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Model Y Pickup at NJ - Need New Checklist and info on License Plates

chrisrock

Member
Mar 27, 2020
15
1
Central NJ
I've been a member of this forum for a while, thanks to this great informative platform for sharing.

I joined this forum last year when I booked my Model Y at that time. I differed to pick up my MY till now. I'm scheduled for pick up in the first week of July.

Need some help on following:
1. I see multiple checklists for MY, can someone point me to the latest checklist that I can refer.
2. How to check the manufacturing date of Model Y based on VIN?
3. I would like to get custom license plates at NJ. Can I get them before MY pick up from dealer or do I need to wait till I pick up MY and then apply for custom plates?

Appreciate your help and pointers.
 

oilerlord

Member
Jun 17, 2021
15
3
Edmonton, AB
I've been a member of this forum for a while, thanks to this great informative platform for sharing.

I joined this forum last year when I booked my Model Y at that time. I differed to pick up my MY till now. I'm scheduled for pick up in the first week of July.

Need some help on following:
1. I see multiple checklists for MY, can someone point me to the latest checklist that I can refer.


Appreciate your help and pointers.
After months of waiting, my Y arrived a couple of days ago. Damaged hood. Wouldn't close properly either. Advisor said "hey, no problem we'll fix it as good as new". As good as new. No discount, of course.

Then they wanted to sell me someone else's "refused" car from another city. What causes someone else that waited 2 months for their MY - to refuse the order?

That was my "a-ha" moment when I realized Tesla sells "fixed" cars, and passes them off as brand new.

What's ridiculous is the need for the community to come out with a comprehensive pre-delivery checklist when taking delivery of their supposedly brand new car. Has anyone ever done that when buying a brand new Audi or Lexus? I haven't.

The advice I'd give is take your car to an independent, 3rd party mechanic for a thorough inspection, including putting it on a hoist to inspect all mechanicals before signing your documents. You're spending a lot of money, and should expect your car to be perfect. Unlike those that seem to give Tesla a pass on panel gaps, doors that don't close properly, defects in paint, etc - you, me, and everyone else that expects a higher standard, deserves better.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,110
6,246
After months of waiting, my Y arrived a couple of days ago. Damaged hood. Wouldn't close properly either. Advisor said "hey, no problem we'll fix it as good as new". As good as new. No discount, of course.

Then they wanted to sell me someone else's "refused" car from another city. What causes someone else that waited 2 months for their MY - to refuse the order?

That was my "a-ha" moment when I realized Tesla sells "fixed" cars, and passes them off as brand new.

What's ridiculous is the need for the community to come out with a comprehensive pre-delivery checklist when taking delivery of their supposedly brand new car. Has anyone ever done that when buying a brand new Audi or Lexus? I haven't.
A refused car is brand new also. The owner never drove it. Heck, that's better than what typically qualifies as "new" in regular dealers, which are cars that may have been test driven and sat in by multiple strangers.

As for "fixed" cars, hate to break it to you, but car dealers do that too in traditional cars. It's so common, there's a term for it: "PDI" (Pre-Delivery Inspection). If there is an issue that gets missed in PDI and a interested customer rejects a specific car on the lot and picks another, what do you think happens? Do you think they actually dispose of it? No, they will get the car fixed up (they might not even fix it, if it's a "minor" issue another customer might miss) and sell it as a "new car", because that's exactly what it is under law before any owner takes ownership of it.

As for checklists, I didn't do that for previous cars, and I did do it for Tesla only because everyone does it (so easy to download a checklist off the internet and know what specifically to look for), plus unlike other cars, Tesla's experience is more "custom" (as I picked my own configuration and got assigned a VIN, instead of me going to a lot and picking from cars already there).
The advice I'd give is take your car to an independent, 3rd party mechanic for a thorough inspection, including putting it on a hoist to inspect all mechanicals before signing your documents. You're spending a lot of money, and should expect your car to be perfect. Unlike those that seem to give Tesla a pass on panel gaps, doors that don't close properly, defects in paint, etc - you, me, and everyone else that expects a higher standard, deserves better.
You won't get that chance. Tesla sometimes won't even unlock the car before you sign for delivery. They definitely don't let you drive off with the car before signing for delivery. As for addressing issues, within the first 100 miles (and especially if you bring up the issues during delivery, or immediately afterwards in the app) Tesla will fix them.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,110
6,246
2. How to check the manufacturing date of Model Y based on VIN?
Tesla Tap has a VIN decoder here:
VIN Decoder – TeslaTap

It doesn't tell you that date, but tells the model year. You may be able to figure out the date by searching the forums:
Search results
Looking at the tracker to see where your VIN may fall.
Wiki - Teslike Model Y Survey & Order Tracker Spreadsheet

Keep in mind, when you are assigned a VIN, the car might not be manufactured yet.

The others I can't help you.
 
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oilerlord

Member
Jun 17, 2021
15
3
Edmonton, AB
A refused car is brand new also. The owner never drove it. Heck, that's better than what typically qualifies as "new" in regular dealers, which are cars that may have been test driven and sat in by multiple strangers.
Customers back out of deals for any of a number of reasons, financing doesn't go though, cold feet, etc. I'm not at all saying ALL customer-refused cars have issues. The point is there are buyers (like me) that don't want a "fixed" car that required a $4,000 repair. Tesla does have "demo" cars. Customer refused cars likely become demos for test drives too. No doubt there are enough buyers with hot money who'll accept panel gaps and doors needing to be realigned in order to jump the 2-month queue.

As for checklists, I didn't do that for previous cars, and I did do it for Tesla only because everyone does it (so easy to download a checklist off the internet and know what specifically to look for), plus unlike other cars, Tesla's experience is more "custom" (as I picked my own configuration and got assigned a VIN, instead of me going to a lot and picking from cars already there).

"Unlike other cars, Tesla's experience is more custom"?

You're kidding, right? How "custom" can you get with the choice of 5 exterior and 2 interior colors? With Audi or a BMW, there are are literally hundreds of customization combinations you can select, including custom palette colors so you actually can individualize your car.

Also ask yourself why you didn't do checklists for previous cars. You didn't have to. It was a given that your new Mercedes waiting for you would be perfect. With Tesla, it's kind of like a lottery. You can't compare this to dealer pre-delivery inspections, because dealers actually perform PDI's and fix minor issues before a customer picks up their car - instead of disappointing their customers, and having to scramble to fix them post-sale. Kind of sucks the fun out of the "experience", don't you think?

My experience with Tesla was pretty awful, but no doubt others have been fantastic. Even after the several hiccups I had during the ordering process, I was very excited about getting my brand new Tesla, but it ended up being a big disappointment. After reading at least 100 other experiences similar to mine, it's clear there is a culture at Tesla where mediocre is acceptable. I truly believe Tesla's standard during a PDI is "Meh, good enough".

What's ironic is that the loyal owners that continue to give Tesla a pass on QC - are actually hurting the brand. They just don't realize it.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,110
6,246
Customers back out of deals for any of a number of reasons, financing doesn't go though, cold feet, etc. I'm not at all saying ALL customer-refused cars have issues. The point is there are buyers (like me) that don't want a "fixed" car that required a $4,000 repair. Tesla does have "demo" cars. Customer refused cars likely become demos for test drives too. No doubt there are enough buyers with hot money who'll accept panel gaps and doors needing to be realigned in order to jump the 2-month queue.
My point more is the "traditional" dealers do exactly the same thing, while you seem to imply they don't.
The typical threshold for disclosure of pre-existing damage in new cars in state laws is 3-6% of MSRP. That means for a base Model Y LR $1575-$3150. And some laws have disclosure exclusions regardless of cost (like for example bumper replacements).
Your brand new car might not be completely new after all
The article linked to this forum thread and it's eye opening what goes on behind the scenes at dealers in terms of repairing cars and putting them on the lot as "new" (with no disclosures, or even a flat out lie like in that Corvette case; at least your Tesla rep disclosed you were getting a refused car).
Dealer admitted my car was damaged prior to my purchase
"Unlike other cars, Tesla's experience is more custom"?

You're kidding, right? How "custom" can you get with the choice of 5 exterior and 2 interior colors? With Audi or a BMW, there are are literally hundreds of customization combinations you can select, including custom palette colors so you actually can individualize your car.

Also ask yourself why you didn't do checklists for previous cars. You didn't have to. It was a given that your new Mercedes waiting for you would be perfect.
I didn't previously because I just pick a car from what was available in the lot, I didn't have a process where I can order what I custom from factory (my previous car was a Toyota, they don't do special orders). It's different with Tesla where the car being delivered is "my" car and if I reject it, I have to wait for another VIN with the same config (which may be a long wait on top of an already long one for the first VIN), not just walk over to the next car on the lot, if I don't like something about the one being delivered to me.

Also, I took delivery while the pandemic was still ongoing, and I had a touchless delivery, so I had to look through the car on my own and report any issues found in the app. I didn't have a rep to look through the car with me, so everything was at my own pace (no time pressure or direction by a rep). After inspection and noting things found in the app (minor scratches in paint, and some scratches on glass), I was on my merry way. I didn't have to deal with another multi-hour ordeal in the dealer's office. Thus I have a stronger incentive and plenty of time to look through the car in more detail (and still spent way less time than I would have spent at a car dealer following the "traditional" car buying process).

It's kind of like the difference between if I buy something at a grocery store, I can pick which item I like the most (for example at the fruits or vegetable section). However, if I order online with a delivery service, I check the item when I receive it perhaps even more thoroughly because it took longer to get to me, I have way more time to look at a specific item (unlike at the store where I'm going through a lot of different ones of the same item, so spending really little time on each), and there is a return process, if I find anything.

I'm not convinced it's because other manufacturers will be "perfect". For example, on the whole panel gap controversy, I'm reminded of a funny comment in this article:
Watch Audi Build A Watertight E-Tron GT With Uniform Panel Gaps And A Roof That's Firmly Attached

A picture was shown in a top comment to trash Tesla's panel gaps, in an article about how meticulous Audi is about the e-Tron GT's panel gaps. Except the problem was the car in the picture with horrible panel gaps is an Audi e-Tron, not a Tesla (something not a lot of people caught). People previously have just been blissfully unaware of the panel gaps of other cars, and just focus on this for Teslas due to the difference in delivery process.

With Tesla, it's kind of like a lottery. You can't compare this to dealer pre-delivery inspections, because dealers actually perform PDI's and fix minor issues before a customer picks up their car - instead of disappointing their customers, and having to scramble to fix them post-sale. Kind of sucks the fun out of the "experience", don't you think?
Tesla does PDIs also:
Elon Musk says Tesla can still achieve milestone of 500,000 cars in 2020, but will need to 'go all out' - Electrek
Even in the year end rush mentioned in that article (I got my car delivered 12/31/2020), I had a VIN that was assigned to me previously that failed PDI and I had my delivery cancelled and I was reassigned a different VIN.

My experience with Tesla was pretty awful, but no doubt others have been fantastic. Even after the several hiccups I had during the ordering process, I was very excited about getting my brand new Tesla, but it ended up being a big disappointment. After reading at least 100 other experiences similar to mine, it's clear there is a culture at Tesla where mediocre is acceptable. I truly believe Tesla's standard during a PDI is "Meh, good enough".

What's ironic is that the loyal owners that continue to give Tesla a pass on QC - are actually hurting the brand. They just don't realize it.
If your point is about your personal experience, that is fine. I'm just pointing out a lot of the criticisms about Teslas potentially not being "brand new" apply to "traditional" dealers also, something perhaps not a lot of people are aware of.
 
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oilerlord

Member
Jun 17, 2021
15
3
Edmonton, AB
If your point is about your personal experience, that is fine. I'm just pointing out a lot of the criticisms about Teslas potentially not being "brand new" apply to "traditional" dealers also, something perhaps not a lot of people are aware of.

Our experience is our experience. Some are great, some not so great. I've bought and sold dozens of cars in my lifetime. The "Tesla Experience" was unique, and (for me) not in a good way. If you're perfectly fine with accepting a brand new, $73,000 automobile that needs to be "fixed", or bringing in the latest comprehensive "Tesla PDI checklist" for your own peace of mind...well you do you. That part of the delivery experience from a car of any manufacturer, I choose to avoid. My Tesla advisor acknowledged how common build quality issues are, and I appreciated his candor. Minimizing a Tesla's (or any car's) QC issues doesn't make the car you love - better. It lowers the bar on quality, and hurts the brand.

As a business owner, I WANT to hear from customers who's experience wasn't great. That feedback is SO valuable. It helps improve our products and services, but most of all helps us to avoid a bad experience happening to other customers.

I ended up cancelling my order with Tesla, also for multiple reasons during the process I haven't listed here. They clearly didn't care about my business from the start, and they sure didn't care about keeping it at the end. There was no follow up from a Tesla supervisor, manager, or loyalty team member to learn about my experience with Tesla. Just a "Sorry it didn't work out" email from the salesperson I was dealing with.
 

scubastevo80

Member
May 7, 2019
400
564
New Jersey
On your custom plates question, I'm trying to do this for my wife as well (we took delivery last Friday). I requested online access to register vanity plates on the NJ MVC site and they mailed us an ID. When I went to go through the process, it wouldn't take our temp tag. I haven't called yet, but I think one may have to wait for the actual plates to request vanity ones. Let me know if you find out otherwise.

Regarding the checklist, just go through the car like any other car you'd buy. Check for damage on the glass, body and undercarriage, look for egregious panel gaps, make sure the frunk/trunk close properly, the touch-screen works. Tesla owners have blown the new car inspection out of proportion and you could spend an hour going over the car finding minuscule issues. When I bought my 3 in 2018, I had them fix an interior mark I noticed (came off with a baby wipe) and an EAP issue (that wasn't enabled properly but was fixed with a follow up call). The NJ centers move tons of cars so you'll likely be fine.
 

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