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Tesla service quality concern and broken communication channel [TLDR Warning]


New Member
Feb 24, 2020
San Jose California
Once Elon states that “ "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough." As the owner of Two Tesla cars(Model X and 3) and Tesla Solar & Battery & Home charger and early Tesla stock investor from 2012, many people recognize me as a true fan of Tesla brand and... Like many Tesla fans, I too believe in Elon’s vision and ideas. But today, I would like to talk about post-mortem on those failures. Who and how to take care of those failures? It is important to note that creating a culture of accepting failures is one thing and how to take care of those failures are another. To me, these failures are like injuries to athletics. When you are an athlete pushing yourself to the limit for the best performance, you are taking risks and bound to injure yourself. However, without treating those injuries and keep playing like that, the player cannot be greater and we lost the future Michael Jordan.

Today, I would like to point out the elephant in the room. Tesla Service. Nowadays when I read news articles, yelp reviews, and hear my friends’ conversation about Tesla, I am worried about the current status in Tesla Service and its direction. As more cars are sold globally and innovative features and products are introduced and released to the customers, Tesla customers are suffering from those failures and have been forgiving those failures by understanding how hard it is to innovate. As more and more Tesla cars have been sold and are on the road, I have been experiencing that the quality of Tesla service has been exacerbating more and more. And today, I would like to share my story which I hope to resonate to people who love Tesla like I do and Elon Musk whom I trust and consider to be my role model on this beautiful Valentine's Day.

On 1/29, I drove my beloved 2017 Tesla model X to Tesla Service Center in Santa Clara for fixing three issues: 1. Sporadic LTE signal low signal/disconnection after software update 2. Broken Driver Seat guard rail protective cover(this is 2nd time that it got broken) 3. Driver Side Falcon Wing latch issue. I had already waited one full week to get this appointment date. At that time, my service advisor met with me and went over the issues while interfacing with technicians to resolve them. It turned out it would take at least 2~3 days to repair issue#2 and #3 and dismiss the issue#1 because it cannot be reproduced to test by the technician. Since this is the main car for my wife to pick up kids from daycare and doing grocery shopping while i am commuting to SF for work with model 3, i asked whether it can be repaired one issue at a time. The adviser told me that once the parts are here, they may be able to do that. Even though I wasted my time on that day, I understood and accepted to reschedule my appointment the day when the parts are there. I mentioned to the service advisor to write my issues accurately and in details which part they need to order because 1st time Guard rail protective cover was broken, mobile service team ordered the wrong part and i had to wait 1~2 weeks to get it fixed. And The car will be dropped off in the morning and must be ready and will be picked up by the end of the day. (no loaner car is available at the center.)The service advisor agreed on it and rescheduled my appointment on 2/14.

On 2/14 Valentine day, I told my wife that Tesla Service will take care of everything once she drops off the car in the morning after dropping off our son to daycare. Few minutes after our appointment time(10:30AM), I got a call from my wife and heard her confused voice. She talked with the service advisor in Santa Clara and said that the car won’t be fixed today. Our car needs it to be brought again some later time. While I was puzzled and confused, I asked her to put her service advisor on the phone. Michael Kim, the service advisor, explained to me that they ordered the wrong part and wait for it...here is the kicker...Their estimated time to repair issues could be 2~3 days to one week, or didn’t know. If you are a mechanic or have any experience running autobody shop, you always do know how long it will take to repair something. (Actually, there is a book for it) and this is not the same message or agreement which I made previously. Now Tesla Service team just wasted my time and my wife’s time for nothing. Also, they will charge for the part that is broken because it is in category of wear-and-tear. This is Odd because it got repaired few weeks ago and got broken again. Clearly there is something wrong with parts or defects which should be covered by warranty. Then, I felt like Tesla Service team is playing with us and reluctant to repair our car. I was extra upset because I bought extended warranty for model x and this feels like I got scammed. I tried to talk to him to bring out empathy why this is happening and we desperately need this car for our daily life. But his answer was very Corporate-like in very bad way. His answer was the service center has lots of cars waiting to get fixed and I should wait like anybody else and they don’t know when mine will be fixed. There was no sympathy nor empathy nor any type of support in his voice. Just cold, stressed, frustrated tone. He handed a phone back to my wife and i asked her to get his name and his manager’s email while telling her that I am sorry that I put her in the spot like that, especially on valentine’s day. (She recently had our second son and still recovering from C-section) She texted me later that Michael will send me the text with those info. I waited for few hours and few days but I didn’t get a text. I decided to be pro-active about this. I followed up the text he sent me and asked for his manager’s email address so that I can escalate this issue. Guess what? Zero response. I sent an email to Tesla Santa Clara Center public email domain to ask for it. Hey~ Guess what? Zero response upto Now.

If you are a true fan of Tesla and in my situation, what would you do? Just forgive and forget? Just go to other Tesla service center hoping to get it fixed? Just let Tesla reputation down to toilet because of one person or broken communication system? Stop recommending Tesla to friends and family and move on to next electric car company? No, I don’t give up. I can’t give up. There is one thing Elon taught me is that if I see the problem, then I will do anything to fix the problem.

So, I am sparing my precious time which I could spend it with my lovely family to write this on this beautiful day of Valentine’s day. Because guess what? I still love Tesla and want Tesla to be successful and loved by many people for accelerating to achieve the sustainable world. I don't want my story used for Tesla haters and short sellers. I want Tesla community to hear this and solve it together because clearly I cannot escalate the issue within the Tesla internal organization. I need your wise advice and support on this.

As I am concluding my story, this message will be sent out to Elon’s tweet as well whether he reads or not. I hope he does and when he does, I know for sure that there will be some changes and I will be happy with it whether it will get my car fixed or not. Because we are still innovating and failure is an option.


Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
Colorado, USA
Yes, I understand that it will take time to improve their service quality but the main problem is there is no way to escalate the issue.
Agreed. Second only to the fact that you can't call a local number, talk to a human being, get their name and direct number and/or email and then hold them personally accountable until your issue is remedied. Funny how this has a way of getting things done.

Tesla's model of adopting internet anonymity for their front-facing customer service is having a similar effect as it does on internet forums. Sure, a couple of interactions go well and leave everyone feeling rosy but the majority is just a cesspool of nightmare fuel that solves nothing and leaves everyone involved bitter and unfulfilled.

When that's your starting point I guess might as well add inability to escalate to someone who gives a crap and has the ability to do something about it.


Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
@baobaokim ,

It pains me to read about service experiences like yours. While Tesla Service has always been good for me, I do worry about what it will be like in the future when there are more Teslas in my area, like you have in California.

I am hopping that Tesla will improve service, once they have time and money to expand service centers and hire more technicians. I also hope Tesla starts selling parts, tools, and service information on-line. That alone would make me feel much better, knowing that at least third party service is available.


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