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Refused delivery Fri 4/20 :/

jopa180

New Member
Apr 23, 2018
3
26
Menlo Park, CA
Bummed to report that I ended up refusing delivery of our white M3 at the Fremont delivery center on Friday because of a deep scratch on the front quarter panel just ahead of the passenger side door, behind the passenger front wheel well, about 12-18 inches from the ground. The scratch was very significant, about 6 inches long, down to the aluminum body of the car--not as if someone might have just brushed against it and didn’t notice. More like a piece of equipment hit and dragged along the car. It’s hard to imagine not being aware of it at the time that it occurred.

I was not going over the car with a fine-tooth comb—spotted the scratch on a casual walkaround, like you’d do when looking for pre-existing damage on a rental car. So we're disappointed and concerned for several reasons:

-The scratch was not subtle at all, and should have easily been picked up during a walkaround of the car as part of quality control prior to delivery.

-If it was missed by Tesla quality control but picked up by me, I'm concerned about the QC on components of the car we can't see.

-If it was seen but not pointed out to me, I'm disappointed that Tesla would consider delivering it to us as a new car without at least acknowledging it. I understand that things happen, but I would have much preferred to have been called and notified of the problem and the steps needed to fix it prior to driving over to Fremont on Friday afternoon.

-When the person helping with my paperwork suggested that it was good news that I could take delivery and arrange for a service center to fix the car, I decided to refuse delivery because having to immediately bring in a new car for service made no sense to me. Again, seems like I could have been given some options over the phone prior to the delivery appointment.

Just filled our DS in this morning, so waiting to hear back about what needs to be done to fix the scratch (e.g. repaint vs replace the panel) and how long I should expect to be waiting. Honestly, this has me wondering whether 1) I should request a different VIN (e.g. one later in production, presumably as the production process gets more reliable), and 2) whether I want to proceed with the purchase at all. Figure I’ll give Tesla the chance to make it right, but given our experience so far, I’ll be reviewing things much more closely when the car is ready to be delivered.
 

Trips

"Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"
Sep 22, 2015
1,223
1,407
Omaha, NE
That really sucks. My first guess would have been that the car hauler caused it when loading or unloading. Both would have been after the factory QC inspection and caused by a third party. Either way I would hope the detail shop or delivery specialist would have noticed it.
 

geometro

Member
Jun 24, 2015
411
659
Austin
Ugh... this scares me: the bank wants to send the check directly to Tesla and also have the additional down payment made before I pick up the car. I want to give Tesla the money once I see the car, and I am planning to pick up this Thursday.

On a side note, the tesla account site seems to be down as I can't make the additional down payment.
 

steven415

Member
Jan 19, 2018
114
144
California
This is concerning. I will be getting my car at Fremont as well in 2-5 weeks. (4/10 config)
Can you give us the name of the person who you worked with so we can tell them to look at our cars before pick up day.

Thanks.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,176
7,865
Visalia, CA
....whether I want to proceed with the purchase...

This practice of using owners as a Quality Control department at the delivery has not been new.

Apparently, you've done a very good job by spotting the scratch right on the spot!

There have been articles citing disgruntled employees leaking about poor Quality Controls too but they may not be taken seriously due to the definition of "disgruntled".

Munro Compares Tesla Model 3 Build Quality To A "Kia From The '90s" | CleanTechnica

However, it does praise Tesla's high tech and great handling (if you can ignore the scratch in your case!)

Since you live near Tesla, it would be easier for you just to accept the delivery and let Tesla fix it.

It may take some time for a body work but at least, you can use its loaner in the mean time.
 
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GarrickS

Member
Apr 5, 2016
236
198
Inglewood, CA
Can you give us the name of the person who you worked with so we can tell them to look at our cars before pick up day.

Hahaha, I remember doing that. It doesn't work.

You can tell them whatever you want to require. They will agree to all of it. None of it will happen. QC is done by the customer at Tesla. Just accept that and go get your amazing car.
 
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steven415

Member
Jan 19, 2018
114
144
California
I would be furious if I wasted my time going there for a major defect such as this. This is a 50K+ car and for them to miss something as easy to spot as a big scratch is unacceptable.

I know they are busy i'm sure someone is detailing the cars and for a big scratch to go unreported speaks volumes about how the Fremont Center is being run.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
That really sucks. My first guess would have been that the car hauler caused it when loading or unloading. Both would have been after the factory QC inspection and caused by a third party. Either way I would hope the detail shop or delivery specialist would have noticed it.

Menlo Park is directly across the bay from the Factory and as far as I know the Model 3s are all picked up from the Factory's delivery center right down from the factory so no car hauler involved. Fresh from the factory. Suppose it could have been done in the lot where the cars are kept until delivery time. Also the possibility that a customer/family member (ie kid) or staff at the delivery center scraped against it after it was set up on the carpet for you. Probably no way to know for sure.

That's really too bad though and while stuff happens you just hope it doesn't happen to you. @jopa180 let us know how you resolve it.
 
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TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
2,857
The Americas
Definite buzzkill.

It’s missed stuff like this that just kills word of mouth.

And you’d think for a company without a substantial advertising budget that they’d give QC and the resultant customer-facing experience higher priority.

Then again, today Service and Sales is a rudderless ship relative to the past unless and until Elon gives up his acting EVP role in that regard. There are some things that are more difficult to decentralize (for example, consistent quality across regional management).

Very frustrating growing pains. Things get missed - such as “F” grades from the BBB. Never, ever does that get by stable management - period.

But to one degree or another, it has been ever thus with Tesla. For every bad experience there is a stellar one - even verygreen’s latest X is closer to perfect than expected.

The inconsistency - gah. One thing I’d like to see as a shareholder, let alone as an owner, is trend data. For you see, whatever the satisfaction rate is today at SvCs (e.g., 97%)? Level pegging going forward at today’s level of inconsistency will be a win, sadly.

Why? Because Service and Sales will continue to get hammered with increased volume. They’ve already reduced CPO/used standards.

It will be up to owners to maintain a standard and to reject a car if it’s not at that standard. This helps Tesla, contrary to fanboy belief.

Congrats to the OP for being in the home stretch. Wouldn’t blame him in the slightest for demanding a new VIN if the repair isn’t perfect. They had a chance to mask the damage and did not. Now the door is open for FUD as the OP noted, and That Is Bad. Put another way, a scratch is not just a scratch. It's hard to keep Service/Sales personnel from getting desensitized in this regard. Not an easy problem to solve. But it needs to be solved.
 
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Shygar

Member
Aug 7, 2017
926
518
Pleasant Hill, CA
I had a spot on my back seat and just took it to the service center after to get it fixed. The service visit was really pleasant actually and I really love driving the car so I'm glad I got it. But glad you spoke up when you didn't feel comfortable. It's an expensive car.
 

ShawnA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
972
700
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi Jopa180,

Sorry to hear of your poor experience. I tend to agree with SMAlset above that it was damaged after being prepared for you.

It does not make it any better for you, especially after the wait...

Another here Dan180 rejected a car for similar damage, suffered through 3 weeks while they made him a new one,
and he could not be happier...

I wish the same for you.

Shawn
 
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geometro

Member
Jun 24, 2015
411
659
Austin
Menlo Park is directly across the bay from the Factory and as far as I know the Model 3s are all picked up from the Factory's delivery center right down from the factory so no car hauler involved. Fresh from the factory. Suppose it could have been done in the lot where the cars are kept until delivery time. Also the possibility that a customer/family member (ie kid) or staff at the delivery center scraped against it after it was set up on the carpet for you. Probably no way to know for sure.

That's really too bad though and while stuff happens you just hope it doesn't happen to you. @jopa180 let us know how you resolve it.


You know what else is crazy? Charging us $925 for a “delivery / destination fee” when we are picking it up from the factory. They literally moved the car less than a mile.
They should have all cars QC’d to the nines.
 
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drawfour

Member
Mar 10, 2018
774
709
Seattle, WA
You know what else is crazy? Charging us $925 for a “delivery / destination fee” when we are picking it up from the factory. They literally moved the car less than a mile.
They should have all cars QC’d to the nines.
Apparently, it is law that regardless of what the destination charge is, it is required to be the same charge in all 50 states. So the manufacturers just figure out the average cost to deliver the cars across the US, and tack on some extra for overhead. Tesla could have opted for $0, but then they'd be shipping them to Maine for free.
 

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,726
8,634
Southern California
This type of issue totally scares me. I hate repainting cars. In my experience, they are never as durable as factory paint. Factory paint is applied and cured at elevated temperatures. Repainted panels have to be "blended" or feathered to mask subtle differences in the paint and since your car is fully assembled now, they can't do the same elevated temperature cure and so the repainted panels never get to the same hardness and durability as the original. So, this story makes me cringe. I do think not accepting the delivery was the right move as hard as I am sure it was. These stories also make me cringe as a stock holder. What a waste of money and reputation. I hope Tesla makes good on your car and learns something about how to avoid this in the future
 

Electroman

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,344
6,650
TX
What is the downside to putting it in the due bill and fixing it in a week or two after delivery?

Although refusing delivery till they fix it seems fine too, except in many cases the bank has already paid the money and so your loan payment has already started.

Did Tesla offer you a loner until it is fixed?

I am picking up mine this Friday.

———————

My rathole:

While people are fixated at cosmetic issues that one can find out by visually inspecting, what if there is a lurking issue underneath? Bad 12V, inverter, cell, console... anything under the hood (the core components of a car) can fail a week later, or a bad seal that gives excessive wind noise - all of which you have no way of inspecting them - and you are going to bring it in to fix it a week later anyway. Or you could end up with the same scratch a week later. So why not treat this cosmetic issue like that and get it fixed at a convenient time for both instead of refusing delivery?

After all these are all easily fixable problems - unlike a crooked panel alignment which sometimes can never come out as good as a perfectly built car, however hard they try to fix it.
 
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MistaEV

Member
Apr 6, 2018
90
55
East Coast
So why not treat this cosmetic issue like that and get it fixed at a convenient time for both instead of refusing delivery?
I would never presume to begrudge anyone their own way of dealing with these issues. After all, they are spending $49k+ on a car and they should be happy with the end product. If you are willing to consider it as a product well delivered minus some issues, that is your choice.

Some prefer to start their ownership off with a blank slate and acquire their own door dings and other damage. If this were a used car I would concede your point. However, this is a used car and having to wait another week or more is for some, unsatisfactory. If you have forgiveness for these things, that is your prerogative. It is great that you are more forgiving.

As for the loan, banks do not typically start charging you for repayment until you actually give Tesla the funds (except in the case of an ACH). If the car is refused, no payment is collected by Tesla and no payments are due... yet.
 

JoRey

Current Volt Owner, Aspiring Model III Owner
Feb 15, 2016
186
75
Anaheim, CA
I would just request for another car. No sense in having a car that needs to be repainted, although inevitably you will get a scratch.
 

jsrawa

Active Member
Apr 11, 2016
1,088
811
Colorado
The problem is that everyone wants their car now and they want it perfect, myself included. Unfortunately you can’t have both yet.
 

Electroman

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,344
6,650
TX
I would never presume to begrudge anyone their own way of dealing with these issues.

Of course. Each one handles situations differently, because their priorities differ, and I realize I am in the minority.

I was just providing my view point that - if you step back and look at it the big picture, we all are really NOT inspecting the car's core function which is under the hood. We are all taking a chance there, but focusing on the visual cosmetic stuff, some of those are easily fixable and some of them are not.

No sense in having a car that needs to be repainted

entire car? one front quarter panel needs to be touched or repainted.
 

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