AD #2860 – Tesla Model Y Quality Issues; Subaru Legacy Sport Impressions; BMW Updates the M5 Sedan

June 17th, 2020 at 11:50am

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Listen to “AD #2860 – Tesla Model Y Quality Issues; Subaru Legacy Sport Impressions; BMW Updates the M5 Sedan” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:25

0:07 GM Asks for Moment of Silence for George Floyd
0:59 Tesla Model Y Quality Issues
2:16 How Audi Improved the e-tron’s Aerodynamics
3:05 VW Paying Extra to Get Full Control of Audi
3:55 2020 Subaru Legacy Sport Impressions
5:41 Lamborghini Urus Gets 1st Custom Options
6:50 BMW Updates the M5 Sedan
8:00 How Silicon Carbide Chips Can Improve EV Range
9:52 Mercedes-AMG Develops New Electrified Turbocharger

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43 Comments to “AD #2860 – Tesla Model Y Quality Issues; Subaru Legacy Sport Impressions; BMW Updates the M5 Sedan”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla seems to have quality issues in general. This is part of an email from a friend the day after he took delivery of a new Model S.

    “Paint is fancy, but clearcoat application is amateurish and appears to have been done in a dusty environment. I have done much better in my garage.”

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    So the electrically assisted turbo just assists the turbo charger to reduce/eliminate lag or does it actually produce a ‘minimal’ amount of boost (as would a supercharger) before the turbo kicks fully in. Pretty neat concept in any event.

  3. Wim van Acker Says:

    @1 a friend of mine owns a TESLA Model X and is very happy with it, loves it. The passenger door does not fit perfectly in the body, and he is fine with it: “As a TESLA buyer you know there are some body quality issues, but you buy it because you want it now, and they will figure it out eventually.” I hope TESLA’s quality issues are few and that the customers are as tolerant as my friend, since I root for the home team, this U.S. automaker.

  4. kevin a Says:

    John, any info on how much less energy silicon carbide chips use? Normal silicon chips use almost no power (< 60 watts, some as low as 20) Hard to see how significant power could be save.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2. I read about it a while back, and as I remember, it produces minimal boost, but allows spooling up, using minimal power, when the throttle is closed, and the intake tract is in a partial vacuum. I somehow thought they were already using the e-turbo in the new inline six they’ve had for a couple years, but I guess not.

  6. lambo2015 Says:

    John to expand on your comment about Tesla’s reputation. They will not only ruin a reputation in a few month but the flip side is repairing that reputation can take years to fix. Something the US big three learned the hard way. They been producing cars on par with Japanese quality for years but still are viewed inferior. Tesla should heed that warning.

  7. lambo2015 Says:

    5 Too bad they cant run the E-turbo 100% of the time and produce equal boost. That would help with heat management and space not having to loop the exhaust. I suppose it doesn’t make much sense when the exhaust pressure is free compared to carrying a big battery just to increase boost.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3. Even though the paint quality is bad for a ~100K car, or even a $20K car, I suspect my friend will be happy with his S, if it is functionally reliable. In an email, he said it was stuck in Chill mode, but he suspects that it was something he did. Knowing him, he will figure out, and take full advantage of the electronic gadgetry.

  9. ChuckGrenci Says:

    4, Kevin, I just finished watching the show on the chips and what was supplied was a range of about 4 to 8 percent more efficient. These are high current chips and apparently that is where that they perform above the silicon chip. Mentioned was an economical benefit when using an 800 volt recharging capacity, which currently is very limited but expected to be more mainstream as BEVs take hold. These chips are more expensive but an absolute number was not given (but was expected to come down, eventually, due to scale). If you’ve got ten minutes to watch the show, it can probably answer most of your questions.

  10. DanaPointJohn Says:

    Eliminating turbo lag is huge. And doing so with electrification, even more so.

  11. Bob Wilson Says:

    Tesla has a build reputation to lose? Ever since there have been TSLA short-sellers, the broken record has replayed “build quality” as if that is #1 buyer criteria. So when the light turns green, we all hop out of our cars to measure build quality . . . NO! I measure how far ahead I am of the other traffic after reaching the posted speed limit.

    I also measure how much it cost to drive 1,980 miles, $60, or 714 miles, $25. As cheap as gas is, I am getting a free charge as I eat my lunch and type this note.

    Car reviewers seldom address the operating cost because they get pristine “press” cars, not the ones in the dealer back lot. Could that possibly affect their value judgment?

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 When I was working, we heard a little about SiC, but we didn’t process any. It has lower “on” resistance per area than Si. SiC needs higher gate voltage to turn on, but that’s no big deal. You just have to design the circuitry for it.

  13. Albemarle Says:

    I suggest that Autoline drops all news items about Tesla. There are so many sources for the same information, it’s already public knowledge. Seems like everyone that comments on any Tesla story knows more than Elon and anything you say is so very wrong. This way we wouldn’t have to listen endlessly to the Tesla tykes.

    Frankly it would make automotive news more interesting.

  14. Drew Says:

    Regarding the Legacy Sport, is anyone else tired for OEM’s debasing the fun in “sport”? My assessment of the content does not add-up to anything of value or “sport”:

    1. Different rear bumper – More black-out, but still too boxy at the corners.
    2. Trunk lid spoiler – A design cliche to imply sportiness, but no function as the vehicle has no incremental guts.
    3. Black wheels and mirrors – A very tired design cliche for a Goth look or a concession to lazy people who don’t clean their wheels. I relate to neither set on constituents.
    4. Interior trim bits and Sport driving mode – Nice, but akin to false advertising without the guts to go with them.
    5. 2.5L NA engine – To modify a quote from Wendy’s Clara Peller, where’s the guts?

    Bottom line – More black-outs + base P/T = cheap. Adding a “Sport” badge does not justify higher pricing.

  15. Albemarle Says:

    The interview about SiC was very interesting. There’s also a big push into using more gallium nitride GaN for power semiconductors because of their greater efficiency. The expansion of the EV market is creating new opportunities in other areas not traditionally seen as relating to the automotive industry.

  16. lambo2015 Says:

    @11 I would agree that performance and reliability take precedence over build quality on the model 3 but when your dumping close to 100K on a car, as is the case with all other Tesla models. One would expect a level of build quality on par with similar cars in that price range.

    If Tesla just desires to be the largest EV manufacturer with good reliable vehicles that are less than perfect when it comes to fit and finish. The model 3 and others like it will be a good fit for them. However, they will open the door to be knocked off their pedestal in the luxury segment. Competition looks for the weakness and another EV manufacturer will be happy to pay attention to detail and build a luxury EV to kill the model S,& X.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    Will the line stop for the 8+ minutes on each shift for the moment of silence, or is GM just expecting its workers to continue working without talking and background music?

    Interesting that Audi stock price is higher than Tesla, for the moment anyway.

  18. GM Veteran Says:

    @16 – I agree, once there is more competition for Tesla, consumers may choose vehicles with comparable performance and benefits that are better built. I worked for GM during the dark days in the 80′s of poor quality. It is still affecting their sales and reputation today. It may be too late for Tesla though, even now.

    And don’t forget, its not just build quality. Tesla has been using the public as its proving grounds for many of its new high tech features, refining them with updates as issues arise, rather than testing them and refining them thoroughly before releasing the vehicles for sale. Honestly, I am surprised that the feds have let them get away with some of the things they have done, especially when it comes to safety issues (Auto Pilot).

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11. I like getting good gas mileage “on general principles,” but let’s face it. Actually fuel/electricity operating cost is trivial, as a percentage of the cost of owning a car, unless you drive an uninsured, rusted out, depreciated out 20 year old pickup truck getting 10 mpg. I average 46 mpg with my Camry hybrid, and drive it about 12K miles a year. I pay almost 3 times as much for insurance as for fuel, never mind the depreciation on a two year old car, which is much more than that.

    Yeah, I think most Tesla buyers realize that they won’t get Toyota, or Benz-like build quality, but my friend is a little disappointed that his almost $100K Model S has a paint job that a cheap Chevy would put to shame.

  20. lambo2015 Says:

    19 That’s exactly my point Kit. Tesla buyers may be willing to except a sub par paint job now just to be able to own a Tesla. They have a cult like following and essentially no competition. As the rest of the manufacturers or maybe even a new one figures out how to build an EV that meets all the same criteria that a Tesla does but can do it with stellar fit and finish, Tesla wont know what hit them.

    Its sad cause I want Tesla to continue to succeed and they have the time right now to get their house in order. If not, the blindside that will hit them could be swift and powerful leaving them scrambling to catch-up.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14. At least it doesn’t have a lift kit, like they added to ruin the Legacy wagon a few years ago.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20. It seems that they have been in too much of a hurry to get production up to speed for the Model Y. Also, my Seattle friend’s Model S with the sub-par paint job may have been an early car from after they re-started the plant. Yeah, they need to get better on these things, before the competition gets stiffer.

    For now, Tesla has a clear advantage over the competition in performance/price with 3 and Y, and have a major charge infrastructure advantage for those who use EVs for road trips, but that won’t last forever.

  23. Bob Wilson Says:

    The web link is an article that provides more technical details and data between ‘Si’ and ‘SiC’ devices. Since ‘SiC’ is more efficient, there is less heat that has to be removed and avoid the cost of cooling the power electronics.

  24. Bob Wilson Says:

    Requirements are individual and I have no problem if others buy a car to show off at a car show. In contrast, my cars work for a living:

    1) operating efficiency – we used to drive Prius but our Std Rng Plus Model 3 is significantly cheaper to operate both per mile and maintenance. The Model 3 has about 100-1000 fewer moving parts (depending on count,) no oil changes, no air breather filter, no PVC valve . . .

    2) safety – without an engine block and transmission along with advanced crush mechanics, the Model 3, and other Tesla models have top NHTSA and IIHS ratings. Not just high but head and shoulders above.

    3) insurance – fully paid off (thanks TSLA stock!), liability only protects us, not the car. We’ll let the ambulance chasers sue for the replacement car.

    4) quality of ride – even quieter than our former Prius, the engine noises come from the traffic around us.

    5) performance – we beat everyone across the intersection at every light and reach the speed limit first for lane choice. This is every day and every light without having to rev up the engine.

    6) autopilot – turns out this is becoming more and more common (under different names) in upper trim ($$$) cars. Autopilot is standard in all Teslas. Furthermore, Tesla is upgrading AutoPilot with my latest version loaded two weeks ago. Everyone else has to go back to the dealer for the dealer coffee bar. I got “Full Self Driving” for $6,000 and it is getting better too.

    Ignore Tesla at your own peril. It is a question of relevance. I dropped ‘Autoline Weekly’ and ‘Consumer Reports’ when their editorial policies distorted Prius reporting. Those were paid subscriptions.

    As for advocating for NKLA (and others,) we’ll meet you on the street. Opps, too few sales . . . darn, whose requirements are what customer’s are following?

  25. cwolf Says:

    Is Tesla an automotive manufacturer or a Tech. company? I ask for two reasons;
    First, There are now others offering over-the-air performance packages for Teslas at a much lower cost. If Tesla claims to be a manufacturer, these add-on’s should should not impinge upon Tesla’s up grade offerings.

    Second, If other companies are offering up-grade packages at a lower price than Tesla’s, build quality will certainly become a bigger issue in the near future. They have had issues from day one and gave little importance to correct them.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24. 6). I haven’t experienced “autopilot” or similar. If I had, it might make me want a Tesla (if I had a place to charge it), a Cadillac, or something else that has the semi-autonomous tech.

    5). As far as getting ahead of other cars at intersections, I can do that probably 95% of the time, even with my Camry, if I want to, even though probably half of the cars on the road are quicker, because most people don’t floor it when taking off from stop lights.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    1, 3, etc Unless it’s Debbie Downer’s (Cwolf’s or Joe’s) birthday, the ‘bad news” about the model Y are wasted.

    The report seems strange to a THINKING person. If the model 3 shares so many parts with the Y, WHY is it that all the Model 3s I have ever seen are IMMACULATE inside and out, really high-quality (if not luxury) cars, and the Y has problems?

    Usually the opposite happens, the FIRST model has problems (the Model 3, which may have had PRODUCTION issues but NOT Quality issues) and the SECOND is far better made (and usually cheaper made too). It is called the “Learning” or the “Experience” Curve.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    13 if you can’t take FREE SPEECH, I suggest you move to NORTH KOREA or similar “Sheethole”. You will be far happier there.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    11 use your common sense. Auto writers are poshly wined and dined by EVERY auto company EXCEPT Tesla. the same suspects get paid $ billions for ADS on print and TV from the same automakers, EXCEPT Tesla. Seriously, do you expect ANY of them to be objective? They will always sing the praises of Mazda and Volvo and even Hyundai and Kia, that provide their daily BREAD, and will not BITE the hand that FEEDS them.

    However investors are WISER than that.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    25 This is actually a good question and the answer is that TESLA is a HIGH TECH company which is valued as a successful High tech company as it should. Their products fetch Luxury and Top Luxury car prices not because they are too luxurious (the S and the X are far less luxurious than an S class), but because they are

    HIGH performance (REALLY HIGH)

    HIGH Tech (Far higher than any of their poor competitors)

    CLEAN, emissions free car makers,

    which, impressively for their most important model, the mass market Model 3 (so far), are priced THE SAME with the Venerable 3 Series it ANNIHILATED, and NOT twice its price, as COMPLIANCE, low tech, more primitive B EVs like the Bolt and the Leaf cost over the SOnic and the Versa with which they share the main dimensions and room.

    In case anybody has no clue what the above means, it means that, whether some of us like it or the rest of us who don’t, TESLA will CONTINUE to be the UTTERLY DOMINANT (by a HUGE margin) WORLD BEV MAKER.

    And unlike the onetime big 3, who could not sell diddly squat overseas for 4 decades, TESLA is revered ALL OVER THE PLANET, and espewcially where it matters MOST, in CHINA, the world’s by FAR biggest BEV market.

    I wrote all this because I know Joe and CWOLF will be thrilled.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27. As I mentioned, my friend’s two day old Model S has a crappy paint job, and the S has been around a long time. It could have been early production, after the restart of the plant, though.

    and… 30. He considers the S to be no more “luxurious” than his Prius V but, of course, it’s much faster, handles much better, and has cooler tech. I’ll be curious to hear what he thinks about “autopilot,” after he’s used it a while. This is a college friend who introduced me to cruise control, with his SAAB 99, in the early ’70s. He as had a number of quite different cars, from an Olds 442 convertible, to the SAAB, a Citation, Chrysler minivans, a regular Prius, Prius V, Miata, Odyssey, and now the Model S. I think he still has the Miata and Odyssey. No brand loyalty here.

    Normally, he would be driving from Seattle to Indiana in a few weeks for the national model airplane contest, but probably won’t this year, because of covid. Before buying the Tesla, he made sure that the “superchargers” would work for making that trip via his usual route.

  32. NormT Says:

    Don’t get too excited about quicker spooling turbochargers to help with lag. The transmission with a torque converter is still part of the lag when already rolling. Plus the throttle response will never a.light switch in response and you can thank Toyota sudden accleration and the lack of fail safes for that!

  33. FSTFWRD Says:

    The M5 is nice, just needs a bigger grill.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32. To me, the “problem” of turbo lag is highly exaggerated. At 50 mph in top gear in my ’89 Dodge Caravan, the turbo probably takes a second and a half to spool up if I step on it, and don’t downshift. So what? If the engine is spinning faster, like if I downshift, the turbo spools up quicker. With the automatic in the same vehicle, you’d probably wait longer for the transmission to downshift, than for the turbo to spool up. Turbo lag is not a problem, even with my van, and turbochargers in today’s engines spool up much quicker.

  35. Ziggy Says:

    Say what you want about Subaru but at least they know where to locate the engine oil filter for ease of changing and making sure the tech put it back on tight enough, I wish more manufacturers would locate the oil filter in an easy-to-access location for us shade tree mechanics and folks who always check the work of the oil change technicians.

  36. Bob Wilson Says:

    The web link is to an article describing Tesla Model 3 use of SiC in their inverters. This partially explains why the Model 3 has the highest EPA rating. See the Munro videos for more details.

    One caution about AutoPilot. After 55 years of manual driving, it took three weeks before I felt comfortable with it. Your friend may want to reach out to a local Tesla group to see if anyone might help mentor him on AutoPilot. Also, the price of “Full Self Driving” goes up $1,000 come July.

  37. Larry D. Says:

  38. Larry D. Says:

    35 et al, I had been a vocal Subaru critic, could not stand their ugly vehicles back then, and could not understand why a AWD vehicle has to have such huge OVERHANGS front and rear (a sure recipe to uglify any vehicle). But recently Subaru has been on a roll, huge successes in sales and market share, and its cars look far better than they used to.

    I may have said that I had driven, back in 2008, A Subaru “turbo” wagon owned by a filthy rich high school classmate, whose guest I was at his compound on a very small island in the Mediterranean (for you Sheer Luck Holmeses out there, Popular Actor Tom Hanks has a villa in same tiny island).

    That Turbo was fun to drive, BUT it was a true gas hog. Maybe it was my driving style, on the rough dirt road of that island, at high speed, or maybe its gas tank was too small, but I had to put gas in it all the time!

    Speaking of gas tank, I looked up mine in the manual, and it is 80.0 liters (21.12 US gallons), but 9.0 liters of that (2.38 gal?) is ‘reserve”, so when the fuel is low, you get a warning even though you still have 90 miles of range left. (in the E diesel)

  39. Larry D. Says:


  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My sister has a Subaru Forester, about 2017, and the thing that stood out when she bought it, was the value. It is a mid trim one with leather, sunroof, and maybe a power driver’s seat, and MSRP was barely over $30K. I’ve driven it, and it drives ok, but nothing special. It’s hard to drive smoothly at parking lot speeds, because the transmission can’t decide what to do, but most of the time, the CVT powertrain works fine. It doesn’t have a digital speedometer available, unusual for a car that recent. Also, it uses a little oil, about a quart in 3-4000 miles. That would have been very low oil consumption 30 years ago, but is high, compared to most recent cars, at least ones I’ve had. To my knowledge, though, it has needed no repairs in ~40K miles.

  41. Brett Cammack Says:

    It would seem to me that the electric motor in those turbochargers have to function and survive in a rather hellish environment. How do they do it?

    While reading some comments about the eTurbos, I thought “Hey! Maybe they could just drive it with the electric motor and have an exhaust gas driven turbo-generator!” Then I laughed. Who doesn’t like complexity just for the sake of complexity?

  42. joe Says:

    Larry D, you are a Tesla lover, so why don’t you find an excuse for the lousy paint job Tesla is doing on it’s cars — and this been going on for a long time. I would never buy a car that’s built in a tent much less if it’s built by an over-hype company.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    42 despite your Tesla hater fairy tales about alleged paint defects, I must have seen almost 100 Tesla’s of different models, half of them Model 3s, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had IMMACULATE Paint. So you can propagate your fairy tales and miss the forest for the trees, that TESLA, OBJECTIVELY, BY THE FACts and nUMBERS, DOMINATES (do I need to spell the word for you? how many times do I need to repeat it until even you get it?) the BEV Industry, and there is not even a SECOND PLACE finisher, those are so far back, they are not visible to the naked eye.

    So put that in your Tesla hating pipe and smoke it, while Tesla shareholders and owners are crying all the way to the bank.