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Early Tesla Model Y shows significant build quality issues

A review of the build quality of an early Tesla Model Y production unit shows some significant issues.

Like other automakers, Tesla has had issues with the build quality of early production of new vehicle programs.

However, with Tesla operating in the luxury segment, it is often held to higher standards, and many are considering some of those issues to be unacceptable for $50,000+ cars.

On the upside, the automaker showed some improvements with the early Model 3, and people were expecting Tesla to keep the trend going with the Model Y.

Tesla only had time to make and deliver a few thousand Model Y vehicles before having to shut down its factory due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We have seen only a few reviews of the build quality of the new electric SUV. A review of its paint by a detailer and manufacturing expert Sandy Munro did note a few panel gaps and trim problems on his Model Y before tearing it down.

Now YouTube channel Car Confections got their hands on an early Tesla Model Y and reviewed its build quality.

Drew, one of the car reviewers for Car Confections, prefaced the whole video by making it clear that he is not a “Tesla hater,” which is almost necessary to do nowadays due to Tesla fans being quite aggressive and dismissive on anything negative about the company, and that he even owns a Model 3.

Here’s his review of the Model Y build quality:

The first build quality issue that he noted was problems with panel gaps:

The gaps on this vehicle, all around it, are very variable.

He found several trims and panels to be misaligned:

Drew also found some moisture building up in the rear left taillight of the Model Y.

Then moving to inside the car, he noted what he believes was “the most egregious fault in this Model Y” — the motorized lift gate gets stuck for a half a second every time it opens:

I don’t know how it made it out of the factory. This is really bad.

Inside, he did point out a few problematic trims — the most important one being the one behind the second-row seat:

Overall, he concluded that it is not really what you would expect in terms of build quality for $70,000 car.

Electrek’s Take

I thought the review was fair. Some of those issues I really didn’t care about, like the seat not automatically falling down when pressing the release.

In most vehicles, the release only unlatches the seat, and then you can push a little on it to fall down, which you are probably going to do anyway since you normally want to put something on top of it when folding it down.

Also, the carpet in the front was kind of a nitpicky complaint, even in a build quality issue.

However, the rest was really fair, and there’s certainly a lot of room for improvements on Tesla’s part.

My Model 3 had this same issue with the rear left taillight building up moisture, which is a known widespread issue. You would have thought that they would have figured it out by now.

Some of the panel gaps and trim problems, like the one on the backseat, are also not acceptable in my opinion.

Hopefully, Tesla is able to address those issues and ramp up quality control when they restart Model Y production.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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