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Why I sold my 1-month old Tesla Model S.

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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Hey all, Just wanted to mention how great this forum was and invaluable to Tesla owners.

Around July of this year, my wife and I decided to get a new Model S. We picked a new inventory S75 (with new 4.x 0-60) times. Prior to ordering the sales staff was pretty amazing--letting us take home cars for the night before we made our decision. We were able to find one *exactly* how I wanted it.

When it was delivered, there was a few issues right off the bat. Some were obvious (hard water spots on the paint, and generally very dirty) but some weren't, like non-functioning steering wheel controls.

Now you may think i'm being picky, I will say that my wife and I have probably purchased 8 or so new cars in the past 5 years and none have had to go back for any warranty work.

The service department while pretty good, failed to address some of the issues when I dropped off the car, even though it was on their work order (it took me dropping off the car twice before they would address the hard water spots) They claimed it was a mis-communication with their 3rd party detailer.

My first week of ownership, I had been back to the dealer 3 times already.

Still, I was enjoying the car and from reading these forums alone made it seem like the typical teething pains a new owner has to go through.

Then as the weeks piled on, I would notice more and more issues. Like the obvious panel gap issues in the B pillar interior trim. One that took 3 weeks to order to order a piece of plastic. I forget another issue where the chrome trim in my mirrors were warping and they had to remove the door panel to replace the mirrors. When I looked over their work the next day, they forgot to re-attach the puddle lights, so back to the dealer I went.

When I picked up the car again, they had dropped a wrench or something hard into the door jamb, making a nice dent.

Now while I don't mind teething pain issues, I do mind when things don't get fixed. Like my alignment issue. I think the car had 3 alignments and was still off. I decided to just let it go. At this point, they told me it was as good as it is going to get.

All in all, after 4-weeks, I had brought the car in for repairs, comebacks for failed repairs, etc.. for a total of 8 or so visits.

Again, all these are small issues, but they added up to something big for me. I spent a lot of time going back to the service center, I spent a lot of time wondering if something was normal or not, and I decided i've had enough. I told my wife a the 1-month anniversary of owning the car that i'm going to sell it. I'll take that loss, I didn't really care anymore. I've followed up with Tesla, and all I get was a bunch of 'i'm sorrys' and this is 'not normal' It's almost as if i'm talking to a wall. Again, none of these issues were safety related, and I still enjoyed the car, but I hated that every time I got in it, there was a laundry list of issues for them to look at.

I still think Tesla has an amazing product with a good future. Just wish it worked out better for me.

Thanks for reading.

For those wondering, I lost about 15 thousand dollars.

For those who want to know my detailed list of issues:

1. Interior b-pillar trim not fitting correctly.
2. Water leaking in one of the windows.
3. Steering wheel buttons didn't work.
4. Hood not aligned. obvious gap from one side to another.
5. Steering wheel not centered.
6. Car pulls hard to the left.
7. Hard water spots in the paint when I first took delivery.
8. Random spots in the paint where it was dull.
9. Chrome trim on the mirrors warping.
10. Passenger door not closing properly.
11. Rubber seal on passenger door not fitting correctly.
12. famous chrome window trim not lining up. They would pull it up or down to line up, but a day later, they would not be aligned again. (this one, I didn't care about, but it was there)
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Why didn't you just lemon law it instead of taking a $15k loss?

Lemon laws are pretty specific -- as in they need to be safety related.

• The manufacturer or its agents have made two or more attempts to repair a warranty problem that results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven; • The manufacturer or its agents have made four or more attempts to repair the same warranty problem; or • The vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days (not necessarily all at the same time) while being repaired for any number of warranty problems; or • The problems are covered by the warranty, substantially reduce the vehicle’s use, value, or safety to the consumer and are not caused by abuse of the vehicle; • If required by the warranty materials or by the owner’s manual, the consumer has to directly notify the manufacturer about the problem(s), preferably in writing. The notice must be sent to the address shown in the warranty or owner’s manual (for bullets 1 and 2).

All the issues I faced were really just quality control related, and my dis-satisfaction with their repair process.

I see people throwing around the term 'lemon law' all the time when they don't like a product. Factually, it is not very easy to lemon law a car, and may and can take up to a year for the process to finalize.

I decided to just cut my looses. Monetary loss is of no concern to me.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
The first buttet point, I would not qualify for. Again, none of the issues are safety related.

The second bullet point, again I would not qualify for since the only real issue i've had to go back for multiple times is the alignment issue. But since they are prudent in the car being in 'spec' there is no way for me to argue that fact. All they have to do is show an arbitrary judge that everything is in the 'green' zone.

As for 'out of service for 30 days' all my visits have been appointments where they worked on the car the same day. Tesla is smart that they definitely DO NOT want your car on their lot unless it's being worked on, and even so, they want to fix it the same day, not having to leave the car overnight.

They are smart enough to know the lemon law well, and have the ability to work around it.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Sorry to hear as a fellow Santa Clara Ducati guy. My P85D has 46,000 miles and one loose screw in the arm rest. I did not plan to keep it after 3 years but I think I will keep it now.

Haha maybe we know each other? I used to be a very frequent track rider, even raced in the AFM for 3 years.

As for the car, I think it's really hit or miss. You can get a good one or, you can get a bad one.
 

eye.surgeon

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
1,368
2,014
California
I decided to just cut my looses. Monetary loss is of no concern to me.
I've never met anyone who could legitimately make that statement who actually would agree with that statement. Especially someone that can't spell losses.

I have probably purchased 8 or so new cars in the past 5 years and none have had to go back for any warranty work.
Forget the hard water spots. You need financial counselling.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
I've never met anyone who could legitimately make that statement who actually would agree with that statement. Especially someone that can't spell losses.

Hi My name is Stan, nice to meet you.

Thanks for pointing out my spelling mistake. I can tell you that English is not my native language, but you would may just find something else to point at negatively.

Jokes aside, the money loss is not that big of a concern for me, but rather my sanity is. Having to keep going back to the service center got pretty old pretty fast.

I can tell you that you like Tesla, so I will re-iterate. I liked the car, I loved driving it. I really like that our future is heading towards electric cars and I like the company. I wish them well. The specific car that I purchased didn't work out for me because of all the issues i've had.
 

Evoforce

Active Member
Apr 19, 2017
1,511
1,785
Fountain Hills AZ
If it were me, I would work to get them to trade me for another one. Especially, since you say you like the car generally. If they won't trade, and money is no object, buy another one and find out if the first one was a fluke or not. Eight cars is a lot to buy in 5 years... why would another try hurt?
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
If it were me, I would work to get them to trade me for another one. Especially, since you say you like the car generally. If they won't trade, and money is no object, buy another one and find out if the first one was a fluke or not. Eight cars is a lot to buy in 5 years... why would another try hurt?

I would say every time I brought my car in for service, there was another 2017 owner (July build date) with similar issues. I also saw a Model 3 there with 3 pages of issues. I'm not going to try my luck at another one. Maybe in the future, maybe never.

I'm an older owner (40) and a huge car/motorcycle enthusiast. That's probably why I have owned more cars/bikes than I care to admit. It's my hobby. The Tesla was my commuter car, and I just couldn't get over the fact that I had so many little issues on something I would drive every day. I know getting rid of the car after a month is pretty drastic, but at the end of the day, it made sense to me, and I really have no regrets.

This was over 2 months ago--and i'm not exactly sure why i'm posting this now. Maybe Tesla will read this, and know that to some people, QC does matter!
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
Sorry to hear of your problems that you outline very well and reasonably. It's unfortunate that you got a lemon but can't rely on the lemon laws. Tesla needs to do better and you have good reason to be turned off to the extent you just want rid of the vehicle.

As for the car, I think it's really hit or miss. You can get a good one or, you can get a bad one.

While I sympathize with your problems, this goes too far for me and it doesn't accord at all with this:

Car Brands Ranked by Owner Satisfaction

I don't want people reading your problems, and thinking of buying a Tesla, to believe "it's really hit or miss" -- 50/50 so to speak. According to the stats, it's 91% hit and 9% miss. I do know that "would buy again" is different than asking about defects, problems and service requirements -- and also that Tesla has cornered the market when it comes to long range EVs. But in my view, potential owners want to know the overall view of the vehicle, and the best way to do that is with the "would buy again" question. Unlike @mkspeedr, I've had a few more problems than a bolt loose in the 4 years I've owned mine, but nothing much different than other new vehicles I have bought. That's not to downplay your concerns but at the same time we shouldn't overplay them, at least in my view.

Maybe Tesla will read this, and know that to some people, QC does matter!

Yes, good point and I will go one step further: Hopefully, Tesla will reach out to you and get you into another vehicle at no cost to you.
 

sakimano

Active Member
Mar 20, 2017
1,374
835
Ontario, Canada
lol. Is it possible that my finances are different than yours? :)
post your tax return. Let's have a battle.

My money is on the eye surgeon...only because I'm goading you into doing it.

I personally 100% agree with your decision to sell the car. That would drive me effing bonkers. And tesla...tesla is absolutely scheiss at being a car dealer (which they don't want to be, but they are). Cool company, cool cars, but they're frankly in the minor leagues when it comes to this stuff.

You're in California so you probably have a service centre within 30 minutes of your house. Imagine the rest of the world where Tesla Service Centres are few and far between. For perspective, here in Ontario Canada (population 10 million...one of the best markets on earth for tesla as well) they have 2 service centres, and they're both in the greater Toronto area. The next one heading East? Montreal. For perspective on that distance, that's like driving from LA to Vegas...and then being told you still have 3 hrs to go.

When the cars work, they're great. When they don't, you sometimes feel like you're complaining about your room in a 3rd world hotel where nobody speaks English.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
You're in California so you probably have a service centre within 30 minutes of your house. Imagine the rest of the world where Tesla Service Centres are few and far between.

I was in Auckland, New Zealand, recently when a Model X taxi pulled up, and both falcon wing doors opened up letting out passengers. As I was making my way over to see it, and when I snapped this picture as it drove off...

Spotted in Australia and New Zealand

... I thought what happens when those doors don't close correctly or other problems? It's not a matter of driving an extra few hours to a service station.

I decided to just cut my looses. Monetary loss is of no concern to me.

I read it as "The monetary loss here is better than dealing with the problems -- I can't take it any longer!" or words to that effect.

But like @eye.surgeon the statement caught my eye (pun intended) but he's frustrated and I knew what he meant. Certainly, if monetary loss is really of no concern, then he has no concerns losing all of his money, and we know that's not true, so we need not take everything so literally.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Sorry to hear of your problems that you outline very well and reasonably. It's unfortunate that you got a lemon but can't rely on the lemon laws. Tesla needs to do better and you have good reason to be turned off to the extent you just want rid of the vehicle.



While I sympathize with your problems, this goes too far for me and it doesn't accord at all with this:

Car Brands Ranked by Owner Satisfaction

I don't want people reading your problems, and thinking of buying a Tesla, to believe "it's really hit or miss" -- 50/50 so to speak. According to the stats, it's 91% hit and 9% miss. I do know that "would buy again" is different than asking about defects, problems and service requirements -- and also that Tesla has cornered the market when it comes to long range EVs. But in my view, potential owners want to know the overall view of the vehicle, and the best way to do that is with the "would buy again" question. Unlike @mkspeedr, I've had a few more problems than a bolt loose in the 4 years I've owned mine, but nothing much different than other new vehicles I have bought. That's not to downplay your concerns but at the same time we shouldn't overplay them, at least in my view.



Yes, good point and I will go one step further: Hopefully, Tesla will reach out to you and get you into another vehicle at no cost to you.

Thanks for your respectful response.

I realize i'm in a unique position where I can easily rid myself of the car because it didn't meet my quality standards. I accepted that fact, and I am at peace with it. I'm one of those car buyers who is not loyal to any brand or type of vehicle. If I like something, and it checks the boxes for me at the time, i'll give it a shot.

If you ask me -- now that i'm 2 months Tesla free, if I would buy again. It wouldn't be an immediate and hard NO. I would have to seriously think about it. Also, my position is different now that i'm a former owner and have armed myself with knowledge regarding the cars quirks build issues.

When Tesla service contacted me, I told them of my issues (and concerned why they never gave me a copy of the repair order) Again, they were very apologetic and nice. I'm OK with that, I just wish they would do a better job with repairs.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
I was in Auckland, New Zealand, recently when a Model X taxi pulled up, and both falcon wing doors opened up letting out passengers. As I was making my way over to see it, and when I snapped this picture as it drove off...

Spotted in Australia and New Zealand

... I thought what happens when those doors don't close correctly or other problems? It's not a matter of driving an extra few hours to a service station.



I read it as "The monetary loss here is better than dealing with the problems -- I can't take it any longer!" or words to that effect.

But like @eye.surgeon the statement caught my eye (pun intended) but he's frustrated and I knew what he meant. Certainly, if monetary loss is really of no concern, then he has no concerns losing all of his money, and we know that's not true, so we need not take everything so literally.

Yes, that is what I meant, and I thought it was clear. But obviously there are some folks that love to interpret things the way they want to. I was foolishly baited into a size contest, and i'll just block said user from now on, as nothing he has posted has any constructive information.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
lol. Is it possible that my finances are different than yours? :)

No - that can't be the case since you could have $100 or $1B dollars - the loss of both of those amounts "is of no concern" to you.

Monetary loss is of no concern to me.

So the amount of your finances is irrelevant. In fact, your statement only makes sense if you're about to declare bankruptcy -- then it applies. But I knew what you meant. From my experience, monetary loss means more to wealthy people than to poor people, which is, in part, why many of them are wealthy.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
No - that can't be the case since you could have $100 or $1B dollars - the loss of both of those amounts "is of no concern" to you.



So the amount of your finances is irrelevant. In fact, your statement only makes sense if you're about to declare bankruptcy -- then it applies. But I knew what you meant. From my experience, monetary loss means more to wealthy people than poor people, which is, in part, why many of them are wealthy.

I guess I could have worded it better. :)

The way I look at it, I lost 1 bitcoin. There, that makes me feel better.
 
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