Angry Model 3 Owner Sues Tesla Over Peeling Paint

Electric Vehicles / 12 Comments

Tesla refuses to issue a recall over bad paint.

After many setbacks, Tesla Model 3 production was finally sorted out over a year ago and the entry-level all-electric sedan has become a hot seller. Early Model 3 examples, however, came with quality control issues, such as poor interior stitching and exterior panel gaps. Tesla responded that these issues have since been worked out and customers have no reason to be concerned. However, a new class-action lawsuit begs to differ.

According to Car Complaints, a Model 3 owner in Canada has experienced some troubling issues with his car's exterior paint. The plaintiff, Jean-Francois Bellerose, claims his black 2019 Model 3 suffers from peeling paint on the bottoms of the doors and body after less than a year of ownership. When Bellerose first discovered the problem, he contacted Tesla only to be told the warranty doesn't cover this issue.

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The lawsuit states repainting the vehicle would cost about $5,000 CAD, a task that should be done in order to prevent it from not only losing value but also leaving it vulnerable to corrosion. Given Canada's cold and snowy winters, this will definitely become a problem if something isn't done. The suit specifically points out the paint coating really should exceed any new vehicle warranty by a few years.

Typically, Canadian car owners hold on to their vehicles for an average of at least eight years, though roughly a third don't buy new cars for 11 to 15 years. In other words, paint issues like this should not be happening only a few months after the initial purchase. But is Bellerose alone in this? Apparently not.

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Turns out there are additional Canadian Model 3 owners who have complained about paint problems. The Canadian TV network, or TVA, also ran a news segment about the problem. Outside of Canada, the lawsuit states Model 3 owners have complained about the same paint problems, but Tesla still refused to order a recall. Last fall, a few members of the Tesla Motors Club forum claimed they were experiencing similar issues.

Tesla has not yet responded to the lawsuit but it'll be interesting to see whether more Model 3 owners join the suit and if more are filed in other countries.

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