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Tesla Service Center needs to expand fast....

Discussion in 'New England' started by skboston, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Up until this point, I've had great experience with Tesla Service simply because I had no need to use it on an urgent issues and everything I've had to fix so far on the car wasn't a big deal.

    Yesterday it all changed, when my front passenger's side door handle popped out and doesn't want to go back in and door is locked an unable to open and at the same time the TPMS system went out for 2nd time, which isn't a big deal and can wait, but door is kind of a big deal as I usually need to use it mostly on a daily bases.
    I called in Tesla and the first appointment they were able to squeeze me in is May 2nd, which is 3 weeks from now to address my issues. I don't know under what rating they put locked doors, but to me it's one of those important issues.

    It's the 2nd time I've had door handle issues, first time was on a rear door so I waited a month before it got fix, but this time it's a front door and makes me impatient.

    FYI: The tips I was given from Tesla to try and fix the issue didn't work.

    That being said I feel like Tesla needs to expand it's service centers in MA quickly, as there as so many cars on the road and service starts to lack behind sales. I wish I could go to my mechanic about this, but since Tesla doesn't want "outsiders" yet to work on their cars and mostly everything is software related, I'm kind of stuck with Tesla's horrible waiting list.
    I remember waiting 5 months to replace my visors and waited both times I've had the car serviced for over a month to get an appointment.

    I also feel that since those door handles are a new thing in cars generally speaking, should have increased warranty, my car is just over 20k miles and already with 2 handles broken and judging by the amount of people complained about them in the past it's a common thing that fails on the car.

    Here is a photo of the handle:
    5127ea0711.jpg

    If you guys have any experience in resolving similar issue, let me know :) Keep in mind the door is locked and unable to open and the LED is constantly powered and the red plastic piece inside has popped out 1/4" more than the other door handles.
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Yes, three weeks is a while to wait for this, and you should tell them that when you go there. Also, you could try just going to the center in the morning one day and see if they can fit you in.

    Did you try opening the problem door from the inside? Also, did you try manually locking all doors using the fob from the outside, then unlocking them? One other idea I have is you could try to push the handle back in as it might have gotten stuck on something, so can't retract.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Tesla is building out the new Dedham MA service center, so I think they recognize the problem. It doesn't mitigate your near-term pain, though.
     
  4. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Yeah, I did try everything that came on my mind including your suggestions.

    When the handle stuck for the first time I was able to open the door, but once I locked and unlocked the car, handle popped and just stayed as shown in the picture and nothing would open it.
    I pulled some fuse as Tesla suggested, but that didn't solve anything.

    Robert, I know about Dedham, but sadly it isn't coming soon enough :)

    I guess I'm having a bad streak of unfortunate Tesla moments over the last couple of weeks. Last one was a 2 hours charging stop at the Delaware SC with 7 Tesla's fighting for 4 spots at 30-35kW charging rate :)
     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Now that site is a real problem with no obvious fix in the works. I think more letters to the Supercharger team recounting horror stories like this would be helpful. The Delaware SC is the lynchpin in the I-95 corridor: you simply can't bypass it if you're driving between Philadelphia and Baltimore (==NYC and DC). It needs to be upgraded to 12 stalls or so to future-proof it.
     
  6. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Robert, you're correct, I had to use DE SC twice over the course of a weekend and both times it was long wait with the 2nd time only 3 spots available as the 4th stall was broken.

    Few of us that were there contacted the SC team and let them know of the situation and suggest they expand the location, if I knew it would be that busy, I could plan and stop in Hamilton or the new one just outside of NYC right on I-95 as DE SC is older location and only 90kW, but very convenient and I prefer to stop on the highway rather than taking the Hamilton Mall route.

    Back on the handle issue now, one thing I noticed is that the motor that's operating the handle is also working 24/7 trying to retract the handle and it's clearly struggling to do so and a constant noise could be heard from inside and outside of the car. I didn't pay attention at first as I thought this is just the pumps working when the car was parked at home as you would normally hear them during hot summer months.
    This can't be good as no motor can work under unusual heavy load non-stop and will soon fail if not already and cause even more troubles.

    I contacted Watertown again today and they will send someone tomorrow afternoon to take a look at the handle and I will update what happens next. As for the other small issues I'm having the car will wait until May 2nd, when they can fit me in.
     
  7. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    @skboston - Great that you're being given a priority.
    I too have pointed out the DE supercharger issue, although I never saw a backlog.
    When more come online on the NJ turnpike that will help also.
     
  8. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Glad to hear they're going to check it out, Stoil. But I think what's happening is the opposite of what you think. The motor pushes the handle out, and it retracts based on a spring-like mechanism (so it doesn't chop off fingers). If you're hearing the motor going continuously, I think it's continuously trying to push the handle out. Not sure how that leads to a user-doable fix, however, especially if pulling fuses didn't work (did you notice if the motor noise stopped?).

    I had one handle replaced quite a while ago because the LED went out! It's the only one that has movement in the pull - the others are the original no-movement setup. And recently one of those was stuck out - I just pushed it in and it's been fine since. Sorry your fix isn't so easy.
     
  9. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Peter,

    I never thought of it this way, that the motor is only used to pushes the handle out. It's stuck somehow and since I have no idea of the way it operates, I haven't dig deeply into it and trying to "make it" go back inside.
    Tesla suggested that I pull a yellow fuse in the left fuse box in the frunk, which is suppose to clear some gateway. I noticed that when I pull it off, you could hear something disconnects, but no clue what it is and when I did it 2 days ago I wasn't aware of the motor running constantly. I'll leave it to Tesla when they show up today and will ask more detailed questions, which hopefully won't annoy the technician much, as I'm interested in how those handles operate, as it seems to be a regular issue with the car (this is my 2nd broken handle in 3 months). The LED is also working non-stop, alongside the small motor.
    I hope they will replace the motor regardless if it's working or not as I feel it's doomed to fail after running for 3 days straight trying to push something that can't be pushed out.

    The good news is that finally the car updated to 6.2.2 and I already like the Destination chargers tab introduced, but as expected that didn't solve the handle issue :)
     
  10. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Here is the final update:

    Tesla tech came up earlier than expected today and replaced the door handle in about 20 minutes and to be honest for a door handle, this thing is super complex and hopefully new one won't cause any more trouble. The interesting part is that the firmware had to be updated once again (I received 6.2.2 last night and tech confirmed I have the latest update) when a handle is replaced, which I found it was odd, otherwise door might not work, so that actually took longer than the replacement itself.

    I liked the diagnostics screen and wish we had access to it :)
     
  11. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Nice! I think the firmware update is part of their standard procedure, just in case.
     
  12. tliving

    tliving Member

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    #12 tliving, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I had a squeeky ball joint recently:

    When I called for an appointment I got an appointment 6 weeks out which was concerning since the noise is loud and getting worse and could lead to worse things from what i've heard. Its not a simple service since they have to drop the pack.

    I spoke to them about it and they told me to bring it by. I took it there and a mechanic took a test drive then moved me up to next week. I think they're working hard and doing their best but they're clearly overloaded and need help ASAP.

    My concern is if you look at the rate Tesla is adding Service Centers vs stores vs superchargers vs rate of new cars going on the road they're falling further and further behind. New models will only make all of this worse.

    They need whoever is doing the amazing job getting SuperChargers rolled out to engage on the Service Center front.
     
  13. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Drop the battery to change a ball joint? Yikes! I'll have to take a closer look at the skateboard the next time I'm at the Natick Mall (oh, excuse me, "Collection").

    I thought the Mini Cooper was a pain to do the inner ball joints - you have to drop the front subframe to get access to the bolts on top of it that hold in the inner ball joints.
     
  14. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Cars are getting more and more complicated on purpose to change even the smallest thing. It makes no sense to be this way, but how else service centers will make money off of the customer?

    I have to agree with tliving, they need to add service centers at a faster rate to accommodate the new cars coming on the market.

    I will need to re-confirm my appointment for May 2nd, as when they replaced the door handle forgot to attach the wire to the window switch and that isn't working now and resolve the TPMS issue I've been having with the car for a while now.

    That's another downside to have such huge demand to service centers - they will start rushing the cars into the bays and sometimes overlook issues and the quality of service will start to drop.
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I understand how frustrating the situation currently is at Watertown, but Tesla is doing the right thing and opening up a second, much larger facility. I'd suggest that we shouldn't slam Tesla employees for a transitional problem. Should Tesla have moved faster to open Dedham? Sure, but Tesla should have done a lot of things somewhat earlier. When a company is growing at 50% each year, there are going to be growing pains.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mat Boarman, the SC Manager, got a call from Elon Musk some ways back to discuss why Watertown was making a profit and what steps were needed to reduce revenues. Tesla is not like any other car company—thank goodness.
     
  16. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    That doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would Tesla want to make it more difficult to service their cars when Elon has specifically stated on several occasions that service centers should not be a profit center?
    Keeping warranty service low is one way to improve profitability plus in the long run it just makes good business sense for Tesla. Time how long it takes Tesla to swap out a drive train and motor and then compare that to how long it will take BMW to replace an engine.
     
  17. skboston

    skboston Member

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    I have never heard of that, but it's amazing if it's true.

    @aronth5

    Why wouldn't it make sense? I had a close look at the door handle that was replaced and let me tell you it's as complicated as it gets, then on top of replacing it you're dependent on Tesla to update your firmware each time something is replaced.
    My TPMS system fails twice for the last 6 months and reason so far is unknown to my why and has to be replaced again and it seems it fails right after I swap tires.
    I get that things happen, my car is still under warranty, but that will change sooner or later and even for the smallest things I'll be required to visit Tesla service center and their labor rate is probably the highest I've ever encountered.
    It's my 2nd handle replacement as well in 6 months as well and judging by the rate of failure, it's a matter of time for the other 2 to fail, it's a matter whether it will be under warranty or not.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the car and I know there are little flaws here and there and those little things will be resolved in time, but what I don't like is that we're stuck to using Tesla service for the remaining of our ownership. It's all shiny and fun now, but once that warranty expires, it's a whole different world. Tesla is different in many aspects, but they need to step up their game and open up a bit their service manuals and diagnostics software to 3rd party shops, they can set an amazing example and hopefully the dealerships will follow.

    Other manufacturers are the even worst, my friend had to replace his batter on a 2011 C class Mercedes and it cost him just over $400 for a simple battery replacement, as it turns out that the car must be updated at the dealership after battery replacement or there is a possibility that it won't start. He could have changed it himself for a little over $100, but no it must be done at the dealership. If that's not over-complicating the service and reducing options to the consumer, I don't know what is.

    Tesla cars are already difficult to service, because of the HV battery and corresponding hazards, but they aren't making it easy to repair on the smaller issues either.
     
  18. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The door handles—ah, there's a story. As I've heard the story told (by people who are in a position to know), everyone in Tesla engineering pushed for a simpler design. Even Aston Martin, which does have flush handles, has simple manual pull-outs. But, nooooo: Elon had a particular vision for how the handles were going to look and operate. At Tesla, everyone gets a vote, but only Elon's counts. Without a doubt the handles are the #1 failure point on the car.

    I'm interested that you've had TPMS problems, as that's been the devil in my system, too. My car's at Watertown as I write, in part for a wheel swap but also for attempt #3 on the TPMS. Last time they added two new receivers (older cars had only two, newer have four); this time they've replaced the master TPMS unit.
     
  19. skboston

    skboston Member

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    @Robert

    My TPMS system fails for a 2nd time now, first time was right after I swapped from summer to winter tires, literally the failure message appeared 30 minutes after the change. I called Tesla and they said the TPMS unit must be replaced and that was done few months ago.
    I changed my winter tires for summer last week and the same notification came up again. It is due for another TPMS unit change when my car goes in the shop next month.
    I don't know what causes those units to fail and is it coincidence that it fails when wheels get changed. My summer and winter wheels are all stock Tesla, so there is nothing that could throw off the unit. I did a reset on the TPMS sensors, which you should after wheel change, but that doesn't help.

    I really hope this is solved once and for all, because if the TPMS system fails each time I change wheels, it's embarrassing.
    As for the door handles, I love how they work, but their design is straight forward over-complicated and eventually it's doomed to fail. The technician that came said there are already few revisions on these handles hopefully the new ones will last. I wish engineers have won the battle with Elon on the handles :)
    Here is an image what the handle box looks like:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=30278&d=1378831848
     
  20. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I have had repeated TPMS errors but I had them on my 2011 Audi A4 as well. They don't seem to like cold or fluctuating weather. I don't find them useful and if they can't make them reliable I see no point in having them. Others I've known with them on other brands have felt the same - I have never heard anyone tell me how great their TPMS system is, only complaints.
     

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