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Buying used from Tesla

I purchased a used 2020 Model S Performance from Tesla in May 2020. The car was in pristine condition and I have to say I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately that car was totaled last month so I set out to replace it with another.

I ordered one online from Tesla again, waited 3 weeks for delivery and went down to pick it up. Everything looked great until I got to the passenger rear quarter and found white filler in a "scratch" on the rear fender (car is black), and a wide swath of scrapes behind it where it apparently was hit by something. The delivery manager said he couldn't fix it or adjust the price, so I refused delivery. The delivery manager told me to check with the delivery team that had been texting me for a refund of the deposit and delivery fee. When I did, they told me I had to go through the delivery manager at the store. The store is an hour away and nobody from Tesla can give me the store phone number. Just in case, I submitted a claim to reverse the card payment and I'll see what happens with the whole mess.

In the meantime, I was perusing used cars on the Tesla site and saw their new cosmetic standard guide, which is absolutely appalling.

1664559760918.png


So if you order a used Model S Plaid for $130k, you are expected to live with 4" scratches all over the car, 6" gouges in the wheels and small tears and stains in the interior. These are the terms I would expect when buying a 1999 Honda Civic for $3200, not a late model $100K+ vehicle! Do they think their product is so strong that we have to eat whatever crap they feed us? I just don't get it.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
3,115
1,834
Kentucky
This should be the same for leased Teslas being turned back in after lease, but I think the standards for "normal wear and tear" differ for Tesla. If these are not the same, someone should use this is small claims court to get your fees refunded on a lease turn in. Of course if you are buying a used Tesla, you can always refuse delivery like you did, but it will take months to get your money back.
 
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Their terms are certainly extremely broad. I'd hope no reasonable person would except that crap and would just start a charge back (which you did). That's reasonable and has a cost to them. Thus with enough people doing it they should learn not to try to sell crap. But yea, terms written by a legal team are always going to be suspect. Doesn't mean anything in court if a reasonable person (or jury panel of them) would expect something different.
 
Does anyone know, or care to speculate, whether the price of used vehicles on Tesla's site represents the condition of the vehicle?

That is, two almost identical vehicles (exact same specs and mileage) can be listed for prices that vary by $10k to $15k. Because Tesla doesn't provide pics and the acceptable damage tolerances are so broad, might they price based on condition without saying that's what they're doing? Or is it just random?
 
Does anyone know, or care to speculate, whether the price of used vehicles on Tesla's site represents the condition of the vehicle?

That is, two almost identical vehicles (exact same specs and mileage) can be listed for prices that vary by $10k to $15k. Because Tesla doesn't provide pics and the acceptable damage tolerances are so broad, might they price based on condition without saying that's what they're doing? Or is it just random?
I'm wondering about the same thing! I just ordered a used M3 LR on Tesla website, it was the cheapest one with no prior accident. The VIN check said it was registered for non-personal use and was located in NJ.
 
An update on my end - Tesla reviewed all the damage on the vehicle and found 1 of the issues were "out of spec" - the large area on the back fender which rubbed up against something. They offered to fix that one item for free, but I refused (no faith in their repair abilities) and they agreed to provide a refund.

@silversnow - I'll be interested to hear the shape your's is in on delivery!
 
An update on my end - Tesla reviewed all the damage on the vehicle and found 1 of the issues were "out of spec" - the large area on the back fender which rubbed up against something. They offered to fix that one item for free, but I refused (no faith in their repair abilities) and they agreed to provide a refund.

@silversnow - I'll be interested to hear the shape your's is in on delivery
Glad to hear they refunded you! My delivery was pretty smooth. I arrived 15min early on the day of. They were still washing my car and I ended up waiting for a bit. The people there were super busy, and I had to work with two of them, as one left for lunch during my inspection at around 4pm (late lunch). We asked them to print a carfax report, showing the vehicle was previously a personal lease. The car came with the mobile charging kit. Nothing major was found except a small scratch on the console cover. We signed the paperwork and took off around 4:30p.
 
I purchased a used 2020 Model S Performance from Tesla in May 2020. The car was in pristine condition and I have to say I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately that car was totaled last month so I set out to replace it with another.

I ordered one online from Tesla again, waited 3 weeks for delivery and went down to pick it up. Everything looked great until I got to the passenger rear quarter and found white filler in a "scratch" on the rear fender (car is black), and a wide swath of scrapes behind it where it apparently was hit by something. The delivery manager said he couldn't fix it or adjust the price, so I refused delivery. The delivery manager told me to check with the delivery team that had been texting me for a refund of the deposit and delivery fee. When I did, they told me I had to go through the delivery manager at the store. The store is an hour away and nobody from Tesla can give me the store phone number. Just in case, I submitted a claim to reverse the card payment and I'll see what happens with the whole mess.

In the meantime, I was perusing used cars on the Tesla site and saw their new cosmetic standard guide, which is absolutely appalling.

View attachment 858538

So if you order a used Model S Plaid for $130k, you are expected to live with 4" scratches all over the car, 6" gouges in the wheels and small tears and stains in the interior. These are the terms I would expect when buying a 1999 Honda Civic for $3200, not a late model $100K+ vehicle! Do they think their product is so strong that we have to eat whatever crap they feed us? I just don't get it.
Wow! This is insane. Who in their right mind is paying 130k for a scratched car?

People looking for an EV are going to start to look elsewhere, or they just won't buy used Tesla's from Tesla. Even the dealerships won't try to screw you over like this. At least they let you look at what you're getting, unlike Teslas "terms" that you're supposed to be okay with. If I were you, just look on craigslist or KBB. You are bound to find better options there, where you cant at least view what you're purchasing.
 
Here is my recent experience. I went to Nashville on Oct 22nd to pick up a 2018 metallic silver Model S with 22k miles for $65k. I assumed it was priced high because of the condition. I was way off. I could not believe how bad it was. First thing I notices walking towards the car from the Tesla showroom was a big dent on the hood. Then noticed all kind of scratches on the paint. The front scoop which the Tesla person told me was not part of the 4 inch rule. It had big gashes longer than 4" and the bottom was all scraped up. There were scratches in the body area very visible. Also one of the headlights had a gash more than 4". In the front bumper, the license plate holder was hit and it seemed it was crushed but could not see the extent of the damage. So when I complained, they sent for the tech person to tell me that everything was within the spec for a used car but he was looking at me and could tell he was saying with his eyes, don't get the car. Anyways after I declined, the sales person told me that he will send pictures of the car to the sales coordinator and they will work something out with me, possible credit towards another car or something for 1k transport and 500 deposit.

I am hoping that this was one off because I got another Tesla Model S on the way to Nashville. I was going to get my son one too but man I was disappointed in this experience. I was a first night reservation holder and buyer of 2018 model 3 and also reserved 2 first night for the cybertruck.
 
The used buying process from Tesla is an afterthought for them and it shows. I went through it this summer for a 2017 P100DL S and it was in pretty rough shape. There wasn't anything major that couldn't be fixed, but footwell panels were completely loose on the driver side, a wire was blocking the front AP camera which caused the car to veer off the road when AP was engaged, and my side AP cameras didn't work. There were about 4-5 very obvious items that should have been addressed prior to sale. Some may have a much better experience, but be prepared to bring a lot of patience to the purchase process. IMO, it's still worth buying used through Tesla for the 1-year 10k mile limited warranty (at least on the S/X), which has already covered my air suspension and other minor issues.
 
I got a response from the Tesla Sales rep, telling me they sent picture to the corporate hq and they denied any refund because it was all under used car specifications. I asked them to send the pictures they sent and they declined. I reserved first night of Tesla Model 3 announcement also reserved 2 cybertruck on the first night of announcement. I always had great things to say about Tesla and now feeling let down. I put a deposit and paid for transport on good faith that the 2018 100d silver model s with only 22k miles would be in great condition. I drove down with my wife from Huntsville AL to Nashville to be told everything is under used car specification and no refund. It could have 1000s of scratches long as none of them was over 4". Not sure how they measure dents because start of the dent was more than 2 inches. The front scoop could be cracked or whatever because it doesn't count in the specifications. I didn't take pictures because I trusted Tesla to do the right thing. I guess it is a luck of the draw if the money spent on deposit and transport is what you think you paid for the car is worth after seeing the car. When I first arrived, they wanted the check to start the final sales, they didn't even offer to show the car. I had to ask to see the car first. Very disappointed!!
 
Here is my recent experience. I went to Nashville on Oct 22nd to pick up a 2018 metallic silver Model S with 22k miles for $65k. I assumed it was priced high because of the condition. I was way off. I could not believe how bad it was. First thing I notices walking towards the car from the Tesla showroom was a big dent on the hood. Then noticed all kind of scratches on the paint. The front scoop which the Tesla person told me was not part of the 4 inch rule. It had big gashes longer than 4" and the bottom was all scraped up. There were scratches in the body area very visible. Also one of the headlights had a gash more than 4". In the front bumper, the license plate holder was hit and it seemed it was crushed but could not see the extent of the damage. So when I complained, they sent for the tech person to tell me that everything was within the spec for a used car but he was looking at me and could tell he was saying with his eyes, don't get the car. Anyways after I declined, the sales person told me that he will send pictures of the car to the sales coordinator and they will work something out with me, possible credit towards another car or something for 1k transport and 500 deposit.

I am hoping that this was one off because I got another Tesla Model S on the way to Nashville. I was going to get my son one too but man I was disappointed in this experience. I was a first night reservation holder and buyer of 2018 model 3 and also reserved 2 first night for the cybertruck.
I wrote the price wrong, it was 75K not 65K. So upset can't even get the price right.
 
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Here is my recent experience. I went to Nashville on Oct 22nd to pick up a 2018 metallic silver Model S with 22k miles for $65k. I assumed it was priced high because of the condition. I was way off. I could not believe how bad it was. First thing I notices walking towards the car from the Tesla showroom was a big dent on the hood. Then noticed all kind of scratches on the paint. The front scoop which the Tesla person told me was not part of the 4 inch rule. It had big gashes longer than 4" and the bottom was all scraped up. There were scratches in the body area very visible. Also one of the headlights had a gash more than 4". In the front bumper, the license plate holder was hit and it seemed it was crushed but could not see the extent of the damage. So when I complained, they sent for the tech person to tell me that everything was within the spec for a used car but he was looking at me and could tell he was saying with his eyes, don't get the car. Anyways after I declined, the sales person told me that he will send pictures of the car to the sales coordinator and they will work something out with me, possible credit towards another car or something for 1k transport and 500 deposit.

I am hoping that this was one off because I got another Tesla Model S on the way to Nashville. I was going to get my son one too but man I was disappointed in this experience. I was a first night reservation holder and buyer of 2018 model 3 and also reserved 2 first night for the cybertruck.
When you see a Teslsa online that you're interested in don't they have pictures? Can you talk or email about specifics of a car?

Edit: I just looked at inventory. No pictures at all ... zero, zip, nada. They do say it may have cosmetic issues and may have been worked on but it is all up to Tesla specs. I did not see anything that would facilitate getting any pics or details on a specific car. It's buying something without seeing ... that's ridiculous. You gotta go (or in this case be prepaired to loose transport costs) see for yourself before purchase, of course. A lesson learned, sorry it was on your dollar.
 
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