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Tesla Test Drive experience at Short Hills Mall, NJ

Trip McNealy

Member
Jun 21, 2021
89
45
New Jersey
... or should I title it Non-existing test drive experience!

About a week or so ago I went online (Schedule a Test Drive | Tesla) to schedule an 11:00AM Touchless test drive for the Model Y and chose the Short Hills Mall as the location. I received both an email confirmation and a text message from an SA providing information where to go, etc. on the day of. Flash forward to yesterday AM (Saturday) and I arrive to the parking deck early as instructed where they had 3 Teslas hooked up to charging cables and thank goodness one of them was a MY. I was getting very excited.

In preparation over the week I went online to learn how to operate the vehicle and watched various YouTuber's experiences with Touchless test drives... Needless to say these Teslas had no QR codes or anything touchless like these reviewers went though. All of the vehicles were locked as well. Ok fair enough. I called the 973 number from the SA and no one answered. OK. I wait 10 minutes and call again; no answer. I figure let me go and meet someone inside the Tesla showroom - so I walk into the mall to the Tesla store and it's all dark with doors locked; no one's home. Starting to get a bit peeved I call again and no answer. I return to my car and text the SA that no one is at the store nor is there any mechanism to get into the Tesla and no one answers the text. I call Springfield SC in an attempt to get a salesperson to at least advise "Hey, no one's at Short Hills can you help?" and also no answer there! I waited about 15 more minutes and then left very disappointed.

When I got home I sent an email reply to the Tesla confirmation email (which goes to the Short Hills SA email) and probably an hour or so later an SA [a guy named Yuri (sp?)] leaves me a voicemail stating "We are very sorry and had a staffing issue...etc." WTF?? Nevermind me, but I wonder about all the others who had a scheduled drive that day after me too?? Poor people.

Anyway, thought my story might be helpful to anyone soon going to the Mall to get a drive in. NOT a very good way for Tesla to start a relationship with a WILLING AND ABLE customer. Now I need to go back online and schedule another test drive... this time I am using Springfield...

UPDATE: As of this afternoon (7/18) the Tesla test drive website is hanging after selecting Model Y... gonna have to try again tomorrow or something. o_O
 
Last edited:

Mr_Bob

Member
Apr 12, 2021
53
83
NJ, USA
That’s an annoying experience to say the least. My wife and I did the test drive at Short Hills, and we walked into the gallery to chat a bit with one of the reps who then directed us to the car, which he remotely unlocked and started for us. No big deal and nothing really crazy. Staffing issues sure, but they really should have called you or sent you a text message or something canceling your appointment and asking you to schedule at another time. No point driving out to the mall for nothing, unless you wanted to stop by William Sonoma or something :D

If I remember correctly as well, the gallery spaces like that in New Jersey are a bit complicated. Because of some archaic dealer law, Tesla can only have so many “dealerships“, like Springfield, who can both demonstrate and actually sell you a car. Idk how they do staffing, but I would bet they’d move employees out of the gallery to a service center when staffing issues are encountered versus the other way around.
 

Trip McNealy

Member
Jun 21, 2021
89
45
New Jersey
Yea, that's all I wanted in the end; at least for them to text or call me saying to reschedule! Oh well. I rescheduled another test drive for Springfield this time. Hopefully I will not be disappointed this time around lol.
 
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Scarletfever

Member
Jul 2, 2021
43
13
NJ
Yea, that's all I wanted in the end; at least for them to text or call me saying to reschedule! Oh well. I rescheduled another test drive for Springfield this time. Hopefully I will not be disappointed this time around lol.

I don’t recommend the Springfield location if you are on the fence about getting a Tesla. They let you drive around an office park behind the building. The entire time I don’t think I drove above 25mph. Also AP was disabled. I was trying to make an educated decision about buying a model 3. To be honest, a model 3 at 25mph with AP disabled isn’t a 40k or 50k car. without taking it on the highway or testing out AP it’s impossible to know if the car is worth it, how the cabin noise is, comfort, suspension, etc.
 

Scarletfever

Member
Jul 2, 2021
43
13
NJ
That’s an annoying experience to say the least. My wife and I did the test drive at Short Hills, and we walked into the gallery to chat a bit with one of the reps who then directed us to the car, which he remotely unlocked and started for us. No big deal and nothing really crazy. Staffing issues sure, but they really should have called you or sent you a text message or something canceling your appointment and asking you to schedule at another time. No point driving out to the mall for nothing, unless you wanted to stop by William Sonoma or something :D

If I remember correctly as well, the gallery spaces like that in New Jersey are a bit complicated. Because of some archaic dealer law, Tesla can only have so many “dealerships“, like Springfield, who can both demonstrate and actually sell you a car. Idk how they do staffing, but I would bet they’d move employees out of the gallery to a service center when staffing issues are encountered versus the other way around.
Did you get to drive the car on 78 or anywhere else that you could get a sense of highway driving?
 

Trip McNealy

Member
Jun 21, 2021
89
45
New Jersey
I don’t recommend the Springfield location if you are on the fence about getting a Tesla. They let you drive around an office park behind the building. The entire time I don’t think I drove above 25mph. Also AP was disabled. I was trying to make an educated decision about buying a model 3. To be honest, a model 3 at 25mph with AP disabled isn’t a 40k or 50k car. without taking it on the highway or testing out AP it’s impossible to know if the car is worth it, how the cabin noise is, comfort, suspension, etc.

I did wind up going to Springfield for the drive. The SA's were very nice and helpful and I got to drive a MY LR with Inductions which is ultimately what I ordered. The SA advised I had "15 minutes" and free reign to drive on Rt 22 if I wanted but did recommend the office park loop behind the building. Since Rt 22 is sometimes a death trap I opted to the office park but no one was around so I was able to gun it on the straightaways pretty fast. The computer system was not restricted in any way and I could freely choose between all modes. The Regen (never have driven an EV before) was actually the most surprising to get used to but I eventually was able to understand it after a few loops at different speeds. I didn't get to try Autopilot but that's alright - I've seen enough online videos on it and plus my wife's Acura RDX had very similar autopilot stuff to Tesla so I was used to how it'd work. I had a lot of fun on the drive and wound up coming back 25 mins later and the SA also let me inspect/check out the vehicle and all it's cubbies, touchscreen sections, etc. for as long as I wanted.

In short, I was glad I did Springfield instead of Short Hills - I probably would have never got the amount of time I wanted with the vehicle if I had gone there instead again.
 

Mr_Bob

Member
Apr 12, 2021
53
83
NJ, USA
Did you get to drive the car on 78 or anywhere else that you could get a sense of highway driving?
They had a loop built in driving from Short Hills to the Livingston Mall and back. So we drove in the JFK primarily. We didn’t venture off course because neither my wife nor I drove an EV prior to this, but we we were able to get up to 55 / 60 on some parts of the route.
 

Scarletfever

Member
Jul 2, 2021
43
13
NJ
Thanks, I can confirm I went as well and the Short Hill experience is way, way better. You actually get to drive the car! And AP was enabled. I think FSD might’ve been but I didn’t try it.
 

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