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Model S Plaid leaves me stranded; almost 30 days in service - No lemon law. What now?

I didn't take it that way. I'm genuinely curious about the details of your vehicle ownership history. You'd have to buy a new car every 3 months for 50 years to hit that number. So... which is it - are you Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno? C'mon, we won't tell anyone.
The secret -- and I know it will blow your mind -- is division.

To make it more simple;
If one has 1 car at a time... how many years will it take to reach X cars during one's life if one was to live to the age of 60?
What about if one has 5 cars at a time over the same period?
What about Y cars?

FWIW -- I generally keep cars 18 or so months (unless I hate it and I can cut losses / lock in any gains early on) -- and usually longer if they are daily drivers (as this was panned to be).
 

tes-s

Active Member
Oct 6, 2013
3,319
5,251
CT
You had a problem a month after purchase? What did the dealer you purchased from say? My guess is everyone except you knew there were problems with the car.

I think Tesla will only give you your service record, not from the prior owner.

You're doing the only thing you can do - warranty service from Tesla. I'm surprised someone with your experience buying cars is surprised by any of this.
 
First, I wanted to just thank everyone in this community who has contributed to such an invaluable resource. I have learned so much and am grateful for the amount of time that you all have saved me. I genuinely mean this— so thank you!

The following is my attempt to articulate my experience with my first Tesla— a 2021 Model S Plaid with the hopes of someone out there that may have experienced the same/similar issues. I want to express that I’m not looking for a free lunch or a handout (but rather a car that simply operates and won’t leave me stranded as this one has) and any feedback / recommendations / call-outs would be appreciated.

So what’s the issue? I purchased my Model S Plaid in March of this year from a dealership in FL (I am a GA resident) with about 4K miles on it, and like many of you, I have been blown away by the car, the tech, the speed, and the fit and finish when compared with others I have ridden in over years prior. However in April, with the car fully charged (and still connected) in my garage, I came home after a 5-day trip to find the car completely dead and unresponsive to all the key fobs, phone key, key cards, etc.

Frustrated, and lacking the time to call roadside then and there before work (I am an orthopedic surgeon that had firm timelines that particular day), I returned later to deal with it. They jumped it off, and thinking it was an anomaly, I declined to have it towed and drove it without issue on and off over the next few days.

At the end of that week, I go to get in the car — and low and behold — the same issue and completely ‘stuck’ in hibernation (second time). Again roadside comes out, sends the wrong type of service contractor, and a few hours later a second contractor arrives to tow it away. Luckily, he was able to jump it and drive it to the end of my driveway to load it and get it to Tesla service— where it remained for 17 days in total and I was not provided a loaner of any kind.

The issue was diagnosed as an issue between the DC converter utilized by the high voltage battery to the 12V. The part was ordered, repair completed, and I picked up the car— and again no issue for about 10 days.

I then decide to drive it to the lake as the range is more than doable (especially as they have a Tesla charger I can top off with during the day). Around dinner, I go retrieve the car from the charger (at the hotel on site) and drive about a mile to the home we are staying at to pick up some company to go out for dinner. Upon getting back to the car 20 min after I moved it a mile— and with company in-tow— the car is dead (third time for those keeping score)!!! Worse— its blocking all the other cars.

At this point, I can’t help but just feel so ridiculous and frankly— mad — that here I am with a $150K vehicle, in the middle of the woods, in 90 degree heat blocking in a bunch of friends who are just trying to have dinner down the road— with no support or path of escalation (GM, Service Mgr, etc.) as I would have with Audi, Mercedes Benz, Porsche or any of the other brands I gravitate towards. By the grace of God — the car opened after about 15 min, and we were on our way.

I drove it back home without issue, then parked it, plugged it in, and went away for several days out of town. Again upon returning, the car is dead (fourth time), however, unlike the very first time, the car refuses to go into tow mode / neutral / or release the parking brake. So for 7 hours on a Saturday, Tesla sent one truck after another until finally the third was able to bring the proper tow setup to literally remove it from the interior of my garage on rollers.

The car now has been at Tesla for 10 days (27 days total as we speak) and has YET to be given an initial diagnosis. Unlike before, I was given a loaner (though it did take 5 days of persistence to ‘track one down’) however it’s a total dog — a 2016 Model S with almost 80,000 miles.

At this point, I have no trust in the vehicle I own at ALL and I MUST have reliable transportation given my profession and the critical nature of getting from one hospital to another. I don’t think that for $150K I am unreasonable— and I feel like I have given Tesla more than ample time to address the issues and repair the vehicle.

This is where I could use some advice or a considered $0.02 from those that may have been down this path before. As I purchased the car in GA used from a dealer in FL, it doesn’t qualify for GA lemon law / buyback. I didn’t realize this until today— but used cars (no matter how new or how few miles) do not qualify legally for me to exercise what I would prefer them to do at this point: Buy this hunk-o-*sugar* back!

And without a point guard at Tesla— I don’t really know what to do at this point other than sell it , take a $25K (or whatever) haircut, and forever be done with this brand that I once had high regard for.

I really do love the car when it works and would have no issue swapping into a new one (and paying the incremental costs/wear and tear of the current one) or getting creative somehow to come to a resolution. I’ve only done this one other time on 200+ cars I’ve had over the years. But without the lemon law on my side, perhaps foolishly paying cash for it (vs. if it were leased or financed there would be easier to calculate the loss of use), and not having anyone from Tesla speak to me since last Wednesday, I’m at a loss of what best to do as it seems like Tesla’s attitude is ‘take it or leave it’ — which for their flagship model— is frankly pathetic.

I consider myself lucky to have other vehicles that I can use-- but I really feel for the person who has purchased a Model S Plaid (or any Tesla) as their primary mode of transport.

Frustrated, but Thank you for your consideration and feedback!
I believe Tesla will figure it out, but like most have said I’d get out of the vehicle after it’s “fixed” asap due to lack of trust. Also, I’m pretty confident the GA Lemon law only applies to New vehicles, as the manufacturer is on the hook to attempt to fix an issue x number of times before being able to invoke. A used vehicle is just that, used with no implied warranty from the seller unless you purchase one. The fact that the mileage falls under the manufacturers warranty was I’m sure, a selling point but you will never get to “return” the car. I’d put my $250 down now on a new Plaid, by the time Tesla repairs this one you can trade it in. Might want to mention your vin so the community can steer clear!!!!!
 

DukeofURL

Active Member
Apr 1, 2016
1,084
3,004
North NJ
I bought it from a dealer I do a bunch of business with.
If you do have a great relationship with them, maybe try to see if they'll buy it back from you (very unlikely for the amount you paid, but hopefully only a few thousand less). It sounds like they sold you a dud that someone offloaded onto them as part of a trade-in. If I was in your situation, I'd pass it off the same way the last guy did!

I can tell you with confidence that the overwhelming majority of Teslas produced aren't like this, which is why there is a long waiting period for the less expensive models. Fortunately for you, the waiting time for a new Plaid has come down significantly (they even have some cars in inventory every few weeks) - Call up the local Tesla store and see what they can get you!
 
I think you can call the main number and select the option to transfer to local SC, then you will have a better chance to reach a live person, whether that live person has any clues is a different story. Tesla is unlikely to release the complete service history from the previous owners to you, if you don't trust the brand or model, just sell it.
 
Common saying is "Don't buy a used car. You are just buying someone elses problem:

Just as all Orthopedic surgeries don't end up perfect, cars are the same way.

You gambled on a used car, and got one with some problems. Quit blaming everyone else for something you did.

Lots of drama here. Just sell your imperfect car to someone else and move on.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
3,983
6,170
USA
Common saying is "Don't buy a used car. You are just buying someone elses problem:
Another common saying is "never buy a luxury car brand new: the first 1-2 years of depreciation hit is highest so buy 2 years old, with the bumper to bumper warranty still intact, and let the original buyer/sucker take the biggest depreciation financial hit"

There are "sayings" for every side of every argument. :cool:
 
Another common saying is "never buy a luxury car brand new: the first 1-2 years of depreciation hit is highest so buy 2 years old, with the bumper to bumper warranty still intact, and let the original buyer/sucker take the biggest depreciation financial hit"

There are "sayings" for every side of every argument. :cool:
I never understood this argument as cars are not investments
 
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I never understood this argument as cars are not investments
Hmm... investment or not, the idea is that cars are very expensive, and buying used can get you 90% of the car for 60% of the price (numbers will vary).

Used is typically a far better value, and driving a brand new car off the lot and selling it the next day will typically cost you many thousands of dollars... so that second day buyer gets the best value.

That said, my personal opinion is that since EVs are still fairly new to the mainstream (as opposed to ICE which have sold hundreds of millions over many decades), I feel better about owning a new one. That's just me.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
3,983
6,170
USA
Hmm... investment or not, the idea is that cars are very expensive, and buying used can get you 90% of the car for 60% of the price (numbers will vary).

Used is typically a far better value, and driving a brand new car off the lot and selling it the next day will typically cost you many thousands of dollars... so that second day buyer gets the best value.

That said, my personal opinion is that since EVs are still fairly new to the mainstream (as opposed to ICE which have sold hundreds of millions over many decades), I feel better about owning a new one. That's just me.
You..are spot on. Also, 2021/2022 are exceptions to almost every automotive buying rule there is, due to supply chain aspects. Its EXTREMELY RARE for example, to have a mass production car APPRECIATE in value like they have since the supply chain issues. So my comment was mainly around "normal" times. And yes, with things like they are? Made no financial sense for me to pay the astronomical used car pricing for a 2 year old S when the refresh S (and all the improvements that come with it) was only a few thousand more when I ordered.
 
I was just commenting this yesterday on Reddit—it seems like every major Tesla complaint is always from a brand new account and they always get reposted in the anti-Tesla forum there. Just like this one.

is registering for every single online forum a mandatory part of the purchase process?

people tend to go online when they complain. it's always been that way...
 
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It was several months after buying our 2021 Model X that the 12v battery went dead. The tow truck driver on his way called and told me that if I could put a charger on the battery it might bring it to life to be able to back out of the garage. I was able to do this just fine. After three days and over the weekend a diagnosis was done and the issue was escalated up to the engineers or next level of support. I was told that they did a reset and download of the software to the MCU and that the BMS (battery management system) was defective and had to be replaced. It's now been a year later and no problems since.
I would suspect that due to this time of back orders for months long waits by customers and with the larger number of Teslas on the road today, that the service centers are two weeks backed up and more due to what I just said here.
I understood before I bought our first Tesla (we since purchased a 2022 MY back in November 2021) that the car was so new and innovative that it is to be expected there would be issues on and off until, well, the usual issues.
Tomorrow morning the wife and I are taking in the MX for a passenger side falcon door adjustment. She and her passengers have been complaining of wind noise ever since buying the car. I am a bit hard of hearing and wear hearing aids and I never noticed. Although I do notice the MY is much, much quieter. Anyway, I found the 70 page service document for the falcon wing adjustment here on Reddit and am hoping they can stop the noise. After going through the document I completely understand what adjustment may fix this problem. Now, I'm just hoping the techs at the service center will actually take the time to get this done and not brush it off as a 'fitment' thing as the rep from the Tesla app told me it could be. Basically, saying, sorry sucker. I even sent pictures showing the measurements with my digital caliper. There is a big difference and you can see it with your eyes.
Sorry to get off on another tangent there but I will take some patience with these things today as we all know that the world is stressed and who knew we'd be short of people to do work.
I wish you well and please let us know how all this works out for you. We learn from one another's experiences with Teslas here.
 
It was several months after buying our 2021 Model X that the 12v battery went dead. The tow truck driver on his way called and told me that if I could put a charger on the battery it might bring it to life to be able to back out of the garage. I was able to do this just fine. After three days and over the weekend a diagnosis was done and the issue was escalated up to the engineers or next level of support. I was told that they did a reset and download of the software to the MCU and that the BMS (battery management system) was defective and had to be replaced. It's now been a year later and no problems since.
I can't imagine the 12v BMS is cheap to replace out of warranty. Kind of concerning that there's been this many with the '21 refresh.
 
In production there can be a bad batch that gets out to the consumer. Maybe a soldering station did some cold solder joints or there was a bad batch of electronic components that did not last the expected specification. It happens from time to time. Bad wiring connectors or connections too. There are good designs and then there are bad designs I guess too. Then, here we are.
 

AMPd

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,106
5,504
Northern California
Yes, I'm planning to take the L and move on, but I do thank you for your assessment of my financial situation and surrounding motives.

Just wanted to put last ditch attempt out here in case someone had any experience dealing with similar issues coupled with a laissez-faire service dept that has yet to offer an initial diagnosis on the car-- much less a guess of resolution/timelines/confidence post repair.

Clearly what I am experiencing appears to be the norm and not the exception. Silly me for thinking that Tesla would view provide owners of late model cars-- much less their flagship -- with any level of service and communication, post-sale, especially when it wasn't long ago where you could get a loaner flat-bedded to your home and swapped out for service.

Just my $0.02.
You keep calling the model s their flagship when that’s not their viewpoint. It doesn’t matter which model you buy, you’ll get the same service, which varies from one service center to the next. Model S customers aren’t treated any better because they paid more for the car.

In my opinion, since reliability is important for you, sell this car and move on to a different brand.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,073
17,594
California
You keep calling the model s their flagship when that’s not their viewpoint. It doesn’t matter which model you buy, you’ll get the same service, which varies from one service center to the next. Model S customers aren’t treated any better because they paid more for the car.

In my opinion, since reliability is important for you, sell this car and move on to a different brand.
OP isn’t coming back. Just another drive-by troll post from someone that will never check in again.
 

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