The rear bumper, or the bumper cover to be more precise, fell off during his inaugural drive home, says momentarily proud but now perturbed new Model 3 owner Rithesh Nair, reaching out to Elon Musk on Twitter:
Which elicited a reply:
Hey that looks like mine! pic.twitter.com/c1zTLGDCBF— Ben (@Benj1Franks) August 12, 2018
Nair says it appears the bumper cover separated from its screws, and the theory on Twitter goes that a piece of shielding was missing, torn or loose. Without it, rainwater got into the bumper cover, and the weight of accumulated water tore the plastic piece away.
There were reports of quality control issues, most notably one from CNBC, during the long, delayed Model 3 production runup, though recently Munro & Associates conducted a teardown of a Model 3 and pronounced it a "symphony of engineering."
No reply yet from Elon Musk. But late in the day, a Tesla official issued a statement: "We're setting an extremely high bar for Model 3, and what happened in this situation is not how we build our cars. We're investigating the issue to understand what caused it, and we are contacting our customers to resolve this and ensure they are satisfied."