You probably read about Ben Trudgill’s case here at InsideEVs. He had the first Tesla Model 3 paint issue case in the UK that we had heard about. Trudgill has been trying to get his car fixed ever since. And he hasn’t managed to repair it so far, but he had the paint job inspected.
The results are very similar to those Joni Savolainen obtained with his Finnish Chamber of Commerce’s inspection. Perhaps even more assertive: it “is not of a good standard for a new vehicle.”
Trudgill’s story was written on February 7, 2020. Ever since, we have not reported a new case. Not because they are not happening anymore: the Facebook group “Tesla Model S,3,X owners worldwide with paint issues” and its 1,689 members makes it very clear they have become so common they are not news anymore. What is news is clients suing Tesla for the issues, such as Jean-François Bellerose did in Canada. Or another inspection, such as the one Trudgill had.
The Tesla customer tried to solve his problem with the help of the Motor Ombudsman. This official resolution body helps car buyers solve issues by submitting the vehicles to an independent inspection.
In case it points out any problem, carmakers in the UK that have a legal agreement with the Motor Ombudsman are obliged to fix them. Trudgill learned that Tesla does not have such a deal with the entity. He was then left with discussing the matter with his finance company.
“They are liable for the condition of the vehicle at the point of sale. I argued that the paint quality is not up to standard.”
That argument was enough for the finance company to require a paint inspection to Dekra, a renowned car inspection provider in Europe and Latin America. When Trudgill received the results, he got in touch with InsideEVs to share them:
“Along with all the issues I’ve already mentioned, the paint varied from 150 micrometers to 175 micrometers on the bonnet, and everywhere else varied from 120 micrometers down to 46 micrometers!”
Trudgill was also kind enough to provide us with a copy of the report, which you can see in this article. Apart from informing that the paint job “is not of a good standard for a new vehicle,” the report also states that it has “thinning in places and paint flake with blemishes in others.” It also says that “the difference in paint thickness is not commensurate with other makes of new vehicles.”
The inspector mentions our articles on the paint issues and stresses the report “has been carried out without prejudice” and that his “overriding duty is to the court.” That implies the report can be used in a lawsuit if the finance company does not come to reasonable terms with Tesla. What about Trudgill?
“I’m hoping for a significant chunk of money back so that I can have it resprayed when it needs it more.”
We have no idea if Tesla managed to fix the paint shop in Fremont in the days it had to stop the plant due to COVID-19. If it didn’t, the company lost a fantastic opportunity to please its customers with better quality paint and to save a lot of money on repairs and legal compensations.