A hot potato: Tesla peeps are usually an expressive bunch, so it's not hard to imagine how one's joy and excitement at meeting their expensive new high-tech EV is turned into frustration and disappointment at the sight of inconsistent panel gaps, loose seat belts, defective seals or misaligned steering. It's a problem that several Model Y buyers have been facing lately, with some refusing to take deliveries, while a few others have had theirs canceled altogether by Tesla due to manufacturing defects with its latest SUV.
Tesla has been rather busy making headlines over the past few weeks. Following the news of its production-ready Semi truck, the company's stock price went through the roof, briefly making it the most valuable carmaker in the world.
However, ever since the company's Fremont facility in California opened last month, new buyers of its Model Y SUV have been reporting some significant manufacturing defects. Electrek notes that a surprising number of people are now communicating these issues on multiple forums and are refusing to take deliveries, while a few end up having it proactively canceled by Tesla. In some cases, the company is still pushing for deliveries despite these defects.
Of course, most carmakers' first-gen models are usually susceptible to build quality issues, and these complaints are likely coming from a minority of Model Y buyers. However, this car uses the Model 3's platform, a vehicle which Tesla has spent years refining and now mass produces in its Shanghai factory in China, making it all the more unusual for a newer model to ship with such defects.
Ars Technica also reports on a crowdsourced checklist, which the Model Y community has created for helping new buyers in examining their vehicle before accepting delivery. Production problems with the Model Y haven't gone unnoticed by Elon Musk as a recently leaked internal email from Tesla's CEO confirmed that the company was having production challenges with the mid-size SUV.
Musk's controversial decision to re-open the Fremont factory was meant to ramp up Model Y production, and it seems like the company will take some time to return to pre-shutdown production levels. "It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs. I want you to know that it really makes a difference to Tesla right now," said Musk, adding that the company was doing "reasonably well" with the production of its other vehicles.
Tesla is also nearing its second quarter and reportedly had over 18,000 Model Y orders in the backlog for North American buyers as of last week. The rush to meet an estimated 8,200 Model Y deliveries in Q2 could also be why such issues are increasingly slipping through company's quality control.