Tesla Counters Disparaging Model 3 Quality Report
Tesla Inc. claims it has made significant improvements to the assembly quality of its Model 3 electric sedan to fix shortcomings found in an independent teardown assessment by Munro & Associates Inc.
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Munro praised the car’s technology but found signs of sloppy assembly. Tesla says one of the cars Munro evaluated was a relatively early sample not indicative of its current quality.
The company says the standard deviation of panel gaps and offsets across the car has improved an average of nearly 40% and now is on par with high-end German vehicles. In particular, the carmaker points to visible upgrades in the Model 3’s trunk, rear lamps and rear quarter panel.
Munro says the Model 3 is heavier—despite extensive use of aluminum—and more expensive to produce than similarly sized cars. The report suggests Tesla could “drastically slash” cost and weight by studying industry best practices and addressing low-hanging fruit, such reducing its excessive use of body sealant.
The second Model 3, which was produced later this year, showed signs of improvement, Munro notes. The company also praised Tesla for its advanced battery system and overall electronics expertise, including the sophistication and integration of various control units. Another highlight: A unique HVAC vent system that allows for a clean dashboard.
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)
PennEngineering makes hundreds of different fasteners for the automotive industry with standard and custom products as well as automated assembly solutions. Discover how they’re used and how to select the right one. (Sponsored Content)