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Fremont delivery - car refused

dan180

Member
Feb 13, 2018
11
204
San Francisco
Hi everyone-

I'm sharing this so others can learn from my experience. My midnight silver EAP aero Model 3, VIN 68XX (manufactured 3/18 according to door sticker) was scheduled for delivery today @ 10 AM at the Fremont Delivery Center. Reading enough reports of car defects, I removed my emotion from the car pickup process and expected that there could be issues. My goal was to document everything and only reject the car in an extreme circumstance.

First issue was almost expected, a panel gap issue. The gap between the passenger side fender where it meets the A pillar was awfully large. The rubber end cap that bridges these two panels on the window was out of alignment because of it. The delivery specialist agreed that it looked out of spec, and would have the service manager take a look.

Next, I noticed a bunch of hairline scratches on the tail lights. Looks like it was from very reckless detailing. Not a dealbreaker either, but annoying.

Next, I got into the car and notice dirt on the plastic piece that covers the bottom edge of the door. Then, I run my fingers along the plastic and notice a very deep set of scratches...almost from someone kicking their shoe in the plastic while working on it. Using a flashlight revealed permanent damage to the plastic.

IMHO, all of these were minor except for the panel gap. I was still OK taking the car home at this point. My delivery specialist had the car driven from the delivery room to the back for the service team to see if they could buff out the blemishes and confirm the panel gap issue/document it.

Twenty minutes later, they confirmed that all of the issues were valid and there was nothing they could do about it now. I said OK, we signed the paperwork, and the car was driven to the front for me to drive home.

I was EXCITED now. I was about to drive my Model 3.

Keep in mind that the delivery room is very very dark. You will miss things, even with a flashlight. When I went outside to put my bag in the trunk, the first thing I noticed was a GIANT set of scratches about 6-8" on the rear bumper. How is this possible? Now, I'm just pissed. This can't be buffed out, and is going to require a repaint.

So my options were: 1) refuse delivery or 2) deal with an unknown repair period, without even knowing if a Tesla service center could repair this (might have to go to a body shop). I chose to refuse delivery. The car is back at the factory and I may end up getting a different VIN depending on what is ready first.

The kicker is that the service manager said something to the effect of "someone tried to remove this scratch already." I got the impression that this was a known defect either at the factory or the delivery center and they attempted delivery with it. Not cool.

Not a great experience, but the moral of the story is: if you care about a $55,000 car looking like a $55,000 car, go to your delivery appointment expecting to reject the car, and then be happy when you don't. Take your time to thoroughly inspect the car, with a flashlight, in both indoor & outdoor lights. There is a big difference in what Tesla can do when they own the car vs. when you take possession.

All of the paperwork has been voided, and now waiting for a follow-up this weekend. On the plus side, I did get a loaner Model S.

Hope this info helps someone!

-Dan
 

pikachu

Member
Feb 15, 2016
66
103
SF East Bay, CA
Oh geez. That sounds like a painful experience. Atleast Tesla did right in giving you the loaner.

Can you refuse delivery even after the paperwork has been signed off? Isn’t the car technically in your possession already? I hope my delivery next week won’t come to this, but it will be good to know that!
 

JES2

Member
Feb 12, 2018
95
118
Carrollton, Texas
This helps us all.

It will ensure that Tesla realizes that the early owners are not forgiving of obvious defects or mistakes. It forces manufacturing to deal with the cars before they ship them out, rather than fixing them onsite at the service facility.
 

ebmcs03

Active Member
Dec 22, 2017
2,157
1,092
So Cal
Thanks for sharing. I’ll be sure to check my car carefully if I ever get it.

At least they didn’t say. “Take it or leave it and get in the back of the line again. There’s 400k ppl behind you.”
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Vip

draz

New Member
Mar 24, 2018
4
1
CA
Sorry you had the rough experience. Thanks for sharing. It is a real shame they aren't taking the time to do very thorough Pre Delivery Inspection prior to having customers come to pick up cars... Please share updates.

I had paint issues with a Honda that could not be seen at night in bad lighting. With much hassle they polished it and got it taken care of... Gaps and scratches is a whole other league, and the Tesla is almost twice the price. I hope the delivery quality improves immediately..
 
  • Like
Reactions: emorog

oripaamoni

Member
Feb 2, 2018
268
233
San Diego
Hi everyone-

I'm sharing this so others can learn from my experience. My midnight silver EAP aero Model 3, VIN 68XX (manufactured 3/18 according to door sticker) was scheduled for delivery today @ 10 AM at the Fremont Delivery Center. Reading enough reports of car defects, I removed my emotion from the car pickup process and expected that there could be issues. My goal was to document everything and only reject the car in an extreme circumstance.

First issue was almost expected, a panel gap issue. The gap between the passenger side fender where it meets the A pillar was awfully large. The rubber end cap that bridges these two panels on the window was out of alignment because of it. The delivery specialist agreed that it looked out of spec, and would have the service manager take a look.

Next, I noticed a bunch of hairline scratches on the tail lights. Looks like it was from very reckless detailing. Not a dealbreaker either, but annoying.

Next, I got into the car and notice dirt on the plastic piece that covers the bottom edge of the door. Then, I run my fingers along the plastic and notice a very deep set of scratches...almost from someone kicking their shoe in the plastic while working on it. Using a flashlight revealed permanent damage to the plastic.

IMHO, all of these were minor except for the panel gap. I was still OK taking the car home at this point. My delivery specialist had the car driven from the delivery room to the back for the service team to see if they could buff out the blemishes and confirm the panel gap issue/document it.

Twenty minutes later, they confirmed that all of the issues were valid and there was nothing they could do about it now. I said OK, we signed the paperwork, and the car was driven to the front for me to drive home.

I was EXCITED now. I was about to drive my Model 3.

Keep in mind that the delivery room is very very dark. You will miss things, even with a flashlight. When I went outside to put my bag in the trunk, the first thing I noticed was a GIANT set of scratches about 6-8" on the rear bumper. How is this possible? Now, I'm just pissed. This can't be buffed out, and is going to require a repaint.

So my options were: 1) refuse delivery or 2) deal with an unknown repair period, without even knowing if a Tesla service center could repair this (might have to go to a body shop). I chose to refuse delivery. The car is back at the factory and I may end up getting a different VIN depending on what is ready first.

The kicker is that the service manager said something to the effect of "someone tried to remove this scratch already." I got the impression that this was a known defect either at the factory or the delivery center and they attempted delivery with it. Not cool.

Not a great experience, but the moral of the story is: if you care about a $55,000 car looking like a $55,000 car, go to your delivery appointment expecting to reject the car, and then be happy when you don't. Take your time to thoroughly inspect the car, with a flashlight, in both indoor & outdoor lights. There is a big difference in what Tesla can do when they own the car vs. when you take possession.

All of the paperwork has been voided, and now waiting for a follow-up this weekend. On the plus side, I did get a loaner Model S.

Hope this info helps someone!

-Dan
All valid in my opinion. I am the guy that tells the dealer "no wash" when it goes into service. I am worried about swirl marks from the delivery prep car wash, I doubt they have a careful enough washing technique.
 

dan180

Member
Feb 13, 2018
11
204
San Francisco
Photos please =) I hope they can trace the scratcher and fire that person.

My plan all along was to take the car home and fully expected to take photos after Tesla documented everything/took photos themselves. But after the giant scratches on the bumper, everything went pretty quick and never took photos. Wish I did. My biggest regret from yesterday!

Oh geez. That sounds like a painful experience. Atleast Tesla did right in giving you the loaner.

Can you refuse delivery even after the paperwork has been signed off? Isn’t the car technically in your possession already? I hope my delivery next week won’t come to this, but it will be good to know that!

Yes. The car is still owned by Tesla until you drive it off the lot. All of my paperwork was voided, and the car was removed from my account. Once you drive it off the lot, no going back.

In all fairness to Tesla, they are trying to learn and do better. For example, I ordered a NEMA 6-20 adapter for my UMC 2 charger about 3 weeks ago. It hadn't shipped. The Product Manager for Tesla accessories was at the Fremont delivery center trying to learn from customers/improve the experience. When he heard that I was taking my car home and didn't have the right adapter in-hand, he had someone drive over the adapter from the warehouse about 20 minutes away. I was really really impressed with Tesla as a company. They are trying to improve, fast.

-Dan
 

Awc1014

Member
Dec 20, 2017
18
21
Ventura County, CA
Thank you very much for sharing! I’m picking up a blk/aero 3 with a 67** Vin on Tuesday so it makes me wonder if there are any concerns to be had in that Vin range. Our cars are different colors, so I would think, according to other posts, they were produced during different “runs” but has anyone else picked up a car in that range and had any issues?
 

NRG4All

Member
Jan 24, 2016
41
27
Show Low, AZ
I do start to wonder about Elon's desire to produce cars at "machine speed" rather than "human speed". The physics are the physics. When you start moving parts around at accelerated speeds, the inertia to start and stop those parts goes up by the square. It seems to me that it would become increasingly difficult to maintain tolerances. Thus, the robots may have a difficult time in lining up the parts and for that matter producing the parts to specification.
 

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,630
7,777
Southern California
These are all genuine bumps in the road on the way to 5K cars per week. Kudos to @dan180 for doing what needed to be done. I think most of us would have succumbed to the alluring model 3 and convinced ourselves that it could all be fixed post delivery. Your advice is sound and an excellent reminder to check your emotions until after you've decided that the car meets the $55K standard. Thanks for sharing your story, I hope they get you your new model 3 soon!
 

DanL3

Member
Feb 1, 2018
244
150
Vancouver, Washington
I do start to wonder about Elon's desire to produce cars at "machine speed" rather than "human speed". The physics are the physics. When you start moving parts around at accelerated speeds, the inertia to start and stop those parts goes up by the square. It seems to me that it would become increasingly difficult to maintain tolerances. Thus, the robots may have a difficult time in lining up the parts and for that matter producing the parts to specification.
Robots are more consistant than Humans. All the swirls and gaps and alignment and scratches we hear about are human caused. If a machine was causing it you would see it in all or most of the cars instead of just in a few.
 

ValueAnalyst

Closed
Aug 25, 2016
5,371
11,124
World
The OP has joined recently, and there are quite a few responses from people who also have joined recently with arguments/verbiage pushed by many TSLA shorts on multiple platforms including Seeking Alpha, Twitter, TMC investment forums and so on.

I question the validity of this post, especially since it has no pics of the issues, VIN, "the sticker," among other reasons.
 

run-the-joules

Turgid Member
Aug 13, 2017
3,785
6,860
SF Bay
The OP has joined recently, and there are quite a few responses from people who also have joined recently with arguments/verbiage pushed by many TSLA shorts on multiple platforms including Seeking Alpha, Twitter, TMC investment forums and so on.

I question the validity of this post, especially since it has no pics of the issues, VIN, "the sticker," among other reasons.

Oh jesus harold christ, you people are unbelievable. He's a new owner and didn't have a reason to have an account before, so by reporting problems that are absolutely consistent with experiences other people have had, he's part of a global conspiracy to destroy Tesla? Get real. He's not saying that the service manager followed him home and molested his children, he's saying that Tesla's quality control isn't great, which many owners, myself included, would likely agree with.

A person can like the brand and still criticize the failings.
 

erthquake

Active Member
Mar 16, 2016
1,191
3,512
California
The OP has joined recently, and there are quite a few responses from people who also have joined recently with arguments/verbiage pushed by many TSLA shorts on multiple platforms including Seeking Alpha, Twitter, TMC investment forums and so on.

I question the validity of this post, especially since it has no pics of the issues, VIN, "the sticker," among other reasons.

I'm giving the benefit of the doubt on this one. It sounds plausible, and the post lacks the usual red flags that trigger my FUDAR. If true, I don't think it's a widespread problem. It could happen with any car company.

In case dan180 isn't aware, there's been an increase of illegitimate posts by brand new accounts trying to badmouth Tesla. So we're all on alert, so to speak.
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,608
7,266
Knoxville, Tennessee
I do start to wonder about Elon's desire to produce cars at "machine speed" rather than "human speed". The physics are the physics. When you start moving parts around at accelerated speeds, the inertia to start and stop those parts goes up by the square. It seems to me that it would become increasingly difficult to maintain tolerances. Thus, the robots may have a difficult time in lining up the parts and for that matter producing the parts to specification.

The speeds he is talking about can be beaten by an 80 year old lady with a walker. The fastest asembly line is moving at something slower than 0.45 mph.

The limits of physics aren't even near coming into play.
 

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