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I have a lemon! What do I do?

SparkyDevil

Member
Jul 12, 2019
7
0
Arizona
I’m confident my Model X is a lemon now. I have had issue after issue since I bought it, and it only has 4000 miles and I’ve had it since May.

Some issues:
-I’ve needed the cooling system repaired TWICE.
-The passenger door motor was busted the day I picked up the car. They let me drive off the lot with a broken door. Had to go back in and get that replaced with a day of owning it.
-Driver seat wobbled (needed to put in brackets)
-Trunk actuator suddenly didn’t work one day and needed to be replaced.
-The car wasn’t installing the firmware updates of the software updates (for whatever reason, they never said why)
-And now, and they still don’t know why it’s doing this, the entire front right of the car stops working. Right directional won’t go on, and when you signal for a right directional there’s no confirmation from the car with visual cues or sounds. Right headlight out. Left works fine, just the right one. Right front sensors aren’t detecting obstacles. Gives me a “limited autopilot” warning.
The service tech said the last one he’s never seen before... great...

My question is, why should I do about getting the car replaced under Lemon Law?
 

RealDeal

Member
Aug 3, 2019
44
32
Aurora, Colorado
It depends on what state you are in. It looks like in Arizona a vehicle is considered a lemon if it's had 4 shop visits or a combined total of 30 days in the shop. I'm not sure if the 4 shop visits have to be for the same thing or not. But if it's been in the shop for a total of 30 days then you might qualify. Once the dealer realizes it qualifies as a lemon, some car dealers will just buy it back from you instead of making you go through the lemon law process. I'm not sure if Tesla will do this or not.
 
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SparkyDevil

Member
Jul 12, 2019
7
0
Arizona
It depends on what state you are in. It looks like in Arizona a vehicle is considered a lemon if it's had 4 shop visits or a combined total of 30 days in the shop. I'm not sure if the 4 shop visits have to be for the same thing or not. But if it's been in the shop for a total of 30 days then you might qualify. Once the dealer realizes it qualifies as a lemon, some car dealers will just buy it back from you instead of making you go through the lemon law process. I'm not sure if Tesla will do this or not.

I’m looking at consulting a Lemon Law attorney too. I just hate having to do this, because I just want to enjoy the car but I can’t.
 

jebinc

MSM Model S PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, white on white
Jun 19, 2019
6,517
8,025
Seattle area
I’m confident my Model X is a lemon now. I have had issue after issue since I bought it, and it only has 4000 miles and I’ve had it since May.

Some issues:
-I’ve needed the cooling system repaired TWICE.
-The passenger door motor was busted the day I picked up the car. They let me drive off the lot with a broken door. Had to go back in and get that replaced with a day of owning it.
-Driver seat wobbled (needed to put in brackets)
-Trunk actuator suddenly didn’t work one day and needed to be replaced.
-The car wasn’t installing the firmware updates of the software updates (for whatever reason, they never said why)
-And now, and they still don’t know why it’s doing this, the entire front right of the car stops working. Right directional won’t go on, and when you signal for a right directional there’s no confirmation from the car with visual cues or sounds. Right headlight out. Left works fine, just the right one. Right front sensors aren’t detecting obstacles. Gives me a “limited autopilot” warning.
The service tech said the last one he’s never seen before... great...

My question is, why should I do about getting the car replaced under Lemon Law?
I believe to be a “Lemon” the same issue has to remain after three well documented manufacturer attempts to fix it.
 
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SaniDel

Member
Aug 30, 2019
75
21
Greenville, Delaware
Had a vehicle replaced under Arizona’s “Lemon Law” but twenty or so years ago! What I recall from the attorney we consulted is to read the booklet in the glovebox very carefully for the specific requirements of the state. As others have advised it is not the total number of problems, but the number of attempts to fix specific problems and the number of days the vehicle was unavaillable, i.e., “in for service”.

Accurate records are essential. Have a document for every time you’ve brought your vehicle in for service, retrieved your vehicle and what was attempted to repair your vehicle. If you were provided a loaner vehicle keep the records for that as well.

Your dealer is well-aware of the requirements of the law, but is hoping you are not! Our dealer (obviously not Tesla) was very cooperative and viewed this as an opportunity to get one more allocation of what was at the time a constrained product as Teslas are now. We traded-in our defective vehicle for an identical vehicle, adjusted the values so zero dollars were required at closing ... and the dealership eventually fixed and resold our defective vehicle, but at a much lower cost to another happy customer!
 

Schroeder0202

2019 Stealth/White/Black/20 inch Tsportline
May 8, 2019
385
248
IL
You have to go thru tesla first which you will find out.
You signed a document specifically for lemon law which states you will attempt to arbitrate first.
Normally they will buy back before needing an atty.
 

rjdoc74

Member
Feb 27, 2014
928
726
LA, CA
You have to go thru tesla first which you will find out.
You signed a document specifically for lemon law which states you will attempt to arbitrate first.
Normally they will buy back before needing an atty.

This. I went through a buyback. You first step is to contact service center manager and request the buyback. Don’t bother with lemon law attorneys first.
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,442
38,387
Oregon
-And now, and they still don’t know why it’s doing this, the entire front right of the car stops working. Right directional won’t go on, and when you signal for a right directional there’s no confirmation from the car with visual cues or sounds. Right headlight out. Left works fine, just the right one. Right front sensors aren’t detecting obstacles. Gives me a “limited autopilot” warning.
The service tech said the last one he’s never seen before... great...

That sounds like a bad ground on the right side of the car to me. Any chance you have a rodent problem where you normally park?
 
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ShawnA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
979
711
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi SparyDevil,

I would follow up on what MP3Mike said about rodents...
I just got my car back from service where the main harness was destroyed by rodents...
They also chewed a few hoses for a coolant leak.
I got a blind spot detection limited message.
The wiring harness was not too expensive, but it was hard to get and took 12 hours of labor to replace...

Good luck,

Shawn
 
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p4594spa

Member
Aug 29, 2019
108
76
95051
I had a lemon law experience in California. As soon as I started to talk lemon law, they offered buy back with trivial deduction for mileage. They refunded unused registration as well. They would rather do the buy-back than have a car show up on their lemon law statistics which are public informaiton
 
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rjdoc74

Member
Feb 27, 2014
928
726
LA, CA
I had a lemon law experience in California. As soon as I started to talk lemon law, they offered buy back with trivial deduction for mileage. They refunded unused registration as well. They would rather do the buy-back than have a car show up on their lemon law statistics which are public informaiton

This. Plus they get to re-use the bought back car as a loaner or resell it. I see my old bought back 90D in my kid's school drop off line all the time.
 

testarossa

Member
Jul 11, 2018
124
113
The Heated south
As others have said, don't waste your time with an attorney. They suck you dry. Contact Tesla first as there have very specific guidelines as per the governing state, before they buy your car back. That said, I've noticed they are getting pretty crafty at the dealers regarding repeated recurring issues. They can blame different component failures each time the car is brought in for a specific recurring issue. Then technically it may not be a repeated failure to fix the same problem.
 
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p4594spa

Member
Aug 29, 2019
108
76
95051
Here is the California law (from State consumer affairs).
While number of repairs is a criteria. There are others that come into play (see bold text below)
Also here is details on Arizona here: https://www.bbb.org/us/Storage/16/Documents/BBBAutoLine/AZ-LLsummary.pdf

Lemon Law Presumption* Within the Song-Beverly Act, there is a presumption guideline wherein it is presumed that a vehicle is a “lemon” if the following criteria are met within 18 months of delivery to the buyer or lessee or 18,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever comes first: • The manufacturer or its agents have made two or more attempts to repair a warranty problem that results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven; • The manufacturer or its agents have made four or more attempts to repair the same warranty problem; or • The vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days (not necessarily all at the same time) while being repaired for any number of warranty problems; or • The problems are covered by the warranty, substantially reduce the vehicle’s use, value, or safety to the consumer and are not caused by abuse of the vehicle; • If required by the warranty materials or by the owner’s manual, the consumer has to directly notify the manufacturer about the problem(s), preferably in writing. The notice must be sent to the address shown in the warranty or owner’s manual (for bullets 1 and 2). If these criteria are met, the Lemon Law presumes that the buyer or lessee is entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price. However, this presumption is rebuttable. The manufacturer may show that the criteria has not been met (for example, because the problems are minor) and therefore, the buyer or lessee is not entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund
 

SaniDel

Member
Aug 30, 2019
75
21
Greenville, Delaware
As others have said, don't waste your time with an attorney.

Amen ... testarossa!

The purpose of "Lemon Laws" is to eliminate the need to involve attorneys. Much the way that many (all?) states have adopted "no fault" insurance to eliminate the need to litigate even minor accidents, the "Lemon Laws" were passed to eliminate the need to litigate this problem. The responses by others to your post emphasize the need to work directly with Tesla, to resolve the problem amicably and in most cases to avoid the "black mark" on the brand and the dealer of having to repurchase a vehicle under Lemon Law.

You are much more likely to get a replacement than to get a refund!
 

rjdoc74

Member
Feb 27, 2014
928
726
LA, CA
Amen ... testarossa!

The purpose of "Lemon Laws" is to eliminate the need to involve attorneys. Much the way that many (all?) states have adopted "no fault" insurance to eliminate the need to litigate even minor accidents, the "Lemon Laws" were passed to eliminate the need to litigate this problem. The responses by others to your post emphasize the need to work directly with Tesla, to resolve the problem amicably and in most cases to avoid the "black mark" on the brand and the dealer of having to repurchase a vehicle under Lemon Law.

You are much more likely to get a replacement than to get a refund!

Tesla does not replace vehicles. Best case scenario for original poster is that Tesla will purchase this vehicle back based on negotiated price which will be lower than purchase price and the original poster will receive a check in the mail. At that time, he can purchase another Tesla. These are two separate transactions.
 

SaniDel

Member
Aug 30, 2019
75
21
Greenville, Delaware
Tesla does not replace vehicles. Best case scenario for original poster is that Tesla will purchase this vehicle back based on negotiated price which will be lower than purchase price and the original poster will receive a check in the mail. At that time, he can purchase another Tesla. These are two separate transactions.

Thanks, rjdoc74! That's what I meant, but said in too few words. It would be unreasonable to expect a full refund as depreciation alone significantly reduces the value of a vehicle, not to mention wear and tear. So, at best ... a check for less than the purchase price. Would that check only be applicable to the purchase of another Tesla?

My experience in Arizona decades ago may be no longer relevant, but we received an identical replacement with no money exchanged. That may have been an anomaly, but it kept us "in the brand" for ten vehicles!
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,442
38,387
Oregon
Would that check only be applicable to the purchase of another Tesla?

No.

My experience in Arizona decades ago may be no longer relevant, but we received an identical replacement with no money exchanged. That may have been an anomaly, but it kept us "in the brand" for ten vehicles!

Tesla doesn't do that. One of the reasons is that most people have a loan secured against the car and very few lenders allow you to swap out the collateral. So the loan has to be paid off and a new loan applied for.
 

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