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A horrible experience, and an open letter.

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by johnschlemmer, Nov 7, 2016.

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  1. johnschlemmer

    johnschlemmer Member

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    San Ramon
    I’ve been visiting these forums for a while now, reading about Tesla experiences from others and finding nothing but praise for what would seem to be a fantastic car maker. Quite honestly, the wonderful things I read every day on here are what pushed me over the edge to finally save up enough to put a down payment on a new Tesla. I was so excited, I’ve been wanting one of these cars for YEARS. I decided a Model X might be a better choice for a family car, thinking down the road. I placed my order in early August and accepted delivery at the end of September. I drove my brand new 60D home from the Fremont factory with the biggest grin on my face. Unfortunately, that’s where it started going downhill.

    Not even a week into owning the car, I noticed many manufacturing mistakes. There was a defect in the center console arm rest (minor, but noticeable). The rear passenger window was dramatically misaligned and was sticking out about a half-inch from the rest of the car. Windows were very loudly squeaking as I rolled them up and down, with some clunking when they rolled all the way up. The front passenger window wouldn't roll up sometimes, and on one occasion I was forced to drive my 1.5hr commute in the rain with that window rolled down. Rattles started forming everywhere. Brakes were squeaking incredibly loudly (especially when I had it in reverse), and are only getting worse (service told me this is “normal”). There were paint defects (bumps) on the trunk in the bottom left corner, which service said they had no way of fixing.

    From there, things simply became unsafe. The rear-passenger falcon door decided to close on me while I was getting a grocery bag out of the back seat. It didn’t stop closing until it literally knocked me over into the car, with my legs still out the bottom on the ground. My wife tried stopping it but failed. Then it made its “error” noise and stopped as it was on top of me, and finally began moving back up. That was pretty unsettling - what if I was holding a child when this happened? This same door a few days later hit my wife as it was opening and it did not stop. She tried blocking her face with her hand as she was standing in front of it and got pushed back into the car next to us. Luckily she was successful in blocking her face, but it did hurt her hand. Again, what if she was carrying a child?

    That was just the start. I then started noticing a pretty bad ghosting effect on my X’s windshield. I went on these forums to see if anybody else had this issue and found that it’s a pretty common issue, but usually for taller people due to the angle of the glass. I’m 5’9”, not considered a “tall” person by any means, and it’s very, very apparent to me. Seems as if some windshields are worse than others. The worst is when it’s at night and raining. The headlight ghosting from oncoming traffic seen in the distance makes it nearly impossible to determine how many cars are coming until they get much closer. Maybe not a huge deal on divided highways, but how dangerous would this be on an undivided, narrow road at night in the rain? Unfortunately, service denied my request of trying to fix this, even though they admitted it’s a known issue and that newer Model X windshields with the new camera setup are manufactured by a different company and would likely not have this issue. What’s worse, the service manager at the Dublin, CA center accused me of only noticing this issue AFTER I read about it on Tesla forums - that I had to know what I was looking for to even notice it. "Some people read about it online and really look for these problems." Quite patronizing, and I was not happy about that.

    And then it got worse. After I stopped at the grocery store on my way back from picking up my car from its second service visit this month, I opened the rear passenger falcon door and heard a loud crack as it opened. The door became so badly misaligned that it ripped the chrome off the rear quarter-window (not exactly sure what this window is called, but it's the small window behind the falcon door window). It violently snapped away from the car and bent itself outward. Obviously this is not supposed to happen, but then I realized I’m in even more of a predicament because now the door won’t close because of this misalignment. Am I supposed to drive home with the door open? Do I get it towed back to service? I managed to close it by manually pushing the door down and forcefully re-aligning it as it closed, and immediately drove back to the service center before they closed. This scares the heck out of me - are these doors so unstable and so unaware of their surroundings that they can literally destroy the car itself? I expressed my dissatisfaction and they handed me another loaner (the third this month) as they figured it out.

    I paid quite a bit of money for this car. The total price ended up being over $100k, which is fairly common for a Model X. But in the past month of owning it, I’ve had to bring it in for some pretty major defects THREE times. That’s almost once every week. At this point, I’ve been driving loaner cars just as long as I’ve been able to drive my brand new Model X. I didn’t pay $100k to drive beat-up Enterprise loaner cars - I paid $100k for a safe, top-rated luxury car experience. But now, after this horrible experience within the first month of delivery, I strongly regret my decision to buy this Model X. I no longer feel safe around it, and I will absolutely NOT be loading any future children into this car. I simply do not trust it.

    I’ve spoken with the Dublin, CA service manager, and he calmly dismissed many of my concerns as minor and unfixable (he was also the one that accused me of only looking for these issues after reading Tesla forums). I’ve escalated my issue to the regional service manager for the Bay Area (Tesla’s strongest, largest market), but have not heard back. And even if he apologizes and promises the issues will be fixed, can you blame me for not trusting him? Especially considering I’ve brought the car in so many times already, mostly for the same issues every time.

    I’ve remained calm and polite with every single person in service I’ve spoken with, but I’m afraid that simply isn’t working anymore. I’d love to still be a Tesla owner, and am still completely convinced that I simply got a car that was rushed during production and does not represent the quality of what Tesla normally puts out. So many Tesla owners rave about their experiences, reviews from critics around the world still hold the highest praise for them, and I’m still excited to own one... But I shouldn’t be punished for being delivered a car that shouldn’t have even passed the initial inspection before delivery.

    I asked the Dublin service manager how Tesla handles exchanges after so many defects, and he simply said “we don’t do that” and immediately, without a beat, changed the subject. I’m not even asking for a buyback; I simply would like to exchange it for another Tesla of equal value. I’d even pay the difference for a 75D if a 60D isn’t available anymore, which is far less costly for Tesla than fully buying back my current Model X.

    I have no choice now but to take this public. I really don’t want to do this - I think Tesla is doing great things for the world, and I really don’t want to do anything to devalue its brand. But more than that, I want my family to feel safe with this car, and I don’t want my hard-earned money to go to waste simply because Tesla delivered a defective car. I shouldn’t have to take responsibility for Tesla’s mistake. The price of one Model X to Tesla is nothing, but to me it’s years and years of saving. I’ll be exercising the California Lemon Law if the public awareness isn’t enough to get Tesla to do the right thing.

    I would really love the support and advice from these forums. I understand it’s hard to trust a random forum member that has never posted here before, and I completely understand that hesitation. I'm a reputable person, as I imagine most Tesla owners are. I’m not trying to scam Tesla out of a car. Quite simply, I’m trying to get Tesla to take responsibility for their mistakes.

    I’ve sent a version of this letter to Tesla to formally request an exchange before taking things further.
     

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  2. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    San Rafael, CA.
    @johnschlemmer
    Wow, sorry to hear about your nightmare. I can't believe you had such problems including getting pinned in the doors. Just not safe!
    Yes, my experience has been the polar opposite of Tesla ownership. I am delighted with my MS I received 9/30/14.

    But check out KmanAuto.
    KmanAuto

    He had a bad experience with a Model S 60. Lots of early product problems. He ended working out a deal to trade in his MS60 for a MS90. Seems to be satisfied with how it worked out. Check out his YouTube site at the attached link. Hopefully there is some useful info for you.

    Good luck, buddy.
     
  3. outie

    outie Active Member

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    SoCal
    #3 outie, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    Sorry to hear about your experience. I have the exact same issues you saw on my X60D, September production -

    doors closing on us - this is from the one-click close all setting. You can now disable it. It's useful when you need it, but the implementation being single click on the fob is very poor. I already requested that they change this behavior and make it safer to use.

    squeaking windows on open/close - We don't open the windows much so we care less, maybe WD40s will fix it but haven't tried

    ghosting - apparent after looking for it, yeah, we've all been there, but I have high prescription and my vision is bad at night full of artifacts anyways, doesn't bother me much, maybe it's also because I am shorter too

    FWD ripping off the chrome - this happened on my delivery day! Delivery center took it back to fix, gave me a model S loaner, and drove it back to me 3 days later with the problem fixed. No issue since then. A few other members had this problem as well

    Overall I don't find all these being major issues that warrant a buyback/exchange. In fact I have not even need to visit the service center (yet). Maybe my wife and I are just more tolerate on these things. I understand your frustration, paying over 100k for a car with so many issues. Our BMWs/Mercedes/Porsches have close to zero issues that cost less than 100k. However, the X is one of the coolest SUVs in the world and despite all the minor issues we got (more than our other cars), I have no regret getting it.
     
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  4. RBowen

    RBowen Member

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    Jun 14, 2016
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    San Diego
    Wow, this is unacceptable. The Dublin service manager should be reprimanded or fired. Bad quality early on could be attributed to hubris and learning. (The model X is among the lowest rated vehicles in reliability according to Consumer Reports.). However, this is far more likely a BAD side effect of Elon's edict to push out cars to hit third quarter financial goals.

    You'll find a lot of apologists for Tesla on this forum. In my view, count yourself as lucky if you have a high quality trouble-free Tesla -- and show some sympathy and outrage for owners who have their dreams crushed by frightening examples such as this one. Tesla has to eventually produce a consistently high quality product to survive and change the world.
     
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  5. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    Document your issues and start the clock on your Lemon Law return. Totally unacceptable. So sorry you are going through this. Good Luck.
     
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  6. zambono

    zambono Member

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    Posting here won't help, you chose the wrong model to purchase. I am sure California has lemon laws go that route if your issues meet the criteria.
     
  7. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    USA
    I'm sorry for your troubles. As others have said, document everything and if you speak with someone at Tesla (service center or corporate) write down their name and keep good records. Good luck! I hope it's resolved to your satisfaction.
     
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  8. azdryheat

    azdryheat Member

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    I agree that the Service Manager is way out of line.

    I have been very picky about my MS and the SC in Tempe, AZ has done everything I asked them. I found a small blemish on the rear bumper that was so minor that I couldn't get a good picture of it. Took it to the SC and you had to get at a certain angle to see it. As soon as he moved to where he could see it, he immediately called his body guy, who said the entire bumper needed a re-paint. Fixed three days later.

    If I had the issues you have had I don't think I would be calm. They should be all over these issues for you.
     
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  9. Vitold

    Vitold Active Member

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    #9 Vitold, Nov 8, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    I marked your post funny because your situation is so unbelievable. Are you saying that SC claims that misaligned windows or misaligned Falcon Wing Doors are ok?

    It's not clear to me if things you've found been take care of.

    If you're still having difficulty getting things fixed - take it to the headquarters.
     
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  10. gabeincal

    gabeincal Enjoying Napa life the electric way

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    I can second @azdryheat they fix every tiny problem for me also! You should definitely push them for lemon buyback and not accept anything else. Your X wouldn't be the first that they had to buy back!
     
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  11. johnschlemmer

    johnschlemmer Member

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    Thank you all for your support and insight! Update on my end - the regional service manager got back to me this morning immediately after he received the letter I sent him. He was very understanding of everything I've had to go through, and reassured that this is not the Tesla experience. He confirmed through my multiple service requests that the car is not in the shape it should have been when delivered. He's currently working on a resolution and is doing everything he can to keep me as a Tesla customer. I'm very happy people like him are in charge of escalated situations like this, and is just another reason I'm convinced this is a rare, unlucky issue I've experienced.

    I may delete this post so that Tesla's image is not hurt and it doesn't deter others from buying one. Tesla did not ask me to remove anything, and let me know I have every right to speak freely about this. If I remove it, it'll be because of my own decision.

    Or, I could keep it posted so that any future readers will know that Tesla's customer service is outstanding, and that the manufacturer does not take issues like this lightly.

    What do you readers think?
     
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  12. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    #12 Bet TSLA, Nov 8, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    Sounds like you got a bad car, and there's no reason you should accept it. First, you should get in touch with the regional service manager, i.e. the boss of the Dublin service manager. Second, you should document everything and request a loaner until they fix or replace your car with one that's (more or less) perfect.

    A tweet to Elon (who has asked in the past for complaints) might work wonders as well if you don't get anywhere with other approaches.

    Edit: Sounds like you did what i suggested before I suggested it. Good! Hoping all the right things happen now.
     
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  13. bro1999

    bro1999 Active Member

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    Don't delete anything until ALL your issues are taken care of. Even if that happens, I still wouldn't delete anything, because your post can be helpful for someone else that has experienced/will experience similar problems and is looking for help.
     
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  14. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    You should leave the post, but change the title to include "(resolved!)" or something like that when it is resolved. You could change it now to indicate current status.
     
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  15. gekkota

    gekkota Member

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    I recommend that you do not remove your post. It's information like this that will cause Tesla to improve their QC process to the benefit of all. You are not the only person to experience similar issues. Your detailed post will help the next person in line who is about to execute an order - at least it will help them to not be surprised when they receive a car that does not match their imagined quality expectation.
     
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  16. johnschlemmer

    johnschlemmer Member

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    Good call on the status updates and informing future customers that might run into these issues. As soon as I figure out how the heck I can edit the title with status updates, I'll do that! I was mainly afraid that people would just read the first post and not see that it's in the process of being resolved, when in reality the fact that it's being resolved is the most important piece of this situation.
     
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  17. gabeincal

    gabeincal Enjoying Napa life the electric way

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    Don't remove the thread but create a hopefully positive story out of it! Every company will have problems, but HOW they handle the problems is what makes them a good or bad one! This and countless other threads will prove either way!
     
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  18. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    If you were dealing with Mike (Dublin Service Manager), that is not the same person I know and have worked with. He is maybe the most experienced Service Manager at Tesla, and has worked both domestically and also in the EU when needed. My experiences with him have always been positive and helpful. Sorry you have had to go through this. I hope that Tesla can resolve all of your issues.
     
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  19. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    Wow. I am really sorry to hear about all these problems. I'm glad the regional manager has taken notice and is working to make things right. Please keep us all updated as to how things are going.

    I agree with the advice to leave your post, as it documents things that really happened and how the company responded to them. A TMC moderator can help you if you have problems updating the thread title. I think you've documented your issues well, but to be fair, please include the final resolution and/or remedy.

    The experience you had with the service manager in Dublin is somewhat disturbing. I've met him a few times, and my impression of him was generally a positive one. Once when I apologized for bringing up a really minor, cosmetic issue on my Model S, he said "That's fine, we want you to be happy with your car". (I'm not defending him or trying to cast doubt on your account of what happened, just saying that my experiences were different, and I was surprised to read about yours.)

    Good luck!

    Bruce.
     
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  20. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    I feel you should keep the post assuming it's a fair representation on what has happened and what is happening. Give Tesla a chance to make things right. Unfortunately not every car off of the production line is perfect. For some who happen to have a less than perfect car, it might be helpful to see what happens to others in this situation, to see if it gets resolved or not. Whatever the outcome, good luck.
     
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