Tesla Model 3 Teardown Shows Amazing Tech And Manufacturing Facepalm

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Tesla has made a big name for itself in a relatively brief time as the go-to company for high-tech and long-range electric vehicles. Tesla's cars look very good on the outside, but what about the parts under the skin that we can’t see? Engineering company Munro & Associates has taken Tesla's latest car, the Model 3, and torn the car apart to see how well it is built.

According to the engineering firm, where Tesla truly excels is in the battery pack and related power electronics. Munro & Associates went so far as to say that it was "shocked" by the advanced techniques that Tesla used in integrating the battery and electronics. This sort of electronics and battery excellence is said to be the "brilliance" of Tesla.

The vehicle wasn't entirely brilliant in its design and execution according to Munro. Some complaints have been noted by Tesla owners including ill-fitting body panels. Munro reckons that this is due to the use of a mixture of robotic welding techniques that made for a sloppily-joined together steel skeleton of the car known as a body-in-white. The poor fit and finish of the basic structure of the car leads to quality problems on the completed car, leaving owners to deal with uneven gaps between panels and improperly aligned parts.

That sort of poor workmanship leads to eyesores on the vehicle, but can also contribute to incredibly annoying squeaks and rattles in the finished car. Munro is clear in stating that his firm's analysis of the Model 3 is not complete, so it is too early to directly compare the Model 3 to other EVs it has torn down in a similar manner.

The specific Model 3 that the company used for the teardown was fully loaded and was purchased from another buyer in December for $72,000. The car had never been driven before delivery and teardown. Munro did note that this specific car was held back by Tesla for an extra two weeks before delivery for an unspecified quality issue. Munro says that his company has purchased a second Model 3 and that the second vehicle was better in quality, but only slightly.

Tesla did make comments on the specific car that Munro tore down, stating that it was built in 2017 and that the production process it uses have been "significantly refined" since then. Munro's team found some very odd processes used in the car, including a suspension control arm damper weight that had been secured using glue and industrial-strength zip ties. The body of the Model 3 was described as the heaviest the firm has ever seen (for its size) noting that Tesla needlessly added weight to some areas of the car.

Tesla has been besieged with issues in its production methods, and as a result has missed its production goals. CEO Elon Musk has promised 24/7 manufacturing to push production rates to 6,000 cars per week by the summer.