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Quality problems; "veteran members" tell us, how significant are they?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by brucet999, May 22, 2015.

  1. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    As an on-the-fence prospective buyer, I find the many quality control complaints on these fora off-putting. So can some of you "veterans" help put them in perspective for me and for others in my position?

    Fora such as this are certainly not truly representative of the general population of MS owners. clearly not all MS owners participate here and it is clear that many who do participate are not yet owners. I see that there are over 25,000 members of Teslamotorsclub.com, but how many of those are actually MS owners?

    It is also well known that, in general, people with complaints about a product are far more likely to post on such fora than are satisfied customers.

    On the other hand, Tesla owners are far more likely to be emotionally involved with the product simply because it is so different from other vehicles. In most cases, I would guess, that very difference is a large part of the attraction for them (us actually, for that is the case with me). For that reason, I would expect there to be a larger percentage of apologists among the posters here than for other product-centered fora.

    I also know that every car make has production and design problems that owners end up having to get fixed. Even top-quality rated Lexus vehicles have their problems. Unfortunately, sources of information like Edmunds.com and JD Power initial quality and reliability studies provide no information about Tesla.

    So, Veteran owners, what do you say to us on-the-fencers?

    Thanks
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Coming to a Tesla forum and asking if you should buy a Tesla is like taking a kid to an ice cream shop and asking if they want ice cream.
     
  3. capt601

    capt601 Vin02324

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    Dec. 2012 car here. And little to no issues. No door. Handle problems, no drove train problems, no battery problems.

    Screen issue shortly after delivery, but fixed very quickly and easily by service center. Pano roof seal was sticking up slightly and they fixed. No issues because of it. That's about it. Most reliable car we've owned. And no shady dealers and their service centers to mess with.

    Join the OC tesla group for our next get together and you'll be able to ask quite a few people.
     
  4. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    I posted a poll on exactly this topic for exactly the same reasons recently -
    Model S reliability issues

    The results and comments are helpful - albeit given that there are 67K Model S's sold, that small representative set could be highly inaccurate.

    Still the takeaways are,
    - The 2012's I would personally steer clear of those. Happy for those who haven't had issues, no hard feelings!
    - The newer the car, the fewer the issues. That could also be because well, the car hasn't had enough road time. Still anecdotally people feel the newer ones are built better.
    - The excellent customer service makes up for the issues.

    However do consider that,
    - The customer service could slide
    - Beyond 4 years warranty, repairs can be very expensive. I am in my head factoring the 4k extended warranty that I will most probably buy .. unless my car is defect free for 4 years (unlikely).
    - And body work in general (not related to reliability but to TCO) is extremely expensive, Tesla's partners (authorized body shops) are very expensive.

    I guess you should also compare with comparable cars. Mercedes Benz doesn't have the best reliability record either, neither are their services cheaper. BMW, the first 4 years are free, after which you are gouged. Plus have to deal with dealers and ICE issues.

    Long story short, IMO, if $ is your concern, go with Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Acura/Lexus/Infiniti. They will also be more reliable.
    Tesla will give you a superior driving and feature/tinker toys, but its gonna cost ya (both $ and some headache)!
     
  5. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Remember that Tesla Service is great about fixing things and providing a loaner while your car is in the shop. Biggest issue I had was a HV battery failure, but keep in mind that a) I'm one of the first MS built so of course my car can be expected to have more problems b) it was completely covered under warranty and inconvenience was minimal. I don't think reliability concerns should stop anyone from buying a Tesla. Look at consumer reports for more details if you are still concerned.
     
  6. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    As a new owner, I will share my perspective. The two biggest "things" I see about the Model S and Tesla Motors are:
    1 - What some people complain is a lack of thorough evaluation of design decisions and quality control. I am an Engineer by trade and I spend much of my time on problem determination calls and root cause analysis. For us, we often discuss on ways things could be caught earlier and improved in the future. Now, in Tesla's case, most issues people complain about are, IMO, unreasonable for Tesla to catch every time at the factory. For instance, a misaligned pano roof seal. As long as this is not a systemic problem, I don't think any factory should be opening/closing every single sunroof and water testing and air tunnel testing every single sunroof to ensure a perfect seal. Have the process in place to ensure 90%+ of them are in good shape and the Service Centers can address the few that slip through. Design Decisions are a different concern, like the current thread about the center console. There, this leads mostly into #2.

    2 - Tesla Motors, as a whole, has a communications clarity/transparity problem. Most of the angst people experience could easily be avoided by more proactive and/or more detailed communications. Take, for example, when the first cars with Next Gen seats were delivered. People found out at delivery that the next gen seats are a due bill item and they will get them later. Not a big deal and getting the car now vs. waiting on seat supply was the right decision. That said, customers probably would have felt much better if they were told prior to showing up for delivery that the seats were backordered and would be a due bill item in an effort to get the car to the customer faster. There are other examples on these forums, but essentially, they boil down to the customer could have had an improved experience if they simply got better communications.

    In the end, I do NOT regret my decision of a Tesla in any way, I still love the company, and I would not hesitate to go through the process again. That doesn't mean I would not appreciate if Tesla did better on certain things.
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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  8. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    I had a November 2013 P85 which I kept for about 1 year. It had wind noise that took a few visits to fix, and developed the motor noise problem at 10,000 miles which took a few visits to fix and was ultimately replaced. I also had the dreaded 12 volt battery failure which required my car to be towed. In all cases, Tesla service was excellent and either arranged a free car rental or picked up and dropped off my car with their valet service.

    I now have a December 2014 P85D which has not had any service issues so far. I definitely get the sense they've worked out most of the kinks in the last year.
     
  9. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I don't think you should be telling people that Tesla will "cost ya... some headache" when you don't even own the car.

    In the 1+ year I have owned my car I had an issue with one door handle not retracting that was fixed by the ranger service at my office, and when I had the yearly service I had the charge port door replaced since the magnet came loose. Minor issues and no headaches at all.
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #10 brianman, May 22, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
    "Can" is such a fun word. I "can" win the lottery.

    I think a more appropriate phrasing is "out of warranty repair pricing for Model S is an unknown at this point". Tesla's track record for Roadster out-of-warranty repairs is apparently quite good, so that's promising.


    As for in warranty costs, I need to ping my service center to get real numbers but IIRC there are two things I've had to pay for so far for my (Nov 2012) Sig P85 since purchase: (A) replacement 21" wheel and (B) alignment after installing that wheel (and new tires all around) at Discount Tire.

    My biggest complaint: I want the <bleep> extended warranty in WA state for my Sig. I'm tempted to see if I can somehow register it out of state for a few months (or a year...) to address that problem before it kicks past 50k miles (currently mid 40s).
     
  11. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    I don't need to be on top of Mt. Everest to know its pretty damn cold there either.
    The issues you mention in 1 year, I haven't had anything close to that in 8 years.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That site is awesome. Thanks!!
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #12 Canuck, May 22, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
    No. You haven't had anything close to that in your lifetime since you don't own this car. Comparing a new electric vehicle to ICE vehicles that have been in production for many years is not a fair comparison. Also, I have owned many new ICE vehicles and I can't think of one that did not require minor warranty repairs.

    More importantly, your statement was that Tesla will "cost ya... some headache". That's simply not true from my perspective, unlike the temperature on Mt. Everest which we know from facts.
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Ahhhh, you're no fun... we'll never make it to the spininess thread if we just agree to disagree... ;)
     
  14. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    Actually he just made it....just a couple of entries past ME!

    snippiness - Page 142
     
  15. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    THAT snippiness was not deserved. The guy was selling a Pony bike in a Tesla forum. :biggrin:
     
  16. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    That is an interesting idea. If it is illegal for a manufacturer to sell an extended warranty in WA, would it be illegal for that same mfr.'s service centers to honor such a warranty that was purchased out of state?
     
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    My understanding from a fellow TMC forum member is that a car bought in a non-WA state with the extended warranty would have that warranty honored after moving into WA state.
     
  18. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    But there are a few thousand years of data points on the temp there and quite a few people have made the trek. Since your poll has all of 63 respondents and half them said they have no issues, I am not sure you should be making any pronouncements as you have neither personal experience nor a statistically valid data set from which to draw conclusions.
     
  19. breading

    breading Member

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    I have an early 2013 P85. I have had a few issues. The most extensive was a drive train replacement which they did for the known issue of a low rumbling sound. I also had the door handles, TPMS, and the 12 volt battery replaced. I have driven it across country and to work every day for the past two years.

    Bottom line is this: Every car made is likely to have issues at some point. I would much rather deal with the Tesla service center and rangers than any dealer service center I have ever been to. Don't let a fear of issues deprive you of the Tesla grin!
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Early 2013 S85. Like Breading I have had few issues. The most extensive was the charger replacement. The Model S quality seems to be as good as any other car I've had a better than some (I already ranted about the "some" yesterday in another thread, so I won't repeat today). Tesla service is one of the reasons I purchased the car. No regrets.
     

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