Tesla’s quality control problems force buyers to resort to self-checks

Tesla’s quality control problems force buyers to resort to self-checks

Is this a sad comment on Tesla quality, a testament to ingenuity, a disappointing cash grab, or a little bit of all three?

  • Persistent Quality Issues: Tesla EVs continue to suffer from a variety of quality problems, including misaligned panels, unpainted parts, and faulty interior components.
  • New Owner Concerns: The prevalence of these problems has led to anxiety among new Tesla buyers, prompting the creation and sale of pre-delivery inspection checklists.
  • Profiting from Problems: One Tesla owner capitalizes on these concerns by selling printable checklists to help buyers identify potential defects before taking delivery.

It’s fair to say that Tesla’s relationship with quality control is checkered. Quality issues have become frequent enough that a Tesla owner is now selling delivery checklists to help new owners go through their cars and ensure that nothing will fall off on the way out of the showroom.

The checklists are for sale on Etsy and, according to the product information section, were created by a Tesla owner to “take the stress out of figuring out what to look for that needs to be fixed!”

Each checklist costs $4.99 and comes as a printable PDF, including photos to help new owners pinpoint any errors or flaws. Seller EverydayChrisTesla offers lists for the Cybertruck, Model X, Model Y, Model 3, and even the latest Model 3 “Highland”.

Journalist E.W. Niedermeyer points out that these checklists aren’t actually new. Back in the early days of Tesla, when it only sold the Model S, forum members used to pass checklists around to help each other out. As Niedermeyer notes, the lists were originally created when “everyone thought these quality problems were ‘teething issues’.” Years later, the quality problems persist, and now at least one Tesla owner is trying to profit off it.

Although I find selling the list a little opportunistic, it’s easy to see why people are willing to buy it. We’ve covered a wide variety of quality problems in recent years, ranging from a Tesla Model Y with improperly aligned door seals, another with an unpainted door jamb, a Model S owner who found countless poorly installed trim pieces, and more. Even its most recent vehicle, the Cybertruck, has been affected by misaligned panel gaps and other issues.

The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, has previously admitted that quality issues need to be addressed and, more recently, Tesla was looking for a manager who would be in charge of eliminating “the reasons for our cars to require service.” However, the company’s history of dealing with clients isn’t great.

Tesla has previously hired teams to divert calls about range issues, has shown itself to be more interested in avoiding liability than helping customers, and has allegedly long known about design issues in suspensions that it attempted to blame on customers’ driving habits.

No wonder buyers feel like they need to do their own quality control checks.

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