From charging issues to touchscreen problems, the Tesla Model 3 has been plagued by a number of internal and external problems since its launch in 2017. This may come as a surprise to some, as the car has had—and continues to have—its fair share of praise. According to Clean Technica, the Model 3 is an award-winning favorite among EV enthusiasts around the world, and in June 2021, it becomes the first EV to surpass 1 million units sold worldwide.
So why do so many owners complain about the problem?
Critics point out that the answer may lie in quality control issues, and that Tesla has taken steps to address them. While some of these issues have been publicly addressed in the form of recalls – at the time of writing, Tesla has issued seven recalls for the Model 3 for 2022 – others are not getting the response they want and may end up filing class-action lawsuits against the company. If you’re considering buying a Model 3 electric vehicle, here are some of the complaints owners have made about the car.
Leaks and touchscreen issues
The Tesla Model 3 was recently ranked as one of the most overrated cars in a Jalopnik survey. While this ranking is entirely subjective, it appears that quality control issues may be one of the driving factors behind this perception. One common problem reported by some Model 3 owners is water leaks, which the car is reportedly prone to – including in the area behind the taillights. As highlighted in a series of images and reports posted by Inside EVs, if left unchecked this can trigger taillight condensation and rusting. Some Tesla owners have also reported charging issues that appear to be caused by software glitches and faulty charging ports – though fortunately many of these issues can be resolved by power cycling the vehicle.
Another potential problem reported by some drivers is the possibility of being locked out of the vehicle if the electronics fail or the application is interrupted, due to the lack of a physical key. Touchscreen issues and malfunctions are also something some Model 3 owners have had to deal with. in 2022, the manufacturer recalled 130,000 Tesla vehicles – including the 2022 Model 3 and Model Y – because their touchscreens overheating during fast charging, causing them to shut down completely, as first reported by the Associated Press. But some problems such as unresponsive screens can be fixed by restarting the display.
Paint issues seem to be a recurring theme
Some Tesla owners have reported that the paint on certain areas of the Model 3 such as around the wheel covers and fenders seems to degrade prematurely in cold weather due to the salt and sand on the road hitting the car while driving. The problem is apparently so widespread that it prompted Tesla to offer its customers a free weather protection kit to help protect the paint. 2019 saw a class-action lawsuit filed against the automaker by Jean-François Bellerose of Quebec, who allegedly noticed black paint peeling off the lower rocker panels of his Model 3 just six months after purchasing it.
However paint problems are not limited to cold weather driving, at least according to some owner reports, and unfortunately, quality control issues do not appear to be limited to the Model 3. For example, a Model Y customer in Luxembourg shared pictures of what he claims was a bad paint job when the vehicle was delivered, which he was allegedly told was an “internal profit” for the company. “.
Some Model 3 cars also have panel gap issues
Panel gaps are the lines between the doors or the lines located between the hood and fenders of a car, and they appear when parts are misaligned during assembly. While they don’t look attractive, then they rarely affect the performance of the car – unless it’s a huge mistake. At its initial launch, the Tesla Model 3 car was the subject of complaints about panel gaps. Michigan-based automotive industry veterans Munro & Associates scrutinized the Model 3, and the assessment included claims of potential quality issues involving panel gaps, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal in 2018.
Yet it appears this may no longer be an issue. That same year, Tesla pushed back to quell customer concerns in an article for Motor Trend. The automaker said that its EVs were built 40% better than earlier releases and had made necessary gap improvements in the trunk area, rear lights and rear 1/4 panel. Despite these possible quality control issues, many of which have been addressed over the years, demand for Tesla vehicles is at an all-time high. With demand seemingly greater than supply, the automaker is now focused on increasing production in 2022.