Panel misalignment 100% dives me nuts. I’ve see worse on bmw but it’s no excuse for the shitty job on the mustang. They should at least do better for premium trim models, I’m not sure how the 18s are since it can go upwards of $50K now but the gt350 is still crap I think.My neighbor used to do third party QC engineering for one American luxury brand and another German brand. He relayed one story to me where one example from each brand had similar rattles coming from the top of the dash. The German brand decided to study and re-engineer its components to eliminate the rattle the right way, while the American brand's solution was to stack some felt strips underneath the suspected area of rattle until it went away. Both of these models directly competed with one another.
Appropriately enough, he owned one of the American branded cars he had done QC on...and swore he'd never buy from that brand again. That car was a total lemon. Ironically, he now works directly for the company that builds that brand.
I love American cars, and will always buy them, but I have to acknowledge that our cars are way behind our competitors in terms of fit and finish. Most of the creaks and rattles in my cars are from just sloppy workmanship. When I took delivery of my Mustang last year, I found hardware just laying in the passenger footwell. I never did find out if it was from something missing somewhere in the car, or if they were just extra bonus pieces, like extra fries in the bottom of the bag.
I adore my Mustang, but it has many of the same issues talked about on this forum; thin paint, weak glass, mystery creaks, inconsistent panel gaps. If the overall package wasn't good enough to overcome all of those issues, I'd be mad. But these are still great cars for the money, and I'm supporting my local industry as much as possible with my purchase.