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Some Model 3 owners who paid $5,000 for a premium interior accuse Tesla of running a bait-and-switch

Published Jan 11th, 2018 8:00PM EST
Tesla Model 3

As it stands now, Model 3 production is still far behind the ambitious schedule Elon Musk and other Tesla executives touted early on. While Tesla was initially hoping to manufacture 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by December of 2017, the company is now aiming to meet that threshold by June of 2018.

That notwithstanding, Tesla has managed to ramp up production quite a bit in recent weeks. Despite a slow start, Tesla during its recent earnings report relayed that weekly production now stands at about 1,000 units per week. Interestingly enough, Tesla in a press release last week said that the company wants to “focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time.”

That’s a rational objective, to be sure, but there are now reports suggesting that some Model 3 owners aren’t exactly pleased with Tesla’s quality control.

Originally brought to light via Autoblog, a number of Model 3 owners who forked over an extra $5,000 for a premium upgrade on the interior are finding that their cars have been outfitted with less than premium materials.

Threads on both the Tesla Motors Club forum and Tesla Reddit page are filled with complaints from owners who say they’ve taken deliveries of the Model 3 sedan and paid $5,000 for premium upgrade packages but gotten interiors with cloth headliners, door accents, B-pillars and visors when they expected Alcantara.

To this point, one frustrated Model 3 user posted the following tweet earlier this week.

Not surprisingly, some users have called Tesla out for running a bait-and-switch scheme, especially since some of the press shots of the Model 3 look nicer than what’s being delivered.

For what it’s worth, Tesla provided the following statement to Electrek earlier today.

“As we continue to increase production of Model 3 and produce more high quality cars for customers, all Model 3 vehicles are being made with the same premium textile headliner found in our flagship Model S and Model X vehicles, which has always been planned at this stage of production.”

And as these things typically seem to go, the crux of most user frustration seems to be Tesla’s lack of transparency.

As one Redditor on the Tesla subreddit opined:

It’s not a big deal and if that were the ONLY option, I’d be fine with it, but knowing there was alcantra, and this mysteriously popped up, I’m disappointed. My guess is the rumor of the alcantra supplier going dark is true, and Tesla didn’t want to halt production and went with whatever crap they had laying around. Disappointed. I get it but they should have been telling consumers this.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.