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Service tech uses my car for personal use

I dropped off my car for scheduled service in Rochester, NY this afternoon. It is a new service center. They texted me they needed until opening tomorrow at 8. How do they finish repairs when they only open at 8? Come to learn the tech drove my car home to Buffalo, putting 120+ miles on my car without my permission.

Anyone have this outrageous experience?
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
I dropped off my car for scheduled service in Rochester, NY this afternoon. It is a new service center. They texted me they needed until opening tomorrow at 8. How do they finish repairs when they only open at 8? Come to learn the tech drove my car home to Buffalo, putting 120+ miles on my car without my permission.

Anyone have this outrageous experience?

That is definitely complaint worthy - it's probably going to fall on deaf ears, but, I believe there is an escalation path for getting the higher ups at Tesla. For that many miles, they better be reimbursing at least wear/tear/mileage fees.
 

cypho

Member
Dec 20, 2018
839
1,039
USA
So right now your car is parked at a residential address 100 miles away from the service center? You gave Tesla permission to fix your car, not take it on a road trip. You could report the car as stolen. Unless you have already gotten ahold of someone at tesla and they admitted to taking the car out of town, as far as you know the car is stolen.

It will probably get the higher up's attention when the tech does not show up to work tomorrow because he is in jail.
 
Reporting it stolen would be stupid and could get you in trouble for filing a false police report.

To play devil's advocate, it's slightly possible, depending on what the repair was, that an extended test drive would be in order, and that having someone drive it home would be the easy way to do that...but 120 miles is WAY too far for that.
 
Reporting it stolen would be stupid and could get you in trouble for filing a false police report.

To play devil's advocate, it's slightly possible, depending on what the repair was, that an extended test drive would be in order, and that having someone drive it home would be the easy way to do that...but 120 miles is WAY too far for that.

Hows it false though? You agreed to let them service the car, not take it home. That to me is theft.

Jeff
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
7,694
15,466
Springfield, VA
I dropped off my car for scheduled service in Rochester, NY this afternoon. It is a new service center. They texted me they needed until opening tomorrow at 8. How do they finish repairs when they only open at 8? Come to learn the tech drove my car home to Buffalo, putting 120+ miles on my car without my permission.

Anyone have this outrageous experience?

First of all, what is the car in service for? Depending on the reason, an extended test drive might be in order.

I’ve had non-Tesla cars in for service with problems that only manifested themselves in certain driving scenarios. In those cases, the tech took the car home overnight so he could do a cold drive cycle in the morning.

Other friends who are dealership or independent mechanics have needed to do extended test drives to verify an intermittent problem or to verify that an intermittent problem had been resolved.

Just offering a plausible alternative to joyride/stolen.
 

cypho

Member
Dec 20, 2018
839
1,039
USA
You gave them the keys and permission to drive the car. There's no criminal conduct.

The service tech's employment status does not give them legal cover to do whatever they want to the car.

If the car was on a blackmarket freighter halfway to some 3rd world country would you still say the car was not stolen because you gave the service tech the keys? Of course not. There are limitations to what the service tech has permission to do.
 
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Reactions: davewill

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,545
5,116
Central Valley
There's no criminal conduct.

Just how do you define criminal conduct? Me, it is all about intent.

If, as others have pointed out, if the car needed to be road tested, this should have been explained to the customer in advance with good reasons for road testing. To me, that falls under "borrowing."

It seems highly irregular to drive a customer's vehicle 100 miles for testing purposes without informing the customer.

Theft is the act of taking without consent, express or implied. So, if my garage door is open, and you walk in and take my bicycle to ride around for a couple of hours without my knowledge or consent, and then return it the next day, did you steal or borrow my bicycle?
 
.. Theft is the act of taking without consent, express or implied. So, if my garage door is open, and you walk in and take my bicycle to ride around for a couple of hours without my knowledge or consent, and then return it the next day, did you steal or borrow my bicycle?
If I just come and take it, then I stole it, even if I bring it back. If you gave me permission to borrow the bicycle, then I borrowed it. If I rode it farther than you intended, then you can be mad at me, sue me for damages, etc... but you can't say I stole it. If I refuse to bring it back, THEN you might say I stole it.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,618
3,223
You could report the car as stolen.
Thinking about reporting it stolen.
Yeah, I'd report it stolen if something like that happened to me.
I'd file in small claims court for say, $.025/mi, and name Elon or the VP in charge of SC's in the complaint. That will get their attention, fast.
If your go is to "get even" or "vengeance" or whatever, go for it.

If it was me the priority would be to get my car back in good condition, with the proper servicing, and have a better service experience in the future.

To do so, I would collect the data and try my best to politely raise the issue via e-mail. After sending the e-mail, would wait at most an hour for a response before calling to follow-up.

Good luck and please keep us posted with what you learn and what happens.
 
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Reactions: jeffro01

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
If I just come and take it, then I stole it, even if I bring it back. If you gave me permission to borrow the bicycle, then I borrowed it. If I rode it farther than you intended, then you can be mad at me, sue me for damages, etc... but you can't say I stole it. If I refuse to bring it back, THEN you might say I stole it.

I don't know if Tesla service center techs are ASE Certified, but, if they are, that would definitely be in violation of what's required to correct any defects (well, we still haven't heard from @mileszat as to what the vehicle was in for). If a 120 mile ride was done on a vehicle that came in for, let's say, a wiper blade change, then, it's definitely beyond what is necessary and can be complained about.

The question is, who do you complain to?

In California, you can report misconduct to the Bureau of Automotive Repairs (which, is under the California Division of Consumer Affairs, so, in most cases, the customer is who will be protected). Not sure what the situation is in New York in terms of consumer protection or agencies that handle complaints... California can be a very consumer friendly state, so, it's much easier here.
 

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