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Trying to purchase 2016 Model S through Tesla

notmyfirstEV

Member
Oct 6, 2019
15
3
CA
Hi all - I buy a *lot* of cars and trucks and am very familiar with the traditional method and all the frustration, games and at times, out right lying, involved when dealing with car dealers.

This is my first transaction with Tesla (well I did have an early deposit on a Model 3 but gave that up). Anyway, being familiar with the 'normal' way of "see a car, drive the car, buy the car and take it home" I am struggling with what is currently happening. So hoping that others can share their experience and maybe this is just the normal method for Tesla and I just have to be patient.

On Saturday Sep 28th, I saw a nicely equipped and in price range, for a 2016 Model 75 (that was the ad wording 75). All the pictures however show clearly "60" emblem. When talking to the Tesla salesperson, he explained it was originally sold new as a 60 but being just a software limitation/block, when it is resold through Tesla it has been 'unlocked' and is in fact a 75. Ok seems odd but I understand that it could be true - so how do I verify this is true when I pick the vehicle up?

Which is the second issue - it was explained that Tesla has a 3rd party contractor responsible for storing and delivering (to a Tesla delivery center) their used Tesla's. As of today, Sunday October 6th, the car hasn't moved and Tesla (including the 'delivery manager/specialist') still has no ETA when I can actually get the car.

That to me is beyond bizarre. I did the $2500 deposit, I have my RN number, my Tesla account shows the car but still no idea when I can actually get the car. This is just a full cash purchase, no trade, etc.

Does this seem normal? I am really puzzled how over a week later I am unable to actually complete the purchase of a vehicle. Trying to be patient but multiple calls & emails continue to be met with the same response "It is out of our control, no ETA, etc etc".

Well I know this was a long post and I appreciate any feedback/advice how to move forward. Hopefully this is normal for Tesla, which while I think is ridiculous, at least I know its not out of the norm.

Thank you!
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,700
12,581
California
Your experience is fairly common, yes.

As for the 60->75 explanation, their story is correct. If they haven’t already removed the 60 badging by the time you pick it up, you can ask them to and they’ll replace it with a 75 badge.

The car will say “75” in the instrument cluster when you get in and also in the MCU screen if you press the “T” at the top center. It will be very obvious if it’s been unlocked to the 75 as they claim.
 

notmyfirstEV

Member
Oct 6, 2019
15
3
CA
Thank you - and the pics posted which include the cluster still display "60". Maybe they don't actually do the 'unlock' until vehicle delivery. But for sure will check. Thank you for the feedback!
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,515
3,549
Colorado, USA
Buying a used car from Tesla will take about a month from deposit to taking delivery. Some transactions are slightly quicker and some are slightly longer but I wouldn't get your hopes up for anything less than a month or you'll be let down.

If you think that sucks wait until you need to try to get it serviced. It's an absolute nightmare. I've began telling people interested to avoid at all costs. We love the cars but the service & customer care couldn't be any worse.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
703
635
Northeast USA
Buying a used car from Tesla will take about a month from deposit to taking delivery. Some transactions are slightly quicker and some are slightly longer but I wouldn't get your hopes up for anything less than a month or you'll be let down.

If you think that sucks wait until you need to try to get it serviced. It's an absolute nightmare. I've began telling people interested to avoid at all costs. We love the cars but the service & customer care couldn't be any worse.

While I know some people have had to wait a while for cars, this is definitely a "your mileage may vary" situation. I've bought twice from Tesla this year. One time the car was local (used), the second time the car had to be shipped (inventory). Both times the total transaction time (order to delivery) took around 10 days.

Regarding the 60-75 upgrade, get it in writing if you can just to make sure they don't "forget" to do it. For transferring the cars from the storage lots to the delivery center - yes it can take a few days.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,515
3,549
Colorado, USA
While I know some people have had to wait a while for cars, this is definitely a "your mileage may vary" situation. I've bought twice from Tesla this year. One time the car was local (used), the second time the car had to be shipped (inventory). Both times the total transaction time (order to delivery) took around 10 days.

Regarding the 60-75 upgrade, get it in writing if you can just to make sure they don't "forget" to do it. For transferring the cars from the storage lots to the delivery center - yes it can take a few days.
My over-arching point is if you lead anyone to believe they will have their used car 10 days from deposit they will undoubtedly have an improper expectation and a poor experience based on said expectation. Especially now that they don't list location and your car could be all the way across the country increasing logistics lead time. It's great you had two take around 10 days but the vast majority would set the over/under at one month. I've bought three and know several people that would say first-hand this is a safe expectation to avoid frustration. Anything less is icing on the cake.
 

notmyfirstEV

Member
Oct 6, 2019
15
3
CA
Just to add some context... The car is in Hayward CA. The delivery center is in Fremont, CA. We are talking a very short distance from those two locations...I am near Sacramento CA. In other words if this Tesla was for sale at a dealer in Hayward/Fremont, I could in less than 2 hours be at the dealer writing a check and on my way back in time for lunch. This is very odd to me. If anything all it is doing is giving me opportunity to continue my search outside of Tesla to purchase.

I appreciate the feedback because seems that this is normal and maybe its growing pains for Tesla but for the life of me I can't see how this approach can be successful (at least in terms of reselling).
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,120
488
az
Tesla approach is buy, then look and reject if you don't like. You can't test drive etc. I did reject one on my driveway. Frustrating ..
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,605
928
Ontario
@notmyfirstEV - Here's my personal experience, however as @Ostrichsak has pointed out, it may not be typical at all.

I put down the $2500 deposit on my 75D (labelled as 60 in the pictures etc) on June 22nd. Picked up my car (software unlocked to 75) on June 29th.

The sales guy I dealt with said the "delay" was attributed to the following:
  1. Ship the car from the storage facility (in my case it was 30 mins away from my local SC which is 15 mins away from me).
  2. Perform the safety inspection
  3. Detail the car
As far as the service goes (again this doesn't sound typical based on a lot of threads posted here), it has been exemplary for me in Ontario.

I've scheduled service via the phone app 2 times:
  1. Very loud noise from AC compressor - Mobile ranger service came out the next day. It was not really an issue, but apparently is normal when the temps are fairly high and it only occurs when you're stopped or driving in stop and go traffic. As soon as you speed up and more air comes in, the compressor cools down enough and the noise goes away
  2. Rattle noise from front suspension. I got an appointment about 10 days out and my front suspension (both left and right) were replaced the next day. Car stayed overnight at the local SC.

Would I buy another Tesla? Absolutely, resoundingly YES. The best car I've ever had.
 
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Bodyhauler

Member
Jun 20, 2019
145
261
Cedar Park, Tx
When I bought my used '16 S90D from Tesla it took a month to get it. So don't be in a hurry, that's about normal. I live in Texas where you have to do everything on-line. So you have to wait for it to get into town before you can do any financing.
However, I was told if there were any problems with the car that was not disclosed before purchase/shipping, the service center would fix it.
Unfortunately mine arrived with scratches on the hood but the service center was very good and had it fixed beautifully.
 

riles246

Member
Aug 30, 2019
60
36
NY State
Similar experience- bought a car that was already local (about 30 miles away), took a little under a month to get it. Pickup appointment was a frustrating day too, nearly 3 hours of sitting and waiting for the car to be detailed even though they knew when I was coming.

Car arrived with undisclosed damage on the bumper and they refused to fix, but I took the car anyway since it was still a good deal.

All that said, it's an annoying process but the deal was MUCH better than buying from a local used dealer as it was a couple thousand less and came with a new 4 year warranty. So all in, I would definitely do it again, and plan to do so when my wife's lease is up on her non-Tesla.
 

Alysashley79

Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
1,201
514
Seattle(ish) WA
Tesla stores their used vehicles on Mannheim lots. So they may tell you Hayward. But could actually be in a different location. The actual process is something like this.
You make you’re deposit
Tesla lets Mannheim know about the purchase.
Mannheim transports to local service center. They verify it’s the correct car.
Car is transported to your service center for inspection. Detail. And pickup.
In my case it was about two weeks from deposit to pick up of our vehicle. The first week we didn’t get much because Tesla was waiting for the car. Then I got an email every day as to where my vehicle was en route from Dallas to Seattle. I would give them a bit more time.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,699
887
TX
When I bought my used '16 S90D from Tesla it took a month to get it. So don't be in a hurry, that's about normal. I live in Texas where you have to do everything on-line. So you have to wait for it to get into town before you can do any financing.
However, I was told if there were any problems with the car that was not disclosed before purchase/shipping, the service center would fix it.
Unfortunately mine arrived with scratches on the hood but the service center was very good and had it fixed beautifully.

Question on this. I am also in TX and planning on buying a used S from Tesla. What do you mean you have to wait for it to get into town before financing? How does it work if I don't want to have it shipping but instead fly out and drive it back from another state?
 

Bodyhauler

Member
Jun 20, 2019
145
261
Cedar Park, Tx
Question on this. I am also in TX and planning on buying a used S from Tesla. What do you mean you have to wait for it to get into town before financing? How does it work if I don't want to have it shipping but instead fly out and drive it back from another state?
I don't know how it works if you fly out of state to pick it up. Guess you'll have to check with the sales advisor on that.
I know since Tesla can't sell in Texas you have to buy it on line. If you're going to finance then you have to wait for the car to arrive at the service center and they will send you paperwork that your bank will need for financing.
 

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