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Am I being unreasonable? Re: Service Department

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Mike K, May 12, 2016.

  1. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I just received my car back from Tesla a couple weeks ago. This was it's second time in for service under my ownership, and second time in for service for many of the same problems. Here's what I sent it in for and what the resolution was:

    Key Fob replace battery warning - At first I thought this was just my Key Fobs but a couple weeks after replacing both batteries the message persisted.

    Action Taken: Tesla gave me the car back with two brand new fobs. 2 weeks later and the warning is back on.

    Conclusion: Not Resolved

    Rattling in right front door speaker - I suspected this was a blown speaker since none of the other door speakers make noise.

    Action Taken: They replaced the speaker but appear not to have tested it as the sound persists. This seems like an easy one to me. Test the speaker after installing it. If they would have done this they could have then determined that something in the door is loose.

    Conclusion: Not Resolved

    TPMS Errors - The tire pressure monitoring system has been a constant source of grief on this car. The previous owner had the car in several times and delayed my pickup of the car so that he could have it serviced. On the way home to LA from San Francisco the light came back on. "Service Tire Pressure Monitoring System".

    Action Taken: In January this entire system was apparently replaced. The problem returned almost immediately after I picked up the car. I lived with it for a couple months until this most recent visit. The solution for this visit was apparently to replace a couple wheel sensors. The error returned a couple days after I picked the car back up.

    Conclusion: Not Resolved

    Sunroof Seal - I noticed that the inner sunroof seal was coming separated from the frame. I simply brought this to their attention and my SA told me they'd just replace it. Great.

    Action Taken: Ok, this is the one that chaps my ass. I get the car back and the next morning while looking back for something I notice the headliner is kinked along the front pano panel. That's annoying. I look at the other side to see if that has it. It does, thought not nearly as bad. Then I notice that they didn't replace the seal properly. It's worse than it was when I dropped the car off.

    So I speak with my SA and he's emphatically apologetic. He tells me to send him pictures. So I get in on the passenger side to snap some at which point I notice that not only is the headliner kinked but it's also got traces of grease like someone was handling it with dirty hands. Then I notice the B and C pillars are both dirty as well. I mean it's one thing to fix the problem and leave a trail of destruction in your wake but he didn't even fix the problem. He made it worse and damaged the car on top of that.

    My SA ordered a headliner and said he's going to have he car detailed but it's a month for that headliner to come in and I've waited 3 weeks to a month for each of my service appointments.

    Conclusion: Not Resolved

    The Trend

    So that's four problems the car went in for this most recent trip and four problems that were not fixed. I should mention that my SA has been absolutely wonderful and there are things on the car that likely didn't need to be fixed that he took care of just because I mentioned them. I have no complaints with my SA. He's not out there fixing the car himself.

    My complaint is with the entire process. It seems as if work is being half-assed due to the workload which is resulting in cars coming back that simply haven't been fixed or that the mechanic hasn't had ample time to diagnose and test. It looks like they're just throwing parts at the cars and crossing their fingers.

    And I should add, none of this is horrible or unbearable but it's annoying to have to wait 3 - 4 weeks for service even when they fix your car properly. To get it back damaged with none of the problems fixed is not good.

    As it sits, it's going to be four weeks before that headliner comes in. And so I wait.

    I guess there's no question here. I'm just venting at the absurdity of it all.
     
  2. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    And people wonder why I talk about the necessity of an anti-trust lawsuit to get the service/parts monopoly to stop...
     
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    • Like x 3
  3. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    I agree with you. This monopoly means owners are being setup for abuse. Tesla needs to allow third party marketplace to service and repair the cars. Tesla goes out of the way to make it very difficult for third parties to work on your car.
     
  4. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    For third party repair and availability of information to repair it yourself (shop manuals), I suspect Tesla will make this available eventually. They are walking a bit of a tightrope today to keep demand up for their vehicles until the Model 3 hits full production. In Tesla's corporate model the Model S and X are stepping stones to cheaper cars, but they need to get all they can out of that market to fund the development of the Model 3.

    The Model S and X are, to some extent, proof of concept vehicles. They are collecting data on how the cars stand up over time as well as what problems they have. All so they can improve things down the road. Keeping control over maintenance is one way to ensure they have a good data set.

    Right now the only cars out of warranty are a handful of Roadsters and some early Model Ss. The bulk of the fleet are still under warranty and most will be for the next couple of years.

    As the fleet ages and more cars go out of warranty, plus Model 3s begin to outnumber the Ss and Xs, I expect they will start offering training for independent technicians to learn to maintain the cars and they will make some kind of manuals available to the public. It may be a couple of years now.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. TampaRich

    TampaRich Member

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    Is this an early Model S? Sounds like a lemon. Maybe that's why the previous owner unloaded it. I'd be looking at a trade for a newer one. These are just not common problems.
     
  6. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    @wdolson - exactly my thoughts as well. I feel the reason Tesla is not opening it's kimono to third party repair shops is simple - they want closer control over their fleet, which is still immature and not very large today. This has to change as the fleet grows.

    And yes Model S introduced in 2012, today being 2016 - I am hoping (educated risk), to see this change over the next couple of years. If it doesn't, out of warranty second-owners will not believe the 'low cost of EV ownership', and that free soda at the service center won't quite make up for the difference either.

    Service is still mostly excellent, but meanwhile, today, you see a random owner like @Mike K above unhappy with service - and has no recourse. Yes some owners are unreasonable. But you have to imagine that some are not. I wouldn't want to be in that less than ideal situation.

    Tesla will benefit by lowering ownership and repair costs. I strongly feel it's time to act on that immediately!
     
  7. PaulusdB

    PaulusdB Mayor Gnomus Vintage Limb

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    Why don't we routinely inspect the cars with the SA at pickup?
    Just refuse to accept it when things aren't fixed.
    Next time around, he'll inspect the car before pickup.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Cowby

    Cowby Member

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    I feel your pain, and probably cyclone does as well. I too have had all the problems you have listed and worse. I've learned to be patient and accept the Tesla timeline on things getting done. It's just very slow. I do however take comfort in knowing that Tesla will make things right, you might have to escalate to the SM or regional tho to get more attention on your car.

    ps...did u know they will pick up and drop off your car for service? At no charge? How awesome is that! And if they can't then they'll get u or their tech an Uber ride on their dime!
     
  9. cwave1

    cwave1 Member

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    I've had the pano roof leaking issue and it stained the headliner. I've been waiting 6 months for a promised new headliner.

    Good luck with yours.
     
  10. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I wish I could like that more than once!
     
  11. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    It's an early model but I wouldn't call it a lemon per say. I mean the TPMS system for example. This is not rocket science to get right. There exists no scenario in which someone trying to fix this system should through up their arms and say "that's it! It's unfixable!". And that's mainly because the system is both simple and easily replaced in it's entirety. So if it's working on other cars then there is a reasonable expectation that someone is going to be able to get it working on mine.

    This time going in I'm going to kindly tell the SA that they need to keep the car until they are sure the issues are ironed out and that means they can take it home, whatever. Do whatever you need to do. There's nothing more frustrating than waiting 4 weeks for an appointment and then picking up the car to see the issues still present. The first thought in my head was great, now I need to wait another 4 weeks.

    I have no doubt they'll make it right. No worries there and my SA has been a champ. I think he's frustrated himself because what do you tell the customer in this situation? How do you put a positive spin on them fixing none of the issues and then handing you back a damaged car? :)

    I am aware of the pickup/ drop-off. I always want a loaner though and I'm not sure they still do the loaner pickup/ drop-off.

    This is just I wanted to hear. What are they telling you? Obviously they exist since cars are getting made.
     
  12. DoubleE

    DoubleE Member

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    What service center did you bring your vehicle to?
     
  13. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I noticed he was in LA, not sure how many SCs there are in that area, but I kept thinking, man, the one advantage of being in the boonies is that they always make things right. Everything seems to be fixed and working when I get my car back and they are much more prompt.
     
  14. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I'm with you on anti-trust laws but I don't see how it helps in this particular situation. These repairs are costing the OP nothing (except for his time and aggravation -- not to downplay it OP, I feel your pain). Tesla is costing itself wasted money by screwing up on the repairs, and having to re-do them, damaging parts not affected with dirty hands, etc., etc.

    Anti-trust laws won't change this at all. The OP wouldn't take warranty repairs to another repair shop and pay out of pocket. There's never been an anti-trust law that requires a manufacturer to open up warranty repairs to competitors and pay competitors for those repairs. That makes no sense and would bury businesses. Anti-trust laws are in place to promote competition, avoid monopolies, and in turn make businesses thrive, not to crush them.

    You really need to explain what you mean by your comment in relation to warranty repairs. Out of warranty, fine, I get it. But you really lost me on this one.
     
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  15. eloder

    eloder Member

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    Bingo!

    Working in an industry that requires repair/replacement of my products, I cannot fathom the mindset that people have that businesses love to not fix things and to do a poor job when under warranty.

    Do you people really think that Tesla likes wasting all their time, labor, and loaner time on the same issues over and over again? Don't you think that they would rather limit visits to one rather than not taking five minutes to test something after a repair?

    I understand the frustration, but in general the #1 selling luxury sedan in North America and the US did not get to that point by doing crappy service work on their fleet.
     
  16. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I agree. I don't necessarily disagree with his statements. I'm just not sure what they have to do with my problem.

    It's a matter of perspective. I don't think they want to do it. I just think they're poorly trained and with the backlog of appointments their approach seems to be to just throw parts at the cars with minimal troubleshooting. As a shareholder, whether or not they mean for it to happen (they obviously don't) is irrelevant to me. It's still happening. The process appears to be broken and make no mistake about it, if my car has been in for the same problems several times and came back with none of them fixed and the car damaged, the process is indeed broken.

    As far as the car not becoming the number one selling luxury sedan because Tesla doesn't neglect it's fleet, that's indisputably inaccurate. The reason the car is the number one luxury sedan is for many reasons, not one of which is reliability. Stories of cars going in frequently with the same issues are commonplace. My story is an exception not because a problem didn't get fixed but because none of my problems got fixed and the car came back damaged.

    Tesla customers (myself included) are loyal to Tesla largely because we know Tesla will make it right and because it's the company's first ground up designed product and it's amazing, even with a broken TPMS system. :)

    This doesn't sour me on Tesla but if they consistently can't get this right it makes me wonder what else they consistently can't get right.
     
  17. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Out of curiosity, related to the TPMS errors, do you have a dash cam installed? If so, you might try powering it off to see if that helps.

    I once had a very nice street guardian dash cam cause interference with my TPMS system on my Volt. Different car, I know, but it does happen and the systems all work basically the same. Took the dash cam out and the TPMS worked fine. I bought a different brand dash cam that didn't cause interference, and it's been fine ever since.
     
  18. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

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    I'm afraid your experience is entirely consistent with mine. I have three SC's within a reasonable distance from where I live, so thinking my experience (problems not fixed, damage done to car by SC) was an issue with that SC, I started going to another. Same issues. Then went to a third SC...same issues. Since my car was new, and 9 visits totaling 52 days didn't solve the seemingly minor issues, my car is currently being bought back by Tesla and I'm getting a new one.

    I'm heartbroken that they can't get it right and are having to buy back a car because of it. I think they are too busy to do the job right. This has to be a huge financial drain. For reference, I just made an attempt to schedule a service visit for our other Model S and was told the earliest available appointment is mid-June!
     
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  19. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    To be fair car dealers' service centers have the same problems. I was lucky and only had minor problems with my last car, but they never could find the reason the brake pedal squeaks in warm weather (it's been doing it consistently for 24 years now) and the car started leaking a little oil while it was still under warranty and they couldn't find it.

    With the same 24 year old car I had a speaker start to make noise off and on. I bought new speakers and replaced them, but the problem persisted. As I moved the speaker wire around, the problem got better and worse. Somewhere in the speaker wire there is a break or something and the wire needs to be replaced.

    It sounds to me like you have a bad speaker wire and they can be difficult to reproduce. It's quite possible the speaker wire behaved when the tech tested it and he figured he had fixed it, but once you got on the road and the wire moved to a different position and the problem started again.

    The stains on the headliner and the misfitting of the parts back in place are amateurish, but I've heard of car dealers doing worse.

    From the stories I've heard, I do think Tesla's customer service overall is better than average, but people vary. There are going to be some techs better than others and some SC managers better than others. And even good people have a bad day at work. In my career as a programmer I've let some things slip through the cracks and delivered the wrong version or some big bug I should have caught. 99% of the time I deliver working code and the customer is happy, 1% of the time I make a mistake.

    We hear about more of the mistakes here on this forum because it's human nature to complain when something is wrong rather than talk up all the times that it's right.

    As for anti-trust, when a larger number of Tesla's fleet goes out of warranty, it will be worthwhile for local repair shops to send their techs out to learn how to repair them and Tesla can set up a school to train them. If they don't do it voluntarily, there will be enough owners out there who will have standing to sue them about it. Right now there aren't enough cars out of warranty for repair shops to bother and only a relative handful of owners with cars out of warranty who are affected.
     
  20. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Hmmmm.
    Yikes. That's terrible.

    I too had an inordinate number of SvC visits over, in my case, the first year of ownership, but things did stabilize eventually. Have experienced really bad service (including damage to the car) and really, really good service (above and beyond). There are a couple of SvCs nationally that were phenomenal. That said, these days, before turning over the fob, I photograph the car inside and out including wear surfaces. Just a lesson learned.

    Part of what I also learned is to not stop until finding a great service manager, service advisor, and shop foreman or service/tech lead. Once you've assembled that team, things tend to function the way they should much more often. I have only had to escalate to a regional manager once, but that's another useful bit of information to have - their contact information - especially if you're (not you - the general you) in an area without multiple SvC choices.

    Service, while lately great, is an ongoing concern simply due to the growth/success that will continue. Which is a shame, and great, and a shame all at the same time.
     

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