Why Is Tesla Paint So Bad? [Causes & Solutions]

While Tesla cars excel at almost everything, recently, there have been a lot of complaints regarding Tesla paint issues. Owners often question; why is Tesla paint so bad, especially the owners of Tesla Model 3. 

Elon musk has explained the reasons as he attributed the paint problem to the painting process in the Fremont factory. 

The paint defects in models like tesla 3 and tesla Y happen as the Fremont factory isn’t good enough and sometimes the speeding up of the manufacturing process worsen things as well. 

Here, we’ll seek the reasons behind Tesla paint being bad, tesla paint warranty, if they’ll fix it, and more. 

Why Is Tesla Paint So Bad?

Why Is Tesla Paint So Bad?

Tesla paints, especially the Model 3, has known to exhibit several paint problems. Let’s take a look at what causes the problem in the first place. 

On the show’s 1-on-1 with Sandy, Elon Musk was asked this very question. According to Musk, Tesla paint isn’t bad. Rather, it’s the painting process that’s at fault here. 

Musk attributed the failure of their Fremont factory to this failure. This paint shop was established 60 years ago, and since then, it has been remodeled through a collaboration of Gm/Toyota and is known as the NUMMI factory now. 

Later on, Tesla refurbished the paint shop to make it suitable for water-based painting processes and to reduce emissions to meet California standards. However, it still isn’t suitable for painting water-based paint. 

The building itself isn’t large enough, so it can’t facilitate the long drying process water-based paints require. 

Musk further elaborated that due to speeding up some of the heating processes, the paint acquires defects that are invisible to the naked eye. 

So, when the factory reaches a higher production demand at the end of a quarter, it speeds up the manufacturing process. To do so, it has to reduce the drying time to some extent, and that leaves the cars with certain paint defects. 

This is why the paint issues are seen with Tesla Model 3 and Model Y mostly. These cars have been produced since their early days. Their failure to identify the defect and incapability of their paint shop is what causes the issue. 

Also, since this problem pertains only to the cars painted in this shop, it’s irrational to claim every Tesla has bad paint. The newer models, such as the X or S, don’t exhibit this problem. 

Furthermore, the Tesla Model 3 and Y painted in other paint shops across the world don’t exhibit this problem either. This is why the same models in Europe or China can have much better paint quality compared to that in the US. 

Will Tesla Fix Paint Issues?

Yes, Tesla will fix their paint issues. The preparations and already in order. 

As discussed, the bad paint job isn’t caused due to defective paint but rather due to the incapability of their paint shop in Fremont. That being said, the other factories, such as Giga Shanghai and Giga Berlin tasked with painting Tesla cars, are manufacturing vehicles with decent paint jobs. 

Giga Berlin is equipped with advanced technology from Geico Taikisha to ensure a proper paint process. 

As of this moment, Giga Texas is being upgraded with the same equipment to make it more efficient and effective. In the 1-on-1 Show, Elon hinted that both Fremont and Shanghai are set to receive the same upgrades. 

Once these factories are upgraded, they’re likely to offer the same performance as the Giga Berlin and Shanghai ones. 

This would solve the paint issue. So, we can say that Tesla will fix the paint issue, but we need to wait until they upgrade their US factories. 

Does the Tesla Paint Warranty Cover Defect?

If you’re experiencing bad paint with your Tesla Model 3 or Y, you may be wondering if you can avail the Tesla warranty. Good news for you, yes, Tesla does cover defective paint under their warranty. 

However, whether you’ll be able to avail the warranty or not depends on a lot of factors. Firstly, the vehicle’s warranty covers paint for only three years of 36,000 miles. 

Now, if the car you drive was purchased more than 3 years ago or has been driven more than 36,000 miles, you should give up your hopes for the warranty. 

That’s not the only factor in play here. If the company detects that your vehicle was constantly exposed to sunlight or acid rain, it may revoke the warranty. 

So, it’s up to you to convince us that your vehicle was well maintained and wasn’t driven under harsh conditions frequently. If you can convince them of this, there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to get your vehicle repainted for no additional cost. 

Does Paint Wash Off a Tesla?

Depends on the type of paint you’re considering. If you’re planning on spray painting your Tesla, you’ll be able to wash the paint off easily. 

All you need for this is a clean rag and alcohol. Use a light touch, so you don’t damage the paint job underneath. Also, the sooner you clean the spray paint, the easier it will be. 

Safest Tesla Color

Those who don’t have a Tesla already might wonder which Tesla paint color is the most durable

Honestly, there’s no specific color or Tesla paint that’s the safest or most durable. Still, if you want to opt for the safest color, we’d recommend Pearl white or silver. 

The reasoning behind this is that these colors hide dirt and grime the best. On the other hand, the dirt will pop on the black finish. So, you’ll have to wash the white ones less frequently, in turn reducing the chances of damaging your car’s paint. 


Now, you’ve got clarification regarding why tesla paint may seem bad. While there’s nothing wrong with the paint, a rushed painting process is leading to defective paint in Tesla cars, especially in Model 3 and Y. 

If you opt for other models, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience paint-related problems. Even if you opt for these cars, make sure to apply Tesla ceramic coating to make them last longer. 

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