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Tesla Denied Buyback After Suspension Fell Off Due to Service Center Negligence

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Good Evening TMC Members,

I'm new to the forums, but am in need of some advice after dealing with a noise and vibration related suspension issue with my 2022 Model S Long Range.

Initially, I took my car in for service on February 12th, 2024 for noise and vibrations in my front end suspension. Specifically, I was noticing the noises while turning, or pulling on/off my steep driveway when the air suspension was automatically raising/lowering. They had the car in for service for only a day, and replaced the active dampers for the driver and passenger front.

Then, later in the week around 4:30 on Friday, February 16th, I am pulling into my neighborhood when I loose steering, followed by a bunch of errors on the driver's display for adaptive dampers and air suspension. I manage to barely pull my car off the street and onto my driveway. After I got out and looked, I saw the entire upper control arm had become disconnected from the rest of the suspension on the passenger's side. They forgot to install some bolts in the suspension after the repair. I'm in shock and called the same service center that did the suspension work earlier in the week. They had to call me back after looking at the service history. About an hour later, they called me and said a tow truck is en route, but I would be responsible for getting a ride to the service center to get a loaner. I got to the service center about 15 minutes before closing (I live about an hour away), and they put me in another Model S, while barely acknowledging the fact that this could have caused a serious accident. I got the car back the following day around mid day, and the passenger side active damper, air suspension module, and harness were all replaced.

After getting the car back on the 17th, the suspension made more creaking noises, and vibrated even more than when I initially took it on. So I scheduled a third service appointment at the same service center on February 22nd. The had the car for four days now, and they retorqued the front subframe assembly. The noises went away for a few days, but the vibrations still persisted. They did put me in another loaner Model S, but my Phone Key access was accidentally deleted the night before I was supposed to return the loaner, and Tesla Roadside and customer service were no help at restoring app access. No keycard was provided with any of the loaners I was given. I get the car back, and the issue is still present, but not nearly as much.

At this point, I'm still calm, but frustrated (as one would be) and I ask the service manager and general manager to put in a buyback request on the 26th of February when I picked up my S and the issue was still persisting. Today, March 6th, I get a followup from the service manager that Tesla has declined my buyback request based on the vehicle's service history. I asked for more details as to why, but didn't get anything more than that.

So, my question is, what recourse do I have at this point? I don't feel this car is safe to be on the road for my sake, or anyone on the road around me. I'm at the point of just selling it and cutting my losses, but I don't feel right selling this car to someone else. Any insights and advice is appreciated. Attached is a photo I took right when the suspension failed on the 16th.
 
Here's the photos from February 16th.
 

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When the knuckle came detached from upper control arm, the cv joints on the half shafts were deformed. If they didn't replace your half shafts, you will experience drivetrain vibration from the front.

At this particular point, your car wouldn't qualify for a lemon buyback until they've made 4 attempts to repair the issue. Any attempts by you to get them to remedy count even if they decline to fix the remaining issues.

After you've fought with them enough to qualify for a buyback, you need to sue them. If you didn't opt out of binding arbitration within the first 30 days of purchasing, Tesla can force binding arbitration. This avoids civil court and the judge, who may not be a real judge, is paid by Tesla. Most of the time, the party acting as judge will rule in favor of the manufacturer.

The very next thing I'd do is contact your insurance company and make a claim. Tesla damaged your car and you have ongoing issues because of it.

Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't just agree to a buyback in exchange for singing and NDA to never disclose the fact that they forgot to install the upper control arm knuckle bolt properly:

capture-jpg.1024349


FYI, mine are only torqued to 28 to 30 ft/lbs.
 
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Good Evening TMC Members,

I'm new to the forums, but am in need of some advice after dealing with a noise and vibration related suspension issue with my 2022 Model S Long Range.

Initially, I took my car in for service on February 12th, 2024 for noise and vibrations in my front end suspension. Specifically, I was noticing the noises while turning, or pulling on/off my steep driveway when the air suspension was automatically raising/lowering. They had the car in for service for only a day, and replaced the active dampers for the driver and passenger front.

Then, later in the week around 4:30 on Friday, February 16th, I am pulling into my neighborhood when I loose steering, followed by a bunch of errors on the driver's display for adaptive dampers and air suspension. I manage to barely pull my car off the street and onto my driveway. After I got out and looked, I saw the entire upper control arm had become disconnected from the rest of the suspension on the passenger's side. They forgot to install some bolts in the suspension after the repair. I'm in shock and called the same service center that did the suspension work earlier in the week. They had to call me back after looking at the service history. About an hour later, they called me and said a tow truck is en route, but I would be responsible for getting a ride to the service center to get a loaner. I got to the service center about 15 minutes before closing (I live about an hour away), and they put me in another Model S, while barely acknowledging the fact that this could have caused a serious accident. I got the car back the following day around mid day, and the passenger side active damper, air suspension module, and harness were all replaced.

After getting the car back on the 17th, the suspension made more creaking noises, and vibrated even more than when I initially took it on. So I scheduled a third service appointment at the same service center on February 22nd. The had the car for four days now, and they retorqued the front subframe assembly. The noises went away for a few days, but the vibrations still persisted. They did put me in another loaner Model S, but my Phone Key access was accidentally deleted the night before I was supposed to return the loaner, and Tesla Roadside and customer service were no help at restoring app access. No keycard was provided with any of the loaners I was given. I get the car back, and the issue is still present, but not nearly as much.

At this point, I'm still calm, but frustrated (as one would be) and I ask the service manager and general manager to put in a buyback request on the 26th of February when I picked up my S and the issue was still persisting. Today, March 6th, I get a followup from the service manager that Tesla has declined my buyback request based on the vehicle's service history. I asked for more details as to why, but didn't get anything more than that.

So, my question is, what recourse do I have at this point? I don't feel this car is safe to be on the road for my sake, or anyone on the road around me. I'm at the point of just selling it and cutting my losses, but I don't feel right selling this car to someone else. Any insights and advice is appreciated. Attached is a photo I took right when the suspension failed on the 16th.
Eatonville?
 
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I would try to take it to another service center if you can to see if they can be of better assistance. If not keep taking it back until its perfect. If they refuse further work, you are welcome to DM me, I am an attorney in Tampa and would be happy to consult with you on your rights and any potential legal recourse.
I've taken it to the Tampa service center after St. Pete couldn't resolve the issue after three tries. I took advantage of the current incentives and took delivery of a new Model X as a replacement while I sort things out with the S. The Tampa service center agreed the car should have been bought back, but determined the paperwork was filed all as warranty work instead of goodwill work, along with St. Pete not documenting that this occurred due to their negligence. Upon looking over all three invoices, they worded things in a way to make it sound like three separate issues, instead of three tries to attempt to resolve the same core issue it went in for. I assume this would make it harder to claim lemon law on because of how the filed the paperwork? At this point, I'm looking to just sell it privately or to CarMax/Carvana, but if you think there's a potential for a legal case here, I'd be interested to hear your opinion.
 
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I've taken it to the Tampa service center after St. Pete couldn't resolve the issue after three tries. I took advantage of the current incentives and took delivery of a new Model X as a replacement while I sort things out with the S. The Tampa service center agreed the car should have been bought back, but determined the paperwork was filed all as warranty work instead of goodwill work, along with St. Pete not documenting that this occurred due to their negligence. Upon looking over all three invoices, they worded things in a way to make it sound like three separate issues, instead of three tries to attempt to resolve the same core issue it went in for. I assume this would make it harder to claim lemon law on because of how the filed the paperwork? At this point, I'm looking to just sell it privately or to CarMax/Carvana, but if you think there's a potential for a legal case here, I'd be interested to hear your opinion.
Even if a lemon law claim can't be made, you still may have claims under various claims under Florida's Motor Vehicle Repair Act, implied warranties, and negligence. You are welcome to call my office at 813-381-4052. You can tell the office manager we spoke and you would like to set up a consultation with me, Scott.
 
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First, simply Google "[your state] lemon law" to see exactly what is required for a "lemon" in your specific state.

Second, once you find out how often it needs to be returned for an identical repair, then ensure you've got it back to Tesla for that number of visits, plus one if possible (just in case).

Third, "Goodwill" is used in nearly every warranty claim at Tesla. Ignore it.

Fourth, the process can be time consuming, but it is FAR better than taking a five-figure hit to trade it in and dump the problem on someone else . . . .

Fifth, take up the attorney's offer above if needed.

Do NOT allow Tesla to get away with such incredible shoddy service--they could have killed you and your family and their attitude of "whatever" is simply beyond the pale. They should have offered you a replacement vehicle with full value on your trade in right after that event.

Tesla's customer "service" has become worse than Yugo, this from better than Lexus back in 2014. Don't stand for it.
 
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First, simply Google "[your state] lemon law" to see exactly what is required for a "lemon" in your specific state.

Second, once you find out how often it needs to be returned for an identical repair, then ensure you've got it back to Tesla for that number of visits, plus one if possible (just in case).

Third, "Goodwill" is used in nearly every warranty claim at Tesla. Ignore it.

Fourth, the process can be time consuming, but it is FAR better than taking a five-figure hit to trade it in and dump the problem on someone else . . . .

Fifth, take up the attorney's offer above if needed.

Do NOT allow Tesla to get away with such incredible shoddy service--they could have killed you and your family and their attitude of "whatever" is simply beyond the pale. They should have offered you a replacement vehicle with full value on your trade in right after that event.

Tesla's customer "service" has become worse than Yugo, this from better than Lexus back in 2014. Don't stand for it.
Hi TSLA Pilot,

Thanks for this well written response. I ended up taking the S in for a fourth time after the issue still wasn't resolved and they were not able to fix it. A different service technician I worked with told me to email an internal relations email at Tesla with all my documentation. After some back and forth via email, I was able to settle with them, and was offered the choice of a replacement S or X at a much discounted rate for my troubles.

The S was paid off and taken away on April 1st, with the remaining equity being rolled into the X downpayment before any additional discounts. I then took delivery of my new replacement Model X Long Range later in the week from the Tampa Service Center.

Obviously, this should have never happened in the first place, but once I got a hold of someone who actually seemed to understand how serious this issue is, things started moving along.

Thanks all for your help and advice,
-Alex
 
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Even if a lemon law claim can't be made, you still may have claims under various claims under Florida's Motor Vehicle Repair Act, implied warranties, and negligence. You are welcome to call my office at 813-381-4052. You can tell the office manager we spoke and you would like to set up a consultation with me, Scott.
Hey Scott,

Thanks for all your help in this. I ended up settling with Tesla regarding this, and they took the S off my hands in exchange for a new 2024 Model X Long Range as a replacement.

Thanks for all your advice on this!
-Alex
 
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Hey Scott,

Thanks for all your help in this. I ended up settling with Tesla regarding this, and they took the S off my hands in exchange for a new 2024 Model X Long Range as a replacement.

Thanks for all your advice on this!
-Alex
You are very welcome, I am so happpy to hear you were able to resolve to your satisfaction without the need for court intervention! 🙏
 
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