Thanks to a tipster, we've learned of some pretty weird things going on.
The Tesla Model 3 has been a regular news topic for both good and bad reasons. Let's start with the good. Here was an affordable ($35,000 base price before tax credits), absolutely stunning inside and out, all-electric sedan from the hottest automaker/high-tech company right now. Over 400,000 early customers placed deposits almost two years ago in order to get a spot in line. The Model 3, as Tesla and EV advocates are hoping, will be a major step towards revolutionizing an all-electric mobility future. Now for the bad news.
Tesla failed to meet production expectations last year and it's still working to get things under control at this very moment. As we previously reported, 2018 must be the year of the Model 3, otherwise Tesla will find itself in serious financial trouble. But while Tesla figures out how to build the promised 5,000 weekly units by the end of June, it's come to our attention there are some potentially serious quality issues currently plaguing early Model 3 owners. Thanks to a tipster, we've been directed to the Tesla Motors subreddit, Teslamotorclub.com and the official Tesla forum to be made aware of a number of Model 3 owner complaints, exposing several disturbing issues.
For example, an owner, who's had his car for only two weeks, cannot enter it, as shown in the included video. One morning he realized the owner's app had not updated for several hours. Upon heading into his garage, he discovered the Model 3 was completely "dead."
It was unresponsive with no lights, sounds, or activity. Even the key card failed to unlock the vehicle. The charging cable would also not disconnect. In short, this Model 3 was completely inaccessible. Good thing a baby or an animal was not stuck inside. And no, the owner is not a first time Tesla buyer; a Model S P85D is parked next to the Model 3. Point being is that this guy fully understands how Teslas are supposed to work. He's not a first-time and possibly confused buyer. This owner, however, was generally satisfied with his Model 3 before this new and, as of this writing, still unresolved issue began.
Another owner, from Denver, Colorado, reported hearing a "rattle and clunking noise every time (driving) over an irregular surface in the road." This happened on the way home from picking it up brand new from the Tesla store. They returned to the store the next day and a technician confirmed the noise. Unfortunately, this technician was unable to find or fix the noise and referred the owner to the service center, believing there could be a suspension problem. Because the service center was already backed up, however, the car could not be looked at for another week. Also, no loaner vehicles were available for the owner.
Another owner experienced several annoying issues within the first three weeks from driving it home. Heck, the taillights didn't even work on the day of delivery. That was quickly resolved on the spot, but still. Two weeks later, they received a proactive 12V alarm, essentially a warning indicating battery service is required. This is pretty much the absolute last thing you want to have happen when you own an EV. The indicator could also mean an outright battery replacement is needed. No service appointment was available for another two to three weeks, which is apparently the norm for an issue like this one. One week later, this guy's Model 3 did not power up at all.
Again, this all happened a mere three weeks after taking delivery. These are some of the most serious issues we've discovered and the overall majority of early Model 3 owners are happy with their cars. Less intrusive issues uncovered include minor software glitches, like a charge port that kept opening and closing, and a parking brake error, as well as a few minor cosmetic build quality issues. At this point it's important to remember not all new cars are completely immune to certain problems, especially in the first model year. Automakers work out the glitches relatively quickly. Sometimes a recall is required, other times not. But the general takeaway from this is, as we see it, two things:
There are some Model 3s out there with some potentially serious battery and software glitches as well as possible suspension issues, and a growing concern Tesla service centers are not capable of handling, in a reasonable time period, these vehicles coming in for the required repairs. Given Tesla's goal to increase Model 3 production in the coming months, both issues, and all things related, must be resolved. Of course some Tesla die-hards will continue making excuses for the brand, but there's no way whatsoever on this planet or on Mars, another automaker, such as GM, would get away with its EVs having problems like these.
Oh wait, the Chevrolet Bolt has had a clean record so far. Just saying. If you're a Tesla Model 3 owner with a story to tell, good or bad, we'd love to hear from you. Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.