The Tesla Model 3’s accelerated paint degradation is well-documented. Several owners across the country and around the world have reported abnormal damage at the bottom of their cars and behind the wheels after just a few months.
Some have even turned to legal action to hopefully have the problem fixed and/or get some form of compensation, but that didn’t happen.
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The automaker conducted its own investigation and rejected any problem with the paint or the paint application process. It claims the problem comes from snow, salt, sand and other road debris (most affected customers indeed live in countries with harsh winter conditions such as Canada, Sweden and Finland), and Tesla’s warranty doesn’t cover such damage.
But why is the Model 3 a victim in particular? Unlike non-Tesla vehicles, the lower body has a unique design and the car comes out of the factory without any mud flaps. Some owners have turned to aftermarket retailers, but now Tesla is offering a similar solution via its online shop.
Priced at $70, there’s an “All-Weather Protection Kit” that includes a Mud Flap and Splash Guard Kit (two sizes of front mud flaps) and a Paint Protection Film Kit (for rear fenders).
Tesla’s service centres are not expected to perform the installation, however, so you’ll have to do it yourself using the included hardware (for the mud flaps) and squeegee (for the protection film). A step-by-step guide can be found on the company’s website.
Bottom line: If you want to prevent fast paint degradation on your Model 3 and combat rust, this is arguably your best resort at the moment.