Model Y Series: Episode 4 – Cowl Cover Clip

Episode 4: Cowl Cover Clip & Request from Sandy

Hello! This is episode four of Munro’s Tesla Model Y Performance teardown, where Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro discusses a potential redesign of the Tesla Model Y cowl cover clips and gives a heartfelt message about “paying it forward” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s dive in!

As discovered in episode three, two components of the cowl cover were broken or missing. While the missing part is a quality control issue per Sandy, he does offer some insight regarding the part that failed. He noted that the joining point was very fragile and he had concerns about its robustness. Be sure to check out the full video here for Sandy’s insight on a potential redesign to address these concerns.

Tesla Model Y Cowl Clip

Also, please consider Sandy’s suggestion for how to pay it forward during these challenging times. Together we have the ability to make a difference!

Interested in more? Check out episode five for Sandy’s impression of the Tesla Y’s suspension or visit for full details about Munro’s Tesla Model Y discovery process. This site will offer regular insight from Sandy, interactive data and reports, and livestream from Munro’s headquarters.

Model Y Series: Episode 3 – Frunk Overview

Episode 3: Frunk Overview

Welcome to episode three of Munro’s Tesla Model Y Performance teardown, where Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro reviews the vehicle’s frunk (trunk in the front).

Sandy shares that the Model Y’s front opens the same way as the Model 3. When removing the cowl, he finds some interesting surprises. Check out this short clip for full details:

Interested in more? Check out episode four for Sandy’s impression of the cowl cover clip or visit for full details about Munro’s Tesla Model Y discovery process. This site will offer regular insight from Sandy, interactive data and reports, and livestream from Munro’s headquarters.

Model Y Teardown: Initial Observations: Regen Braking

It’s arrived! As many of you know, Munro & Associates received its Tesla Model Y Performance earlier this week. CEO Sandy Munro is currently at the Munro North American headquarters ready to dive-into the vehicle teardown. He’s already offered his first take on the vehicle, which you can find here:

Sandy has now moved onto a couple of functional/performance tests. It was observed during ride-and-drives that the vehicle demonstrates an aggressive amount of regenerative braking. Sandy wanted to get an idea of how much, so he put some numbers together.

Sandy accelerated to 32mph for approximately 101 feet, then let off the throttle (no brakes applied, coasted to a stop utilizing regen mode only). The stopping distance was measured at approximately 173.5 feet from the point the accelerator was released. (Interesting note: at the 101-foot mark, the car did briefly continue accelerating to 33mph.) In addition to the stopping distance, it was also observed that the brake light comes on during regen braking mode.

According to Sandy, “this is a nice safety feature that was not implemented on the Chevy Bolt. It should be noted that the Chevy Bolt had two modes of regen braking: the first being simply taking your foot off the throttle pedal, and the second when you take your foot off the throttle and depress a paddle switch on the steering wheel to put the vehicle in a more aggressive regen mode. The brake lights never came on in the Bolt regardless of which regen mode the vehicle was in.”

Be sure to check back to witness the Tesla Model Y discovery process at This site will offer regular insight from Sandy, interactive data and reports, and livestream from Munro’s headquarters.

Model Y Series: Episode 2 – Fit & Finish

Episode 2: Fit & Finish

Welcome to episode two of Munro’s Tesla Model Y Performance teardown, where Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro offers his expert insight on the vehicle’s fit and finish. His first impression, “the car looked good for an early stage product.”

Click here to join Sandy and his gap gauge as he measures and evaluates the vehicle’s gaps and flushness.  During the segment, Sandy offers measurements on key vehicle areas, including:

  • Front and rear door top and sills;
  • Top of the rear lift gate;
  • Bottom of the rear lift gate;
  • Lift gate lamps;
  • Lift gate roof rail;
  • Lift gate to quarter panels; and
  • Tail lamps to the body.

Interested in more? Check out episode three for Sandy’s impression of the frunk (trunk in front)and inside trim. For more information about Munro’s Tesla Model Y discovery process visit This site will offer regular insight from Sandy, interactive data and reports, and livestream from Munro’s headquarters.

Munro & Associates Help Clarify the Tesla Model 3’s Rusty Seats

An InsideEVs article recently asked “Remember the Tesla Model 3’s Rusty Seats?” Author Gustavo Henrique Ruffo, with the help of Munro & Associate’s Director of Benchmarking Al Steier, was able to provide readers an answer, “apparently, that’s normal.”

According to Ruffo, “whenever we hear about any issue EV consumers may have, we investigate them. That is how we found out Nissan showed a $35,000 bill for a single Leaf battery pack, and PSA had comparable prices for the humble Peugeot iOn. As the biggest EV manufacturer, Tesla tends to present more issues. We dig a little deeper whenever there seems to be a problem, but that helps get facts straight. That is what happened with the Sudden Unintended Acceleration accusation against the company and now with the rusted seats on a Model 3.”

All was quiet … until Munro published its fifth segment of its “Tearing Down Tesla” series where the company analyzed the front seats of the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3. InsideEVs reached out and Steier offered some additional insight:

“If you were to look at a number of seats across the various manufacturers, you will find that about 50 percent do not paint the seat supports (bottom and/or back). They will however paint any area that is visible to the customer – i.e. the lower mount points and sometimes the rails if they are not covered with trim. So most have determined that they can live with a little surface rust on non-visible parts. Besides, eliminating the paint is good for the environment.”

In sum, according to Steier, “this is not an issue.” You can check out the entire InsideEVs article for full comments and details:

Tearing Down Tesla Series Concludes

In December, we kicked off our “Tearing Down Tesla” series of articles that compared notable aspects of leading EVs using our proprietary Design Profit software. We’re concluding the series after eight segments that analyzed topics ranging from OEM assembly time to suspension and from battery cooling systems to HVAC ducting and venting.

We covered a lot of ground in this series and, most importantly, aimed to offer knowledge that’s interesting and valuable to today’s engineers … with data points that support our findings.

In case you missed any of the segments, below the list of topics and where to find the post. Thanks for reading!

Sandy Munro on Car Radio with Henry Payne

Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro recently joined Henry Payne, and automotive reporter and expert Lindsay Brooke on the Car Radio with Henry Payne radio show.

Don’t worry if you missed it, we have you covered! You can check out the whole segment here:

Sandy and the Car Radio team discuss some interesting topics:

  • How – and if – the Tesla Cybertruck fits into the truck market (interesting fact, Sandy thinks it doesn’t!);
  • Munro’s plans for the Model Y;
  • The current – very fluid – state of EV battery technology;
  • General Motors EV plans;
  • Sandy’s pick for an e-pickup truck; and
  • More!

Munro Offers World’s First Official Lean Design® Certification Course

And you can register today!

Munro and Associates, Inc. has a long history of providing excellent training in both the Lean Design® Methodology (reducing weight, cost, and complexity) as well as in its proprietary software, Design Profit®, for engineers and manufacturers to create designs that are of the highest quality and innovation in the industry.

Munro is proud to offer to the world the first official Lean Design® Certification course where students receive comprehensive training in both the Lean Design® Methodology, as well as the industry leading Design Profit® software.

Students will receive intimate training with our instructors providing them with the fundamentals of the Lean Design® Methodology and then moving into the practical applications of these new skills in the Design Profit® software. Students will be able to immediately apply the knowledge obtained in the course to their current work projects for an immediate return on investment. Students will also benefit from being able to consult with our trainers on specific examples to further broaden their understanding of the real world application of the

Interested in learning more?

For a description of the courses that are currently available, please view our Course Outline page for a deeper description of what the Lean Design® Certification courses can provide to you or your team. And when you’re ready, register here:

Debunking Tesla Cybertruck Myths

A recent Yahoo! op-ed article set out to debunk some of the myths – safety, towing, weight and more – of the Tesla Cybertruck. Notably, the article cited Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro on one of the myths regarding the Cybertruck’s weight.

The author shares details to debunk the myth that “the Tesla Cybertruck will be extremely heavy” because it will require a massive battery pack to carry and a body made of 3-mm thick Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel body parts. According to the article, “it would be in a regular vehicle, not in Tesla’s pickup truck.”

According to the article, Tesla CEO “Elon Musk himself said its weight would be comparable to that of a regular pickup truck of the same size” due to its construction. To underscore this point, the article cites Munro’s comments on the vehicle’s weight and references one of Munro’s technical slides. You can check it out here:

Tearing Down Tesla Segment 8: Comparing the Cooling Strategy / Housings of Motors for Tesla Model 3 vs BMW i3

Both the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i3 have novel approaches to cooling the motor. This week’s segment compares these approaches. Let’s get to it.


The BMW i3 uses a two-piece motor housing to allow for large coolant channels in the housing walls to cool the housing, which in turn cools the motor and stator laminate stack. The Tesla Model 3 has a coolant to oil heat exchanger on the exterior of the housing and uses the oil to flow through grooves and channels in the stator laminate stack to cool the motor.

The advantage of the BMW i3 design is that it eliminates the need for a heat exchanger, along with the thermal transfer loss between the two fluids. However, the two-part housing requires more processing costs related to casting and machining a second housing component.

The advantage of the Tesla Model 3 design is that it only requires one housing and allows for direct cooling of the stator through contact with the cooling fluid (versus through a housing wall). However, this design requires a heat exchanger assembly and an oil pump to circulate the fluid. These two commodities add significant cost to the motor assembly, but they also have a dual purpose of providing heat to the battery as well as cooling the motor. In this design, the systems pays for some additional functionality.


The general conclusion is that Tesla is increasing their cooling performance of the motor by running oil directly through the laminates, but accommodating this system requires a cost increase for added commodities of a heat exchanger and pump. This drives approximately a $31 cost increase on the Tesla Model 3 versus the BMW i3 design, even though the Tesla was able to use a single piece housing.


Each of the motor housings and companion cooling components were analyzed in Design Profit to understand the full cost of cooling the motor. Specifically, the housing full fabrication process was captured in the software, including the casting and all machining operations.