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Martin's crashed Roadster?!?

Discussion in 'News' started by raymond, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. raymond

    raymond Member

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    #1 raymond, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
    From Tesla Update: Former CEO’s Crashed Car, IPO Plans & WhiteStar « Earth2Tech

    Departed (and disgruntled) CEO Martin Eberhard was supposed to receive Roadster #2, and AutoblogGreen points out that he still hasn’t received it. Siry confirms with us that during a test drive a technician “made an honest mistake” and crashed the car. (On the day of a board meeting, no less!) Siry says no malice was intended for the former CEO. Tesla is repairing the car (not sending a new one) per Eberhard’s request, according to Siry.

    (oops, this seems to have been covered elsewhere -- sorry!)

    This is at the very least ironic...
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Raymond it's good you posted this the rest of the article has more info on Tesla now.
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Thanks for the article, Raymond. The topic of Martin's car being in an accident before delivery is probably significant enough to deserve it's own thread and and a detour from the over arching saga of Martin trying to get his car.

    The main issues are what actually happened to the car and how Tesla will work to remedy the situation to Martin's satisfaction as a customer. This is a real test for Tesla's customer service.

    (It kinda reminds me of that incident a couple years ago where the owner of a relatively new S2000 took his car in for minor repairs only to have it wrecked by a technician that took it on an unauthorized "test drive". I'm sure there are many other examples.)

    Important customer service questions include: "Will Martin's car be repaired to good as new?" and, "How will Tesla compensate him for possible diminished value?" Normally in this kind of situation, the best outcome is to be offered a new replacement car. In this case, however, that's clearly unsatisfactory since the production number was/is very important to Martin.

    Relevant articles:
    ABG broke the story -
    So, where is Martin Eberhard's Tesla Roadster anyway? Here's the story so far - AutoblogGreen

    TTAC sounding uncharacteristically sympathetic -
    Tesla Death Watch 5: Oops! Eberhard's Car Crashed | The Truth About Cars

    Valley Wag -
    Tesla Motors: Tesla Motors crashes roadster earmarked for disgruntled former CEO
     
  4. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    #4 chimpanzee, Jun 20, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/off-topic/1274-automotive-egos-money-cars-conflict.html#post8882

    There was a parallel incident in Champcar '06 (San Jose GP), where a bonehead move resulted in a damaged car (A. Tagliani). There is a public spat, TV/media covers it. The 2 parties usually have a private meeting to find a "resolution"..& everybody MOVES ON. Sometimes, the offending party pays for the damage.

    In this situation, it seems to be escalating to ridiculous proportions. Spiraling out of control. It looks like amateur-hour ("Life is like High School..with MONEY"/David Letterman). To many, it seems very black & white (good guy & bad guy).

    "Once you lost Credibility, YOU CAN NEVER GET IT BACK"

    a customer issue, has now become a Company issue (PR disaster). You really have to wonder about Command & Control over at TM.

    Bottomline: TM needs to get Martin his car ASAP, & quit the theatrics
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #5 doug, Jun 21, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
    The Browser - Inc.com

    Earth2Tech Week In Review « Earth2Tech
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Hey Martin,

    Any update on your car? Turn around time for repairs, etc?

    Thanks! :smile:
     
  7. Martin

    Martin Tesla Founder

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    No definitive delivery date yet.
     
  8. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    It STILL bugs me that Tesla's Customer Service is so weak.

    STILL NO delivery date???

    Would Tesla dare to let this happen with a Hollywood celeb? I don't think so.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    If you think about it Tesla would have quite a dilemma on their hands. A wrecked car.

    What do they know about repairing bodywork? Carbon fiber bodywork. blending a custom factory two color paint job done in England?

    Where are the parts for replacement? What are they called? What are the part numbers? Are they in a book yet? Where do they sit in the warehouse? Who gets them off the shelf and sends them?

    Much of this probably was/is not worked out yet.

    Worst of all I would imagine would be frame work. They would probably have to find a shop familiar with Lotus aluminum frames and how to repair them. Probably only two in California. Wait in line. And the Tesla frame is actually different than any Lotus so if there is any special jigs needed for stretching/wrenching the body back to straight, they may not even been designed yet. They may even have to fly out someone from the UK to help with the methodology of repair and to set up a repair pipeline.

    I'm not surprised that the work is not done and that there is no delivery date yet given. They are on new ground here. On this I give them a break.
     
  10. flabby

    flabby Member

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    They have quite a few engineers who designed and built the first cars, why wouldn't they just do the repairs inhouse?
     
  11. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Building and repairing are completely different arts. Even if you bend a piece of metal back to its original form, its physical properties were altered by the action. It may not be as strong as it was before.

    Worse, carbon fiber can't really be repaired. It can certainly be patched, but otherwise your only option is replacing the whole part.

    Then there's a whole host of unknowns about what structural features were compromised by the impact. Really, any car that's ever been in an accident is never 100%, no matter how skilled the repair job was.

    -Ryan
     
  12. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #12 doug, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
    This guy essentially lifted verbatim, without quotation marks, the parts from the Fortune article that had to do with Martin's crashed car. So I don't feel bad about quoting his post here in it's brief entirety. He did somehow manage to get a photo of the car, however.

    Tesla Roadster Totalled on California's Highway 101*-*Street Import Online - Automotive News, Sports & Show Coverage

    Btw, I thought "totaled" only had one "L".
     
  13. Michael

    Michael Member

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    Insurance companies sure aren't going to like the fact that having a fender bender is suffient to consider the vehicle 'totaled'. Well, maybe just a tad more than a fender bender, but darn.
     
  14. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Are there any photos of the actual damage?

    I must say, that gray w/orange racing stripes is a beauty... and an EV to boot. Would be nice if Martin can enjoy the remainder of summer driving it.
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Actually the "totalled" part is this guy's exaggeration. It's the one word that isn't actually in the Fortune article, hence its constantly being misspelled. Sorry I didn't make that more clear.

    From the original article:

     
  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #16 doug, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
    I wasn't aware of any photos of the car at all. The one above is the first I've seen. The photo shows the car up on a lift. Given the pristine look of the front end, I'd say that pic was taken either during drivetrain installation or after repairs. Hopefully the latter.
    Also, given the reflection of the open garage door you can see on the nose, I think that picture was taken in the rear garage of the Menlo Park shop. I don't think either the San Carlos or LA locations have the lifts oriented in a way to get that kind of refection.
     
  17. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    It has an animated look. If taken after repairs Martin should have it very soon.
     
  18. donauker

    donauker Member

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    #18 donauker, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
    There was some good information in the owners forum regarding this topic. The best piece has this quote from the end.
    Other items were "about 10 mph impact", "new bumper and fenders" and "sparing no expense to expedite the repairs and to ensure that they are done to the highest possible quality".

    I certainly look forward to Tesla Motors getting this behind them and to Martin being able to enjoy his Roadster on a daily basis.
     
  19. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    The Lotus Elise is already notorious for its tendency to sustain very minor-appearing damage that turns out to be very costly to repair -- or even non-repairable.

    However, it does have a pretty good safety record in terms of protecting the occupants.
     
  20. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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