Can somebody give us an explanation?

Tesla has found itself in the middle of a new controversy, though the issue has nothing to do with its autonomous driving technology going awry. The issue at hand revolves around the Model 3’s headliner and the material that’s being used on it. Apparently, some owners who have taken delivery of their Model 3’s were surprised to see that the headliner in their cars was covered by weaved textile as opposed to Alcantara.

The issue is cosmetic in nature, but it still left a handful of new Premium Model 3 owners fuming over what they believe to be a bait-and-switch tactic that Tesla is using to sell its new model. While the electric car maker didn’t explicitly say that the Model 3’s headliner would be covered in Alcantara, glam photos of the car’s interior reveal what looks like Alcantara headliner. Unless somebody in the company’s marketing department made a mistake with these photos, it does look like Tesla made the switch in purpose, possibly due to a shortage in Alcantara.

The company came out with a statement on this issue, except that it didn’t address the issue directly. Instead, it admitted that “all Model 3 vehicles are being made with the same premium textile headliner” found in the Model S and Model X, and that this material “has always been planned at this stage of production.”

That’s true in some aspects because base Model 3s use textile as a standard finish. The problem is that the base Model 3 is not yet available. The variant that’s in the market is the Premium Model 3, which is being advertised as having "premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs.” There’s also something to be said for showing images of the car with an Alcantara headliner and then pivoting to the less-premium textile headliner in the actual car.

It’s hard enough for customers to buy or put reservations on a Model 3 without actually seeing one in the flesh, It doesn’t help that they’re getting unexpected changes to what they think they’re buying, even if it’s something as trivial as the headliner material. Tesla needs to make this right.


Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

- image 746180

Read more Tesla news.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: