Tesla sells you an illusion first, and (hopefully) a car later
Much like a radical politician aiming to change Washington, Tesla has brilliantly positioned itself as an industry outsider. Ask the average person to describe Tesla and you'll most likely get a lot of big buzzwords: it's the "anti-establishment underdog" that creates "disruption through innovation." In and of itself, that's not an issue. The issue arises when people buy (quite literally) into the promise of innovation, rather than any solid, proven technology. Which is exactly what's happening with the Model 3.
More than any other vehicle, Teslas are marketed on the premise of what they're going to be, not what they are now. People don't seem to grasp that the Model 3 is still in its nascent stages, with much development left to complete. Beyond misleading statements on efficiency (more on that in a second), it's quotes like these that raise a proverbial eyebrow: "The Model 3 is going to be an incredibly safe car... The Model 3 will not just be five-star [crash safety rating] on average, it will be five-star in every category."