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Lied to in Writing about Reimbursement by Tesla -- Anyone Else?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by baclemen, May 25, 2018.

  1. baclemen

    baclemen New Member

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    Friends,
    In the first 55 days of my new Model S ownership, Tesla had the car in its shop for 38 days over 3 different stays. I custom-ordered the vehicle with every option upgrade included. The loaded car's problems have included 12v battery being dead within 5 days and then somehow dead again the first day I picked it up from the shop, AutoPark failing terribly (jumping out unexpectedly at an angle to hit an object just feet away), Bluetooth not working (no matter whom I call or who calls me, and no matter if car is moving or stopped, AC on or off, etc.), trunk not fully closing, XM freezing and all buttons becoming inoperable, white heated seats only producing the slightest warmth, and several more. I live in Palo Alto and rely on the Palo Alto service center. The service team, led by Service Manager Chris Buller, admitted that Tesla knew its factory had old, dead batteries but installed them anyway. They had me wait almost a week for an appointment even though they knew I was driving around with a trunk that could not shut. They admitted that my white seats will always be at least 20 degrees colder than other colored seats in the S, and all the seats in the X and Model 3. The service technician admitted he could hardly feel any heat in them after five minutes. Rather than giving me any assurances with AutoPark, they encouraged me never to use it again. They admitted they would not be able to fix the Bluetooth or the XM issues. Eventually, as the car spent more time in the shop and Mr. Buller and the Service team made it clear that my car would forever not live up to expectations, I began considering a Lemon law claim here in California. At that time, I had a discussion with Mr. Buller where he promised me a reimbursement of $5,000, plus fixing the damage caused by the AutoPark. I pressured him to put the reimbursement in writing following the call.

    He wrote, in pertinent part, "I want to get your Model S ownership experience back on the exciting track it should have started out on, provide you with a reimbursement for the $5000 option package that is consistently causing you dissatisfaction, and reinforce your belief in our product, people and brand... I can also tell you that any check request will take 3-4 weeks from approval to be processed." A few weeks passed, and I checked in with Mr. Buller in a phone call about the progress of the check. He told me I definitely would receive it as promised and that it takes time for the various people to cut the check. Five weeks from the date of the quoted email, I picked up my partially repaired car (given that they quit on repairing so many things) for the third time. After I repeatedly pressed Mr. Buller about the status of the $5,000 check, he admitted that I will not be receiving the check. He said he was overruled by someone above him. I told Mr. Buller that his email was on behalf of Tesla, and it was the company's clear promise to pay me the $5,000 reimbursement. I asked Mr. Buller to put an explanation in writing, and this is all that he would write, "I apologize for not being able to fulfill your request for the 5000 dollar option as noted below" (his original promising email was then included).

    When I contested this pathetic explanation, Mr. Buller's supervisor, Jeff Molfino, Regional Service Manager Bay Area South, wrote, in pertinent part, "Our offer to refund $5,000 was conditional on us not being able to provide or restore the features of the Premium Interior Package. Because the features are present and operating as intended, we are not able to provide a refund for that package." Obviously, there was no condition in Mr. Buller's written promise above. Moreover, even if the promise somehow was conditional, many options of the package continue not to work, and Tesla has admitted they will be unable to fix them. Morally, I am incensed that Tesla can go back on its word like this. Legally, as an attorney, I believe I have a clear and strong case for breach of contract. As a former prosecutor, I do not like it when people get screwed over; I take a stand, no matter the effort required.

    I am curious if anyone else has had any experience with Tesla reneging on its oral and/or written reimbursement promises? If so, what did you do, and what was the resolution? I am grateful for your time in reading this and all your responses.
     
  2. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Member

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    They owe you 5k, no question about it. File a small claims court action.
     
  3. croman

    croman Active Member

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    #3 croman, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    I'd look into agency. While this employee might be cloaked in apparent authority, I think there are lots of arguments they will bring about how they didn't have authority. And I think they will argue that it's not really a contract and that context indicated the offer was made to ameliorate a bad ownership situation which they seem to have addressed in regards to the seat heat which was a fleetwide firmware issue.

    Autopark is beta and on the owner. You'd need to allege and prove a product defect case which seems possible.

    Promises for a future gift are also not contacts nor are they enforceable.

    Good luck but I think a lawsuit won't be straightforward but I'm also not familiar with any state outside of my own.
     
  4. baclemen

    baclemen New Member

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    Thank you, but please note that if you look closely in the manual, only Summon is beta. Summon is a subset of AutoPark but not all of AutoPark. I was not using Summon.
     
  5. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I would Tweet Elon...since @JonMc is gone
     
  6. SSonnentag

    SSonnentag Supporting Member

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    How can Tesla tell you they will not be able to fix some of the issues? That’s not acceptable if the issues are the ones you mentioned. There are lemon laws that even Tesla can be forced to honor.
     
  7. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    2 posts...? Suspicious.
     
  8. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would have found a better lawyer.

    Wait... :D
     
  9. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    I’m not saying Tesla shouldn’t follow through and make you whole, but people on this forum have increasingly crazy ideas of what a “promise” entails.

    Guy says he “wants to” refund you $5k. That’s a far cry from a written promise that’s legally binding.
     
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  10. SDRick

    SDRick Member

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    First and only post after two months of ownership?
     
  11. MasterT

    MasterT Member

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    This is just one side of a story, and, I don't believe it was told in full, and it sounds made up.

    A request to be reimbursed for "AutoPark failing terribly (jumping out unexpectedly at an angle to hit an object just feet away)" which is undoubtedly drivers fault for not paying attention, is preposterous.

    Bluetooth issues with no mention if another phone was tried to eliminate the phone problem.

    Trunk not closing - were driving with it open?

    "Rather than giving me any assurances with AutoPark, they encouraged me never to use it again" - smells BS

    "They admitted they would not be able to fix the Bluetooth or the XM issues." - more BS

    "admitted that Tesla knew its factory had old, dead batteries but installed them anyway" - total BS

    "They admitted that my white seats will always be at least 20 degrees colder than other colored seats" - utter BS

    "Tesla has admitted they will be unable to fix them" - anyone owning a Tesla could smell this one a mile away as pure horse...
     
  12. baclemen

    baclemen New Member

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    Yes, what is strange about that? I have previously contacted individual owners about specific issues they have confronted that seem similar to some of mine. Now that Tesla has gone back on its word regarding the reimbursement, that pushed me over the edge and I felt like it was the right time to put everything together in a forum post. I would have preferred to have 0 forum threads rather than this 1, but I certainly prefer just 1 to 10 or more piecemeal threads. I hope I'm correct that most people would also have the same preference.
     
  13. baclemen

    baclemen New Member

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    Trunk not closing: Yep, it literally would no close at the bottom. It would make a lot of noise, but not clasp. So it would ultimately have about an inch of opening. Anyone could lift it open when I parked anywhere, and the icon on the dash display showed it was open the whole time.

    Old dead batteries: This is also not even close to BS. The technician had said that this happened to several people recently because a group of 12v batteries had been sitting in the back of a factory for too long. Again, I would gladly record this conversation if I could.

    Here are Tesla's notes from the first invoice:

    Concern: Alert appeared: 12V Battery Needs Service/Replace 12V Battery Soon
    Corrections: Battery - Auxiliary - 12v - 2nd Generation
    Confirmed concern.
    Diagnosed.
    Found bad 12v. Battery.
    Replaced 12v. Battery.
    Rechecked and systems are working as designed at this time. Alert is now off.

    When I came back for the car, it had the exact same problem! I had to leave again for them to do more work on the car for the same issue. Here are Tesla's notes from the second invoice:

    Concern: ComeBack Alert Appeared 12V Battery Needs Service/Replace 12V Battery Soon. 12V Was Already Replaced New 12V Is Now Needing Service.
    Plan For Repair:Diag
    Service Corrections: Battery - Auxiliary - 12v - 2nd Generation
    Reviewed 12v alerts with engineering. Inspected all 12v components and verified connections good at this time. Per Engineering, vehicle experienced false alerts for 12v replacement due to firmware bug. Replaced 12v battery for customer peace of mind and updated vehicle firmware. Firmware bug is currently under investigation.

    My white eats 20 degrees colder: Please see the pictures below of temperatures taken with Farina in the Palo Alto service department and attached in an email from Farina. My white seats came in at 94 degrees at their hottest point (only went down from there), whereas the black seats from a different Model S came in at 111.5 degrees while the temperature was still rising. Is this sufficient evidence to refute your unfounded, kneejerk "utter BS" position?

    Bluetooth: They tried multiple phones, calling to and from, and they put in a new microphone in the car. Every call I have had since has broken up or someone has said it sounds like running water, so I am forced to take calls on my phone in the car. Tesla has said this is all they can do, and they blame it on my iPhone. I obviously tell them that many people have an iPhone, and there is nothing wrong with my phone. There are many posts on here with others who have had Bluetooth problems.

    XM: Tesla claimed it was because I was in a remote area. It is true that one time I went on a hike 30 minutes from Palo Alto, but three hours later I was back in town. All the XM buttons were inoperable for over 24 hours after; it could not even attempt to switch stations. All that worked was FM. This has happened for days at a time even when I am in town. It happens, for example, coming out of a parking garage, and doesn't revert back to working again. They told me to log the times and locations each time it happens. I have reported those to the customer service, and they have no answers.

    AutoPark: Not BS at all. If I were allowed to record conversations in California without consent or if Tesla would give their consent to my recording them make these statements, I would gladly provide them. I can refer you to several people in these forums who have similarly had their car seemingly backing into the last few inches of a parking spot, perfectly centered, and suddenly jump forward diagonally and hit an object. AutoPark tells you not to have your hand on the wheel. I'm sure your reflexes are extraordinary MasterT, but I'm also certain you would not have been able to press the brake fast enough either when the car jumps in the complete opposite direction it was going and hits an object so close to you.
     

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  14. croman

    croman Active Member

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    For the record, when my 12V died 9 months into ownership, the Tesla tech thought I had a dashcam or some 12V draw (I don't) but then discovered they had used a battery he surmised had sat at the factory for a while and might have lost some life there.

    The seat heat I believe was solely firmware which has subsequently been fixed. I can't see how color of the seat could affect performance.

    The trunk thing is just weird. I'm also not sure why that can't be easily fixed. My service center is competent enough to fix just about any problem, so it puzzles me that none of these service issues were remedied.
     
  15. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Forget the $5K, since you ordered it new and as you stated they failed to repair and gave up trying of multiple items, the car most liklely is a poster candidate for lemon law buyback. That's a much larger refund you can take and order another one, without these problems.
     
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  16. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Sue for buyback. In California, you get original purchase price + license fees + taxes + attorney fees. There is no proration for mileage driven so you get ALL of your money back.

    Ask me how I know ;)
     
  17. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    #17 S4WRXTTCS, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    I'm really confused about what you're being told about Autopark.

    It's not part of the Premium Interior Package. The Autopark is part of EAP which is a long ways from being what it's supposed to be.

    They've already been sued, and settled for it not matching up to expectations. I expect this to continue to happen as it's far away from what it's supposed to be.

    It's not that you can't use Autopark, but that you have to be really vigilant in watching over it. That it currently doesn't use the sensors to see anything and instead uses the ultrasonic sensors. The sensors do miss things from time to time.

    As an example I was pulling into a hotel underground parking lot. Where I saw a curb and I didn't think anything of it. I figured it was the height of a standard curb. So I did my usual thing where I relied on the ultrasonic sensors to tell me the distance to the wall with the expectation of pulling to 12inches away from it. Only I ended up brushing up against the curb with some horrible sound. I was a bit annoyed that the sensors weren't set at just the right height to assure me that I wouldn't hit the curb. I was also annoyed at the hotel for having a much higher curb height than standard. Obviously I was also annoyed at myself for failing to see that it was higher than expected.

    If I was in your shoes I'd measure the temperature of the same seats in a different Model S to see what temperature it's at. To see if your seat heaters are defective. It seems a bit odd to have both front seats not producing the right temp.

    The battery thing was unfortunate. They did have a firmware bug that reported a low battery 12V, and I had this issue myself. I took it down to the SC, and they verified my battery voltage and updated the firmware. On my car they never replaced the battery, and I didn't want them too because I know it's just a firmware glitch.

    As to the Bluetooth and XM I would recommend trying to test them out with a different Model S/X, but make sure it has an MCU2. I wouldn't be surprised if your problems we're related to the new MCU. It only recently came out so I imagine it's still buggy.

    Out of the all the issues you listed what would piss me off the most is the Heated Seats not being warm enough. Because it's the simplest thing.
     
  18. 75Shappyt

    75Shappyt Member

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    the service center in kansas city is great, bring it here, they can fix that car. If this is real?
     
  19. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Some of these make no sense at all, as noted. XM doesn’t work in remote areas? It’s satellite radio, right? WTF? :D
     

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