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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
We have a P100D for 4 months now. No problems did have to reboot the console after a software update. Most amazing thing we have ever driven. We have had what we thought were cars that performed and handled well in the past. We were wrong. This thing is fantastic!
AMG, Corvette, Porche. not even close.

Stan try another trade it in for more performance! You will love it. Finally a truly fast car my wife can enjoy also. She loves it.

How could you go back to ICE

As mentioned earlier in the thread, maybe I'll buy another one someday, maybe not. I'm only 2 months out from my soured experience so I think I'll just let my money marinate a little longer.

I will be honest, that new roadster looks mighty intriguing! If they can ship with those specs, I'll forgo any panel gaps, or alignment issues :)
 

tmoz

S85D, Prius PiP
Aug 16, 2015
868
474
Gilbert, Arizona
This thread is quite long now, so maybe someone touched upon this question already, but did you sell it privately?
If so, do they know of all of the issues you had? Did you sell it back to Tesla?
In either case, as Mr. T. might say, "I pity the fool who bought that car from you."
(A team reference for those unfamiliar with Mr. T).
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
This thread is quite long now, so maybe someone touched upon this question already, but did you sell it privately?
If so, do they know of all of the issues you had? Did you sell it back to Tesla?
In either case, as Mr. T. might say, "I pity the fool who bought that car from you."
(A team reference for those unfamiliar with Mr. T).

No, this has not been covered, but i'll cover it for the sake full disclosure.

In haste, I posted a CL ad for my car along with the problems I had (I believe in Karma) and put a price based on the headaches I had with it. I paid right around 90K for my car, and posted it for 65K.

It sold in an hour.

To this day, I still get txts from him how much he loves the car. That made me happy. He's happy, I have no regrets about selling it, and Tesla got their sale from me.

I brought up each and every single issue I had to him. None of it bothered him. Then it occurred to me, that many of us have completely different expectations when buying new vs. used.
 
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tmoz

S85D, Prius PiP
Aug 16, 2015
868
474
Gilbert, Arizona
No, this has not been covered, but i'll cover it for the sake full disclosure.

In haste, I posted a CL ad for my car along with the problems I had (I believe in Karma) and put a price based on the headaches I had with it. I paid right around 90K for my car, and posted it for 65K.

It sold in an hour.

To this day, I still get txts from him how much he loves the car. That made me happy. He's happy, I have no regrets about selling it, and Tesla got their sale from me.

I brought up each and every single issue I had to him. None of it bothered him. Then it occurred to me, that many of us have completely different expectations when buying new vs. used.
OK - everyone happy, that is a good ending.

So you got $25 K less for the car than paid in the sale, so sounded like you got $10 K from tax incentives?

I'm guessing that even if you had seen the car in the flesh before buying, you might have still ended up with it. Who knows how many problems are going to pop up. Unless the alignment was bad from the start and you could notice that with a test drive.

I should have parted with my 1999 Cadillac Catera after 3 months. As it was, I endured 6 years of agony, 95% of which was covered under an extended warranty that was granted me due to all of the problems.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Stan, I bought your wheels, You should have sold me your car too ;) I WAS RIGHT THERE!

Damn you!

Ha! The car was sold before you got the wheels. Random thought. I had offered him the wheels (same price as I sold to you) and he declined it. A week later he wanted to buy them as he had already curbed one :(

I called a body shop friend of mine and I was able to pick him up a replacement wheel at cost.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,012
9,729
SF Bay Area
I bet he was happy to get your 75 at that price even with the issues you outlined that bothered you. I know you mentioned you realize that some times people don't get the luck of the draw with a new car and yes I do think not everyone looks at things the same way. The only think I will add is that the only thing my husband regrets with our car purchase (a 75D), and he's mentioned it enough to believe him, is that he wishes he would have gone for a longer range battery. At the time we bought though it was a 75 or 90 and he didn't think the price difference was worth it. He still kind of feels that way but if the 100 had been available he says he would have gone that route for sure. Apart from that, we've been very happy with our car and enjoy driving it. Sounds like you like changing cars alot so maybe you'll find yourself in a Tesla in the future and find a keeper this time around.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
OK - everyone happy, that is a good ending.

So you got $25 K less for the car than paid in the sale, so sounded like you got $10 K from tax incentives?

I'm guessing that even if you had seen the car in the flesh before buying, you might have still ended up with it. Who knows how many problems are going to pop up. Unless the alignment was bad from the start and you could notice that with a test drive.

I should have parted with my 1999 Cadillac Catera after 3 months. As it was, I endured 6 years of agony, 95% of which was covered under an extended warranty that was granted me due to all of the problems.

I have not yet filed, so I guess you can call it i'm out $25K at the moment. The CA tax incentive is up in the air, and i'm not even sure i'll qualify for the fed one. I hope so, because I did take delivery of the car, and no, I didn't buy it to resell, I guess the feds could argue that I only had the car for a month, but I have proof that I sold it for a loss, since I kept the cashiers check receipt.

Yes, when I took delivery, I only saw a few minor problems (crooked hood--which I was already armed with info on how they can fix it) hard water spots, basic minor stuff.

On the drive back to the office, the steering wheel controls didn't work, power seat button didn't work, and the car pulled. Again, still in honeymoon phase, and armed with all the information I read here, I discarded it as something trivial and easy to fix. It wasn't til I dropped off the car, and again, and again til I started to get aggravated. I was never really unhappy with the car, but unhappy at how many visits I had with the service center. It was almost comical. I told the new owner, his car is on the list for the headlight retrofit, since they forgot to install the adaptive headlights on my car, and he didn't seem to mind. That would have been his first service visit, For me, if I kept the car, would have been my 10th. So I hope you kinda can see where i'm coming from.
 
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N5329K

Active Member
Aug 12, 2009
1,863
3,598
California
I think the OP's experience with build quality, delivery quality and quality of service are worrisome for a company on the cusp of leaving the safety of selling to loyal Tesla fans for the wider (and less accepting) market. Some (half? two thirds?) of the 500K reservation holders want, first and foremost, a good car. Not necessarily a Tesla. For some (half? two thirds?) the Model 3 will be the most expensive car they've ever bought. Their expectations will be set appropriately high, and "It's electric" and "it's cool" and "it's the future" will not cut it if their experience with the purchase, with the car or with its reliability and service are substandard. Their reactions to similar issues the OP faced will be a lot less forgiving than the OP's, and he sold his car.
It's sink or sail time. That was always the risk of leaving the safe harbor of Tesla fans for the open sea.
Robin
 
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ls7corvete

Member
Aug 29, 2017
148
353
florida
I think the main take away from this thread - Tesla quality is inconsistent. The overall car is amazing and in my case the best car I have ever owned. But, the negative stories are too frequent and too detailed to discount. Tesla needs to improve their build quality.
No doubt, though I suspect I would be just as happy to own that car as the person you sold it to. Plenty of forum members too.

Every car has its pros/cons. Cant wait for my 3! And yes, I plan to have the paint 'corrected' and panels lined up professionally, I am sure they will need it.
 

SFARob

New Member
Sep 14, 2017
4
4
Ocean city
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)
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)
Thank you for sharing. Sorry the S didn’t work out. I’ve had my s75 since 7/25/17 and had some problems. All were solved expediously at the first try without cost to me. One problem was a foreign object punctured my coolant radiator. I’m glad you could afford the loss. Sincerely Rob
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,012
9,729
SF Bay Area
I have not yet filed, so I guess you can call it i'm out $25K at the moment. The CA tax incentive is up in the air, and i'm not even sure i'll qualify for the fed one. I hope so, because I did take delivery of the car, and no, I didn't buy it to resell, I guess the feds could argue that I only had the car for a month, but I have proof that I sold it for a loss, since I kept the cashiers check receipt.

Yes, when I took delivery, I only saw a few minor problems (crooked hood--which I was already armed with info on how they can fix it) hard water spots, basic minor stuff.

On the drive back to the office, the steering wheel controls didn't work, power seat button didn't work, and the car pulled. Again, still in honeymoon phase, and armed with all the information I read here, I discarded it as something trivial and easy to fix. It wasn't til I dropped off the car, and again, and again til I started to get aggravated. I was never really unhappy with the car, but unhappy at how many visits I had with the service center. It was almost comical. I told the new owner, his car is on the list for the headlight retrofit, since they forgot to install the adaptive headlights on my car, and he didn't seem to mind. That would have been his first service visit, For me, if I kept the car, would have been my 10th. So I hope you kinda can see where i'm coming from.

I would double check on the requirements for applying for the tax credit if you think you're entitled to it. Might be a period of ownership that I doubt you'll qualify for and if you don't I have doubts the new owner will either being a resale but I could be wrong...been a while since I glanced at the tax form instructions. I know Calif has an income cap and not sure about length of ownership. Seems like a steep price to "pay" selling it so soon all things considered.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
I would double check on the requirements for applying for the tax credit if you think you're entitled to it. Might be a period of ownership that I doubt you'll qualify for and if you don't I have doubts the new owner will either being a resale but I could be wrong...been a while since I glanced at the tax form instructions. I know Calif has an income cap and not sure about length of ownership. Seems like a steep price to "pay" selling it so soon all things considered.

I've studied the IRS website carefully prior to selling my car. There is absolutely no chance the new owner will get the credit, but I should.

[EDIT] I will not qualify for the CA rebate.

Also, not a 'steep' price for me to pay after all the aggravation I went though with Tesla. I would say in the last 2 months since selling the car, I have not had one single regret.

The vehicles must be acquired for use or lease and not for resale. Additionally, the original use of the vehicle must commence with the taxpayer and the vehicle must be used predominantly in the United States. For purposes of the 30D credit, a vehicle is not considered acquired prior to the time when title to the vehicle passes to the taxpayer under state law.

Notice 2009-89 applies to vehicles acquired subsequent to December 31, 2009 and provides procedures that a vehicle manufacturer may use if it chooses to certify that a vehicle meets certain requirements that must be satisfied to claim the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit and the amount of the credit allowable with respect to that vehicle


I'm the first and only owner, and we paid for the car in full.

Here is some more info too:

Electric Vehicle Tax Credits: What You Need to Know | Edmunds
 
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Flyguy

Member
Aug 17, 2017
297
171
94062
Stan,
Thanks for the post. With anecdotal data only, I’m going to guess there were lots of build issues when they did the July upgrade. I took delivery of an s75 built August 2017. When I pick it up one door handle was broken. They delivered the part from the factory and fixed it, which was great, but I was there for four hours. When I got on the freeway it had what I would consider a dangerous left-hand turn. So far I’ve taken to the shop 3 Times, The alignment issue has been reduced to a mild right turn. Other issues I’ve had:
- adjust front quarter panels
- Align the replaced door handle again
- place windshield wipers (loud clacking sound)
- reboot locked navigation system ( over the air update did not take)

After putting 150K on a Prius with zero issues my original desire was also to return the car. I am not in the same financial situation, and I really do love driving it, which means I will probably have it for quite some time. Both Palo Alto and Belmont service centers have been great. I definitely fall in the love-hate category. I also do not see how they are going to survive model three production. It is a bizarre place to feel like I love the car, but want to short the stock!
 

Flyguy

Member
Aug 17, 2017
297
171
94062
Stan,
Thanks for the post. With anecdotal data only, I’m going to guess there were lots of build issues when they did the July upgrade. I took delivery of an s75 built August 2017. When I pick it up one door handle was broken. They delivered the part from the factory and fixed it, which was great, but I was there for four hours. When I got on the freeway it had what I would consider a dangerous left-hand turn. So far I’ve taken to the shop 3 Times, The alignment issue has been reduced to a mild right turn. Other issues I’ve had:
- adjust front quarter panels
- Align the replaced door handle again
- place windshield wipers (loud clacking sound)
- reboot locked navigation system ( over the air update did not take)

After putting 150K on a Prius with zero issues my original desire was also to return the car. I am not in the same financial situation, and I really do love driving it, which means I will probably have it for quite some time. Both Palo Alto and Belmont service centers have been great. I definitely fall in the love-hate category. I also do not see how they are going to survive model three production. It is a bizarre place to feel like I love the car, but want to short the stock!
I meant Burlingame
 

Warbird

Member
Oct 6, 2017
188
171
Boston
When I took delivery 9/25/17 of my new S75, QC was the only thing that worried me. After three months, I've only had one service visit, a door handle had to be adjusted. The car is perfect otherwise, a dream machine.
 

Flyguy

Member
Aug 17, 2017
297
171
94062
When I took delivery 9/25/17 of my new S75, QC was the only thing that worried me. After three months, I've only had one service visit, a door handle had to be adjusted. The car is perfect otherwise, a dream machine.
Glad to hear it. My hope is still that once these issues are resolved, I will have a similar experience. I’m just still concerned that it will never actually drive straight.
 

geometro

Member
Jun 24, 2015
370
530
Austin
It’s threads like these that make me hesitant to drop $80k on a car. I just can’t deal with the hassles of poor fit, finish at that price level.

Don’t get me wrong— I think the company is a game changer and want them to do exceedingly well. Just wish the manufacturing issues were sorted.

Crossing my fingers for Model 3 production while I hang onto my ‘01 BMW wagon
 

avesraggiana

Member
Jan 25, 2017
449
307
Chula Vista CA
Well you must be a super easy customer.

Dealership: "Sir, we wrecked your car when we drove it to see if the issue was fixed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Your [wrecked] car is waiting for you outside."

You: "Oh, thank you for the apology. Don't worry about it. I'll get it fixed."

No. Not super-easy but appreciative, even of apologies when a company offers them.

I gave my money in advance of taking delivery of two Teslas in one year. The first had a few minor cosmetic flaws that were fixed in one afternoon. No apology offered, and none required, and none of the cosmetic flaws returned.


The second Tesla had no flaws at all. NONE. Tesla did apologise to me for delaying my delivery for exactly one week so as to be able to hand over that flawless Tesla.

Maybe I am a super easy customer after all.
 
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