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Do I have a lemon law case?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by chr147, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. chr147

    chr147 Member

    Dec 25, 2017
    Las Vegas
    M3P+ delivered on 8/2.

    There were multiple aesthetic issues with it, so I immediately scheduled a service appointment with the Las Vegas SC for 8/17 (dark paint runs on the back bumper, random paint chips, dented chrome lining around the door, etc). The car has been in the body shop and Service Center since then.

    I received a call on 8/31... while they were trying to replace the chrome lining, they pulled out and damaged the leather lining that covered some electrical wiring, which apparently makes it dangerous to drive the car, and it would take "a few more weeks" to receive the part and replace it.

    Does this qualify as a lemon?

    I am located in Nevada.


    In Nevada, a new vehicle is considered a lemon if it has:

    • Been out of service for at least 30 days during the warranty period or 1 year—whichever comes first.

    Does being in the Service Center for repairs count as being "out of service"?

    I received a bill for my first car payment in the mail today. Feels really unfair that I have to make payments on a car that was sent immediately to the SC (8/17 was the first availability). Has anyone been able to escalate this and have the parts shipped faster? It's even more frustrating that SC managers never return messages, and thus, I must resort to posting on the internet to try and get some answers.

    I imagine that I will get flamed for asking this. I apologize in advance, as I am not familiar with these things.
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #2 cwerdna, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    I wouldn't go by what says. I generally ignore ANY search results that point there. Notice the disclaimer at the top?

    Is that official place for the Nevada DMV? (Seems like it, given what I see at Nevada DMV Vehicle Registration Renewal.) If so, the left side of Nevada Dealer Vehicle Sales has a pointer to your state's lemon law.

    (For CA, our DMV page is at Home. If I want to search for official CA DMV info, I limit my Google search via
    It should.
  3. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2015
    Clark Co, WA
    The car went into the SC on 8/17 and it's now 9/2, that's only about two weeks. The car was drivable between the time you took delivery and 8/17, so it was not out of service. Out of service means it was not drivable at all or dangerous to drive.

    Lemon laws are aimed at addressing serious flaws in a car that make it unreliable or dangerous to drive. The laws vary from state to state, but generally cosmetic issues are not covered.

    Findlaw has a bit more detail on Nevada's Lemon Law including a link to the text of the statute:
    Nevada Lemon Laws - FindLaw

    The guidelines state the following:
    • The vehicle must have a substantial nonconformity that appears within a certain time after purchase;
    • The nonconformity must be covered by a warranty; and
    • The nonconformity must continue to exist, even after a reasonable number of attempted repairs.
    This is the first visit to the SC, so I don't think this qualifies as a reasonable number of attempts. It is not cool they damaged the car trying to fix it, but that would not fall under the Lemon Law, it would fall under incompetence by the mechanic.

    I'm no lawyer (though I live with one). If you really are concerned, you should find a lawyer who specializes in lemon law cases who will give you a free consult, but from what you presented, I don't think this qualifies. At least not yet. If Tesla fails to fix the problems with multiple attempts, then you might have a case.
    • Like x 1
  4. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

    Apr 7, 2016
    Technical Requirements aside, do you dislike ithe car so much that you're already done with, and prepared to turn it in, walk away, and adios Tesla for good?
    • Like x 1
  5. Vitold

    Vitold Active Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    I do not think you qualify for the lemon law at this time.

    When you identified the issues with paint and chrome at the delivery - what made you accept it?

    Did Tesla give you a loaner while you car was in service?
  6. Raechris

    Raechris Member

    Nov 21, 2017
    • Like x 1
  7. Krazaak

    Krazaak Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    Use the Tesla website to escalate for executive review and explain your case. Mention that you've received your first payment for a car you can't drive because of delivery issues.

    As far as lemon law goes, very unlikely. Being in the body shop isn't a warranty issue.
  8. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Dog Chauffeur

    Mar 20, 2015
    Gig Harbor, WA
    The defect does not have to impair the use of the vehicle. Any defect that significantly affects the value of the vehicle (botched paint, interior damage, cracked roof) also applies, per that link above.

    Keep a running record of every visit and every communication with them. Find a lemon law expert in your area. I’ve had to Lemon Law two cars (not Tesla) in my lifetime and believe it’s a very good tool to keep you from getting stuck with the burden of a poor specimen of what may otherwise be a good model.

    Hope they get it fixed for you or get you a new one.

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