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Into the Service Center with Model Y

takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
Ok, I have to say I was a little disappointed. I backed up into a parking pole and dented the rear lift gate of my Model Y. Ok, I accept fault. I did it and was willing to pay for my mistake. Set up appointment at 7:30 am on the 10th of this month (It is what the service center offered me) at my local Owings Mills Service Center. (TESLA SERVICE CENTER) I sent them text about the problem, provided my insurance paperwork and sent pictures of the issue. I even asked if they could look at another issue I was having that was probably warranty related and they said "Yea, Sure!"

Well, I arrived at location at 7:30am and nothing. I can't call because no one answers the phone. I leave message on answering machine and it tells me to text with my service contact using app. (I don't see an option to text) So with no other option I wait. Around 9:00am (no staff have arrived) it becomes a madhouse. Customers start arriving for the service center parking and waiting by their cars. Finally about 9:20am someone comes out to respond to people's needs.

I finally get someone to look at the rear dent on my car and ask if I can get an estimate to provide to my Insurance. They inform me "Sure, by the end of the day." but I would have to leave my car at the location as they may have to disassemble parts to look into the car deeper. I agree. I also sign a waiver to allow the Service Center to contact my Insurance.

Now, it is the 18th and I have heard nothing. No estimate. No communication. I have called, left messages and emailed politely. I am getting NO response AT ALL. My app is disabled as it states "In Service" so I cannot communicate with anyone that way. I have decided if I do not hear from them by friday I will ask for the return of my vehicle so I may take it to another Tesla Approved Body Shop. (A private body shop)

I just need to ask you guys (I have been lurking for a bit and you guys seem reasonable) ...

  • Am I being unreasonable? Should I just be patient? I didn't ask for a rental car to keep the costs down but my car is operational.
  • Can they order parts without my consent or approval? I mean they could be working on it but the communication is horrible.
  • I am paying so I really need the estimate. Does it take that long to get one?
  • Should I just go get my car and take it to the private approved body shop?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,581
2,556
Maryland
It has been since last July when I had to deal with the Rockville, MD Tesla Service Center. As I recall when you call the SC on the phone one of the voice response system options is if your vehicle is already at the service center. If you leave a message the service manager is supposed to provide an update on the status of your vehicle.

Make sure that your Tesla account has your most current email address and preferred mobile phone number information. If you purchased the Tesla vehicle using a different email for your Tesla account or changed your mobile phone contact number Tesla may have been attempting to reach you at your old email address or phone number.

Tesla prefers to communicate via SMS text message, then email with phone as Tesla's least preferred option. Tesla uses a centralized secure SMS message server; sometimes the Tesla message server is down, that is when Tesla will attempt to reach you via your email address. Make sure you leave your current mobile phone and email address when leave a message for the Tesla Service Center, Service Manager.

Tesla recently announced the opening of Tesla vehicle body repair centers; the body repair centers may not yet be operational at all Tesla service locations. If you do decide to take your Tesla to a different Service Center find out where the closest Tesla body repair center to you is located.

Another option is to call Tesla Roadside Assistance, at least there someone will text you back. Explain the situation to the Roadside Assistance operator, ask that the Service Manager contact you as it has been over a week since you dropped off your Tesla vehicle for a repair estimate. I would be extra polite to whomever you do get to speak with as they literally hold the fate of your Tesla vehicle in their inboxes and app queues. Vent here as necessary. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

monteitis

Member
Feb 15, 2021
41
44
Greater Los Angeles Area
Ok, I have to say I was a little disappointed. I backed up into a parking pole and dented the rear lift gate of my Model Y. Ok, I accept fault. I did it and was willing to pay for my mistake. Set up appointment at 7:30 am on the 10th of this month (It is what the service center offered me) at my local Owings Mills Service Center. (TESLA SERVICE CENTER) I sent them text about the problem, provided my insurance paperwork and sent pictures of the issue. I even asked if they could look at another issue I was having that was probably warranty related and they said "Yea, Sure!"

Well, I arrived at location at 7:30am and nothing. I can't call because no one answers the phone. I leave message on answering machine and it tells me to text with my service contact using app. (I don't see an option to text) So with no other option I wait. Around 9:00am (no staff have arrived) it becomes a madhouse. Customers start arriving for the service center parking and waiting by their cars. Finally about 9:20am someone comes out to respond to people's needs.

I finally get someone to look at the rear dent on my car and ask if I can get an estimate to provide to my Insurance. They inform me "Sure, by the end of the day." but I would have to leave my car at the location as they may have to disassemble parts to look into the car deeper. I agree. I also sign a waiver to allow the Service Center to contact my Insurance.

Now, it is the 18th and I have heard nothing. No estimate. No communication. I have called, left messages and emailed politely. I am getting NO response AT ALL. My app is disabled as it states "In Service" so I cannot communicate with anyone that way. I have decided if I do not hear from them by friday I will ask for the return of my vehicle so I may take it to another Tesla Approved Body Shop. (A private body shop)

I just need to ask you guys (I have been lurking for a bit and you guys seem reasonable) ...

  • Am I being unreasonable? Should I just be patient? I didn't ask for a rental car to keep the costs down but my car is operational.
  • Can they order parts without my consent or approval? I mean they could be working on it but the communication is horrible.
  • I am paying so I really need the estimate. Does it take that long to get one?
  • Should I just go get my car and take it to the private approved body shop?
- You are not being unreasonable, the system sucks in its current state.
- They can order parts but can't charge you unless you signed consent.
- Teardown and estimate can easily be done in one day for the damage you're describing.
- Yes, you should ABSOLUTELY yank your car and take it to a Tesla approved shop (other private shops are also OK, but they won't make markup on parts and that might cause issues with your insurance company).

I've handled collision claims for countless Teslas - From an insurance perspective, it's a huge PITA dealing with service centers for the same reasons you mentioned, which result in unavoidable and significant delays. Tesla isn't involved in the repair, they would send it to whatever shop is paying off the SC at the moment. They used to do "repairs" in-house, which would consist of pre-painted part swapping only - resulting in horrible color mismatches. Whatever method they choose, again you're better off taking to a reputable shop in the area with Tesla cert...
 

takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
- You are not being unreasonable, the system sucks in its current state.
- They can order parts but can't charge you unless you signed consent.
- Teardown and estimate can easily be done in one day for the damage you're describing.
- Yes, you should ABSOLUTELY yank your car and take it to a Tesla approved shop (other private shops are also OK, but they won't make markup on parts and that might cause issues with your insurance company).

I've handled collision claims for countless Teslas - From an insurance perspective, it's a huge PITA dealing with service centers for the same reasons you mentioned, which result in unavoidable and significant delays. Tesla isn't involved in the repair, they would send it to whatever shop is paying off the SC at the moment. They used to do "repairs" in-house, which would consist of pre-painted part swapping only - resulting in horrible color mismatches. Whatever method they choose, again you're better off taking to a reputable shop in the area with Tesla cert...
Well the Tesla body shop finally contacted me on the 22nd March (I gave them my car on the 10th) informing me the damage (what I assumed to be a small but obvious dent) would cost the insurance $9,000. They have to replace the liftgate and some other issues on the frame itself. I am not really sure but they were talking about rear bolted parts and frames.

But let me back up a bit - I went to the Tesla shop physically myself on March 19th to complain to the manager and to see if they had performed any work on the car (I wanted to see if my car was still in the lot). I finally got in touch with a manager who informed me that they had already dismantled my car and they were waiting on the "estimator" to submit the proper paperwork for the insurance company. I was not pleased as I wanted my car so I could take it elsewhere. I really had this feeling they were lying to me regarding their delays, estimate time and teardowns....But I just didn't know what to do.

So I wait.

On the 23rd I contact my insurance company and ask if Tesla had contacted them about the new costs and adjustments and of course they had not.

I will continue to update this thread to give everyone an idea regarding the experience. I know it may vary but this is the oddest thing I have been through. Lesson learned I guess.
 

monteitis

Member
Feb 15, 2021
41
44
Greater Los Angeles Area
Well the Tesla body shop finally contacted me on the 22nd March (I gave them my car on the 10th) informing me the damage (what I assumed to be a small but obvious dent) would cost the insurance $9,000. They have to replace the liftgate and some other issues on the frame itself. I am not really sure but they were talking about rear bolted parts and frames.

But let me back up a bit - I went to the Tesla shop physically myself on March 19th to complain to the manager and to see if they had performed any work on the car (I wanted to see if my car was still in the lot). I finally got in touch with a manager who informed me that they had already dismantled my car and they were waiting on the "estimator" to submit the proper paperwork for the insurance company. I was not pleased as I wanted my car so I could take it elsewhere. I really had this feeling they were lying to me regarding their delays, estimate time and teardowns....But I just didn't know what to do.

So I wait.

On the 23rd I contact my insurance company and ask if Tesla had contacted them about the new costs and adjustments and of course they had not.

I will continue to update this thread to give everyone an idea regarding the experience. I know it may vary but this is the oddest thing I have been through. Lesson learned I guess.
Sorry to hear that.. Not much you can do other forward the SC's estimate to your insurance company yourself to speed things along. Hope things start moving for you soon!
 

takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
So writing an update as of April 7th 2021. Discovered from my insurance company that they talked on the 23rd of March and had reached an agreement on pricing. $7,000.00 give or take in damage. No problem. The Insurance company calls me later and informs me that they are having a difficult time communicating with the Tesla service center. (practically non existent) Normally they would issue the funds directly to the service center but they will now have to send the funds to me. I didn't want that but what am I going to do. The Insurance company got tired of trying to contact them.

So I return to the Tesla service center in Baltimore on the 27th and politely ask if there is any way to supply the service center their portion of the funds. (I don't know why I was being so nice...I guess I just want my car back) They couldn't find away to "bill" me or request funds. The WORST PART is they didn't have any information about my vehicle as the "guy" isn't in. All they knew is supposedly they had the parts in. What does that mean? No one has a clue. No response, no communication, no information. I only get a "run around" if I go into the Tesla sales center and ask around.

I am starting to think I made a mistake and should have taken car to a 3rd party service center. One with a phone line.
 

takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
So went to go check on car today. April 10th. One month later and discovered the body shop isn't open on the weekend. There are no staff that can answer my questions. Each deapertment runs on a different ticketing system. No one can tell me where my car is (I didn't see it on outside lot or in the repair bays) nor does anyone go out their way to assist me in that matter. I had one employee take my information again for contact. We shall see if anyone responds.

Becoming cometely frustrated in this processes.
 
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BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
565
392
Northern Virginia
Pathetic, but guess just like traditional dealers, some of them can give you the worst experience. For example, the Tyco Rd and Sterling, VA service center locations have been top-notch experiences for me, with great communication, thoroughness, and high-quality work. Mobile service (only used once) was also very good.
 
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takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
Pathetic, but guess just like traditional dealers, some of them can give you the worst experience. For example, the Tyco Rd and Sterling, VA service center locations have been top-notch experiences for me, with great communication, thoroughness, and high-quality work. Mobile service (only used once) was also very good.
I wish I had that experience. I didn't know what to expect. What I am getting I don't really like too much. Its really like only two people work on cars at that location. It's not that bad either. The damage is really minimal considering.... It's like they have me hostage.
 

Mike_TV

Member
Apr 29, 2020
571
432
Chicagoland
The Tesla owned body shops seem to have a problem operating at scale. The one here in Chicagoland (Elk Grove Village) is backed up by two months. So if you get into an accident and want Tesla to do the body work, you'll potentially be waiting two months without your car before they even start.
 

travwill

Active Member
May 1, 2015
1,511
758
Marble Falls, TX
These scenarios are where actually the dealer network is valuable for established brands, lots of locations and they compete really for the best service experience lately in many cases. I've had horrible service with Tesla, it was good in the early days of 2013-2016 I'd say, but the car(s)' quality was bad then so still used it a lot. We have a couple BMWs too and get top notch service even in a busy city, scheduling, loaners, great communcation via text and calls, estimates of pickup, ec.
 
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ItsMYwifesY

Member
Jun 5, 2020
33
24
Baltimore
I have had issues with the Owings mills SC. They are way way way to busy to service the majority of MD. The do have a collision center now on site. The bought all the buildings behind the SC. They are going to need another SC in MD it ramp up staffing at owings mills. baltimore area has seems significant rise in Tesla’s.

I’ve learned never give them your car unless the parts are on site. They all have to come from CA and can take weeks to arrive. I had to get the glass roof replaced due to a rock skipping off of it and created a large chip. Fortunately it was only at the collision center for 5 days but I didn’t drop off the car until the parts arrived.

If you can get ahold of jake or Jesse in the service center. They are solid. I have their cell numbers from my previous interactions with them.
 
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takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
So in order to get in contact with the service center I had to get my insurance company to call on April 12th. Finally someone answered the phone and I did get in touch with someone in the service center/repair shop. (again with the help of my insurance agent) They now inform me the car is almost complete and they need until at least the end of next week to complete. The person in the service center gave me their cell phone number. I shall call them in the morning to check the status.

So I will let you guys know how it goes over the next few days. Will I get my car? Will there be more delays?
 

ThomasB

Member
Jul 24, 2016
122
65
montreal
These scenarios are where actually the dealer network is valuable for established brands, lots of locations and they compete really for the best service experience lately in many cases. I've had horrible service with Tesla, it was good in the early days of 2013-2016 I'd say, but the car(s)' quality was bad then so still used it a lot. We have a couple BMWs too and get top notch service even in a busy city, scheduling, loaners, great communcation via text and calls, estimates of pickup, ec.
Agreed, I got a model x in 2016 and service was great back then... its been going downhill since then.. jokes on me though I just bought a model Y to replace my X :)
 
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takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
Well they finally kind of contacted me on 4/23/2021. My tesla app reverted back from "service mode" - I can now see my car and where it is located. I also got an invoice on the same date. Looks like it is done? Not really sure because no one calls me or texts me or emails me. Nothing. I am guessing they are angry because I filed a BBB report? - Who knows. I will go out to the Tesla Owings Mills service center today because for the life of me - I can't figure out how to pay for the the invoice.

Anyone know if there should be some kind of payment option for service on the app?
 

takaris7

Member
Mar 18, 2021
24
9
Washington DC
Is your insurance paying Tesla directly for any covered damage?
Well what happened is my insurance company attempted to pay them but couldn't because they couldn't get in contact. So instead of waiting they sent entire payment to me. I currently have the funds in two different accounts. I personally think they should ask first before withdrawing large sums of money.


On another note. Car in visual sight. At the service center. Repairs look complete. But can't get car. No body shop employees work on weekends. Can't even make payment in person.
 

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