task and provided links to:
– not a new car, but one where the owner says that it happened later, possibly due to something stuck in the door (though I admit that a car should be able to handle minor misuse)
– a car from the seventies!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

How about this guys car?
It’s not like “imperfections” don’t occur to all other manufacturers.
Sounds like all those mdels have the same problem from a mature manufacturer.


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Here’s one on a show room floor…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

This one makes me sad…


I haven’t bought a new car in 20 years that has the misfits seen on new Teslas.

The side trim misalignment on the Model 3 isn’t “microscopic”; it is easily seen 20 feet away. It was evident in Demuro’s video, and it’s evident in this one, too.

The model which demuro used was extremely early one.
Go, check out the newer ones.
Misalignment doesn’t seem to be the problem anymore.
But, if there’s any issue then,
It’s regarding the panel gaps but, not the panel misalignment.

That’s what I noticed too.

Murrysville EV said:

“The side trim misalignment on the Model 3 isn’t “microscopic”; it is easily seen 20 feet away. It was evident in Demuro’s video, and it’s evident in this one, too.”

Good grief!

Get your lazy fracking arse out of your chair, go outside (or into your garage) and look at literally any car, including that one you drive every day but have never bothered to examine closely because you didn’t get it into your head that there would be panel misalignments or imperfectly spaced gaps before you looked at it!

Then come back here and apologize for all the B.S. you posted, or just admit you’re a serial Tesla basher who’s not at all interested in the Truth.

* * * * *

So why all the Tesla bashing here? That’s often or usually connected with Tesla stock price rising, so let’s look…

I see the Tesla stock price is up, WAY up, and it’s up rather sharply of late! Well, that explains all the increasingly desperate Tesla bashing here!

Bunch of losers… in every sense of the word LOSER! 🙄

I’ll honk, smile and wave at you whilst you fill up at the smelly petrol station or wait your turn at the one working L2, CCS or Chademo that isn’t out of order, Iced or taken.

You go ahead and don’t buy a Tesla so others can take your place. 🙂 200-340 miles of smooth electric bliss is mine with a swift Supercharger awaiting my next recharge. I’ll enjoy a destination charger or use my adapters too.

You TESLA BASHERS go ahead on. More power to ya…Or less, I should say. You go on being you as we Tesla owners happily pass you by.


You are seriously lying to yourself here. Most fit and finish issues with Teslas can be seen with a sub 5 minute inspection. No other quality car manufacturer has such easily/frequently detectable fit and finish issues.

There’s no need to find links to pictures.
I just walked out to my office parking lot. Over 5000+ high tech employees work here.

Sampling nearly-new Acura, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Tesla, Toyota, all sorts of GM, etc. Then I looked for the same things shown in the video in this article, it is CLEARLY evident that all vehicles have some minor misalignment/gap.

While other aspects of Tesla frustrates me, this aspect is clearly haters trying really hard to hate.

No need to reply to this – GO LOOK!

“No other quality car manufacturer has such easily/frequently detectable fit and finish issues.”

I hope you’re just lying, because I’d hate to think you’re really clueless enough to believe that bull pucky.

But if you really are that clueless, then next time you’re in a parking lot, take a few minutes to actually look at the cars around you, using the same critical examination you’re using here.

New username here to troll against Tesla using the exact same “concern trolling” MO of Six fake Electrics by pretending to own a Tesla and just pointing out this flaw and that….

Pretty obvious IMHO.

a detailed walkthrough reveals few issues with the build quality of the exterior, which were called “minor”
Yeah for American standards, a 15,000$ VW Golf doesn’t have those “minor” issues

Gosh yes, of the 1.38 million Google hits associated with “volkswagen golf panel gap”, one can easily see that all of them are perfect.

Just like this one:

Great example! That’ll show the “Tesla haters” (or EV enthusiasts who just want a nice vehicle), right?

Too bad, that image is from a thread of a person that pulled his bumper off when coming into contact with some sort of concrete object (the image is from another person with “similar issues”, though). This is not from a new car!


Perhaps you’re right. Most of the photos in that discussion thread have been blocked by Photobucket after they’ve been viewed too many times. But one of the comment says: “Car has been locked in my garage since I collected it and I drove it straight home. Was surprised it had 14 miles on the clock when I collected. There are no marks I can see on the bumper suggesting it has had a bump in transit.” http://www.vwroc.com/forums/topic/8738-panel-misalignment/?page=3 With 18 pages of discussion in a thread labeled “VW Golf R MK7 Chat — Panel Misalignment”, I think it’s safe to say that some actual, real-world VW owners don’t agree that all the panels on their cars were perfectly aligned, with perfectly spaced gaps, when they bought them. And why anyone would claim that all cars from any auto maker are perfect… I just don’t get it. It defies common sense. Heck, I’ll bet you can even find tiny misalignments on Ferrari cars, if you’re willing to look closely enough. Not that you literally need a magnifying glass, it’s just that people are looking at these pictures of Tesla cars as closely as people generally do when they are using a magnifying… Read more »


You are an embarrassment to Jameses all over the world.

Why don’t you go to BMW, Mercedes … dealers to examine to fit&finish of 3 series, C-Class ? They do have imperfection everywhere but no complains because they don’t use magnifying glass to look for it.

You would never get this on a Lexus, volvo,VW…..
Even my 11 year old Honda Civic MK8 has better finish.

Still at least the young Tesla is improving.

I used to work at a Lexus dealer. Their gaps are not perfect. Fixed lots of rattles and wind noises under warranty at the body shop. Not to mention water leaks.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“You would never get this on a Lexus”

lol, when I bought my Lexus quite a while back the hood was misaligned.
They did a fix then a month later it “drifted” (not the Tokyo type) and got misaligned again.
They fixed it again but I was watching and reading the screen as the sevice guy was scrolling on the computer and asked about the same entry prior to my first fix and dude said it was realigned/reworked when it came off the truck upon delivery.

So meh, sh1t like this happens.

No, at 0:45 is NOT minor and does NOT need a magnifying glass. The panel is misaligned so badly that it is pushing the rubber seal around.

Give me a break!

Seriously? This is what you’re complaining about? *Boggle*


If it was my car, I’d be very pleased that the exterior fit and finish is obviously better than the average car that you see in any parking lot!

This is hilarious. Here is a car that is leaps and bounds above any other car in the price class as far as performance, design, and technology any you guys are fussing over a few minor alignment issues of panels in cars that are in the first couple of thousand in the production line! Take a breath, step back, try to see the forest through trees. and get real. OMG

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They expect perfection from a new car company from a brand new model…….lol


Interesting that the hood was above the fenders on this car. I got to see a three yeatersay for about a half an hour. The hood was about 1.5mm below the fenders. In the video when he says the drivers side is perfectly aligned it is actually waay off! I’m sorry, but it makes these 40-60k cars look stupid. I won’t accept delivery of mine if it looks as bad as the one in this video. It’s an embarrassment, I don’t get how Tesla hasn’t solved this problem yet. This is the 4th car they’ve made now.

Get out of the cue then and let people like me who really want the car in. So ridiculous..

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Why some people think this isn’t an issue on other manufacturers who have been building cars for many decades is beyond me.

Doesn’t google.com exist?!?!?!?!?!?!?

So I suggest don’t buy the car and jump out of line………duh?
The others in line will gladly take your spot.



Just looked at my 2015 Nissan Leaf. Gaps around the headlights are clearly different on both sides. Passenger side of the hood doesn’t align with the front fender piece in the same way the driver’s side does. Trim on driver’s side doesn’t align between front and back doors.

Funny, I never even noticed these until now. Do I care? Nope. Will I ever notice them again? Nope. My Model 3 reservation remains in place.

The tech is impressive, but the manufacturing is still behind the standard. This is expected from a new company. I hope Tesla figures this out sooner than later.

Geez a few panel gaps. I don’t spend most of time staring at the outside of my car. I spend it driving the darn thing. What I can’t live with is squeaks and rattles most notably in the winter when all the plastic panels at -20C put the quality of the assembly into question. Bunch of SoCal nannies and your exterior panel gaps. My exterior panel gaps are covered in snow, ice and salt.

Good Lord. Should the video been titled “lack of fit and finish quality”?

Hey madbro you shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses. Last I checked GM isn’t known for their fit and finish even on their 40k plus cars.

You know we could probably cut Tesla a little slack since they are relatively new and figuring out all the kinks but the fact that GM has been around 150 years and still don’t have the panel gaps worked out is pretty sad.

If you want to see some real panel gaps take a look at this GM bolt:


Here is another Bolt with overspray problems:


Some more GM panel gaps: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/11/bad-panel-gaps-poor-quality/

To many to post but you get the idea.

Yes, the Lord is good.

Should another video be posted and entitled: “GM builds 26,000 $40,000 front wheel drive subcompact Bolts per year with no available ACC in sight and claims to beat Tesla”?

Don’t get me wrong , I like the Bolt EV… But you, bro1999 are a Tesla Hater. I follow your garbage all over the net. I out you whenever I can. You own GM stock and you bash Tesla. It’s what you do.

Hilarious to know I have an e-stalker. What am I eating for breakfast right now? 🙂

Keep it up, inspector gadget. Lol

LOL, you are probably eating CROW!

Good lord, MadBro’s Tesla posts should all be titled, “I’m a whiner on anything Tesla, but a fanboy on anything GM”.

There’s a few other people here where the opposite label should be used.

True to a point. The mountain Tesla has to climb is enormous. The Tesla bashers miniscule.

No car nor man is perfect. Fanboism is all around silly.

Yep, us TSLA realists have to keep the TSLA/Elon fanbois in check and keep some balance on IEVs, or else it would forever tip into TSLA fanboi-dom. 🙂

I have a 2015 tesla a 70d and the panel gaps were huge and some uneven bits. If it was not an electric car I would be very unhappy. However that was my only gripe. Everything else is awesome.

I think that looks kinda bad. But I am not in the habit of inspecting cars carefully and have never filmed them in this manner, isolating the flaws visually, so I’m not certain if it IS as bad as it seems, or quite typical for other brands as well.

It’d be cool to see something like this, but that compared, say three different car models and three cars of each kind or something. Clearly this would be a much more involved video to make, but it would also give us much more meaningful indication of what quality level Tesla is at.

Tesla panel gappers or just, “Gappers”, as I choose to call them, need an association and a logo. Michael Strahan can be their spokesman and they can meet bimonthly at The Gap in the mall.

If it’s a nice mall, they can then head over to the Tesla store with their micrometers, calipers, rulers and macro lenses to have fun doing what they do and posting what they post.

I wonder then, if groups will branch off and become the PGP (Panel Gap Police)? Going all over posting photos of panel gaps on everything from Cadillacs to UPS trucks and posting them on their new Facebook page?

Nayhh, they’ll only focus on Tesla. I especially like how the Gappers post for days about the imperfections they saw on a spy photo of a test mule. Very entertaining. Before Tesla, they used to post long commentaries on how Cindy Crawford was a fraud because of that unsightly mole she has on her chin…