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My CPO (and disappointments) Experience

My car has been in for service 8 times in 11 months so I can definitely feel your pain! I try to remind myself that, as popular as Tesla is, I am still an early adopter of a new technology. Tesla's amazing customer service at the service center is the only thing that has kept me sane. I can't say that any other dealer would have taken care of me the way Tesla has. At this point, I'll never drive an ICE again so I'm willing to accept a bit of the pain associated with driving electric and driving a new car from a start-up company.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,151
1,253
Charlotte, NC
Sometimes people just have a bad day and aren't as jovial as they could be, etc..., etc...

Jeff

I want to second this. I don't know if any crews have been rotating out of the office, but the two OAs, the Store Manager, the SA, and the Service Manager have been energetic and amazing from the start for me. But I've only had maybe 10-15 interactions with them out of hundreds they must have had? It is still disappointing that these things happen, but that is part of human life.

I want to reiterate that I do not feel my local representatives have not been trying to do the best they can. I think they just had some policies they must follow that weren't written with consideration to exception cases, or perhaps aren't empowered to make an exception decision. Within the policy of this or that, I can see them doing their best to exceed expectations and giving the best experience, but sometimes the overarching process may be limiting their options.
 
I don't want to be flippant, but it's called buying a used car for a reason. It's been used.

But Tesla and Mercedes and BMW and Lexus et. al. all make a HUGE DEAL about CPO being not just any used car. They collectively mention some or all of: multi-point inspections, refurbishments, extended or resetting warranties, auctioning off cars that don't make the cut, manufacturer support etc.

Expectations have been set. I didn't buy my Tesla from CarMax or a private seller.
 
But Tesla and Mercedes and BMW and Lexus et. al. all make a HUGE DEAL about CPO being not just any used car. They collectively mention some or all of: multi-point inspections, refurbishments, extended or resetting warranties, auctioning off cars that don't make the cut, manufacturer support etc.

Expectations have been set. I didn't buy my Tesla from CarMax or a private seller.

I agree completely. The description under each CPO Tesla listing mentions that the car receives a full inspection - while mistakes do happen, Cyclone's experience makes me wonder how thorough that inspection really is. Attaching the Certified Pre-Owned moniker to a vehicle should denote a standard of quality that isn't guaranteed to be found on a regular used car purchase.
 
I agree completely. The description under each CPO Tesla listing mentions that the car receives a full inspection - while mistakes do happen, Cyclone's experience makes me wonder how thorough that inspection really is. Attaching the Certified Pre-Owned moniker to a vehicle should denote a standard of quality that isn't guaranteed to be found on a regular used car purchase.
Well, I'm sure they "inspected" it. Whether they did anything about problems they found during the expectation is clear from the OP.
 
Well, I'm sure they "inspected" it. Whether they did anything about problems they found during the expectation is clear from the OP.

Inspections can vary:

Basic Inspection:

Is it a car? [Y] [N]
Does it have 4 wheels? [Y] [N]
Is it a Tesla? [Y] [N]
Is it a Model S? [Y] [N]
Does it have a VIN? If Y type here___________

|End of inspection|
 
We also had a bit of a bad experience in taking delivery of our CPO. We went to see the car prior to putting our deposit down and it had several things that needed to be repaired and were assured that it would be "made new". Bumpers needed repainting, rims repaired due to curbing, interior cleaned etc. Nothing major. Within a week we were told we could return to test drive before we completed the purchase but the car still needed some items fixed and wouldn't be ready for delivery for a few more days. We arrived, test drove (blew our minds) and returned to further inspect the car with the Service Advisor who recommend we do so. We were told prior to inspecting from the Delivery Specialist that the car was in fact done and could be taken home that day except the rims would still need repair but they would send a mobile repair to complete the job the next day. The fact that it was ready came as a surprise to the Service Advisor who saw some things that led him to believe the car had not gone through the checklist to be ready. We saw a few minor problems (scratch, stain on headliner) that could be fixed if we wanted to bring the car back. Since we live an hour and half away and my husband works close by we chose to take the car with arrangements to get a loaner the next day and have all the minor things done along with the wheels that would take just that day. We purchase, have a awesome delivery experience, just like you would with a new car. Big red bow, certificate, our picture taken. Very nice. Get home discover there is no longer the adapter to charge at home in the trunk and the portable charging cable is missing. These were both in the car when we first inspected. Luckily it has enough charge to make it back to dealership if needed but we have a super charger 30 minutes from us so we go to charge there. Won't charge, go to another supercharger near the dealership, won't charge. Return to the dealership and discover there is a problem with the ability to charge (sorry don't remember the part) They will have to replace. We also tell them we don't think the car was in fact ready and ask for the checklist which they don't have and our Service Advisor tells us he doesn't even think it went through the proper inspection for delivery. So we leave the car and are given a loaner for 10 days. That is how long it took to fix everything that should have been done prior to delivery. Lack of communication, lack of a proper steps for a CPO program, they need to have a standard that all CPO cars should meet just like other luxury car maker CPO programs. All cars listed for sale should already have gone through and been ready to sell according to the CPO program before listing. Over all we love our "new" Tesla and it is now almost like new but just a bit of a let down to start off on such a rocky road. I know the program is new but CPO programs aren't and Tesla should have really done their research ahead of time to avoid some of these issues.
 
We also had a bit of a bad experience in taking delivery of our CPO.

Sorry to hear about your experience.

This doesn't sound too promising. I'll be flying in to pick up my CPO S60, and driving roughly 500 miles back home on the same day, through 4 superchargers. If I have a similar experience, I won't be a happy customer.

I guess that the loaner situation isn't going to be the same for me being in New Mexico. The nearest service center is ~400 miles away.

Maybe I'll need to have them send me the completed checklist ahead of time, or at least send pictures.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,151
1,253
Charlotte, NC
I know the program is new but CPO programs aren't and Tesla should have really done their research ahead of time to avoid some of these issues.

And that is a self-inflicted problem. Some people like SabrToothSqrl and Lolgas bought their CPOs before the program was open to the public. I could under the program being "new" then and Tesla was still working some stuff out. But when the CPO site went live, everything should have been ready b/c they are the ones who decided on that date. They could have chosen to wait another week or two to get all the details worked out first.

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry to hear about your experience.

This doesn't sound too promising. I'll be flying in to pick up my CPO S60, and driving roughly 500 miles back home on the same day, through 4 superchargers. If I have a similar experience, I won't be a happy customer.

I guess that the loaner situation isn't going to be the same for me being in New Mexico. The nearest service center is ~400 miles away.

Maybe I'll need to have them send me the completed checklist ahead of time, or at least send pictures.

Honestly, I would invest into a paint depth measuring device and check every panel on the car to see if anything has previously been repainted. I would learn the usual things to check on a private-party used car purchase and check them out on your car. I would then get there and ask them to leave you alone with the car (hold off on the demo basically) while you go over every inch, in bright light. That way, you can hopefully get everything that may need to be address noted on a delivery punchlist for NM to handle. The last thing you need is the back-and-forth I have now on whether a paint failure is from something current or a previous problem finally rearing its ugly head.

Sorry, if I sound cynical. I truly do hope that you have a great experience and after checking everything, you find everything is perfect and nothing needs to be done!

Either way, enjoy the new ride. I'm sure it will be amazing!
 
Sorry, if I sound cynical. I truly do hope that you have a great experience and after checking everything, you find everything is perfect and nothing needs to be done!

Either way, enjoy the new ride. I'm sure it will be amazing!

Ah, I don't mind the cynicism. I'm just lucky to have you and others to start threads like this. It's good knowing what could go wrong, and I appreciate you keeping up to date.

I'll definitely post to here after I finally do take delivery.
 

3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,147
339
Boston
Honestly, I would invest into a paint depth measuring device and check every panel on the car to see if anything has previously been repainted. I would learn the usual things to check on a private-party used car purchase and check them out on your car. I would then get there and ask them to leave you alone with the car (hold off on the demo basically) while you go over every inch, in bright light. That way, you can hopefully get everything that may need to be address noted on a delivery punchlist for NM to handle. The last thing you need is the back-and-forth I have now on whether a paint failure is from something current or a previous problem finally rearing its ugly head.

Sorry, if I sound cynical. I truly do hope that you have a great experience and after checking everything, you find everything is perfect and nothing needs to be done!

Not cynical. "Wise". Odds are jlk will be fine, but realize Certification in many ways amounts to what you don't catch.
 
Not cynical. "Wise". Odds are jlk will be fine, but realize Certification in many ways amounts to what you don't catch.

Certification is all good but when buying a used car part of the onus is on the person buying the used car to do the necessary due diligence.

What is really unreasonable in this case is that Tesla makes it almost impossible for a buyer to do the due diligence as they would be able to do when buying a car at a dealer. When considering a CPO car, no actual photos of the CPO car are shared, no service history is shared, no maintenance or repair work done on the car is shared. Also no CarFax is shared so you know how many past owners the car has had, when it went on service, and if the car has had any insurance claimed accident repairs. All the factors affect the value of the car. So customers are essentially buying these CPO cars based on blind trust and it is not a good policy.

At the least you can buy the CarFax on your own but you are out of luck for any of the car's past service and maintenance history that they refuse to share...
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,151
1,253
Charlotte, NC
My CarFax has and continues to note no issues. It would have been nice to see provided automatically, but buying it ended up providing no background on my car other than a) bought and owned in NY by previous owner, and b) insurance didn't declare a loss on the vehicle. It did get inspected upon purchase and once a year later at 13k or so miles, but nothing shows up after that until I purchase the car a year after the last entry at 31k miles.
 
My CarFax has and continues to note no issues. It would have been nice to see provided automatically, but buying it ended up providing no background on my car other than a) bought and owned in NY by previous owner, and b) insurance didn't declare a loss on the vehicle. It did get inspected upon purchase and once a year later at 13k or so miles, but nothing shows up after that until I purchase the car a year after the last entry at 31k miles.

In my experience buying several used Ferraris the best approach is a paint density sensor. I suspect you know this by now, but I thought I'd post for others who are watching this thread. I must admit I NEVER would have considered a PPI or the need for a paint density sensor on a CPO Tesla (or MB, BMW, Lexus, etc.). Your experience is saddening.

A little more - FWIW one has to take the sensor readings with a grain of salt as well. Ferrari, for example, has notoriously uneven paint thicknesses when the cars were right off the line. Therefore the sensor readings can be confusing unless the person analyzing them has a fair amount of experience. (Note: My knowledge of this is from the 355/360 era, things might be different with the newer models).
 
In my experience buying several used Ferraris the best approach is a paint density sensor. I suspect you know this by now, but I thought I'd post for others who are watching this thread. I must admit I NEVER would have considered a PPI or the need for a paint density sensor on a CPO Tesla (or MB, BMW, Lexus, etc.). Your experience is saddening.

A little more - FWIW one has to take the sensor readings with a grain of salt as well. Ferrari, for example, has notoriously uneven paint thicknesses when the cars were right off the line. Therefore the sensor readings can be confusing unless the person analyzing them has a fair amount of experience. (Note: My knowledge of this is from the 355/360 era, things might be different with the newer models).

IMHO none of us are paint experts, unless we happen to have experience restoring cars or in that business.

My advice is anyone buying a used car, Tesla or not, do yourself a favor and take the car to a high end body shop and pay them for a Pre Purchase Inspection. They will analyze the paint and put the car in a lift and examine everything for you. All the more important given the saddening news that Cyclone was told if the past owner had used bondo or whatever and done a shoddy repair that it would be Cyclone's problem and that they will not stand behind the car they sold him. I am sure the vast majority of the cars are in great shape but why take the chance that you will get stuck with someone else's accident damage that might not have been fixed up properly?

For a certified car you should not have to do the PPI but apparently you do, based on Cyclone's experience.

Pull up the CarFax and then do the Pre Purchase Inspection at a body shop if you buy a CPO car.
 
Last edited:
All the more important given the saddening new that Cyclone was told if the past owner had used bondo or whatever and done a shoddy repair that it would be Cyclone's problem and that they will not stand behind the car. I am sure the vast majority of the cars are in great shape but why take the chance that you will get stuck with someone else's accident damage that might not have been fixed up properly?
Cyclone - more sympathy!

I find it hard to believe that Tesla can take this stand. The warranty suggests everything is covered - and given the wide-spread claim that they will not accept a car with any collision or panel repair, how could they supply a vehicle which had such a paint defect?
The answer would be that they original owner intentionally mislead Tesla (as they have to state whether repairs have been made in their trade-in process I am told).
Given that Tesla can then use such a find to get out of warranty issues - the question becomes, what is the value of the CPO?

I was just about to pull the trigger on a CPO. This whole thread had given me serious pause, especially as my need is a solid daily driver - days/weeks in and out of the shop (especially at my expense) were not in the purchase plan.
Also very nervous about buying out-of-state now, even though that is very attractive due to CO's rebate (which is valid if the vehicle has never been registered in CO).
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,151
1,253
Charlotte, NC
Cyclone - more sympathy!

...

I was just about to pull the trigger on a CPO. This whole thread had given me serious pause, especially as my need is a solid daily driver - days/weeks in and out of the shop (especially at my expense) were not in the purchase plan.

Thank you!

Just a note, other than the actual cost of the paint job, I have not been out of pocket anything with this. They have given me loaners every time. And that is why I stress that I do not think this is a problem of my local service center, but policies that do not empower them to address the issues I've had to my satisfaction. For instance, working within the confines that the repaint was "my problem" to deal with, the Service Center went above and beyond. They worked with me so I could drop off my car with them, they provide me a loaner, and they ferry my car to the body shop and back. That was going above and beyond IMO, within the confines of the policy. Now, I think the policy should allow for exception cases such as mine so they could have simply said they are covering this repair, but I am able to see that my center is trying to do their best with their "tied hands."

And again, hopefully I'm just that "lucky" outlier.
 
I was just about to pull the trigger on a CPO. This whole thread had given me serious pause, especially as my need is a solid daily driver - days/weeks in and out of the shop (especially at my expense) were not in the purchase plan.
Also very nervous about buying out-of-state now, even though that is very attractive due to CO's rebate (which is valid if the vehicle has never been registered in CO).

I honestly see nothing that should preclude you from buying a CPO car if you plan to use it for 4 years and sell it before the warranty runs out because they refuse to sell an extended warranty for CPO cars. As long as you do a thorough pre purchase inspection at a high end body shop you are likely fine as the CPO warranty will cover you for 4 years. Unless I'm mistaken, the CPO warranty is pretty comprehensive, unlike the Extended warranty (ESA).

Based on Cyclone's experience though I certainly would never consider buying a CPO car sight unseen.

If you buy from out of state, you can always fly there, inspect the car, buy it and have a nice road trip back home :)
 

3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,147
339
Boston
In my experience buying several used Ferraris the best approach is a paint density sensor. I suspect you know this by now, but I thought I'd post for others who are watching this thread. I must admit I NEVER would have considered a PPI or the need for a paint density sensor on a CPO Tesla (or MB, BMW, Lexus, etc.). Your experience is saddening.

A little more - FWIW one has to take the sensor readings with a grain of salt as well. Ferrari, for example, has notoriously uneven paint thicknesses when the cars were right off the line. Therefore the sensor readings can be confusing unless the person analyzing them has a fair amount of experience. (Note: My knowledge of this is from the 355/360 era, things might be different with the newer models).

I feel exactly as you do. I spent the weekend putting pics together, and without spoiling what will be another bad-CPO thread I can add that, yes, thickness on Signature cars is both higher and more variable. Where mine wasn't painted, I got either .3mm - .4mm. On the newer metallic car, its .2mm all around. If you use 'mils', the spread widens (254 tenths of a milometer, vs. 1,000ths in one inch).
 

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