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Servicing the S (and Roadster?)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by sp4rk, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Not sure if this topic has been covered.

    I just took my Leaf to my dealer for servicing (missing or broken struts or something) ... they loaned me a car (complimentary) and off I go.

    With the S, if I have an issue, will there be loaner cars? Or will we have to rent an entirely independent car?

    What if we're without for a month.

    This, given the unique business model that Tesla operates.

    How have they done it for Roadsters or always assumed it was a 2nd car?
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I asked once upon a time and was told yes if necessary there will be loaners but not Model S's, it will likely be some small ICE(!). Incidentally my wife's Mountaineer had to stay at dealer service for 2 days last week and they gave her a Ford Focus from Enterprise car rental; I imagine that Tesla would do something similar.

    Extremely unlikely given that most of the service/repairs will take place at your home.

    When the stores had demo cars you could occasionally get one on loan, but as (generally) the repair times were very short it wasn't often necessary. That said, demo cars are now gone and I think Tesla does assume that most people have their Roadster as a second car; I was left once without a functioning car for 3 days but Tesla always seems to make up for it with excellent service and attitude.
     
  3. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I'm not sure what unique business model aspect relates; IMHO it's the fact that they're a new car manufacturer with no models in production, their second model just being delivered in a few days, volume taking time to ramp up, and all the cars for the first year or so being spoken for (reserved by you and me). They don't have extras to use as loaners and don't have other models they could "borrow" for the purpose.

    I expect a rental loaner at the most (maybe nothing, or maybe pick-up/drop-off service, if it's same day service), like NigelM says. That's all my Mazda dealer does; they pay for a rental and I'm stuck with something huge, whatever the rental company has (I drive a Miata, so they're all huge to me ;-).

    Do other cars in this class give you the exact same car as a loaner? I'd expect not, but I don't know; I've never had a dealer that did loaners (well, my first dealer wasn't really near me, then I moved 3 hours away). My better half gets loaners sometimes, but not the same model, though sometimes something similar; but he has a Nissan and Nissan makes a boatload of models and has plenty of volume.

    But oh, for a Roadster loaner. ;-) (Except I'm hoping for no service for a long time except routine stuff.)
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Loaners - A cautionary tale....

    Just following on from my post above. Yes, my wife had a loaner for two days. The dealer gave her the keys to an Enterprise rental car and she returned it at 4.30pm on Friday afternoon handing the keys back to the Lincoln-Mercury dealer and retrieving her Mountaineer. The dealer figured it was too late to return it to Enterprise (or maybe they were going to keep for further use) and they parked it in their lot. Saturday we have a call from Enterprise asking why we didn't inform them the car was totaled...WTF?!?

    The story has developed and it turns out a delivery vehicle reversed over the Ford Focus rental and totaled it; the driver claimed he knew nothing and hadn't hit anything but the security cameras proved otherwise. Still, until the company that owns the delivery truck pays up (they admitted liability verbally today but balked at putting it in writing) my insurance is on the hook (or I am) for the $5,000 excess!

    Turns out that once my wife's signature was on that acceptance paper it was her responsibility until the car actually got delivered back to Enterprise. The Lincoln dealer is good and he's said that he'll make sure we/our insurance don't have to pay but he's not keen on putting that in writing yet either. I'm confident it'll get sorted properly but it's still a PITA dealing with all the phone calls, police statements etc. My wife is adamant that next time around she's taking pictures of the rental with her cell phone and asking for a return receipt noting the cars condition and absolving her of further responsibility.

    P.S. The Mountaineer is now running perfectly, it was just a faulty TPMS which has been replaced. The car is for sale as soon as our Model S shows up.
     
  5. As of today, Tesla does not do loaner cars or even a shuttle service. You need someone to pick you up from the Tesla service center, or they will send a ranger out to your location to do maintenance etc. Perhaps this will change with the Model S.
     
  6. strider

    strider Active Member

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    They've shuttled me in my own car in the past. Maybe they weren't very busy those days.
     
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Another thing to be careful of: I once checked a car back in at an FBO (fixed base operator for private planes) where I rented the car from. Two weeks later I got a call fro Hertz asking where their car was. The FBO has failed to call Hertz and let them know that the car had been returned. Initially Hertz wanted two weeks rental instead of one day. Once they verified that it was not my error they corrected the billing.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    FWIW, my Audi shop (almost) always gives me a base-model A4 loaner. If the maintenance isn't scheduled, I might end up with something else. By contrast, my BMW shop has only a few BMW loaners, and so typically I get some nasty rental car.
     
  9. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    My Lexus dealer provides a free Lexus loaner - and it's usually low mileage (or brand new).

    Hopefully the Model S won't require service often - but when it does, I will need either a loaner or rental vehicle.

    I live in the Houston area - and unless there are multiple service locations - there could be a long drive to/from the service location...
     
  10. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    My previous was a Lexus 400h and they always provided a Lexus loaner ...
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    When I bought my Honda Civic in 1988, the dealer gave me a loaner every time I brought the car in for an oil change or other scheduled service. (There were no repairs, ever, on that car!) This ended when the dealership changed hands. When I got my Prius, all I got was a courtesy ride. Then after the courtesy driver scared the pants off me by running a red light while studying his address list rather than watching the road, I stopped using the courtesy car, and took a cab, at my own expense, instead. Now, at a different dealer, in a different city, I use the courtesy car again, or just bring my Kindle with me and read while they change the oil.

    Once there are Model S in large numbers coming in for regular service, I imagine Tesla service centers will go with the industry standard and offer courtesy rides within some defined maximum area. Outside that, you're probably on your own, or pay for a ranger to come out. It was made clear to me when I bought my Roadster that there would be no ranger mileage fee for warranty work, but I'd have to pay miles for routine service and out-of-warranty work. I figured, Okay, if I can afford this car I can afford high service and repair bills. Many Model S buyers will feel differently, and nobody's going to buy a Bluestar if there's a $600 mileage fee for service and out-of-warranty repairs, on top of the cost of the service itself.
     
  12. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I always stay unless they expect to take more than a few hours. I don't go to work normally till mid-day or very early afternoon anyway, and I'm usually asleep in the morning, but I get up early and just wait for my car at the dealer.

    Makes sense to me, especially that it'll likely start one way and change over time, as there are more Model Ss out there and more service calls.
     
  13. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    #13 Blurry_Eyed, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
    This is speculation by me based on what Elon said at the annual shareholder meeting about servicing, but I would infer that this may be the model that Tesla is aspiring to regarding car servicing.

    There may be one to three regional service centers per metro area (depending on the number of cars in the area). If you opt in and have your car report it's status back to HQ on a regular basis, Tesla will be able to monitor many items in the car and have reports when there are faults or potential issues with the car. They may even contact you proactively to let you know that your car is reporting some potential maintenance issue and that it should be serviced. With the information, Tesla will be able to preposition the parts needed for a repair through a just-in-time inventory type system, which improves efficiency and response time.

    For most items, you will not drop off your car at the service center, you will let Tesla know where your car will be that day and they will come will come by and pick up your car and trailer it in a trailer that might look something like this:

    Picture 193.jpg

    it will be 'invisible service' because as far as you are concerned, you don't change anything about your day or schedule (assuming you have the kind of job where you go to the office and stay there the whole day without the need for a car). If you do need a car, you may be able to request one from Tesla and they will bring the car over for you to use during the day while your car is at the service center
    This totally eliminates the hassle of going to the service center, waiting around, arranging a ride from friends/family, getting a loaner car etc. You can just go to the office and tell Tesla to pick up your car at the office, or you can stay home for the day and do stuff at home while Tesla comes to get your car.

    If Tesla finds that the car will need an extended period of work, they will let you know and drop off another car for you to use for the time period your car is at the service center. Now you may say, wow isn't that going to be expensive and resource intensive? From a cost perspective Elon indicated that this model is actually much more efficient than the traditional service setup at dealers today. You don't need 'service advisors' and the efficiency gained by having less part inventory and better initial diagnostic information most likley is meaningful.

    He used the example of how Enterprise Rent-a-car makes their business model work well even with their door-to-door service. Also the prepositioning of parts and having the insight into what may be going on with the car because of the reporting it is doing back to HQ improves efficiency from a parts inventory standpoint and a time wated diagnosing the issue standpoint.

    Now what happens as Tesla scales up and has more and more cars out there? Time will tell if they can scale up this service model, but with electric cars theoretically the mechanical issues should be much simpler to deal with and the cars should require much less general maintenance (Elon made a comment at the meeting that even Internal Combustion Engine cars are way over serviced today because that is where the dealers make much of their profit), so most general issues should be quick service fix issues and the amount of cars at the service center should be proportionaly much lower as a percentage of the outstanding fleet compared to regular internal combustion engines. I think it will be a fantastic service model if Tesla really ends up implementing it. I for one will not miss waiting at the dealer, or taking time out of my morning to drive to the service center, wait for a shuttle to work and then have to leave work early to catch the shuttle back to the dealer.

    Again, this is my speculation based on what I've heard, if it does come to fruition, it would be a revolutionary improvement in the whole servicing aspect of owning an automobile.
     
  14. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    ^^^ ditto on looking forward to no time spent at the stealership waiting for them to put new, highly refined, dino remains in my car! What a waste of time and resources!
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I spent 6 hours at the VW dealership for a recall on my TDI right after I took it in for annual service. I won't miss that either.
     
  16. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I like your idea, but I cannot see it working when there are lots of cars, or for lower-cost cars where service costs need to be kept down as well. It just seems too expensive. But I'd love to not have to go to the dealer. OTOH, my Prius goes in once a year for oil, and I expect EVs to need little service or repair. A few hours of inconvenience once a year is not all that bad.

    At the Toyota dealer I go to, there are three service managers on duty most of the time, and any time I go in there is a constant stream of cars pulling in and they are constantly busy. Trying to trailer that many cars would require a fleet of 30 or 40 trailers, at least, and as many drivers. Not cost effective by a long stretch. I can only see it working as a luxury option for the rich. In fact, I can see it working in wealthy areas as an independent business. Though people who could afford that kind of service probably already have a chauffer who takes their car in, or a mechanic who does their service.
     
  17. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I like this concept, except the paranoid part of me really doesn't like the idea of the car "phoning (non-)home" to Tesla. Also I presume they'd have to get the key from me...don't tell me they can just walk off with any Tesla-made car?

    (maybe I don't want the answer...) ;-)
     
  18. ddruz

    ddruz Member

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    This is a wonderful concept however I agree with the posts that don't see how it can work on a large scale. Particularly in rural or lightly populated areas far from Tesla Service Centers it doesn't seem remotely possible even if they succeed somehow near the Service Centers. The big question is: How is Tesla going to provide service far from Service Centers? If they continue to charge Ranger fees based on miles traveled sales of Tesla vehicles will be limited to densely populated urban areas.
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    Presumably the miles will reduce as more Tesla locations will open up. Also there could be a maximum mileage charge, example: 50 miles tops. That would keep the costs reasonable. However, my expectation is that most Tesla owners will be in urban and suburban areas regardless.
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I don't know the answer to the question about the key. But the car phoning back to Tesla is IMO a good thing. It allows them to spot problems before I would. As far as their knowing where I've been (assuming that information is transmitted, and I don't know if it is) that would be like having LoJack, which is also a good thing. On the Roadster, you can turn off remote diagnostic, and I presume you'll be able to do the same on the S. On my Roadster I made sure it was on as soon as I got the car, and I've kept it on ever since.
     

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