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Which VIN Range to Stay Away From When Buying Used?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by REBroker, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. REBroker

    REBroker Member

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    I've read a lot in here about how certain early VINs were of lesser quality than the newer ones. Someone said they owned an early model and it had many quality and reliability issues, while his new 18k VIN was of much better quality and reliability. Is there a more specific range to stay away from?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Not really. The first 1000 are Signature cars most of which have the Signature Red paint and white interior. My understanding is that quite a few upgrades have been applied to these cars so getting one of them isn't the same as if you had purchased it new (but I don't know first hand). My 5100 car has had only a couple of issues which were fixed by adjustment or upgraded parts. I have yet to lose a whole day's driving. Some people are disappointed in the "A" battery because it doesn't charge at quite the same rate as the B and later batteries when Supercharging. From what I've read the difference can be between four and fifteen extra minutes, so this may or may not be important to you. However, there's no real VIN number as mine has a B battery and some with higher VINs have A batteries.
     
  3. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I have it on excellent authority that the ones absolutely to avoid are in two categories: those from #21450 and lower, and those from #21452 and higher.

    :tongue:
     
  4. REBroker

    REBroker Member

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    Lol, AudubonB, I suppose yours is 21451 then ;)
     
  5. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    Keep in mind that VIN numbers are not assigned sequentially at the factory but more a function of when orders are received. I've heard they are making something in the order of about 20 changes a week for parts to improve the quality of vehicles shipping out. I would generally stay away from vehicles that do not have the parking sensors (very useful feature for such a large car in any case) as cars after that feature was introduced generally have more of the early issued ironed out by then. Also if I were you I'd would not consider any 60 kwh cars as for a bit more you can get a 85kwh version with greater range and speed.

    If you are looking to buy a used Model S, be very careful as some of the listed prices are absolutely unreasonable and close to what you'd pay for a new Model S. If you buy such a car you will essentially be subsidizing someone else's depreciation so negotiate aggressively if you need to. It's always amusing to see some trying to get for a used P85 what you can essentially buy a new P85D for after the $7,500 rebate.

    Don't bother even looking at used Model S priced over $90K because at that point you might as well by an inventory car with the $7500 rebate or a new car with the $7500 rebate.

    Here's a 2014 Model S Performance with the Plus Package and only 7K miles that you can buy for $75K:

    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/622113012/overview/
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I respectfully disagree with this. I've had a couple of loaners with parking sensors and mostly they were just annoying (beeping whenever the car was beside something)--and they didn't help position the car. I probably would have ordered them had they been available when I purchased the car, but now that I've had the car without them, I found they're just not needed.
     
  7. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    Don't they show you the distance you are away from an object? I personally would never buy such a large car without parking sensors given the congested and unfamiliar underground parking garages I have to navigate often with high curbs, pillars, and walls everywhere. If I lived in Texas with wide open spaces maybe I'd agree with you :)

    I'd generally try to buy a car with a VIN # ~35,000 +
     
  8. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    I have an early Sig S, and with the exception of main traction pack needing replacement (the well documented, fatal 'clunk' under acceleration) at 37,000 miles, it has been remarkably trouble-free. And my car's build quality is excellent, too. Some have noted build quality issues apparently associated with the factory's end-of-the-quarter delivery pushes; I can't really speak to that.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Only sometimes. They don't do well with curbs, and are easily defeated by snow or ice. I park within a couple of inches of a concrete post without them and no problem in the last 300 parkings. It's fine to get them if you want them, but I wouldn't pay $500 (or whatever the price is now) for them--or whatever the current price is.
     
  10. paul7200

    paul7200 Member

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    #10 paul7200, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
    I have VIN 13xxx, built May 2013 and it has been trouble free as well. Only 2 issues - a pano roof squeak and a faulty 12v battery required a service visit.

    Consider asking the seller for a copy of the service records, this would give you a good indication as to the quality and reliability.
     
  11. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    I'm VIN 1590 - which I believe equates to the 390th non-signature car, or thereabouts.

    Aside from the dive replacement that many had I've not had any issues that were not fixed by a software change or a TSB, where I never knew there was an issue. I've never had a hardware failure that prevented me from driving the car.

    One interesting point about the really low non-signature VINs. My car, and some others I have seen, have the signature badging. I'm not sure how that impacts value, though I like to think it makes my green Model S rare verging on unique.
     
  12. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    I have an older VIN car and recently driving a brand new one, some things also got worse. I will miss the Mercedes controls (Power control, turn signal and cruise control). They are of much better quality than the new cheap plastic ones. From my experience I would try to buy as high VIN as possible. I also would stay away from replacement batteries, I have one and it degrades MUCH faster than the original one.

    One major thing I want to say after all that discussing of how bad the "old" Tesla's now are with the new D and auto pilot. ANY Tesla is an awesome car, especially the P's. As they are not build anymore, I think this is the best buy. A true unique car now and while not as fast as the D, it is VERY fast and LOTS of fun. I think people start to sell to cheap and I predict that prices will go up again. Any 85 Kw car comes with an UNLIMITED 8 year battery and drive train warranty. If a P85 is worth only 70, than a S550, BMW 7 or A8 should be worth half as you can't afford their repair costs after it falls out of their short warranty time.
     
  13. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    My car is 9031 from May 13. It was practically flawless. The only issue was the Pano roof, which was a known problem area. It was fixed in a few days and they gave me a new MS to use. I now have 39k miles on the car and thankfully there are no issues at all to report. I would say the quality on our early production cars are quite good.
     
  14. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    The older cars also have the extended leather, and interior lighting which was included. After driving a loaner with a vin in the 44k range, I would say that the interior got much cheaper feeling(if you get the non extended leather interior). Another item of interest is the fact that Tesla changed the seat controls in the later cars, because the seat position is quite a bit higher(probably due to people complaining about the blurry lower portion of the windshield).

    There is no way in hell I would want a newer vin, unless the price was a "steal", or it was a P85D.
     
  15. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    Umm unless there was an earlier stalk change I'm not aware of then this makes no sense. The new reversed stalks are just newer Mercedes stalks. They have a nice stylized metallic colored button on the end, rather than pushing the whole stalk in, which in opinion looks nicer. The wiper stalk is smaller and not comically large. My general perception is that the new and old stalks are of roughly the same quality.
     
  16. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    This ad says performance plus wheels, not package. I'd be careful. It also doesn't include a picture of the rear right side where the model designation should be.
     
  17. PlanB

    PlanB Banned

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    Most likely a fake ad.

    This is a pretty good deal.

    P85 kWh Tesla Model S Showroom Condition!!!
     
  18. REBroker

    REBroker Member

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    Thanks guys! This is all awesome information and tips. I've checked the links and info. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of cars have the black interior which right now I'm not keen on. I had black interior before, have gray right now, would love to get something new. I'm going to have to visit my local SC and checkout the black interior on the tesla though, maybe I'll have to consider that interior to be able to get a good price due to more available inventory out there.
     
  19. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    We don't like black interiors either. They offer no contrast and everything just kind of blends into blackness IMHO. We also like to keep our car interiors absolutely clean and would never get a black interior as you'll never be able to tell if it is clean.

    I find lighter interiors to be more open and inviting, especially with the pano roof. If you don't like black interiors don't settle for a car with a black interior. Look around and you will find a car you like with a tan or grey interior.

    Model S vehicles are in the midst of a price correction so make sure you don't overpay for your car as if you do you will be paying for someone else's depreciation. As people take delivery of their Ds in December, January, and February, more Model S vehicles will come on the market. If you don't like the colors, options, or pricing, just wait and your choices will only improve. Sooner or later there will be as many used Model S vehicles to choose from as used Mercedes S class vehicles -- of which there are hundreds.
     
  20. Zroiron

    Zroiron Poodle Pack Leader

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    I wonder if Tesla Service Centers could provide a copy of service records of a vehicle being transferred?
     

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