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My Tesla Saga (Awesome Costa Mesa Delivery)


I've been excited about Tesla since the roadster. Bought a Model S 60 in July 2016. My wife bought a Model X 75D in September 2017. I bought a Model 3 Performance yesterday and had a really positive experience throughout. I had read many negative stories, including several about the Costa Mesa Delivery Center in particular, which gave me a great deal of apprehension going into my appointment. The purpose of this thread is to give hope to everyone waiting to take delivery. I think Tesla and all the people that build, transport, deliver and service the vehicles truly care and that the odds are high that you will have a good experience as well.

Ordering the Car

When the Model 3 started shipping to Tesla employees about a year ago I told my wife that if they ever made a Performance version that isn't too expensive (like it is in order to get Ludicrous mode in a Model S) that I would want to sell my Model S and get one. I didn't wait in line 2+ years ago. I didn't have a reservation. When the configurator opened to anyone and it was possible to configure a Model 3 Performance, I went in and made my selection:

Solid Black Performance
Premium White Interior
Enhanced Autopilot
Performance Upgrade

I finally decided this was something I really wanted to do and so, on July 22, I put down the $2500 deposit and began the process. At that time the estimated delivery window was between August and October 2018. I wanted to make sure I could capitalize on the $7500 Federal Tax credit before it diminished so this too was a contributor in my decision to act now. That same night, I started the process of acquiring funds for the purchase thinking I should get this out of the way since I would be needing it in a month or more.

I received a call from my "Inside Delivery Advisor" on July 30. I was told the car was ready for delivery and they asked when I'd like to schedule an appointment. I hadn't completed the financing but estimated I could get it done by August 10 and was told that this was the last day they could hold the car for me.

I was shocked to have things turn around this fast and I'm not sure what caused this. I'm an existing 2-time customer? I live in Southern California? My configuration was "fully loaded? I was paying cash and had no trade-in? Likely "all of the above".

Taking Delivery

Throughout this experience, between July 22 and August 10 I spent a great deal of time reading all the forums (both here and elsewhere). While there were a few stories of people having a positive experience taking delivery, there were numerous horror stories about cars with significant defects, customers being rushed through the process, being forced to sign paperwork and make payment before even seeing the car, etc. Needless to say, I lost a lot of sleep as my day drew near fearing that Tesla would try to sell me a car someone else had rejected, or one that had tons of defects, bad paint, etc.

My financing came through in the morning of August 10, just under the wire. With cashier's check in hand, "Model 3 Delivery Checklist" and a strategy to make sure I would assert myself, I headed out. My appointment was at 3PM which I hoped was not "prime time" for the Delivery Center to be dealing with tons of customers taking delivery. As soon as we walked through the door we were happily greeted and told to have a seat and also offered drinks. After about 10 minutes I was introduced to Richard who worked with me exclusively for the remainder of my appointment.

Every single person there was courteous and respectful to me and my wife, despite the fact that the store was very crowded with people signing paperwork, discussing test drives, etc.

At first Richard said that we should sign papers, handle the financial aspect and then check out the car. I told him that I needed to see the car first and spend some time inspecting it because I feared I would end up rejecting delivery since I had read so many stories about cars having an unacceptable amount and severity of defects. He immediately accepted this and walked me out to the delivery bay where there were about 8-10 other cars waiting to be delivered to customers.

I walked all around the car, from top to bottom, looking for defects. I opened all the doors, trunk, frunk, glovebox, etc. There was some "gummy residue" on the roof and a small swirl in the paint above the passenger front wheel well. Richard fixed all of that with some elbow grease and a microfiber towel. All the while he maintained a really positive attitude while I identified these minor issues. The gummy stuff came off and the swirl was just leftover wax/polish from the detail team that prepared my car. The car was in pristine condition, with zero defects, and looked beautiful. I was genuinely surprised and said as much.

I signed the papers and we finalized the deal in about 5 minutes. Richard then said that since I was already a Tesla driver I should tell him what I needed to know so he could tailor the knowledge transfer as needed. I had him to help with pairing my phone so it could be used to unlock the car and to get music playing through the Spotify app on my phone. A few other miscellaneous questions and then my wife and I drove out of the delivery bay. As I entered the light of day, Richard and several other employees cheered and smiled as we drove off. Nice.

First Drive

When I was a junior in college, back in 1986, a car enthusiast friend of mine took me to the local BMW dealership and introduced me to the car I have always dreamed of owning: the BMW M3. 32 years later I got something better!

I'm not going to give a full fledged review of the model 3 as that's been done. After driving the car a mere 73 miles last night and today I will say that this is the best car I've ever driven. The Model S is an amazing car, and my wife's Model X was uncorked recently and really takes off now -- a blast to drive. But the Model 3 is just simply amazing.

It is beautiful to look at, from any angle. The forward visibility is second to none. The seats are the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in and, being 6' 4", I fit very comfortably. I think that no matter what version you get of the Model 3, you're going to absolutely love it. The Performance version is the quickest car I've ever driven and it is just staggering. Those videos of people responding to the acceleration from a dead stop are accurate and anything not held down is going to go flying backwards when you take off.


If you're waiting to take delivery of one of these cars, try to remain optimistic. I think Tesla is really trying hard to deliver these cars and make the process as smooth and streamlined as possible. I think the chances that your car will be in good condition is very high and that you should try not to lose any sleep over it.

Best of luck!


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