Finnish Goods Inspection Finds Tesla Model 3 Paint Is Soft And Thin

Which leads to peeling and chipping marks after just one month of use.

We thought Tesla Model 3 paint problems were long gone, especially after Tiaan Krige, owner of  AP3 Paint Protection Services and a specialist in paint protection, said the problems were probably just a production hiccup. Perhaps, but this hiccup was shipped to Europe and has just been delivered to new owners that are very displeased to notice them. Such as Joni Savolainen.

He received his Tesla Model 3 on March 29 and one month later, on April 29, he started to notice that its paint was wearing off. When he complained about the problems at Tesla’s store, he was just informed that they were not covered by the warranty.

Savolainen was obviously not happy to hear that and asked the Finnish Chamber of Commerce for a goods inspection. According to its website, it consists of “technical audits on goods and services”. And the result was not good for Tesla.

The report states there is incomplete paint around “the front and rear hinges, from the underside of the doors, the A and B pillars”, that the fitting of doors and hatches is “inadequate”, contributing to damage to the paint on door openings.

The design of the wheel arches also contributes to these damages, since it allows the wheels to throw small rocks on the paint. Mudflaps could probably help avoid that, but they would certainly worsen aerodynamics and the range of the car.

Thickness tests showed that the paint was not even. In some places, it averaged 106 microns, well below the industry’s average of 110 to 150 microns. But it gets worse. Some areas had just around 70 microns of paint.

The report even claims that in the most affected areas the paint was “well below the lower tolerance range given by the manufacturer”.

When it comes to hardness, through a test called Wolff-Wilborn pencil scratch test, with a hardness compared to that of pencils, Savolainen’s Model 3 presented an “F”. The standard is normally 2H or even 3H, which is even harder. You can check the hardness scale on the graphic above.

If this was due to rushing things up to deliver Model 3 units in the beginning, Tesla should probably start to address the matter in a better way than saying damages are not covered by warranty. And a friendly one.

Savolainen stresses he is not alone, with around 15 other owners complaining about the same issues. They will probably sue the company for a new car or at least to get a decent paint job. Savolainen has already checked how much it would cost and he was given a € 5,300 quotation.

That’s around $5,900 at current exchange rates. Much cheaper than a brand-new Tesla Model 3. Or 16. Or many more.

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