When we’re talking about Tesla these days, it tends to be something to do with the Model 3’s continued ‘production hell’. Production line bottlenecks have been well reported, and we all know by now that the Californian firm is way off its original build targets.
Today however, we’re looking at a different issue: the quality of the few Model 3s that Tesla has actually managed to build thus far. Initial reports from many haven’t exactly been glowing in this regard (who can forget that decidedly off door alignment seen on a Model 3 in Doug DeMuro’s in-depth look), but this particular look at the all-electric BMW 3-series rival is by far the most damning.
It comes from Sandy Munroe of Munro & Associates, a company specialising in the tear down of cars for competitive benchmarking studies. And Munroe does not like what he sees.
The company hasn’t even started the tear down yet, but already - as you’ll see in the video at the top of the page - Munroe has concerns about what might happen following an accident. The cut-off for the electrical system isn’t the easiest to get to, and the rear doors don’t have an emergency manual release, so in the event of a power failure, anyone back there would need to escape through the front doors.
He’s particularly bemused by an extra piece of fabric that’s seemingly been glued onto to one of the front doors to help it seal better, and isn’t at all impressed by the shut-lines, which aren’t just bad - they’re also inconsistent.
Anything else? Well, the door handles are deemed to be poorly designed, the tailgate isn’t the easiest to shut, and…we could go on for a while. And remember - this is just from an initial look at the car.
Munroe’s conclusion? “I don’t understand how it got to this point,” he said, adding, “These are flaws that we’d see on a Kia in the 90s.” Ouch.