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Preowned Model S delivery for experience (so far)

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
63
25
Boston Ma
Since there are others interested/looking at buying a preowned Tesla, I thought I’d write a quick summary of how things have gone for me since I paid the deposit for a preowned Model S last month. In short - not well. I paid the 2500 deposit and delivery fee on 2/6. My original delivery date was 2/19, and I’m currently on my third date (tentatively this Saturday, 3/6). The car shipped from Texas, and was first delayed due to the recent storm. This is understandable, but Tesla didn’t know where the car was for several days after canceling my first delivery appointment. I had to call several times before I got a straight answer. They rescheduled and offered to waive part of the delivery for the headache when they eventually confirmed it was still in Texas - so okay. Fast-forward to today. I get a call an hour before my appointment saying there are “a few” error lights that popped up and they think it’s a software issue so could we reschedule for tomorrow. I took off time today and moved meetings etc to later in the week, so majorly inconvenient. Next update was that there was still an error they didn’t understand and were talking to “engineers” to sort it out. I’m now scheduled for Saturday, but only tentatively, in case it’s not solved by then.

This is my second Tesla, so I came in expecting it could take a few weeks and with low expectations for customer service. Despite all that, I’m still disappointed. I’ll buy private from now on.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,261
3,205
Colorado, USA
This is the exact sort of firsthand account I wish more people would take to heart whenever they incorrectly assume that Tesla sets the market value of used cars. They regularly go off of the list prices of Tesla used car as if that's somehow the definitive benchmark on what the market should be. Meanwhile, anybody whose bought used cars directly from Tesla will gladly pay a premium to buy from a private party the next time.

If I'm selling a car and somebody tries to negotiate with me using a price of a similar car from Tesla it makes me laugh and I'm basically done negotiating. Some things are just worth a little more money to not have to deal with nightmares.

In the hierarchy of sources you can purchase a used Tesla it goes private party, third-party dealership and a distant third is Tesla. This is especially the case with any cars that have lifetime features that are stripped on trade-in cars. Not to mention, the ability to inspect and even drive a used car prior to purchase is priceless. How Tesla thinks they can get away with selling something as unique as a used vehicle without even so much of a photograph is mind numbing to me.

At this point, the Tesla service and Tesla used car divisions are basically nightmare factories. Sure there's a few outliers who claim to have had a positive experience but that's the exception and not the rule given the intentional inability to talk to human being with problems.
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
63
25
Boston Ma
This is the exact sort of firsthand account I wish more people would take to heart whenever they incorrectly assume that Tesla sets the market value of used cars. They regularly go off of the list prices of Tesla used car as if that's somehow the definitive benchmark on what the market should be. Meanwhile, anybody whose bought used cars directly from Tesla will gladly pay a premium to buy from a private party the next time.

If I'm selling a car and somebody tries to negotiate with me using a price of a similar car from Tesla it makes me laugh and I'm basically done negotiating. Some things are just worth a little more money to not have to deal with nightmares.

In the hierarchy of sources you can purchase a used Tesla it goes private party, third-party dealership and a distant third is Tesla.

At this point, the Tesla service and Tesla used car divisions are basically nightmare factories.

I will say, there were interactions that seemed better this time around (compared to buying a model 3 new in 2018), but ultimately this type of experience is still too frequent. I don’t agree that Tesla is necessarily worse than other dealerships/zoom/caravana overall, but there are some things you just expect them to get right that they don’t. I found exactly the car I wanted for a really good price, so I was prepared for some cosmetic issues and a few weeks until delivery. The extra year warranty is also some protection against issues that take some time to surface.

Its clear they just still don’t have their act together in general. I sold my model 3 privately and it was a better experience on both ends than this. Looking forward to getting the car in part so I don’t have to deal with Tesla anymore.
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
63
25
Boston Ma
Update: I took delivery of the car today, but its already in service. On the plus side - very clean with few cosmetic issues and the performance brake pads (nice surprise).

While I was waiting for the plates (and right after I took delivery in the app), the car was supercharging and suddenly stopped and threw a “car may not restart” warning and several BMS errors. Car went right into the service bay. Never got to drive it.

Waiting to hear what is wrong. I’m sure I’ll have to call to find out.
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
63
25
Boston Ma
Finally drove the car home today. It’s really amazing. Not sure what the service issue was, but they fixed it quickly. Here are some overall thoughts for others considering preowned from Tesla:

1. The car is in great shape. It’s nerve-wracking to put money down and waiting on a car you have never seen, but cosmetic issues weren’t a problem. It looks almost new.
2. I had several delays and issues that made the delivery experience stressful. I think this shows Tesla still has many of the issues that have been highlighted in the past, at least on the preowned side.
3. Communication was’t good in general, but a few people in Dedham stepped up in the end and made sure things worked out.

A mixed bag to be sure, but I think for some people and for the right car this is still a good way to go, assuming you have flexibility and can tolerate some delays and uncertainty. Not sure I will do this again, but happy with the car.
 

BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,043
1,276
Pennsylvania, USA
Finally drove the car home today. It’s really amazing. Not sure what the service issue was, but they fixed it quickly. Here are some overall thoughts for others considering preowned from Tesla:

1. The car is in great shape. It’s nerve-wracking to put money down and waiting on a car you have never seen, but cosmetic issues weren’t a problem. It looks almost new.
2. I had several delays and issues that made the delivery experience stressful. I think this shows Tesla still has many of the issues that have been highlighted in the past, at least on the preowned side.
3. Communication was’t good in general, but a few people in Dedham stepped up in the end and made sure things worked out.

A mixed bag to be sure, but I think for some people and for the right car this is still a good way to go, assuming you have flexibility and can tolerate some delays and uncertainty. Not sure I will do this again, but happy with the car.
You got a good one.
Back when pictures were provided for used cars some were obviously beaten to hell or just not well cared for.
 
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TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,669
2,307
United States
Since there are others interested/looking at buying a preowned Tesla, I thought I’d write a quick summary of how things have gone for me since I paid the deposit for a preowned Model S last month. In short - not well. I paid the 2500 deposit and delivery fee on 2/6. My original delivery date was 2/19, and I’m currently on my third date (tentatively this Saturday, 3/6). The car shipped from Texas, and was first delayed due to the recent storm. This is understandable, but Tesla didn’t know where the car was for several days after canceling my first delivery appointment. I had to call several times before I got a straight answer. They rescheduled and offered to waive part of the delivery for the headache when they eventually confirmed it was still in Texas - so okay. Fast-forward to today. I get a call an hour before my appointment saying there are “a few” error lights that popped up and they think it’s a software issue so could we reschedule for tomorrow. I took off time today and moved meetings etc to later in the week, so majorly inconvenient. Next update was that there was still an error they didn’t understand and were talking to “engineers” to sort it out. I’m now scheduled for Saturday, but only tentatively, in case it’s not solved by then.

This is my second Tesla, so I came in expecting it could take a few weeks and with low expectations for customer service. Despite all that, I’m still disappointed. I’ll buy private from now on.
Dying to know--was this a 2017 Model S P100D, in Silver, and with low miles, perhaps?
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,669
2,307
United States
Silver 90d. Did you trade yours?
Nope, it was a 2017 P100D in Silver that we traded in--it was physically dropped off on 30 or 31 Dec, with a service appointment scheduled earlier to fix some serious issues on 2 Jan.

Here's what I did:

A. Told the service staff, "Car is here; please FIX IT before it leaves the Dallas SC."
B. Left copious notes in and ON the car to NOT ship it until it was repaired.

When I found out later from "sources" that not a single damn thing had been done to the car, yet it was on Tesla's "used" web site, I stepped it up:

C. Paid a personal visit to the Dallas SC Service Manager, explained that the car had SERIOUS, LIFE-SAFETY/ACCIDENT CAUSING defects that needed to be addressed before it was sold. He said, "I'll take care of it."

Found out later that nothing had been done, again.

D. Wrote a strongly worded letter to Tesla's "Safety and compliance" officer, whoever she was, and a few others, FedEx'd same.

I think they finally fixed it as I got a call advising they would, but with Tesla everything is a crap shoot it seems.

Pathetic safety emphasis by mid-level employees; either incompetent or just poorly trained.

Hope they did actually fix it . . . at least it was back in 2020 that it was re-sold and I think Tesla had a decent CPO Warranty back then?
 

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