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

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Sawyer8888

Member
Mar 16, 2017
422
421
South Florida
The way I look at it, I lost 1 bitcoin. There, that makes me feel better.

Money isn't everything. I share your frustration with the many little things associated with a Tesla. I unfortunately do not share your ability to absorb large financial losses like this. If I could, I may give it a year instead of a month, but I too would probably look elsewhere.

Yes, it's a really good car, but the rattles, squeaks, paint issues, panel and trim misalignments, among other things.... I could do without.

We're all different. Your move was unusual, but I get it. Thank you for sharing.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Money isn't everything. I share your frustration with the many little things associated with a Tesla. I unfortunately do not share your ability to absorb large financial losses like this. If I could, I may give it a year instead of a month, but I too would probably look elsewhere.

Yes, it's a really good car, but the rattles, squeaks, paint issues, panel and trim misalignments, among other things.... I could do without.

We're all different. Your move was unusual, but I get it. Thank you for sharing.

I know I am not your typical owner as cars and motorcycles (actually anything with wheels!) Are my hobbies. So while my move may be drastic to most, the car enthusiast inside me feels vindicated.
 

TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
271
365
Boise, ID
Apologies for sounding harsh, but that makes no sense in manufacturing. The guy and robot assembling the cars has no knowledge of how the car was ordered, and would not assemble them any different. I took an inventory car (had 6 miles on the ODO) because it was exactly the one I would have built and I think they knocked off a grand for being an inventory car.

Well, OK. let me preface this with 30 years in manufacturing experience so you get my perspective. No matter what a robot assembly line makes, it is not perfect. Adjustments are made all the time. Dies wear out and you have to compensate. Precise placement of welds and application of adhesives are subsequently measured and programming is adjusted. When a part or car comes off the line it is not finished. It goes through inspections. We will never know what the rework rate is at Tesla but it's not uncommon to be around 30%. This includes paint issues, alignment of panels, etc. basically a lot of the issues you saw.

Now why would an inventory car get different treatment than a customer car? It's because these inspections are done later on an inventory car and probably not at the usual inspection station. There is no customer expectation of timely delivery. And guess what, sometimes they don't actually do them and fix anything. Hence, the customer is left to find and report the defects.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Well, OK. let me preface this with 30 years in manufacturing experience so you get my perspective. No matter what a robot assembly line makes, it is not perfect. Adjustments are made all the time. Dies wear out and you have to compensate. Precise placement of welds and application of adhesives are subsequently measured and programming is adjusted. When a part or car comes off the line it is not finished. It goes through inspections. We will never know what the rework rate is at Tesla but it's not uncommon to be around 30%. This includes paint issues, alignment of panels, etc. basically a lot of the issues you saw.

Now why would an inventory car get different treatment than a customer car? It's because these inspections are done later on an inventory car and probably not at the usual inspection station. There is no customer expectation of timely delivery. And guess what, sometimes they don't actually do them and fix anything. Hence, the customer is left to find and report the defects.

Appreciate your expertise, and interesting theory. From taking the factory tour, it was mentioned there is no difference in quality control between an ordered car and an inventory one. All QC is fine at the factory. Both inventory cars and ordered ones are built and inspected at the same time.

If they are truly getting such abysmal re-work percentage rates, id be looking into some serious engineering changes rather than fix components post delivery.
 
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mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
760
810
Santa Clara, CA
Well, OK. let me preface this with 30 years in manufacturing experience so you get my perspective. No matter what a robot assembly line makes, it is not perfect. Adjustments are made all the time. Dies wear out and you have to compensate. Precise placement of welds and application of adhesives are subsequently measured and programming is adjusted. When a part or car comes off the line it is not finished. It goes through inspections. We will never know what the rework rate is at Tesla but it's not uncommon to be around 30%. This includes paint issues, alignment of panels, etc. basically a lot of the issues you saw.

Now why would an inventory car get different treatment than a customer car? It's because these inspections are done later on an inventory car and probably not at the usual inspection station. There is no customer expectation of timely delivery. And guess what, sometimes they don't actually do them and fix anything. Hence, the customer is left to find and report the defects.

My 30 years of manufacturing have a different perspective. 30 years ago dies wearing out, application of adhesives and weld placement were issues but modern data collection systems track tool cycles, monitor optical inspection results and even track adhesive life/temperature to prevent defects. DPMO, six sigma and manufacturing mentality have advanced significantly in 30 years.

I expect all Tesla's to be built at the same level of mine (one loose arm rest screw in 46,000 miles).
 
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thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,283
1,977
indeterminate
and re the comments on factory QC for customer and stock orders, my expectation is that the QC is indeed identical, to do anything less would be highly disruptive to an automated process.

However what I can see is that cars failing QC on minor issues may well be marked as stock vehicles on the basis that most stock vehicles will mostly be demos and pick up a few marks anyway. fwiw I have have some shocking QC failures from Audi so it does happen with the "big brands" too, and as for their so called dealers - well give me the Tesla SC business model any day please.

I can further speculate that most every manufacturer would do the same as fixing minor flaws that only a small % of owners would even notice let alone complain about is quite simply uneconomic. The data from QA however should being pro-actively fed back into the process to minimise recurrence.

It is easy to keep thinking of Tesla as a large manufacturer. They're not small, but in comparison to GM, Ford, Toyota VAG etc they are minnows and it is the combined learned experience of decades of manufacturing that ultimately finesses quality.

I could nitpick a few minor details on my P100D but honestly I dont let it bother me and just enjoy the car for the unique experience it is.

Service center performance has not been as issue for me, but its inconsistency is a recurring theme that Tesla could indeed apply resource to monitor/improve, something I recall JonMc was looking at.
 

buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Jun 17, 2017
2,969
7,349
ATX
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
@stan23 - I'm curious. if dropping $15K or more by your own words is unnoticeable to you, and you love your performance cars and bikes, why didnt you get a P100D?

Those were not my words. I think you have me confused with another member who said 15k is not noticeable to them. For me, all the aggravation, losing 15k on the car and gaining my sanity back was all worth it.

Not sure why my choice of model has anything to do with the problems I had, but I'll bite since I have some time to kill.

I wanted specifically the S75 because it was my commuter car. I thought a P100DL would have been overkill for my use. I still had weekend cars for fun. I just wanted something to shuttle the kids around in.

They let me take home a P90DL to lure me into more performance, but other than a few launches for fun, the novelty quickly wore off. I'm not going to pretend that the Model S is going to handle like a true sports car, so I never saw it as a 'performance' car for me. The new 75 with quicker 0-60 time felt like a great compromise with just enough acceleration to make my commute fun, while being reasonably priced. If my Tesla experience was to be as good as some of you, you bet I would have looked at a much nicer model down the line.
 
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Shawn Snider

Member
Jul 30, 2014
242
63
BC, Canada
What Year was the Model S75? If Money is of no concern then why didn't you order brand new 2017 off the website? Why go through Dealers?..... Technology...
 

comanchepilot

Member
Oct 3, 2017
404
324
SoCal - EAST
I've said this before = and I'll say it again - TESLA has survived the last 5 years by selling cars to technology people and fanboys who want the snake oil they sell.

As they run out of those folks, and move onto the Porsche / BMW / Benz crowd they'd better step up their game big time or they're gonna get their lunch eaten in the court of public opinion.

You simply cannot be a company which exists on Fanboys and technonerds and sell 400,000 Model 3s- the Model 3 will make or break the company. My money right now is on break because there is no evidence that in the last 6 months anyone has learned anything.

You cannot survive selling Model X's which are all beta testing versions its seems, with doors that dont work and all sorts of other problems - to the soccer mom who needs a reliable truck/van to get the kids to practice and school and lessons.

You cannot survive selling a $100k sedan with a sunroof being an option, and have the damn thing leak when you do sell one.

The delivery centers are full of millennials who don't understand either customer service or salesmanship, and they really don't know much one way or the other about the cars because they are too expensive for them to drive. They might 'win' a month with a car in a sales competition or whatever - but our salesman [oh, excuse me, owner advisor] still hasn't contacted us after delivery - and never followed through on anything he promised to do. Plus, he drove a motorcycle back and forth to work - most car salesmen get to use the products they're selling. . . .

I'm an owner spouse - I've seen it. I've watched it. I've read about it. I've experienced it.

I wish them luck - I really do - they employ a lot of Americans directly and indirectly.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
What Year was the Model S75? If Money is of no concern then why didn't you order brand new 2017 off the website? Why go through Dealers?..... Technology...

I'm pretty sure I covered this. I went to order a new one, but they had an inventory model with the exact specs I wanted, with a very recent build date. So I went with I inventory.

The car I purchased was a 2017 Model S, built in July 2017. VIN 210XXX
 

Shawn Snider

Member
Jul 30, 2014
242
63
BC, Canada
I'm pretty sure I covered this. I went to order a new one, but they had an inventory model with the exact specs I wanted, with a very recent build date. So I went with I inventory.

The car I purchased was a 2017 Model S, built in July 2017. VIN 210XXX

Must have missed that post, figured you were going to say 2015 ish, looking at your list of defects, early year models were bad for that. 2017 is disappointing :(
 

mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
760
810
Santa Clara, CA
I've said this before = and I'll say it again - TESLA has survived the last 5 years by selling cars to technology people and fanboys who want the snake oil they sell.

As they run out of those folks, and move onto the Porsche / BMW / Benz crowd they'd better step up their game big time or they're gonna get their lunch eaten in the court of public opinion.

You simply cannot be a company which exists on Fanboys and technonerds and sell 400,000 Model 3s- the Model 3 will make or break the company. My money right now is on break because there is no evidence that in the last 6 months anyone has learned anything.

You cannot survive selling Model X's which are all beta testing versions its seems, with doors that dont work and all sorts of other problems - to the soccer mom who needs a reliable truck/van to get the kids to practice and school and lessons.

You cannot survive selling a $100k sedan with a sunroof being an option, and have the damn thing leak when you do sell one.

The delivery centers are full of millennials who don't understand either customer service or salesmanship, and they really don't know much one way or the other about the cars because they are too expensive for them to drive. They might 'win' a month with a car in a sales competition or whatever - but our salesman [oh, excuse me, owner advisor] still hasn't contacted us after delivery - and never followed through on anything he promised to do. Plus, he drove a motorcycle back and forth to work - most car salesmen get to use the products they're selling. . . .

I'm an owner spouse - I've seen it. I've watched it. I've read about it. I've experienced it.

I wish them luck - I really do - they employ a lot of Americans directly and indirectly.

If I worked for Tesla and they gave me a new P100D for commuting. I would still ride my motorcycle. The P100D does not wheelie...
 
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S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,394
6,117
Snohomish, WA
I've said this before = and I'll say it again - TESLA has survived the last 5 years by selling cars to technology people and fanboys who want the snake oil they sell.

As someone who has a love/hate relationship with Tesla I'd say technology people mostly ran out a little over a year ago. Speaking directly from the experiences within this forum. It definitely switched to a more demanding base.

It was also last year that the true snake oil appeared. Before FSD there was some degree of snake oil in that Elon sold people on features before they became available. Like when I purchased the Supercharger network was mostly an idea where there were only a few dozen of them. Nothing like it is today.

Part of buying an electric car was having faith in the future of it, and I knew this when I bought it.

I definitely agree with you that the Model 3 will either make or break Tesla. But, they did address a lot of problems by making the Model 3 far simpler, and easier to repair. They removed all the items that had a tendency to have problems. Currently the only issue I know about with the Model 3 is fit/finish issues that they need to improve on as it goes into production.

I don't see anything about the Model 3 (aside from FSD) as snake oil.

They put all the potentially snake oil stuff in whatever amazing battery technology they have for the roadster 2.0, and the Semi. If that stuff is truly snake oil then Tesla will most certainly break.

As to competition we're sadly still a year or more away from it. Having competition will most certainly help those of us who want a high level of quality. I'm not loyal at all to Tesla, and in fact I just spent the money I had reserved to upgrade from 2015 70D on an entirely different kind of vehicle.

Tesla didn't make the progress I expected them to on the Model S so I decided I'd downgrade to the Model 3 in the future (or an Audi/Porsche if price/specs/charging network are better).

The lack of competition is the biggest problem since the OP can't go to anything else without giving up something significant (electric power, range, etc). I could never switch back to an ICE car, and I think a lot of us can't. I''m most certainly a fanboi of electric power (electric longboards, ebikes, electric cars, etc), but not Tesla itself.
 
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