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Model S Plaid First Impressions: Ordering through Delivery

After a few weeks with my car I am finally getting around to writing up my experience.

_DSC8471.jpg


TL;DR: Delivery meh. Car good. :D

Ordering

I first ordered my Model S Plaid in early January. The most difficult aspect was deciding on colors because it can be hard to tell from looking online. I went to a (new) service center and was disappointed to find out they only had one car for me to look at / sit in (but not drive). For other color options they had me walk around the lot and look at "personal" vehicles for customers waiting on service. I ordered the car and changed my mind on colors 2 times after the fact but still ended up settling on my original choice (MSM exterior, white interior). In February they had matched me with a VIN so their original estimate was pretty spot on, but I had recently learned about the new Matrix LED headlights and decided to wait. They unmatched the VIN and I kept watching for when the new stuff would finally come out. Mid march the refresh refresh came out so I waited over a week and then decided to remove my order hold. This unfortunately caused them to immediately match me with an old VIN. I also rejected this one and put my order back on hold. This time I waited a few more weeks and finally when I removed the order hold the long wait began. While the first release of holding seemed to keep me at the front of the line, the second time it seemed to put me at the very back.

On June 10th, I finally received a new VIN (brand new car) with a delivery appointment for June 21st. I had to scramble a bit to get paperwork in order because Texas has dumb laws and Tesla requires you to fully pay (or finance) the car prior to them shipping it to the state. After setting up the wire transfers and insurance and the like, I received a call the morning of Saturday June 18th. They asked if I would be willing to pickup my car early, preferably later that day. This led to a mix of excitement and panic as I now had less time to prepare all the things I intended to prior to my delivery (wash/clean my trade-in vehicle, straighten up the garage bays, etc).

Delivery
My first impression of the delivery experience was rather positive, primarily around the trade-in. They literally walked over to the car to verify mileage, took the fobs, had me sign a paper and drove off with it accepted. There was no drama over inspecting the car or deciding if it was worth the original offer. This makes sense considering Tesla tends to offer lower amounts than other trade-in places but I opted for simplicity and offsetting my tax burden as it wasn't worth the 1-2 grand difference to arrange transport and pay more taxes to Texas.

When I went to inspect my Model S, I was instructed I would not be allowed inside until after I accepted the delivery. I had read reports of this but wasn't clear on if this would happen to me or not. It seems to be a common thing in Texas with how they have to sell the car to you. I think it's possible the service center has the discretion where they could let you in if they wanted to, but official policy is to not let you. I argued a bit with the service reps but finally said screw it and simply inspected the exterior as best I could. The exterior overall looked to be in better shape than many of the horror stories I've seen on TMC. I got the service guy to at least verbally agree they'll fix any defects I find for free, and since I had already transferred all of the money for the car to Tesla a few days prior (as required in Texas :mad: ) so I figured screw it and accepted the delivery so I could inspect the inside.

Defects
Mostly things seemed to be okay. I immediately noticed two glaring problems with the interior. One of them the service guys claim they noticed as well, but wouldn't fix then and there and said I had to schedule an appointment. Why Tesla doesn't just fix/correct these issues prior to the customer sees the car, I think is mostly due to bad customer service and desire to rush the cars out. The main problem (which they also noticed) was the driver side A pillar has a broken clip. It was initially only a small gap but after getting the car home and playing with it some I can see it's barely held up and can easily be taken off (picture attached).

The second defect was with the "hidden" drive selection in the center console. The drive indicators are only supposed to be visible when you touch the plastic and activate the lights. The plastic is damaged and it "bleeds" through always so part of the letter D is visible always even when the backlights are off.

defect-a-pillar.png
defect-center-console.png




Tesla Service for Repairs
I setup the service appointment while I was still there receiving my car. It was expected mobile service would come to my house and fix it 3 days later (Tuesday morning since Monday was a holiday). I figured this was reasonable enough so I left feeling mostly satisfied. Monday I was notified that they wouldn't be able to do both repairs via mobile service so they want me to bring it into the service center. The problem is, the service center wont have the parts to repair it for Tuesday (June 21st which was my original delivery day), so they moved the appointment to June 30th.

On June 24th they contacted me to say the parts they ordered would not arrive in time for June 30th so they moved the appointment to July 7th (another week out). I was somewhat annoyed as my brand new $150,000 car still has manufacturing defects they haven't corrected, BUT I figured parts and supply chain issues happen so it's whatever I'd just be patient.

On July 1st they contacted me again to say the parts would still not arrive in time so they pushed it out another week to July 14th. At this point I am still waiting to see if this will be held or if they will simply push it again. Thankfully the issues are inside the car and only cosmetic but if I had more serious issues I'd be pretty pissed off about the entire ordeal.

Car Impressions
Overall I love the car. It's been a total blast to drive. I driven a few hundred miles so far, and they've been the most enjoyable I've ever driven. The one pedal driving took some getting used to but now I feel quite comfortable with it. I find the yoke to be enjoyable, really the only complaint I'd have has more to do with the lack of stalks. Signaling while coming out of a turn (such as in a traffic circle/rotary/roundabout) is a huge pain in the ass. Other than that though it seems fine for normal driving. I've launched it a few times (private roads/safe areas without other cars). I still haven't gotten used to the experience and will need many more launches to fully acclimate. I've gotten the car up to ~125 MPH and never felt any shake/rattle/vibration that others have reported. I'll be on the lookout for these in the future but so far so good.

The software is a bit underwhelming, and coming from a software background I'm quite tempted to look into modding the MCU software. Most of the time it's fine, but the UI design is not great (and others have made many posts in detail around this so I don't think it's worth going much deeper here). I mostly like the display in the driver side dash, and I can't imagine having a 3/Y without having the driver-side display and only relying on the center screen. FSD (non-beta) seems to be okay, it's far from perfect but it manages fairly well in most of the situations I've put it through. I am looking forward to getting my score high enough to get into the beta :D My first 3 days of driving were progressively worse safety scores until I started using AP more so it's begun climbing up.

Despite the issues, I really love it. IMO the acceleration and speed are worth the price of admission. I expect my wife to be asking about a Model X to replace her SUV soon.

Future
I will hopefully get it wrapped and tinted soon (I'm still talking with places here in Austin on getting it scheduled). I also plan to order some signature wheels (which is why I didn't upgrade to the 21s). I will likely adjust the suspension some (lowering links, control arms, maybe a sway bar). I agree that the brakes are mostly okay for daily/city driving (if you get used to the stopping distance) but I plan on better rotors/pads/lines/fluid and possibly putting in the air-intake/cooling ducts for the front rotors.

_DSC8475-cropped.jpg
 

WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
6,159
10,002
Seattle, WA
After a few weeks with my car I am finally getting around to writing up my experience.

View attachment 823951

TL;DR: Delivery meh. Car good. :D

Ordering

I first ordered my Model S Plaid in early January. The most difficult aspect was deciding on colors because it can be hard to tell from looking online. I went to a (new) service center and was disappointed to find out they only had one car for me to look at / sit in (but not drive). For other color options they had me walk around the lot and look at "personal" vehicles for customers waiting on service. I ordered the car and changed my mind on colors 2 times after the fact but still ended up settling on my original choice (MSM exterior, white interior). In February they had matched me with a VIN so their original estimate was pretty spot on, but I had recently learned about the new Matrix LED headlights and decided to wait. They unmatched the VIN and I kept watching for when the new stuff would finally come out. Mid march the refresh refresh came out so I waited over a week and then decided to remove my order hold. This unfortunately caused them to immediately match me with an old VIN. I also rejected this one and put my order back on hold. This time I waited a few more weeks and finally when I removed the order hold the long wait began. While the first release of holding seemed to keep me at the front of the line, the second time it seemed to put me at the very back.

On June 10th, I finally received a new VIN (brand new car) with a delivery appointment for June 21st. I had to scramble a bit to get paperwork in order because Texas has dumb laws and Tesla requires you to fully pay (or finance) the car prior to them shipping it to the state. After setting up the wire transfers and insurance and the like, I received a call the morning of Saturday June 18th. They asked if I would be willing to pickup my car early, preferably later that day. This led to a mix of excitement and panic as I now had less time to prepare all the things I intended to prior to my delivery (wash/clean my trade-in vehicle, straighten up the garage bays, etc).

Delivery
My first impression of the delivery experience was rather positive, primarily around the trade-in. They literally walked over to the car to verify mileage, took the fobs, had me sign a paper and drove off with it accepted. There was no drama over inspecting the car or deciding if it was worth the original offer. This makes sense considering Tesla tends to offer lower amounts than other trade-in places but I opted for simplicity and offsetting my tax burden as it wasn't worth the 1-2 grand difference to arrange transport and pay more taxes to Texas.

When I went to inspect my Model S, I was instructed I would not be allowed inside until after I accepted the delivery. I had read reports of this but wasn't clear on if this would happen to me or not. It seems to be a common thing in Texas with how they have to sell the car to you. I think it's possible the service center has the discretion where they could let you in if they wanted to, but official policy is to not let you. I argued a bit with the service reps but finally said screw it and simply inspected the exterior as best I could. The exterior overall looked to be in better shape than many of the horror stories I've seen on TMC. I got the service guy to at least verbally agree they'll fix any defects I find for free, and since I had already transferred all of the money for the car to Tesla a few days prior (as required in Texas :mad: ) so I figured screw it and accepted the delivery so I could inspect the inside.

Defects
Mostly things seemed to be okay. I immediately noticed two glaring problems with the interior. One of them the service guys claim they noticed as well, but wouldn't fix then and there and said I had to schedule an appointment. Why Tesla doesn't just fix/correct these issues prior to the customer sees the car, I think is mostly due to bad customer service and desire to rush the cars out. The main problem (which they also noticed) was the driver side A pillar has a broken clip. It was initially only a small gap but after getting the car home and playing with it some I can see it's barely held up and can easily be taken off (picture attached).

The second defect was with the "hidden" drive selection in the center console. The drive indicators are only supposed to be visible when you touch the plastic and activate the lights. The plastic is damaged and it "bleeds" through always so part of the letter D is visible always even when the backlights are off.

View attachment 823957View attachment 823958



Tesla Service for Repairs
I setup the service appointment while I was still there receiving my car. It was expected mobile service would come to my house and fix it 3 days later (Tuesday morning since Monday was a holiday). I figured this was reasonable enough so I left feeling mostly satisfied. Monday I was notified that they wouldn't be able to do both repairs via mobile service so they want me to bring it into the service center. The problem is, the service center wont have the parts to repair it for Tuesday (June 21st which was my original delivery day), so they moved the appointment to June 30th.

On June 24th they contacted me to say the parts they ordered would not arrive in time for June 30th so they moved the appointment to July 7th (another week out). I was somewhat annoyed as my brand new $150,000 car still has manufacturing defects they haven't corrected, BUT I figured parts and supply chain issues happen so it's whatever I'd just be patient.

On July 1st they contacted me again to say the parts would still not arrive in time so they pushed it out another week to July 14th. At this point I am still waiting to see if this will be held or if they will simply push it again. Thankfully the issues are inside the car and only cosmetic but if I had more serious issues I'd be pretty pissed off about the entire ordeal.

Car Impressions
Overall I love the car. It's been a total blast to drive. I driven a few hundred miles so far, and they've been the most enjoyable I've ever driven. The one pedal driving took some getting used to but now I feel quite comfortable with it. I find the yoke to be enjoyable, really the only complaint I'd have has more to do with the lack of stalks. Signaling while coming out of a turn (such as in a traffic circle/rotary/roundabout) is a huge pain in the ass. Other than that though it seems fine for normal driving. I've launched it a few times (private roads/safe areas without other cars). I still haven't gotten used to the experience and will need many more launches to fully acclimate. I've gotten the car up to ~125 MPH and never felt any shake/rattle/vibration that others have reported. I'll be on the lookout for these in the future but so far so good.

The software is a bit underwhelming, and coming from a software background I'm quite tempted to look into modding the MCU software. Most of the time it's fine, but the UI design is not great (and others have made many posts in detail around this so I don't think it's worth going much deeper here). I mostly like the display in the driver side dash, and I can't imagine having a 3/Y without having the driver-side display and only relying on the center screen. FSD (non-beta) seems to be okay, it's far from perfect but it manages fairly well in most of the situations I've put it through. I am looking forward to getting my score high enough to get into the beta :D My first 3 days of driving were progressively worse safety scores until I started using AP more so it's begun climbing up.

Despite the issues, I really love it. IMO the acceleration and speed are worth the price of admission. I expect my wife to be asking about a Model X to replace her SUV soon.

Future
I will hopefully get it wrapped and tinted soon (I'm still talking with places here in Austin on getting it scheduled). I also plan to order some signature wheels (which is why I didn't upgrade to the 21s). I will likely adjust the suspension some (lowering links, control arms, maybe a sway bar). I agree that the brakes are mostly okay for daily/city driving (if you get used to the stopping distance) but I plan on better rotors/pads/lines/fluid and possibly putting in the air-intake/cooling ducts for the front rotors.

View attachment 823960
Congrats on the car. Mobile should be able to replace the inductive charger and trim in minutes. Odd they’re making you bring it in for those two items.

And, as always, welcome to the Misaligned Driver’s Taillight Club. We’re always looking for more members. 😂
 
Congrats on the car. Mobile should be able to replace the inductive charger and trim in minutes. Odd they’re making you bring it in for those two items.

And, as always, welcome to the Misaligned Driver’s Taillight Club. We’re always looking for more members. 😂
Lol thanks. Yea the taillights I was like...well... basically all of them are like that so.... not sure complaining will get me anywhere.
 

WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
6,159
10,002
Seattle, WA
Lol thanks. Yea the taillights I was like...well... basically all of them are like that so.... not sure complaining will get me anywhere.
Agreed. Not worth the fuss. I think it’s because the powered strut is on the passenger side so it gets pulled a little tighter there, aligning well. It’s odd that Tesla hasn’t seemed to figure this out on any number of thousands of production refresh cars (my 2021 certainly didn’t have this issue). The one powered strut is apparently why the trunk doesn’t close evenly (one side tends to pull shut before the other).

As you say, not worth trying to fix it beyond the standard trunk adjusters (that in my case did nothing), and it’s only minor anyway.
 
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I had the exact same issue with my center console drive selector where the lettering seemed to be exposed. It took them almost 2 months to finally get the part in and install via mobile service. And I'm only 20 min from the Fremont factory! The good thing is that it's very straightforward to remove and install, so shouldnt cause any residual issues with a competent tech.
 
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On my older MS, the trunk adjusters made a big difference, and the service center guy knew nothing about them. He was like, "well, you bought a certified car and that's why you saved money," without even acknowledging the adjusters. They totally solved the problem for me.
So you're saying I should use the trunk adjusters for how it closes/seats to try and align it better with the taillights? I'll take a look and see if I can fix it that way.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,595
12,352
MI
So you're saying I should use the trunk adjusters for how it closes/seats to try and align it better with the taillights? I'll take a look and see if I can fix it that way.
That’s what I did with my 2017 MS when new. Resolved issue.

Don’t extend them so far that it creates a gap in the seal when going down the road. Otherwise you will get massive buffeting when you open your windows and the air escapes out the back. Might take a couple adjustments and drives to get it right.
 
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That’s what I did with my 2017 MS when new. Resolved issue.

Don’t extend them so far that it creates a gap in the seal when going down the road. Otherwise you will get massive buffeting when you open your windows and the air escapes out the back. Might take a couple adjustments and drives to get it right.
So, to the original responder, yes, that's what I'd recommend. Worked wonders for me. To SO16, agree completely. Not only that, but those extenders have limits; I wouldn't extend them so much that you end up with a risk of bending them or doing weird things to the holes/threads they sit in. But you really shouldn't have to extend them that much anyway.
 
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bhzmark

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
3,979
7,113
I agree that the brakes are mostly okay for daily/city driving (if you get used to the stopping distance)
If you think your car is taking too long to stop when braking you should take it in as that is not normal.

The Plaid has very short stopping distance, especially for its weight, for regular use. the only reason to upgrade the stock brakes are for extreme use cases such racing.

1657108560322.png
 
Well Tesla notified me today, they're pushing back my service appointment another 2 1/2 weeks to August 4th. Apparently these parts exist for them to build new cars but they don't want to let me have any to fix my defects from delivery. I am starting to understand all the complaints about Tesla service :p It went from June 21st for the first appointment, and after multiple reschedules due to parts unavailable it's now 7+ weeks later. We'll see if it actually happens in August or if I'm going to be multiple months without it being fixed.
 
Frustrating about the service, but at least it is only cosmetic and you had a heads up given all of the other complaints. And you picked a terrible color. Blue cars should be illegal. 😁 Actually, I don't like any of the Tesla colors. I was thinking about red, but one always hears that red cars get stopped more by the police, so for now I have ordered white (delivery March-June 2023). Was it worth it to get the Plaid? I have driven one (plenty on the used market) and loved it, but 0-60 in 2 seconds seems a little over the top. I ordered the LR, 0-60 in 3 seconds. Not that long ago, almost no sports car could do that, not a Porsche, not a Ferrari, whatever. And at around $150,000, you are getting into the world of some pretty high-end sports cars. But I very much would be interested in hearing your views on the Plaid v. LR.
 
Frustrating about the service, but at least it is only cosmetic and you had a heads up given all of the other complaints. And you picked a terrible color. Blue cars should be illegal. 😁 Actually, I don't like any of the Tesla colors. I was thinking about red, but one always hears that red cars get stopped more by the police, so for now I have ordered white (delivery March-June 2023). Was it worth it to get the Plaid? I have driven one (plenty on the used market) and loved it, but 0-60 in 2 seconds seems a little over the top. I ordered the LR, 0-60 in 3 seconds. Not that long ago, almost no sports car could do that, not a Porsche, not a Ferrari, whatever. And at around $150,000, you are getting into the world of some pretty high-end sports cars. But I very much would be interested in hearing your views on the Plaid v. LR.
Lol well my old car was "graphite" (similar to the MSM which I got). I almost got the blue but my wife's car is a very similar blue and I thought it'd be weird to have two cars of the same color (she didn't and still thinks we should have picked the blue. I'll let her get that for her Model X). Personally I really don't like white cars :p To each their own :)

As far as if I think the plaid was worth it, that's a really subjective question. So far I think it was worth it, but tbh I've never driven an LR so I can't really compare the experience. For everyday / street driving, you more than likely wont notice a difference. Really the question is what is "fast enough" and if you plan on tracking the car at all. I will likely run it a bit at the track (after doing some aftermarket upgrades) so I think in those scenarios I will be able to tell the difference in having the plaid. Mostly though I had wanted a 1000+ HP car for years (since I was a kid) so the chance to jump on having a car with that much horse power was too good to pass up for the price point. If the money isn't an issue I'd say go for the plaid, but if you can think of other things you'd rather spend 50 grand on, and don't plan on racing at the track, the LR is probably the smarter investment :)
 
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So you're saying I should use the trunk adjusters for how it closes/seats to try and align it better with the taillights? I'll take a look and see if I can fix it that way.
When you reach the limit of what the trunk adjusters can do (and you likely will because the unibody is not symmetrical or square) you can also adjust the trunk latch location on the body.

That will address hatch centering, primarily, but can also help with side to side height differences as angling the latch a bit can help bias one side lower.

You will reach the limits for how much the latch can pull before it assumes there's something in the way and it gives up. Also I suspect that when you're at that limit, latch longevity could be impacted.
 
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WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
6,159
10,002
Seattle, WA
So you're saying I should use the trunk adjusters for how it closes/seats to try and align it better with the taillights? I'll take a look and see if I can fix it that way.
Let us know how you get on. I’ve been unsuccessful aligning my trunk perfectly with the outer tail lights. Tesla QC is terrible since pretty much every refresh Model S with the new tail lights is slightly off (more common on the driver’s side).
 
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