Will Quality Be An Issue For Tesla Model 3?

Tesla Model 3

APR 25 2017 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 95

If the Model 3 follows in the footsteps of both the Model S and Model X, then yes, quality will be an issue at the start, at least.

Automotive News recently published an article that likens Tesla to failed automaker British Leyland.

Tesla Model 3 Release Candidate

Here’s a passage from the article that basically sums up the point being made:

“…back in the ’70s, when Musk was getting around on a Schwinn Sting-Ray, poor quality prematurely killed many British Leyland vehicles that should have been segment leaders or at least very competitive. Cars overheated, shorted out, leaked every fluid under the hood and suffered egregious quality problems that saddled the company with a reputation it could never outrun, even when quality improved.”

The article then rambles on and on with little pertinent information, but the point is clear. If the Model 3, which should be in the hand of hundreds of thousands of owners in a couple years’ time, suffers initial quality problems, Tesla, as an automaker, might fail.

Automotive News adds:

“Tesla’s first two vehicles have had their share of quality glitches, electrical and software gremlins in the Model S, and problems with the falcon-wing doors in the Model X show that, even with testing, plenty of issues have slipped by Tesla’s product development engineers.”

The difference is that the S and X have a limited market of mostly early adopters who are willing to overlook such issues in order to drive the future. The Model 3 grabs a wider swath of buyers, many of whom won’t be willing to look the other way.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Tesla

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95 Comments on "Will Quality Be An Issue For Tesla Model 3?"

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John C

Ace in the hole is EVs have a lot fewer parts and are simpler than ICE vehicles

Apples and Oranges imo

John

While mechanically that is true…I think it is the little things that could hurt them the most.

Door & window seals, rattles & squeaks and electrical problems could swamp service centers and provide a lot of negative word-of-mouth feedback among potential customers.

F150 Brian

+1
A vehicle is more than a motor.

And the Model 3, while doing things simpler is still doing it differently that previous products. 100% reliance on the floating digital center console as opposed to built in gauges. HVAC without traditional vents. who know what other laundry list of differences…

Note that in the North, things like HVAC, windshield antifreeze, windsheild wipers and other mundane things can disable a car. Clearly these have no reliance on an ICE arch.

John

The non-traditional vents worry me.
In Kansas, we get the worst of both worlds. It can hit 20 below zero in the winter and 120 in the summer. I don’t car how good your AC is, unless you’ve got cold air blasting directly in your face, it’s HOT!

Steven Morehouse

Then you should be excited about the non-traditional vents. Perhaps they’ll work better 🙂 Point is, Tesla has a pretty good track record of showing us different can be every bit as good – and usually better.

But 120? really? I lived in Saudia Arabia for 5 years and it rarely got that hot… and surely Saudia Arabia is hotter than Kansas? (I lived in Kansas too, but I was a baby so I don’t recall).

Pushmi-Pullyu

“But 120? really?”

No, not really. He’s citing the all-time high record temperature set back in the Dust Bowl days of 1936.

I’ve lived in the Western, Central, and Eastern parts of the Great State of Kansas, and it very seldom gets above, oh, 103-105° F even on the very hottest summer days… global warming notwithstanding.

The worst is when we have 100+ temperatures for many days in a row. According to records at the site linked below, for Wichita KS, there were two 9-day streaks of 100+ degree temperatures from mid-July to early August in 2012.

But the people who live in Dubai would laugh at us for being wimps! 😉

https://www.weather.gov/ict/climate100degrees

SKPnSF

I’m with John. Heat/cool ME first with direct air, then the cabin. The additional benefit is less energy usage to heat/cool passengers versus the entire cabin.

mx

From the DUD one owner experienced with the Bolt, I think this is GM’s problem.

Tesla has the same factory and engineers of the Model S on the Model 3, so less risk to consumer.

F150 Brian

That is seriously poor logic.

Do you think the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was not engineered and built by people who worked on previous Note models? That didn’t turn out so well did it?

mx

Yes, I wouldn’t touch as Samsung.

Steven Morehouse

Huh? Brian has a point… logic just isn’t your thing.

Jmollard

mx has a point too. You can always find exceptions to the rule (like Samsung 7), but the rule in this case is “experience produces quality” (like Samsung 6 & earlier)…

Bob

Those engineers did a great job on the S driveline, over 60% replaced…and how about those gull wing doors

Eric B.

Also Keep in mind all of the first Model 3 cars will got to Tesla and Space X employee. They will find any gremlins hiding in the cars before it hits general public.

MarkT

and the first customer releases will be in CA where they’ll be close to HQ for further enhancements. Tesla can’t afford poor quality as their service centers are overwhelmed.

Didier

I “ordered” a model 3 and it is *also* to “drive the future”. And I trust Tesla will do its best before and after le delivery.

And I know that my Tesla 3 will definitively have *no* issue regarding pollution while the VW of my neighbours is slowly but surely killing my family…

AlphaEdge

I feel revulsion at all the ICE cars on the road. So many rich people here, driving high end luxury cars and SUV’s, polluting my air. It sickens me, that they have the money to make the difference, and aren’t.

Even had some moron the other day, burning oil like crazy, huge amounts of smoke coming out of their tailpipe, and I tried to block my nose and mouth as they went by, but I could still taste/smell that awful stuff. I’m sure they had a broken cylinder ring, and will not last long at that rate.

Car buying choice should involve be a lone for five minutes with the vehicle running in a enclosed space to help make the decision. EV every time will win.

We are so bloody damn oblivious to all the junk we are putting in the atmosphere.

georgeS

Alpha Edge,
Americans don’t worry about all the greenhouse gases they put into the atmosphere.

Why?

They simply deny the science. Pretty simple.

AlphaEdge

I’m in Canada, and they are just as dense as here. If anything the American’s are doing a better job, as percentage wise, they sell a lot more EV’s.

The only saving grace I see, it’s starting to turn around, and I see a lot of Model S’s around town.

Lou Grinzo

SOME Americans view the world and act as you describe, and I strongly suspect that they bother me more than you.

I’m an American and I drive a Leaf, recharged with 100% green electrons. I’ve devoted my professional life to climate and energy issues since 2003. We’re in very deep trouble thanks to climate change, so the plug-in car and renewables transitions literally can’t happen too soon.

Djoni

Just to be sure you know.
Greenhouse gas and pollution is two different things, or at least one is not necessarily the other.
Poison is a thing, greenhouse another.
Running your ICE engine in your garage will asphyxiate you, but you won’t die of overheating.

Paul Smith

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution

Steven Morehouse

A local guy won $21M in the lottery and he’s in the paper saying how he’ll get that big $100k diesel pickup he’s always wanted. Sigh. Here he has the ability to easily afford a Model X or S and have the best of both worlds and he CHOOSES to be a disgusting pig.

I was at the Chevy dealer two days ago asking about the Bolt. That went nowhere but I told him I had a deposit on a Tesla and he assumed an S or X and he’s like “why, for that kind of money you could have one of these” and he points at a Corvette. I asked him what the plug in range was on that. He didn’t get it.

I like your idea of having to sit in an enclosed room lol.

Nix

“I could still taste/smell that awful stuff”

that’s why they eat the slim-jim’s from the truck stops….

*grin*

Seriously though, they’ve convinced themselves that pollution that causes 200,000 premature deaths in the US each year isn’t a risk to them. And that the only thing to be afraid of is the 1 in 3.64 billion chance/yr of an American being murdered in a refugee terrorist attack. Sad.

Only a fool would think a company with 100% track history of poor initial quality to be any different just because a new model is coming out. I, and probably many others familiar with Tesla, expect initial quality of Tesla 3 to be poor. But we’ll be in it for long, not short.

If anything, any improvement in initial quality will be an unexpected surprise. In that regard, Tesla can’t go wrong.

georgeS

Sparky,

“Only a fool would think a company with 100% track history of poor initial quality to be any different just because a new model is coming out.”

This shouldn’t be a problem for the general public since the first cars will go to Tesla employees.

An article I saw claimed there could be as many as 10,000 employee cars.

Brian f

10,000 employee cars sounds reasonable. Tesla has ~25000 employees in the US, mostly in CA and NV and SpaceX has another 6000. I could imagine at least 1/4 of them reserving (some reserving 2), so 10k is easily possible.

needa

This ignores all of the issues that will come down the pipeline after those ten k are built. To those ten k mind you. And the time it takes to modify components and get those into production. All while still producing mod 3s at a rate of 3-4k a month.

You can’t just say the employees will get all of the duds and from then on out all cars will be perfect.

Steven Morehouse

Who’s looking for “perfect” though? Yes, we CAN say that all the significant bugs will be worked out with those 10k. Things like “ugly” or “don’t like the interior”… those aren’t bugs or flaws, those are opinions. But if they discover (just as an example) that the door handles break off after 100 uses… yeah, that’s going to be fixed before you or I get ours.

M3 - Reserved

Tesla is just keeping a very tight production schedule on a new build and platform.

GM took 6months to Fit/Finish the product with production run and testing. Tesla is doing it in 3months it seems. They are pushing the envelope and have shown the ‘okay to give to customers an imperfect product’ as others have pointed out — niche group willing to tolerate this.

Not so much in the Model 3 as a very different customer group. Initial adopters will be more tolerant and West coast — less issue with weather seals. Down here in San Diego, I wouldn’t really notice (or care since windows down most of the time) of imperfect seals. Very different if in NYC though.

Service centers WILL be busy, no doubt, and that is where the real rubber will meet the road for Tesla to perform.

Eric B.

Also Keep in mind all of the first Model 3 cars will got to Tesla and Space X employee. They will find any gremlins hiding in the cars before it hits general public.

Someone out there

The most obvious ones will yes but sometimes it takes a little while for problems to show up.

needa

Not looking for perfect, but am looking for a car that will last ten years without costing a monthly car payment every month to keep it running once the warranty runs out.
People are finding that this is hard to do with the Model S. So it does worry me.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“This shouldn’t be a problem for the general public since the first cars will go to Tesla employees.”

That will certainly provide Tesla an opportunity to identify and hopefully correct early production problems, and kudos to Tesla for doing the smart thing in that regard.

But (and I speak as a Tesla fan) Tesla must make a greater effort to actually correct those problems ASAP; more of an effort to do that in a timely fashion than they have done in the past; better than Tesla did in correcting early production problems in the Model S and X.

Identifying a problem doesn’t help much if you don’t correct it.

FS

BenG,

At the rate they want to build, 10k production vehicles will be made in a snap. By the time they would get feedback, investigate and fix, they would have released a vastly larger number… with the same defects. So testing will be made (as usual) in a significantly smaller number of pre-production units.

Toni

Well, all the things that were an issue in the first ModelS cars were not an issue on the first Model X units. Unless there are entirely new and unseen features on the M3 (like falcon wing doors) there won’t be many components that will go into the car that are not already tested in the field.

Roy_H

+1

This is the main thing that gives me hope. They have learned from the Model S and X. Also they are aiming for 100% automated assembly, once the bugs are worked out quality should be very high.

Hoping is fine, but expectation is not. I also hope the initial quality to be good since they had some practice, but I don’t expect it. The article is saying Tesla could fail if the initial quality is poor, which is nonsense. Simple google search shows Tesla’s initial quality woes, and those who plunked down $1K for reservation would’ve done some research.

Pushmi-Pullyu
I agree. Suggestions that Tesla could or would fail if there are a lot of quality problems in the Model 3, are very likely overblown. That’s exactly the same kind of thing the serial Tesla bashers have been saying for years, and I don’t think it’s true now any more than it has been when they’ve predicted it in the past. In fact, I think it’s far less likely now that Tesla actually has some years of mass production manufacturing experience. No, the issue isn’t really whether Tesla will live or die; the question is how fast Tesla will grow. The question is whether or not there really is a market for ~400,000 Model 3’s per year, as Tesla thinks. If the M3 gets a reputation for serious quality problems, that is going to cut into the market potential. It could cut into that a lot, if the problems are severe and commonplace. Mind you, it’s not that I think it’s entirely impossible for the Model 3 to fail so badly that it causes Tesla to collapse. But I think that’s highly unlikely. Most of those who are predicting that are invested, emotionally or financially or both, in hoping for… Read more »
Someone out there

You need to factor in competition as well. For the S and X there weren’t really any competition at least if you wanted an EV. With the model 3 however, we already have the Bolt and will be getting the next gen LEAF shortly after model 3 launch. If model 3 gets a reputation of bad build quality it is very possible that people will cancel their reservations and go with the LEAF or Bolt instead. That could be disastrous for Tesla as it will be very difficult to raise cash to go on if the model 3 fails to meet sales expectations.

JP

GM has no intention of competing with Tesla, so you don’t have to worry about people cancelling their reservations to buy a Bolt instead. It will take about 10 years for GM to manufacture as many Bolts as Tesla has Model 3 pre-orders. Also, I’m not going to drive to California or NY/NJ to buy one.

(Not to mention, the Bolt doesn’t *look* like a car I would want to drive. And this is coming from someone who drove a 2005 Prius for 12 years.)

Heck, the new Toyota Prius Prime (a plug-in) is “available nationwide” (since December 2016) but that doesn’t mean your local Toyota dealer has one on the lot for you to look at.

No one is competing with Tesla. Every other manufacturer is just trying to preserve their ability to sell cars in California.

BenG

I think Toyota has plans for the Prime. A company leader said that they aim for the Prime to have a similar arc as the Gen 2 Prius. That would put them well over 100,000 sales/year in the US at peak, with world-wide sales approaching 300,000. That is ambition on the level of the Model 3.

They priced it aggressively, but, IMO they need to restore the 5th back seat to reach that level of sales. That should be doable with tweaks to the suspension to enable more weight.

needa

This is soooo not true.

Steven Morehouse

And its way more than just learning from previous models. As Musk said in that quarterly a couple months ago… with the S and X they were dealing with the worst teams from Tier 3 suppliers. For the model 3 they have the best teams from the Tier 1 suppliers. They’ve also attracted top talent in every field rather than relying on whoever they could get to take a chance on them (and those “whoevers” did a fantastic job in my view!). Media keeps harping on the quality problems of the S and X, but really… it was all minor stuff! Those were and are fantastic cars! OK, maybe those issues shouldn’t be there if you consider it a $100k “luxury” vehicle, but I don’t look at it that way. I see it as a technological marvel and a environmental game changer… that just happens to be fairly luxurious. Perspective.

“it was all minor stuff!”

Yup. It’s not like they had to replace the drive motor on bunch of their cars. Oh wait…

Pushmi-Pullyu

You took the words right out of my keyboard. 😉

Yeah, what was it, something like 13% of Model S’s had to have the drive unit replaced? And that wasn’t just for a few months early in production; that went on for years! Problems with motor alignment, motor mounts, possibly the reduction gear not being robust enough so that it “made a milling noise” indicating excessive wear…

Those are not minor problems. Yeah, the other things were mostly minor. But the ongoing problems with the extending Model S door handles; that may be mechanically or electronically a “minor problem”, but if you can’t even get the door to open when you want to get in the car, then that’s a major problem for the driver!

leafowner

IMHO – yes there will be some issues — but Tesla has now been down this road 3 times so hopefully the issues will be fewer. Also – the Model 3 will utilize many components from OEMs that supply the entire industry (not unique like the gull wing doors) — so again likely fewer issues. Lastly, they now have more experience making an all-electric drive train than anyone…..so again hopefully fewer issues……

theflew

The issues might be fewer but the volume is a lot larger. The recent Tesla recall was 53k vehicles. Now, imagine a similar recall once the model 3 is out nationwide.

ffbj

Although only Tesla only expects to actually service only %5 of those vehicles, and the recall was voluntary too.

A lot of Chicken Little, the sky is falling, mentality going around. But that’s to be expected. Just wait and see what happens.

I think it will be a model of marvel and wonders, (wonder where my HUD is)? that an upstart car company can achieve in a few short years what the legacy industry has been saying always & forever, couldn’t be done.

Always & Forever, we can’t make an ev, cause batteries that last are a dream to me.–The Legacy Car industry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Ppx9FdCjE

But now the music is changing, and Tesla is playing that tune & travelling to the beat of a different drum.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMVvRImExKc

georgeS

ffbj,
thx for that Linda R song. God she was pretty.

She has MS now. Bummer

ffbj

Oh, man. That is a bummer. I did not know that. Although MS has much better treatment options these days.

Steven Morehouse

People hear “recall” and they envision the car actually getting returned or something. It was a little gear that MIGHT cause an inconvenience to ~2% of vehicles. Tesla decided to get out in front of it and deal with it. That’s a POSITIVE thing, not something to say there’s a quality problem.

Nix

Brembo is paying for that recall. Why is that a risk for Tesla?

If there is a recall of a large number of cars, the large number of sales would be what fund the recalls. All that matters is dollars per unit. Tesla quantifies this risk in their SEC filings. There is always a dollar value placed on expected future warranty/recall costs, just like every other car maker. Here is how they account for accrued warranty:

“Warranties

We provide a manufacturer’s warranty on all vehicles, production powertrain components and systems sales, and we accrue warranty reserves upon delivery to the customer. Warranty reserves include management’s best estimate of the projected costs to repair or to replace items under warranty. These estimates are based on actual claims incurred to-date and an estimate of the nature, frequency and costs of future claims.”

This isn’t the first time any car company has built a car. All of this is old hat in the automotive industry, and already accounted for.

Pushmi-Pullyu

As I understand it, the “parking brake pawl” recall is a voluntary, preemptive recall; not one that is in response to any customer complaints or safety problems.

Not exactly what I would call a hit to Tesla’s superior reputation!

But I’m sure serial Tesla bashers will rush to “explain” why it’s a serious problem. 😉

another_leaf_driver

Tesla will turn to a BL only if Elon decides to start up a few other electric car companies and produce vehicles that compete fiercely against each other draining the resources and decline to use any bits not invented in their division. BL heritage also dictates that they should also fit a square steering wheel in at least some models.

But most importantly make sure the trade unions arrange frequent stoppages and constantly demonstrate outside the factories demanding more money and less working hours.

Toni

BL?

Drew

British Leyland, referenced in the article….. took me moment to figure it out.

Kdawg

Who makes posts about the actual article? Sheesh. 😀

Pushmi-Pullyu

What, we’re supposed to read the article before commenting? Who invented that rule?

/snark

alohart

See article: BL -> British Leyland

needa

Looks at article. No instances of ‘BL’.

Chris O

So true, quality problems invariably kill carmakers. That’s why Toyota is the only carmaker left these days. Oh wait…Hmm, maybe quality isn’t the only factor in the decision making process, especially if teething problems are fixed at the expense of a carmaker that’s improving its building quality *a lot* quicker than the rest of the pack did.

Most carmakers still recall cars by the millions BTW and most still have serious quality issues most of which are fixed on their customer’s dime once the warranty runs out.

Drew

Tesla’s plan to prioritize current Tesla owners in receiving the Model 3 should help if there are any quality issues on extremely early vehicles. If quality issues persist past the first 30,000 units, then the thesis of this article is quite possible.

Alex Clabburn

Good point. I hadnt thought of that. Musk prioritising original customers was presented as a big ‘thank you’ for helping Tesla survive and grow but actually gives them an even larger pool of loyal and sympathetic user testers. I’m pretty confident they will pull this off. They have been building electric sedans for a pretty long time now and although I realise this is a different vehicle they have surely learned a lot in that time.

Rightofthepeople

Hyundai had very poor quality initially. Those cars were cheap garbage. They have since recovered and are now a large and thriving player in the industry with a respectable reputation for quality. So it can be done, just sayin.

needa

Key word there is cheap.

Tesla 3 will be the cheapest 200+ miles range EV that we know of. I doubt many (any?) could match the price, performance and utility (towing capability, supercharger network) at $35K.

Even if Tesla is perceived as old Hyundai unreliable econocar company, the fact that Tesla 3 delivers value will let it proceed like Hyundai has.

Kdawg

“Tesla 3 will be”… and then insert anything you want.

I’m in a wait-and-see mode. I can’t get too excited about the “will-be’s”. There are supposedly a lot of “will-be’s” coming.

I’m only quoting what Tesla has stated. If you think Tesla will break their promise, that’s a different story. As it stands, Tesla 3 will be the lowest MSRP EV that can travel 200+ miles, towing ability, etc.

needa

I don’t see it that way Spark. They will be the first, sort-of, but in 2019 (when the masses will have an opportunity to get the 3) and 2020 we are going to have an influx. Whether those cars will be easily purchased in Tennessee is another story altogether. We will have VeeDub’s charging infrastructure halfway finished, and we will have a selection of EVs that are going to be every bit as good as the 3. Not to mention they will undoubtedly have interiors with more buttons to press.

ffbj

Tesla has the highest resale value of any car & they also spend less time before they are resold.

pjwood1

I think fad risk is greater. Do people want AV emphasized, and driving de-emphasized or impeeded?

ffbj

Probably one of the most invalid comparisons between car companies that could ever be made.
BL-A conglomeration of almost a dozen companies, cobbled together, under the BL banner. Partially nationalized in the 1970’s, when stingray bikes where already passe’, it was not disrupting an industry, most of it’s brands were already failing, when the government took them over.
So where are are these similarities?
I guess you will have to ask the boneheads over at Automotive News. Just another part of the smear campaign vs Tesla.
It’s well financed, so expect to see more garbage like this as they up the volume on this tale of woe and warning.

I mean these guys are supposed to know what they are talking about when it comes to cars, but their whole argument is just a crock.

G2

Concur; the article conflates issues that are not comparable.
Pretty much an ‘Apples to Rubic cube’ comparison.

Martin

There is a reason Model 3 will not use any new technology that the Model S/X does not have. Model S/X is used to test new tech and production line. Most manufacturers have more problems with their untested new feature full ultra luxury models then their simple base models eco cars that use established technology. Expect fewer problems than Models S/X. But still new model on new assembly line with new workers. Expect initial bugs like every manufacturer has in those circumstances. Electric powertrain is much simpler. Most other parts are bought from same part suppliers as other makers. Still buggy at first but expect less problems.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Every new model from the ground up will have issues.
Anyone who thinks or expects there to be none is smokin the good $h!t.
😛

Pinewold

Agreed, I can remember when Toyotas and Honda’s rusted on arrival due to long journeys from Japan. Both learned quickly and gave zinc baths to their cars to make them last longer than industry average without rusting. Quality is all about process maturity and Toyota wins because their process take 10 years to certify a part for their cars. People forget that Nissan Leaf had frame issues in first 30k cars and battery issues and is now one of the most reliable cars.

Mister G

Not in my case, my 2016 Leaf SV lost 2 bars around 18k miles in central Florida.

William

That is exactly opposite of what I am experiencing on the 18 month old (10/15 build date) 30 kWh 2016 Leaf SV battery with only 8K miles. Still at between 100%-98% capacity.

Pushmi-Pullyu
“Every new model from the ground up will have issues. “Anyone who thinks or expects there to be none is smokin the good $h!t. ? ” Thank you! At last we have someone who gets to the heart of the matter and speaks Truth. Tesla won’t put any new tech into the Model 3? Of course it will! Don’t be taken in by Elon’s rather desperate attempts to avoid the Osborne Effect on current sales of the Models S and X. Now, that’s not to say the M3 will have much in the way of “cowbell” that the MS and MX doesn’t; but that’s a different question. For the M3, Tesla will be using new tech to reduce costs. We Tesla fans need to face the reality that Tesla is skipping probably at least two stages of the pre-production and initial production development process which more established auto makers (like GM) put all their new models through; stages which help weed out problems with reliability and fit-and-finish. Now, we Tesla fans can hope that the steps Tesla has taken, such as restricting initial Model 3 sales to Tesla employees only, will ameliorate the likelihood for serious quality problems that this… Read more »
Nix
Tesla indeed has had quality problems with initial Model S units. It took a while for quality of their first production car to come up. But unlike British Leyland, who continued to have quality problems year after year, decade after decade, Tesla steadily improved quality. The Model S quality and reliability has been upgraded by third parties who provide those ratings. The Model S is now about typical in quality among it’s peers from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. The Model X went through the same thing, but faster. After just a few months, Tesla reported a 93% improvement in quality. In other words, Tesla got faster at cleaning up quality problems with their second vehicle. The Model 3 will surely have some initial problems. Literally every single line of cars from every car maker have their highest problem with quality in their first vehicles in a new line of cars. This is why going back a century, the conventional wisdom has always been that the conservative approach is to buy the second year of a new ICE car model. This isn’t something new, or something unique to Tesla. However, that is where the comparison to British Leyland again fails. BL’s… Read more »
pjwood1

I agree. Tesla quality issues are way over-blown. Model 3 is designed to be easy to build. That’s why I’d sooner point to other threats.

There’s a big difference between a rattle or an offset trim piece, and an engine light taking your car off the road. People like to count problems with Tesla, and don’t respect much whether they are big or small.

needa

All I know is I have been broken down on the side of the road exactly once (timing belt) in fifteen or twenty years. Knock on wood. I have been broken down in the driveway once or twice in that time also (battery). And I am the world’s worst when it comes to maintenance on my vehicles, as i do everything myself. I also have never had a vehicle that wasn’t at least five years old and have kept those vehicles for at least five more years.

I would expect that same from any vehicle I buy. I don’t think that is too much to ask. To tell someone they should expect to have issues because all cars have them is a bit of a stretch.

BenG
Model S reliability, as rated by the Consumer Reports survey results, has climbed remarkably the last few years, from much worse than average in 2014, to average in 2015, to much better than average in 2016. CR’s predicted reliability for the S is average, but if Tesla pulls off another year at better than average for 2017 that will go up. Model X on the other hand we only have 1 year’s results: much worse than average for 2017. We also have Tesla telling us, and anecdotal evidence, that quality/reliability is significantly improved from that of the first 6 months, but we’ll see how much they actually pull it up compared to the competition. The X was one of the worst cars rated in 2016, IINM. The advice to hold off a year if you are concerned about reliability is smart, no matter the new car model. Even the most reliable makes like Toyota sometimes have problems in the first year of a new model. The Model 3 is unlikely to have quite the teething pains that the X did, because that vehicle pushed the boundaries of auto manufacturing in so many different areas, but I will not be at… Read more »
Nix

+1

Tim Miser

The reason the Brits drink warm beer is because British-Leyland made their refrigerators.

Someone out there

No, it’s because their beer actually tastes good. Ice cold numbs your tongue so it can’t taste anything, that’s why American beer is ice cold.

James

Plant doubt.

First and best strategy ICEmakers can buy and pay for in the media.

First it was, “those dangerous electric cars catch fire!”. I still hear that occasionally, believe it or not.

Now, it’s “Oh, Tesla is like a cheap MG from Britain in the 1970s!”…Oh boyeeee…

Those British cars were literally a joke. I mean, they leaked oil, they broke down every other day.

Even the mention of this article is a space-filler here. Sure, it’ll bring out the anti-Tesla folks saying: “Oh, yeah – SO TRUE! – Tesla, means bad quality!”…

blah blah blahhh…

I’ll take my chances with a car whose motor has one working part. That needs brake pads every 100,000 miles and doesn’t use gas.

You go ahead and take yours with a motor that has 400+ friction-oily parts, needs filters, mufflers, sensors, oil changes, adjustments and such…And have fun at your annual emissions test!

Triumph TR6 owner

James, the leaking oil provides some rust protection for the frame, and lets you know there’s still some oil in the sump! The true problem with BL cars was Lucas Electrics (The Prince of Dimness)

🙂

evnow

Auto News : If Model 3 fails Tesla fails.

Duh !

fred

There is nothing to get excited about here. Tesla is moving into a different market. The percentage of wealthy buyers wanting to make a political/environmental statement will drop dramatically, and the percentage of people needing practical, reliable transportation will go up significantly.

Luxury goods vs commodities. It is rare, though not impossible, for a company to be successful in both markets.

SKPnSF

I think I recently read somewhere that a head at BMW dev admitted they get their cars about 85%-90% before they release to the pubic. The remaining issues are worked out by the customers. I guess it’s a cost/benefit game. And, of course, how they handle that 10%-15% issues with the customer is crucial.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Altho I consider myself a strong Tesla fan, this is one issue that is, no joke, a serious problem. Tesla has had significant issues with manufacturing quality issues the beginning, and Tesla’s drive to quickly ramp up quantity has come at the expense of improving quality.

I’m glad that Tesla’s reliability rating from Consumer Reports has improved significantly over the past year or two; here’s hoping Tesla continues to improve that.

Tesla must establish and maintain a higher standard for reliability and fit-and-finish with the Model 3, even as they ramp up production at a much faster rate than ever. If they don’t, sales will certainly suffer.

I don’t think this is just my opinion, either. Consumers pay attention these days when cars get a bad rep for reliability. The days when Detroit could build craptastic cars and Americans would buy them anyway, are long gone.

JeremyK

Quality is an issue with almost every vehicle launch. There are teething problems, even with the most experience auto manufacturers.

Tesla would like their fans and investors to think that they’ve got some kind of secret sauce that allows them to skip design, validation, and manufacturing steps that everyone else has to go through. Sure, these stages can be skipped (in the interest of improving timing) but they can’t be skipped without consequences.

I think that Tesla must be in a position where they’re screwed if they don’t get the Model 3 to market this year and they’re screwed if they get it to market this year but it is full of flaws/bugs.

They’ve definitely taken to heart, the phrase, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

If Tesla is smart, they will have a VERY cautious ramp schedule. That way, any problems that are found after a few months of production won’t be impossible to get their arms around. They should hold production to less than 1000/mo until things are running very smoothly.

BenG

Yep, slow ramp would be smart.

The one thing that could really put a hurting on the enterprise would be if they ramped up to high volume, then a bad battery problem emerged.

Replacing a 100,000 batteries would be a real problem.