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This mentality reduces Tesla profit margin

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Nikola M3, May 13, 2019.

  1. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    Reading a post on this forum my attention was directed to the screws that hold the rear lower aero cover. A poster had said to check the 3 screws since he found his were only finger tight. These screws are easily accessed under the car 14" forward of the rear bumper. I checked mine and they were all missing. My 3 is an early vin 12xxx with 15000 miles. The cover is not risking falling off but is loose where the screws are missing.

    I created a service appointment online, explained the issue and suggested they send me 3 screws and I would put them in. This would save me a lot of travel / wait time and save Tesla (parent) a billing from the service center.

    I heard nothing back on my request so I called Tesla service number and was told the only person that would read my notes is the service center that the work was assigned to. It is clear to me the service center is not going to send me screws and lose out on an hour of service billing. They are Tesla but are primarily looking out for their center and will not turn away a service call. The phone rep said a road service would call and arrange “something”.

    The following week a rep “Rafael” called, I explained I could put the screws in myself and even gave him the part number of the screws. I suggested that by sending the screws to put in myself it would save everyone, he refused and insisted it wasn’t going to cost Tesla and I had free service.

    Fortunately I have a friend of a friend that works at Tesla and reached out to get 3 screws. I am trying to do my part to save Tesla a few dollars.

    This is one small example of company waste. I am hoping that this mindset is not throughout the Tesla Company.
     
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  2. neptunesfinest

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    They'd save even more money by installing them in the first place.
     
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  3. RamblinWrecked

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    I agree with your sentiment but I think this is penny-wise but dollar-foolish. While in this particular situation you're willing to do the work, a vast majority of car owners don't want, or expect, to install anything (even a just a few small screws) on their vehicle. What will make Tesla far more money than saving an hour on labor cost though, is building their reputation for quality service and maintenance for their cars - something that is often lacking.
     
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  4. Joshan

    Joshan Member

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    The issue is the car is under warranty and a user doing "Service" voids the warranty. I understand this is a simple screw(s) fix. But they have to have a single policy, not a "if it is easy you can do it, otherwise come to us" policy that leaves room for interpretation in a law suit.

    They have to make sure the work is done by them and done correctly. What would happen if that detahced somehow after you fixed it and and it caused an accident? Who's fault is it that it detached, you or tesla? See my point?
     
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  5. AlanSubie4Life

    AlanSubie4Life Efficiency Obsessed Member

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    It's actually quite easy to crossthread these screws (and I say that as someone who has done a lot of car maintenance over the years and I try to be careful about such things). Not sure why that is, but they are small diameter bolts and have a tapered thread at the end, and some of them may be threading into aluminum (perhaps not these specific ones). In any case, incorrect install could be worse, so in general Tesla will want it done by them.

    The easiest thing would be to have a ranger come out and install them for you, but when I checked at the service center they didn't even have them in stock. I'm still missing one.
     
  6. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    Good point and not to start an argument, but many of us have removed a wheel ourselves. A wheel is much more critical to the safety of the car and the ones that have done it feel confident that they are not causing a safety issue doing it.
    Remember these are 3 screws that hold a cover that has been void of the screws for I don't know how many 1000 of miles and not causing a accident risk. I don't think putting them in myself even if they fell out in the future is going to be an issue.
     
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  7. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Another issue is that creating a service ticket to have this done creates a record that can then be used for quality control. If service records show that an entire group of cars made between certain dates have these screws missing, then Tesla can issue a service bulletin and fix them whenever they next come in for maintenance. Getting the screws and installing them yourself doesn't create the service ticket and misses the opportunity for the QC analysis.
     
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  8. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    If the QC opportunity was missed when I called service and told them the bolts were missing, then created a service appointment, then talked to a service adviser about the issue,.........I think there are other issues.
     
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  9. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    update;

    The screws arrived today via "personal courier" wink wink. I spent 2 minutes installing them, not cross threaded ;).

    I feel I have done my share to improve TSLA stock value.
     
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  10. davecal

    davecal Member

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    There’s only 2 screws, the center hole is a drain and has no threads.
     
  11. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    Yours may be different but mine is threaded, vin 12xxx.

    hole.JPG
     
  12. afadeev

    afadeev Member

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    That is not true.
    Your installation of screws, or wheels, or tires, has ZERO impact on warranty coverage.

    If you want more info, consider reading up on Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act:
    Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act - Wikipedia


    Policy is fool's substitute for common sense and intelligent decision making.
    It's a virus that infects many corporations. The ability to act fast and smart, to take initiative without CYA-ing in "policies", that is the key strategic advantage of agile start-ups.

    However, I do agree with your assessment - the person at Tesla didn't have a "policy" for helping the OP, so he played it safe by doing nothing.


    No.
    There is no liability to Tesla if a customer mis-installed something.
    Nor would anyone in their right mind sue an automaker for something they installed themselves correctly or not. And if they did, the lawsuit would go absolutely nowhere.

    a
     
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  13. Leafdriver333

    Leafdriver333 Somewhat Active Member

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    if you post the size, pitch, and OD, more people will benefit.
     
  14. focher

    focher Member

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    Sorry, but your post is entirely incorrect. The law is very clear about warranty coverage, and you do not "void the warranty" by doing service yourself or having someone other than Tesla do it. A manufacturer of any product may not deny warranty coverage unless they can demonstrate that the non-manufacturer provided service was a direct cause of the warranty claim. That's clear federal law. For example, those little metallic decals that some electronics manufacturers put on their products saying "warranty void if removed" were told clearly by the FTC that those decals are a violation of federal law. Same thing with cars, which are covered by the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act - Wikipedia.

    UPDATE: I was late to posting, but will leave this as a repeat of the above post with the same info. It's a very common perception that manufacturers can deny warranty coverage at their own discretion. That's absolutely false.
     
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  15. Nikola M3

    Nikola M3 Member

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    part number - 1083017-00-A.
    They are identified in the manual as “BOLT&WSHR,HX,M6x18,STL[88],ZNNI[BLK],MAT”

    screw.JPG
     
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  16. Leafdriver333

    Leafdriver333 Somewhat Active Member

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    metric OD 6 mm x 18 mm length.
    Great!
    One can go to local hardware store and buy a bolt and a washer.
     
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  17. alexGS

    alexGS Member

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    #17 alexGS, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Ah so not UNC with a 5/16” head! I naively wondered whether an American-made car would use metric fasteners - I guess my knowledge is stuck in the 1970’s and carmakers have been metric for many years over there? Honestly I didn’t know :) good news for me as my tools are all metric from working on European cars, plus I have a big selection of fasteners from the same. Though I’d better get another 10mm socket ready for when it goes missing...

    -Alex
     
  18. davecal

    davecal Member

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    Wow, interesting I looked up at mine with a mirror and just a smooth impression, no hole or threads. End of March delivery vin over 300,000
     

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