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Tesla banned me from purchasing another Tesla after vehicle buyback

testhrowaway

Member
Jul 1, 2019
40
369
california
Many of you know me from this thread: Yellow screen? Force Tesla to Replace it!. In the thread I state very clearly and factually the process I went though to get Tesla to replace my yellowing Model S screen. Nothing I posted was covered under any NDAs. I simply wanted to make sure everyone was aware what the NCDS process looked like as an option to combat warranty denials over the screen. The NCDS procedure I documented there has been invaluable to many customers both on these forums and off.

It turns out, Tesla has banned me from purchasing another vehicle for posting online.

How I found out:

Several months after the yellow screen incident, I contacted the lawyer from Tesla I had been working with.(I will not state his name here, others have stated it in the linked thread) The Model S had a worsening problem with reduced battery life. Averaging ~330KW/h we were only getting about 70-80% of what we should have. On a full 100% charge we would get somewhere in the range of 170-200 miles.

The service centers would not acknowledge the problem. In fact, I could not even get them to write up a service ticket. So, I went to the lawyer at Tesla. I informed him of the problem, and he referred it to an internal engineering department. I was contacted back a couple weeks later (after having to prod for a response)

The engineer informed me that I had an API requesting tool (TeslaFi) constantly hitting my car, and that was the reason for reduced capacity. He recommended changing my password to block the API requests. I thought this sounded odd, but figured it did not hurt to try.

This did not make a difference. I reached back out to the lawyer and got a response of "What do you want me to do?". I informed him I just wanted it fixed. The response I got back was asking me if I wanted to just do a buyback on the vehicle. At first, I baulked at this. I really did love that car, aside from the screen issue (which was ultimately fixed), and now the battery problem.

Ultimately, I decided that this was a good idea. It would allow me to get out of the battery problem, and get a brand new Model S Performance. The offer was at $68,024.75. This is 60-70% over KBB value, it was calculated by the the full price I paid including taxes, fees, etc ($99,563.63) - mileage deduction (-$31,538.88 calculated as $96750 x 39,118miles/120,000).

We placed a deposit on a brand new Performance S to replace it with about two weeks before we had to surrender the car to the Burlingame service center. The day after we provided the car to them and signed all of the documentation we received a phone call from the sales manager at Burlingame. I was told that they would refuse to sell me another vehicle and he refused to provide any more information and simply cancelled the order.

I emailed the lawyer, sure that this was a mistake. I thought that maybe the manager saw there was a buyback and decided that I should not buy another vehicle. The response I got back from Telsa's lawyer was:

"
We aren’t obligated to sell you a car and we don’t believe selling you another car is in either of our interests. You’ve been repeatedly frustrated despite our best efforts and we are not inclined to continue doing business with someone we don’t believe we can satisfy such that they resort to threats repeatedly and/or disparaging us publicly. You ought to consider another EV or other vehicle and perhaps you’ll have a better relationship with their service team. "

This came as quite a shock. I can only assume that the "threats" he was referring to was being willing to file another arbitration case to get the battery issues fixed and that the "disparaging" them publicly was the yellow screen NCDS thread.

During the process, he said they hoped I would go with a different manufacturer for my next vehicle, but never said I could not purchase from them. It turns out, the "hope" was more of a "it will not be possible to buy another vehicle from us".

I tried a few more times to place the order, but it was always ultimately cancelled. We finally gave up on trying to purchase another Tesla, and opted to place an order for a Porsche Taycan.

After this situation I reached out to a few contacts and found that I am not the only one that Tesla has banned for having arbitration / lemon claims. I can't speak for those other (former) owners but It seems that this is a strategy that Tesla legal employs with at least some regular cadence.



I've attached the buy-back paperwork for my vehicle (VIN: 5YJSA1E14HF193196) for any that would like to see what it looks like
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,400
11,928
California
Wow, I wonder if Mr. Musk knows about stuff like this.......

Musk has pretty famously personally banned individuals from purchasing a Tesla before, so I don't imagine he's got a problem with it.


OP Interesting story, can't say I'm particularly surprised. Though I think your thread title is a little misleading. Your "ban" seems directly related to the buyback (which you admitted was quite generous).

Though I agree it's particularly sheisty of them to not tell you this until after you surrendered your original car.
 

headcase

Member
Jan 23, 2015
245
221
Raleigh, NC
Musk has pretty famously personally banned individuals from purchasing a Tesla before, so I don't imagine he's got a problem with it.


OP Interesting story, can't say I'm particularly surprised. Though I think your thread title is a little misleading. Your "ban" seems directly related to the buyback (which you admitted was quite generous).

Though I agree it's particularly sheisty of them to not tell you this until after you surrendered your original car.
+1. The title is very misleading.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,465
757
Ontario
Musk has pretty famously personally banned individuals from purchasing a Tesla before, so I don't imagine he's got a problem with it.
Even more interesting - I definitely wasn't expecting that. Really curious to read about this. Do you have any links to articles about it?
 

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,606
2,757
in the moment
Nothing regarding your situation.

A girlfriend I had many years ago had a lemon law claim against VW on a Jetta. This was pre internet. VW did buyback and all payments made on a 3 year old car. Said she could not buy a VW or car from the dealership group as well EVER. That was in bold in the documents. Trust me she was not inclined to do either.

Not surprised. Social media is the new tattoo that never goes away.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,232
10,759
California
Many of you know me from this thread: Yellow screen? Force Tesla to Replace it!. In the thread I state very clearly and factually the process I went though to get Tesla to replace my yellowing Model S screen. Nothing I posted was covered under any NDAs. I simply wanted to make sure everyone was aware what the NCDS process looked like as an option to combat warranty denials over the screen. The NCDS procedure I documented there has been invaluable to many customers both on these forums and off.

It turns out, Tesla has banned me from purchasing another vehicle for posting online.

How I found out:

Several months after the yellow screen incident, I contacted the lawyer from Tesla I had been working with.(I will not state his name here, others have stated it in the linked thread) The Model S had a worsening problem with reduced battery life. Averaging ~330KW/h we were only getting about 70-80% of what we should have. On a full 100% charge we would get somewhere in the range of 170-200 miles.

The service centers would not acknowledge the problem. In fact, I could not even get them to write up a service ticket. So, I went to the lawyer at Tesla. I informed him of the problem, and he referred it to an internal engineering department. I was contacted back a couple weeks later (after having to prod for a response)

The engineer informed me that I had an API requesting tool (TeslaFi) constantly hitting my car, and that was the reason for reduced capacity. He recommended changing my password to block the API requests. I thought this sounded odd, but figured it did not hurt to try.

This did not make a difference. I reached back out to the lawyer and got a response of "What do you want me to do?". I informed him I just wanted it fixed. The response I got back was asking me if I wanted to just do a buyback on the vehicle. At first, I baulked at this. I really did love that car, aside from the screen issue (which was ultimately fixed), and now the battery problem.

Ultimately, I decided that this was a good idea. It would allow me to get out of the battery problem, and get a brand new Model S Performance. The offer was at $68,024.75. This is 60-70% over KBB value, it was calculated by the the full price I paid including taxes, fees, etc ($99,563.63) - mileage deduction (-$31,538.88 calculated as $96750 x 39,118miles/120,000).

We placed a deposit on a brand new Performance S to replace it with about two weeks before we had to surrender the car to the Burlingame service center. The day after we provided the car to them and signed all of the documentation we received a phone call from the sales manager at Burlingame. I was told that they would refuse to sell me another vehicle and he refused to provide any more information and simply cancelled the order.

I emailed the lawyer, sure that this was a mistake. I thought that maybe the manager saw there was a buyback and decided that I should not buy another vehicle. The response I got back from Telsa's lawyer was:

"
We aren’t obligated to sell you a car and we don’t believe selling you another car is in either of our interests. You’ve been repeatedly frustrated despite our best efforts and we are not inclined to continue doing business with someone we don’t believe we can satisfy such that they resort to threats repeatedly and/or disparaging us publicly. You ought to consider another EV or other vehicle and perhaps you’ll have a better relationship with their service team. "

This came as quite a shock. I can only assume that the "threats" he was referring to was being willing to file another arbitration case to get the battery issues fixed and that the "disparaging" them publicly was the yellow screen NCDS thread.

During the process, he said they hoped I would go with a different manufacturer for my next vehicle, but never said I could not purchase from them. It turns out, the "hope" was more of a "it will not be possible to buy another vehicle from us".

I tried a few more times to place the order, but it was always ultimately cancelled. We finally gave up on trying to purchase another Tesla, and opted to place an order for a Porsche Taycan.

After this situation I reached out to a few contacts and found that I am not the only one that Tesla has banned for having arbitration / lemon claims. I can't speak for those other (former) owners but It seems that this is a strategy that Tesla legal employs with at least some regular cadence.



I've attached the buy-back paperwork for my vehicle (VIN: 5YJSA1E14HF193196) for any that would like to see what it looks like
When I owned a business, there were a few clients who just weren't worth it. Nothing I could do to satisfy them. I ended up "firing" them.
I think you should try an Audi or Porsche or Jaguar.
 

cypho

Member
Dec 20, 2018
761
897
USA
I wonder if the OP purchased a used Tesla from a 3rd party owner/dealer if Tesla would deny access to App or Supercharger network?
 

testhrowaway

Member
Jul 1, 2019
40
369
california
Unrelated - but that document should probably be removed and further edited. As it stands those blacked out lines do nothing to hide the text behind it.
Thanks for the catch. New images are on this post
When I owned a business, there were a few clients who just weren't worth it. Nothing I could do to satisfy them. I ended up "firing" them.
I think you should try an Audi or Porsche or Jaguar.
Yep, we ended up opting for a Porsche. Just waiting on it to be built. Its fascinating going from the Tesla to the Porsche. The only thing we are going to miss is Autopilot, but to be honest, most manufacturers have come a LONG way in their self-driving and Porsche Innodrive will handle the majority of highway driving, which is the main areas we use Autopilot.
 

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ChrML

Member
Feb 6, 2017
700
962
Norway
Unfortunately I don't know both sides of this story, because Tesla employees never share their side of it.

I'm not saying that Tesla is right, and not saying that testhrowaway is lying or painting a worse picture on this forum than the reality. But with Tesla's response it's obvious there's a subjective understanding among their employees that testhrowaway is a buyer they can never satisfy.

If they honestly think that they cannot satisfy you, they have the full right to refuse to sell you another vehicle. If they think they are right, it's a good decision for them, to reduce frustration for their employees fighting over the potential flaws on the new vehicle.

Even if you aren't necessarily a bad customer, there are other customers that no matter how hard the company tries will never be satisfied. Yet they always come back to buy new vehicles. Filtering out these customers when you can is a good way to do business, and saves them a lot of frustration.
 

testhrowaway

Member
Jul 1, 2019
40
369
california
I wonder if the OP purchased a used Tesla from a 3rd party owner/dealer if Tesla would deny access to App or Supercharger network?
I don't think they w(c)ould deny access. I still have a Model 3 and they have not blocked my app access. Not 100% sure on supercharger network, but as I'm still getting updates on my 3 and my app still works, I doubt that would be a problem.
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,561
1,571
Lancaster, CA
When I owned a business, there were a few clients who just weren't worth it. Nothing I could do to satisfy them. I ended up "firing" them.
I think you should try an Audi or Porsche or Jaguar.
I read the book by Southwest Airlines' founder and CEO. He fired a customer that he said was impossible to please. It happens. For what it's worth.
 

amhoward

New Member
Feb 7, 2020
2
18
Los Angeles
I have an original 2012 S, I ordered it 2 years before and love the car, I have a new Tesla 3 and love the car, I bought my son a 3 and an X. So we have 4 cars. The cars are amazing, best cars ever made. I do have a major problem with the battery on the S. It is an 85 and the battery does not hold a charge. Service will not even look at it. I have referred so many people to Tesla, and have been so loyal to the Tesla company and Hugh fan of Ilan Musk. But over the last 6 months I have had such awful experiences at the service department with 3 of the cars. They stopped giving loaners so give uber, they called me at 430 my car is ready, I call uber which arrived at 5, and I arrived at the service center at 605, my car was there, and only the one employee was locking up. I asked him for my keys and he said he had to leave, and I would need to come the next morning. I was furious, called uber, ...next morning I come when they open he is at the front desk I ask him for my keys and he says."sign in and sit down" no other greeting.....I waited 15 minutes....and then just lost it. Watching the other owners, the feeling is like going to the DMV in California. Service which should take one day takes 3 or longer, no more loaners, parts take for ever to get. Each experience over the last 6 months have been identical, they do no longer wash the cars, or charge the cars. I spent from $70,000-$100,000 on these cars. I expect service. I understand that the issue is too many cars and that is what the company is trying to do is build cars, and not infrastructure, but this has become unbearable. One of the old service managers who left and had been with them since the beginning told me that most service people have left, they do not longer allow overtime, and they try to do as little as possible. I did put an order in for a mustang electric car. I figure at least I would get ford service if needed.
I am hoping things do change, but at this point I am so disappointed. If others are like me Tesla will not be able to sustain the growth as owners will become one time owners like the old days with jaguar.
The good news is mobile service is good, and the cars rarely need much service. and the cars are amazing. But would I spend this money again on Tesla at this time.
absolutely not.
 

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