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Door problem blues in Boise

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Electrophile, Nov 22, 2016.

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  1. Electrophile

    Electrophile Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boise ID
    I can't decide whether to be sad or angry, (probably both) but my new Tesla model S has a glaring quality problem worthy of a 1970 K car. Actually the doors fo the Plymouth wagon that I had during the K car era fit much better. (It had other problems, though, that were much more serious)

    So far my new S has also dumped the front skid plate on the ground when the compressed air suspension failed, leaving two palm-sized scars on the skid plate.Tesla says compressor failure, but it looks more like a software bug to me, and yesterday a new software package was downloaded that says "your car might raise and lower during the upgrade". This is a tender section of the anatomy of a car that had a notorious fire when debris went through this area after the car hit debris on the highway. A savvy Tesla buyer will look at these scars and ask about hidden damage, then move on to another car to buy. Understanding this problem, Tesla has agreed to replace the skid plate.

    Don't get me wrong-- I love the car. The Tesla is 95% wonder car. It's the closest thing to flying I have found. But that last 5% should never have happened in a car this expensive, and I am so far not impressed by Tesla's understanding of quality programs--or their willingness to treat it as a serious defect. They need to do whatever it takes--including bringing the car back to the factory for analysis--to get to the bottom of this. So far it looks like the door and the opening are different sizes/shapes.

    The Tesla S driver's side door is worst: it bangs when it closes, and fits so poorly that you must slam it to get it to close all the way. The inner door panel pops off and a 1/2" crack opens up between it and the window. There is a bad air leak in the upper window and the door is visibly misaligned on the outside. I hate to look in the left side rear view mirror because it reminds me of the problem. The wind noise is so bad that the voice recognition software can't understand simple numbers at highway speed. There is a bad air leak right next to my left ear. Long trips are almost painful.

    It has been this way since I received it brand new a month or so ago. Tesla sent a technician up, who worked on the car all day one Saturday. She was polite, friendly and worked very hard to fix it. But didn't improve the problem. The noise level is actually worse.

    This would be totally unacceptable in a Ford or Chevy. In a very expensive luxury car it's an unbelievable quality failure.

    Tesla passes this off as "a minor service issue". This is a little like passing a crack in the wing spar of a 787 off as a "minor cosmetic flaw"...



    This is not a problem to be addressed by a service call. It is a glaring quality failure in a car that came directly from the factory this way. I fear that Tesla does not understand how bad this kind of quality performance will get when they begin the ramp for Model 3. A long time ago my wife had a Datsun 1600 that had these kinds of problems. We unloaded it as fast as we could, because other problems came in waves: antifreeze leaks, oil leaks, rips in the upholstery, etc.

    The Datsun story eventually had a positive outcome, including a name and image change for the company who made it. Japanese auto makers in general subsequently made quality a high priority and cleaned up their act, and cleaned up in the market.

    These are different times. Car companies do not get the leeway they got in the era of smog pumps and peeling paint. Has Tesla learned anything from the near-demise of the American car industry?

    Has anyone had similar problems? Can anyone help me get Tesla's ear? I'm seriously considering using the Lemon Law to get them to replace my new car.

    Disillusioned in Boise....
     
  2. norm

    norm Vendor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
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    Location:
    RIO VERDE, AZ
    Did you notice the problem with doors when you took delivery ?? When was it delivered. I just placed order to be delivered in Dec and this door problem concerns me

    norm
     
  3. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
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    Location:
    Bay Area & Montana
    Prepare for the attack of the Tesla sycophants on this. "This person is a fraud, the K car wasn't for sale in the 1970s! He's a short seller trying to bash our beloved brand! Pooh pooh!"
     
    • Disagree x 1
  4. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    Firmware updates may raise/lower suspension quite frequently. I'd tend to believe the compressor failure. Those kind of things fail early if they fail. I personally wouldn't focus on that - sounds like they are making that right.

    The door fit with banging sounds and parts popping off is really really not acceptable.
     
  5. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    SF Bay Area
    If the door isn't closing correctly it might require a bodyshop to adjust. Or it could just be the latch that needs adjustment? Sounds like they tried something. Do you know what they tried to fix the door? Either way, they need to fix it. That is unacceptable. It might require escalation to more senior service management. The car should be quiet at freeway speeds with minimal wind noise. If they cannot fix the problem, you need to discuss lemon/having them build you a new car without the quality problems that yours appears to have.
     
  6. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Joined:
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    Yes, the K car was available in the 70s. A truly groundbreaking piece of American engineering.o_O

    So sorry to hear about your problems. Do you have a service center in your area? I wouldn't think a ranger could fix a misaligned door without some sort of alignment rig.

    My SAS failed just a few days after buying mine in 10/14. The SC was outstanding. Mine did not drop the car to the ground, which is what I think you are saying. I don't know how that could physically happen.

    Do not worry about the skid plate. It's stronger than the rest of the car, which is the strongest and safest car ever tested.

    Establish a relationship with your sc if you have one. If not contact corporate. I have had nothing but spectacular service and customer service from Tesla. And I damn picky. But I do find that being nice and asking for help, rather than railing at them goes farther. Not to say that you have.

    I hope your problems are resolved quickly and permanently.
     
  7. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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    I don't think it was availble until the early 80's. I know, off topic.
     
  8. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    You know what? You are right! So sorry about that. I thought the Dodge Aspen was a K car.
     
  9. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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    I just remember Lee Iacocca and those commercials. Not as good as Ricardo Montalban Telling me about his rich Corinthian Leather though.
     
    • Love x 1
  10. Electrophile

    Electrophile Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
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    Location:
    Boise ID
    I want to thank everyone for their replies and advice. The shock of a potential financial loss of this magnitude was overwhelming for a while, but I decided to follow the consensus advice: tone it down and give the system a chance. My son is in a semi-managerial role in a service-related company, and he told me that if you give the people on the inside a chance they usually want to be on your side. Stay on task and follow the Three P's: polite, persuasive and persistent.

    Each time I got NOPE (Not Our Problem, Either) I escalated to the next level. After going up three levels some unknown person higher yet sent a question by way of the service department: would I consider a replacement car? The offer was a total refund or a replacement S. After some soul searching I took an even bigger leap: I bought a 75 kWh Model X. Along the way I met a couple of kind and genuine people at the big T. Yes it's a big company, but I'd have to say I'm now a Teslaphile.

    The Model X is what I should have bought in the first place, if I hadn't been put off by the doors. It fits our use patterns much better and once you get in the stratospheric price region it doesn't make all that much difference. I got in ahead of the January 15 cutoff for free supercharging and found a near perfect match in existing inventory. I started looking for excuses to drive the thing until I realized I don't need an excuse. I don't carry a lot of passengers anyway, so the back doors don't get used a lot, but they are tight, quiet and a heck of an attention-getter here, where a Tesla of any kind is still pretty rare. Just about every other week someone asks if they can take a picture with the back doors open. Seriously....


    The second week in May I'm going to have a retrofit tow package installed. This option came about through lobbying by fellow X owners. I intend to find a small utility trailer so I don't have to carry smell and dirty things in my X car. Things like diesel fuel for my 12 hp tractor. Elon needs to make an electric garden tractor next.

    Sounds a little smarmy, but things can work out right in the end if you give them a chance.

    Thanks, y'all...
     
    • Like x 3
  11. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    Glad things worked out!

    I have also purchased a Tesla since you initially posted. The occasional complaints were concerning, but it sounds like the problems all get resolved.

    I have a S100D. One weatherseal problem and no engine to drown out the road noise. But really enjoy the car. Happy I went with the larger S over waiting for the 3.
     
  12. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    Olympia, WA
    If you want to have an electric garden tractor it's doable. Pretty much anything with a small gas engine can be converted to electric. If you're not handy you will need the assistance of a fabrication shop.

    Glad things worked out.
     

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