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Service somewhere other then the dealership?

Hey all, long time reader, first time poster. <NEWB>

I work for a dealership, and recently a 2012 Tesla Model S (P85) was traded in to us. It has 126,000 miles, but the car was obviously well maintained. The interior was emaculate and the exterior was neer pristine with the exception of one small scuff on the lower front bumper. All the wheels and tires were defect free and appeared to be newer.

We don't sell these vehicles, because our shop can't do the mechanical repairs on them, so we sell them via wholesale to other dealers, or offer them up to employees to purchase. I jumped at the opportunity to buy it because it was such a fantastic deal.

Unfortunately, in order to sell the vehicle to me, the car has to have a passing state inspection. This vehicle came from out of state and had to go through my state inspection process. It failed- because the guys in the shop said that there "was too much play in the rear wheels for them to be comfortable with passing it" and because the front lower control arm needed to be replaced. They said they would take the MS to the local dealership, have them inspect it to the state inspection standards and get a quote for any/all repairs they required to give it a passing inspection.

Fast forward 2 months and I've been going back and forth with our service department and the dealership. I don't own the car yet, so Tesla will not speak to me directly as the owner. Tesla required proof of ownership from the dealer along with several other documents that were somewhat difficult to come up with. Then after all of that was provided to the dealership they told our service manager that they needed to call the corporate number to schedule service. They have, and so have I, and there's literally no way to get to speak to a live human being. We just keep going in circles and I am about to throw in the towel on this. I think the issue might be that the previous owner hasn't removed this vehicle from their Tesla account.

My question is twofold:

1- do non dealership mechanical repair shops even exist for Teslas?
2- Any one else experienced just a straight up run-around on getting service scheduled for an out of warranty Tesla?
Tesla certified body shops can do work on the body (including mechanical linkages/etc. They have all the service manuals and the ability to access parts. I do NOT believe they do routine service, but it appears you are talking about body repairs, not service.

Not sure where else you could get the work other than a Tesla Service Center.


Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
there's literally no way to get to speak to a live human being
You're being treated like a Tesla owner already!

Welcome (sort of) to the fold! Tesla's cars are wonderful, the company used to be great too, but over the last few years your frustrating experience has become standard procedure.

1. Yes, some might but for the most part no. Tesla certifies third party shops, but there aren't very many. Try this lookup: Body Shop Support and the good news is since they are third party their communication skills are probably better than Tesla's even if they don't speak the same languages as you.

2. It's completely normal. "the runaround" is normal whether you are in warranty or out. The company downsized its communications to zero. For a not-yet-owner I can only imagine how much worse it must be for you. The majority of effective interaction for owners is through the official app - something you can't access yet. They do have a single point of phone contact that has humans - their roadside assistance. If you must talk to a person, call them. It's not what roadside is for, but since it's the only phone Tesla will answer I'm sure a lot of people use it as the Tesla switchboard now.

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