A note from a car wash has made its way onto the forum over at Model3Club.com, a website that has been aggregating Tesla content since 2018. The note warns Tesla owners that from a car wash operators' perspective, the Model 3 is a liability and that damage may occur to the vehicle. The note also berates Tesla as "irresponsible" and informs owners they will be charged an additional $5 to have their car washed. The note reads:
Attention Tesla Owners
The Tesla’s Owner’s Manual says : “Caution: If washing in an automatic car wash, use Touchless car washes only. These car washes have no parts (brushes, etc). that touch the surfaces of Tesla’s. Using any other type of car wash could cause damage that is not covered by the warranty.” It also cautions to not use high pressure power washers on the cameras or parking sensors.
If The Manufacturer states “NOT TO USE CAR WASH”
We as a car wash operator cannot be held responsible for any damage caused! When the manufacture states it is not responsible! How can we be held liable when you are washing that manufacture says not to do so, and may cause Damage! We think it's irresponsible for a Manufacture of a mass produced vehicle to be build as "NOT" to be car wash friendly!
Also We Will be Charging an additional $5 for any Tesla or any vehicle we are required to drive through the tunnel for fear of vehicle locking, automatically locking in park, or other issues, such as large tires, oversize trucks etc... at salesman discretion!
The section from the Tesla Model 3 owner's manual that the note refers to says:
You can view the full Model 3 owners manual here.
The poor build quality of the Model 3 is something we have followed for nearly a year now. Most recently, we reported about a Quebec based mechanic that found up to 35 pounds of sand and dirt trapped in the underbody of numerous Model 3s.
The "mass accessible" electric car, which became infamous for having its bumpers fall off, was found to have a design flaw in its underbody that causes the car to trap and retain dirt, water and sand from roadways, according to electrek, who published an article detailing the flaw.
The blog pointed out that Tesla has "often been accused of designing cars for the Californian climate" and that water, dirt and sand used to de-ice roads in colder climates are susceptible to getting trapped in the underbody of Model 3 cars.
Hilariously, after the pro-Tesla rag says that Tesla vehicles have "performed extremely well in colder climates", it goes on to remind readers that some owners, including the editor of electrek himself, ran into "issues in Canada where things like the door handles, charge ports and frameless windows didn’t perform well in extremely cold weather". For those who missed it, here's our article from November 2018, inclusive of a video of editor Fred Lambert cursing at his Tesla.
"Jesus Christ!" Lambert exclaims about 53 seconds into the video, hands shaking from the cold, upon finally getting his door handle to pop out.
We had previously taken a look at the build quality of Tesla's Model 3 in mid-2018, highlighting reports of breakdowns and poor quality issues that seemed to be accelerating, judging by Tesla forums online and complaints on Twitter. What also seemed to be evident was Tesla's poor response time and overall poor ability to address these issues. We were able to find stories like this , where a Model 3 with 61 miles on it broke down. The user wrote on Tesla's forum:
Drove a total of 61 miles during the day to reach 69 on the same day. Parked vehicle, would not start. Error codes "Cannot Maintain Vehicle Power, Car may stop driving or shut down" "Car needs service, car may not restart".