Would any other automaker get away with this? No way.
Getting Tesla Model 3 production off the ground has not been easy. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was among the first to admit that. While these production issues are sorted out, build quality issues have come to our attention. Scan any of the Tesla owner forums out there and you'll read about some unfortunate situations where Model 3s simply don't function as they should. Examples include charging issues, a busted taillight (before being driven home from the dealership), and various other technical defects that shouldn't be happening.
Twitter user Brian Gluckman recently posted several photos showing the first Model 3 he saw in-person and, man, there are some bothersome quality issues going on here. There are exterior panel gaps, poor display of leather seat stitching, a broken piece of plastic under the frunk, and a center console that is not only hard to close, but will pop open again if closed too hard. There were even some paint job issues and chips. The trunk lid interior was also unpainted in this particular Model 3, but there was some sort of a weird fabric screen that'll do nothing to prevent road noise in the cabin.
The Model 3 in question was clearly photographed in a Tesla store, so we can fairly assume it's for sale or, at the very least, a production-spec demo model. If the quality control issues shown here were happening to any other automaker, like GM or Ford, people would rightly be going nuts. There'd be congressional hearings with demands for GM to return its bailout money, etc. Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. Like any other new car rolling off a production line today, there's no excuse for Tesla's build quality issues. It doesn't matter whether the Model 3 is the mainstream affordable model or the flagship, it needs to be done right.
As we've said before, Tesla cannot afford for the Model 3 to fail. Literally, it can't afford it because it could very well go out of business. From what we've learned so far, the Tesla Model 3 is off to a disappointing start. All photos courtesy of Brian Gluckman via Twitter.