Wondering if the missing breakers here constitute a defect?
Does the cover have pry outs missing for the breakers?
Ask yourself…why would they?
Not sure why you would consider a missing breaker a defect. If the panel cover has openings where the breakers would be then that is a defect and recommend blanks be installed. Otherwise, no.
To say that the breakers are missing implies that there are circuits with no breakers. An unused pole position does not constitute a missing breaker. There is a difference between a missing breaker and an unused pole position.
Those spaces could just be available for future circuits. If there were circuits that have been abandoned and the breakers removed there is no issue either if the blanks close off the opening .
Put the cover on, then determine based on missing knockouts.