Tesla boss Elon MuskTesla boss Elon Musk


Tesla Model 3 paint problems leads Elon Musk to advise people not to buy his cars as production is ramping up

Time 4 months ago

Tesla cars built towards the end of the 2020 may have dodgy paintwork and the billionaire boss Elon Musk has advised against buying them.

In a staggering interview with a respected industry analyst, Elon Musk warned people off buying Teslas built while the manufacturer was rapidly scaling up production.

The manufacturer, which has long-suffered suffered criticism for its build quality, has been ramping up its factories – especially so towards the end of last year as Tesla aimed to hit its 500,000 unit target.

In an interview with industry analyst Sandy Munro, Musk admitted that Tesla wasn’t letting the paint dry enough on its cars built towards the end of last year, even into December.

He said: ‘One of the things that was happening when we were ramping production was the paint wasn’t necessarily drying enough.

‘You just discover these things. If we knew them in advance, we would fix them in advance.’

Tesla Model 3

The billionaire boss also said that he advised friends against buying Teslas while the company was ramping up production.

He added: ‘It took us a while to iron out the production process, especially during the production ramp. 


‘Friends ask me: “When should I buy a Tesla?” And I’m like: “Well either buy it right at the beginning, or when production reaches a steady state.” 

‘But during that production ramp, it’s super hard to be in vertical climb mode and get everything right.’

[We chat about this story in the latest Car Dealer Podcast, published on Feb 5, link below]

There have been complaints rumbling about Tesla Model 3 paint quality for a while. A quick web search will reveal plenty of owners unhappy with their cars. A Facebook group for ‘worldwide paint issues’ on the car has 1,800 members.

And in last year’s JD Power reliability survey the brand finished last place in America.

The Tesla Model 3 has been climbing up the most popular new car sales charts in the UK and was the best selling car in December with 5,798 finding homes.

The Model 3 is the cheapest car in the Tesla range and starts at around £40,000.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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