5,000 Model 3 Owners Bare All

Coast2Coast

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Bloomberg just published this very detailed, wide ranging and revealing survey of 5,000 Model 3 owners.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-tesla-model-3-survey/market-evolution.html#intro

Most impressive to me, a non-Tesla owner, is the after-the-fact, continuous improvement (kaizen) model Tesla has adopted. The rest of the auto industry also relies on continuous improvement, but Tesla has been willing to get cars out the door quickly and fix things later while, at the same time, striving to improve quality on the production line. The willingness to sell cars early - some would say to use customers as beta testers - distinguishes Tesla.

It's an interesting trade-off: would you rather get your Rivian early and deal with some after purchase problems or wait to pick up a problems-free Rivian?

For us, that doesn't seem to be an available choice. Clearly Rivian is going for the problems-free delivery approach. I've already been waiting for 19 months. I'll gladly wait another 8-10 months for a problems-free R1S or will it be a R1T? I'm still stuck on that most basic of choices.
 

socalgord

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My strong preference is for Rivian to release a high quality product from the get go. The old "you only get one chance to make a first impression" thing. Tesla was extremely lucky that they have such a strong following that appears to be perfectly willing and able to accept issues that would not be considered acceptable for other manufacturers. I strongly believe the tide is changing on Tesla and the more typical consumers are starting to complain louder and louder about Tesla's manufacturing issues (whether real or perceived). I am certainly OK with continuous improvements on the software side through over-the-air updates, but I want the quality in the hardware to be there from Day 1.
 

ajdelange

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Keep in mind that these things are computers that happen to have motors. Just as with other computers there will be a continuous stream of bug fixes, new features, security improvements etc. That's going to be the case with Rivian too.
 

Billyk24

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Keep in mind that these things are computers that happen to have motors. Just as with other computers there will be a continuous stream of bug fixes, new features, security improvements etc. That's going to be the case with Rivian too.
Tesla is well known for quality control issues with paint, fit and finish. Reading deeper into the Tesla forums one realizes issues with software continue. All news about Tesla isn't positive.
 

ajdelange

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Tesla certainly collected some well deserved black eyes for problems with paint, fit and finish and mainly with service but these problems have in large measure gone away. Tesla has learned some hard lessons but they have learned them.

Software bugs were never so glaring a problem but naturally many of the new releases have contained bug fixes and future releases will continue to do so. There really aren't any continuing "issues" with software that I as a driver am aware of unless you are referring to FSD. I used to have an AI section in my department so perhaps I have more reasonable expectations of what to expect from AI - the perpetual promise of great things by the end of the year - than those who are intending to pay for their cars by putting them into robotaxi service. So most of us look at the software updates as a potential source of new features for our cars. Some are silly (Caraoke, fart simulator) but others are not such as improved charging speed, better range and, in the last, much improved information about the super charger network.
 

Billyk24

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Here is a report from a Model 3 owner:
Issues for me were same on Model 3.

1. Non-functional blind side indicators.
2. Adaptive cruise is Beta and lots of phantom braking and unexpected speed changes.
3. No Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
5. Lane departure alert non-functional. AutoSteer works but if you don't want full Autosteer that safety is missing. Autosteer is also Beta.
6. Single screen and not enough dedicated controls for key functions, cruise, shift, wipers, HVAC, radio.
7. Loud rough ride.
8. No rear wiper.
9. Tesla service issues. Communication mostly.
10. No 360 view and Tesla proximity not good. Scraped front bumper. Knocked off mudflap and bent wheel.
11. No inline screen for key functions.
reading deeper into the Tesla owner forums, one can obtain additional information that all is not good with auto-pilot. Issues with recognizing and dealing with real world conditions is not bullet proof. If auto-pilot has issues then how in the heck can full self driving be what fanboys claim it is? Link for the above: https://www.macheforum.com/site/threads/decided-to-cancelled-mach-e-for-a-model-y.796/
 

Pherdnut

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Fit & finish issues are avoidable. In that regard, Tesla has just been very sloppy and more market-minded than brand or product-minded. And I'll believe Musk has learned from the Y when the CT, an aggressively priced, much more exotic vehicle with a lot fewer shared parts, is also released with no more than a reasonable number of new model oversights.

Continuous improvement in regards to stuff like navigation, efficiency and performance are great. But I think Tesla is again being overly market-minded and downright reckless in both the promises and the naming conventions they've used for automation to date.

Rivian won me over with attention to detail. They have big ideas but they don't move or make promises while step 2 is still "?" and not being publicly traded removes the temptation to do so.

As such, the only problems I expect from being an early adopter of their product are the kinds of problems you could only discover once you have 50k+ vehicles on the road with 30k+ miles on them, not problems that could have easily been spotted at the end of an assembly line.
 

electruck

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...and not being publicly traded removes the temptation to do so.
Don't underestimate the pressure from Rivian's investors - there will be pressure to deliver vehicles and start generating revenue and eventually profits. It's also a different ballgame once the assembly line is in motion - not quite as simple to make corrections at that point as when things are still in engineering/pre-production phases.

That's reality, however... I do hope that Rivian delivers far better fit and finish than Tesla who still continues to struggle with such things. I will of course be annoyed by any and all problems but things that can be sorted by an OTA update will be far less of an annoyance than poor panel alignment and paint issues that may or may not ever get resolved post-delivery.
 

ajdelange

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The comments of people here who don't own Teslas and are sure that the Rivians just have to be much better because the Tesla's are so bad are really entertaining. I'd suggest that those folks go re-read the Bloomberg report.

Yes, Tesla experienced what Musk called "production hell" and was (and still are, I think) producing cars in tents and lots of them had scratches and paint chips early on but, surprise, surprise, the kaizen model works and the frequency of those problems went down to about a third of what they were at their worst in Feb 2019 by September of that same year. Of especial interest is that JD Powers reported on average of 91 problems per new car in that year across all manufacturers. The M3 defects exceeded that number only in Feb and by Sept were down to 35 - way less than the Powers average. Thus Tesla's are clearly better than the average car in this regard and we should be hoping that Rivian is as good as Tesla. But note that the Bloomberg and Powers numbers aren't exact apples to apples comparisons as the time periods differed.

The other fascinating result, IMO, is that owner satisfaction with the M3 was 99.6% which, as the report says ,is most unusual for any consumer product, let alone automobiles.

The willingness to sell cars early - some would say to use customers as beta testers - distinguishes Tesla.
Certainly other manufacturers have beta tested their vehicles using the market place. What distinguishes Tesla is that it has survived doing this and that's clearly because the cars are so pleasing to its customers as compared to say, DeLorean's or Tucker's attempts. While the post purchase flaws are evidently fewer than with the average manufacturer I think the buyer of a Tesla or Rivian is fully cognizant that he is not buying a car - he is buying a computer system with wheels and I suspect, though I really can't find much evidence for it especially in these forums where I would have thought it would be clear, that technically oriented people would be more inclined to buy than Italian Art History majors. I would think, therefore, that they would have more realistic expectations

In any case I hope that the build quality and reliability of my Rivian will be as good as that of the Teslas I own or have owned and fully expect that it will be but I also fully expect that Rivian will experience some ramp up problems and that those will resolved in "white glove" fashion, just as Rivian has promised they will be.
 

LeoH

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I owned a 60S Tesla and I currently have a 90D. As a car, the ride is amazing and more comfortable than most luxury vehicles ( I personally still can't find a ride better than the Lexus LS ), however I had a lot of annoying issues with it, and their service is by far the worst I have experienced. They have a lot of exclusions in their warranty, for example, squeeks and rattles are covered only for the first 12 months or 12K miles; this is critical because electric cars are quiet, so these noises appear more often, I was told that is normal operation and I should start listening to different type of music ( I listen to classical, apparently I have to switch to heavy metal )

With all my disappointments, I have to give Tesla credit as they deserve a lot of it. They were the first to enter the market and bully big manufacturers, using pure electric technology. We all know what happened with the Fisker Karma, so what Tesla achieved is not a joke, its colossal.

As for Rivian, I feel better about their staff, RJ is a freaking genius and they do not seem to do any publicity stunts. Personally, this gives me comfort but that's a personal preference rather than a proved theory.
 

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More or less on the same topic (which should be in off topic section as this is a Rivian forum haha) first EVto hit 400 miles. Could have been Rivian but they were a little bit too slow! Oh well! They will be the First EV SUV/TRUCK to do so.
 

Pherdnut

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The problem has not gone away:

https://electrek.co/2020/06/16/tesla-model-y-quality-issues/

This is what I'm talking about with the publicly traded factor. Pressure from a select group of investors is one thing. Constant pressure every quarter from people who know nothing about your business other than what it's done for them lately, is another.
 

ajdelange

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Yes, they have, in large measure which doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. Tesla being dead last isn't of course, good news and excellent ammunition for Tesla FUD acolytes, those trying to justify their selection of a Rivian rather than a Tesla ("There's nothing your Mac can do that my PC can't" - my boss actually said that to me once) but the more level headed will say "Hmmm. What does this mean) and go look at the data (as laid out in the link). Here it is:

UntitledJDP.png


It's appalling. The average vehicle ships with 1.66 and the best with 1.36 flaws per car (on average). Oh well. I suppose a modern car is a very complex system. It is interesting and instructive to look at a histogram manufacturers with respect to their PP100 relative to the average. Here that is

PP100Histo.jpg


So Tesla and Land Rover are the "outliers" with PP100 worse than the average by 30 - 35%. That's not a good place to be, of course, but is 30% more gremlins than average really a problem? You, dear reader, decide that. Now let's look at the rogues gallery of manufacturers whose PP100 is worse than 110% of average: Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Audi, Land Rover and Tesla. That's not too bad a group to be lumped in with.

So indeed it does seem to be clear that customer satisfaction is not correlated with high r to PP100 but PP100 is hardly an overall measure of vehicle quality. Tesla makes a fine vehicle - no doubt about that but I have had niggling problems as have many people and it often relates to the high tech aspects of the beast such as software programmable seat positioning (if you can believe such a thing) or the very mundane like a gasket not fully seated.

Now I am excluding from this the "autopilot". That's a joke. Anyone who knows anything about automation knows its a joke and if you believe that "robo taxi" is coming in the next 10 years you are rather naive. This does not mean that the speed control and lanekeeping are not a great benefit. They make it possible for even an old guy like me to comfortably do 12 hrs behind the wheel.

The RIvian is
1)A very high tech machine
2)Lacking in "lessons learned" from production history
3)Lacking in "lessons learned" from hundreds of millions of miles on the road

It is, therefore, my feeling that Rivian will initially be worse than Tesla is today WRT reliability i.e. about as bad as Tesla was at its worst. The mitigation for this is "white glove" handling of problem situations which I fully expect, at least initially.
 
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DucRider

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It is, therefore, my feeling that Rivian will initially be worse than Tesla is today WRT reliability i.e. about as bad as Tesla was at its worst. The mitigation for this is "white glove" handling of problem situations which I fully expect, at least initially.
This study is on "Initial quality" and has little to no relationship with reliability.

Tesla is notorious for somewhat shoddy workmanship, and if they count every spot with a paint issue and every misaligned panel gap as separate flaws, I can easily see how they could hit that number.
It's quite a leap to assume Rivian will be as bad or worse than Tesla - everything I've seen shows a great attention to detail. Their funding also mitigates the absolute need to create revenue immediately. Tesla has been on the verge of folding multiple times and only by fast forwarding (skipping steps) product development and production were they able to avoid it. Rivian seems to be concentrating on building out the factory and assembly before producing vehicles to ship instead of trying to do both simultaneously.

We won;t know for sure until we see production vehicles, but delivering Tesla quality vehicles to Amazon is highly unlikely. I expect all their finished vehicles to be pretty buttoned down before they begin deliveries.
 
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