Tesla’s Model 3 rings in mixed reviews, still faces production delays

Production for the Model 3 undergoes planned pauses, Tesla says

Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s latest baby, the Model 3 EV, recently began its official rollout to the public following a whirlwind of coverage by the media, who have been watching its progress like hawks. And now that the Model 3 is beginning to fall into the hands of the most important determining factor of its success — the customer — the feedback on Model 3 itself is also rolling in.

Is the Tesla Model 3 as shockingly good as hoped for, and does it live up to the hype? Not so much, at least with flying colors. If you’ve been following the Model 3’s news stream, it’s been inundated with constant reports of production issues and complications. For instance, The Verge reported on Model 3 production issues at Tesla’s Gigafactory back in January. To this day, that’s still affecting Tesla’s ability to churn out these new vehicles.

In fact, we recently learned via a report from Bloomberg that Tesla temporarily suspended production of the Model 3 altogether from February 20 to 24. The break in production was predetermined, and was meant to help the company collect itself in preparation for producing an even higher volume of cars moving forward.

“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesman said in an emailed statement. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”

Fast forward to today, now that normal customers — meaning ones not directly affiliated to Tesla in any way — are receiving their Model 3, the feedback on the car itself seems to be mixed. More notably, the press hasn’t had much access to the Model 3 up until now either, despite it being in production since 2017. Thus, engineers around the world who typically get hired by other automakers to document a new car by disassembling it and reverse-engineering them, also haven’t been able to report their findings.

Now that engineers have been able to dissect a Model 3, the feedback is getting worse.

Back in February, a report from German news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung, written by renowned auto journalist Georg Kacher, revealed that a major German car company supposedly paid around 185,000 euros (or $230,000), about five times the Model 3’s typical asking price to obtain one. With reports from their engineers beginning to surface, CleanTechnica reports that the Germans seem impressed with the Model 3 in a number of ways.

They supposedly love the way everything is “compact, expandable, fully integrated, modular, easily accessible, well protected, low priced, and astonishingly clever,” Kacher wrote. The engineers also reported admiration for its design and its ability to comfort everyone inside, along with enough driving range to suit the needs of most people in daily use. And due to of the potency of electric motors, the Model 3’s acceleration made good impressions.

On the flipside, engineers at an independent “competitive benchmarking” company, Munro & Associates, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, didn’t have equally as nice things to say in their assessment of the Model 3. Other outlets published Munro & Associates’ remarks, which were all compiled in a YouTube video, with comparisons to build quality from a “1990s Kia” resonating most. Although Kia is doing great now, back in the 1990s, its cars weren’t worth much praise.

In the video, Munro & Associates engineers complain about the Model 3’s inconsistent gaps, shoddy build quality, and mending attempts. The owner of the firm, Sandy Munro, even said that he hasn’t seen stuff like this “since the 1970s.” We could assume he’s referring to the bygone era of the likes of British Leyland, with its reputation for some of the worst build quality automotive history has ever seen.

Even though these are only two accounts, reports are still coming in of unhappy and happy customers, with many even acknowledging these issues as “growing pains.”

Either way, it still seems Tesla has a long road ahead of itself to fix the Model 3’s production woes.

Updated on March 13: Added news that Tesla temporarily paused production of the Model 3 in February.

Gaming

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.