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

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KOL2000

Member
Apr 30, 2013
228
187
San Diego
This post is the gospel. I’ve been saying this for a while now. I don’t think anyone at Tesla reads these forums anymore. My 2 Tesla’s were basically rebuilt except for sheet metal. I’d pay 5k just for one of Elon’s snots. I’m not normal. People buying model 3 are not like me. They are in deep sh$t if this don’t get their quality control together and stop delivering crap cars.

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.
 

Mediocrates

Member
Apr 16, 2017
367
354
San Diego, CA
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.

As I've been investigating possible "Lemon Law" applicability (in California) for my Tesla, I'd like to clarify a couple of things:

First, a vehicle can fall under these regulations without having any defects that are of high-risk to the user/owner. That is only one of the criteria, so it doesn't need to be "safety related."

Second, Tesla is certainly aware of the laws and they will make efforts to resolve it without having it go through the full "Lemon Law" process of arbitration. I've been in discussion with my Service Center about my vehicle (4 warranty service visits for 26 total days out of service in the first 5 months of ownership), and I've learned that Tesla will internally prepare an offer (usually a full purchase price refund, as Tesla will not do a one-for-one vehicle rebuild) once any of the "Lemon" criteria are met. There is likely room for negotiation on that offer, as it is to their advantage to "quietly" settle the situation. If it goes to arbitration and you win (which is likely if any of the criteria are met), it will be notably more costly to Tesla in terms of compensation and fees, as well as giving them no opportunity to keep it "quiet" (such as via non-disclosure agreement).

That's not to say it would necessarily apply in @stan23's situation, but I think it is important for people to know what protections they have (at least in California).
 

Alphacrux

Member
May 25, 2016
587
4,372
Austin, TX
Thank you for your post. You get it. I'm not trying to take anything away from happy owners. I did like driving the car, and I absolutely believe in the future of EVs. I sincerely wished it worked for me, but it didn't. I did get a few older Tesla loaners at the beginning and I do note the build quality differences. The older ones seems much louder inside.
I haven’t read all the posts on this thread yet, but my point was that I have been extremely happy with the quality of the model s, so much that I have made two purchases over the last two years (p90dl and p100dl). Any issues have been minor and quickly taken care of by tesla service. The 2015 p90d had no obvious build quality problems. The only issue it had was that after a few months the on board ac charger would only charge at half speed. Tesla service quickly replaced it under warranty.
We are enjoying both our vehicles - the 2015 “Fesarius” and the 2017 “White Star”. The Fesarius has been to California twice and to Missouri once for the total solar eclipse, and has been a reliable long-distance cruiser. The White Star just got full frontal xpel protection and window tinting, as the desert sun can be brutal.
 

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TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
2,857
The Americas
The older ones (circa 2013-2014) are noticeably louder than, for example, 2017 production - no question.

As an aside, the OA during one of my test drives earlier this year went on at some length about the improvements made to the frunk seal and other areas of the car.

All of that said, I imagine that any Model S with a pano roof on its last 3/32” on an average highway surface is going to approach or exceed 75-80 dB inside - and that ain’t pleasant over time.
 

Bet TSLA

Active Member
Dec 8, 2014
2,845
10,499
Cupertino, CA
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)

Quite a list. From your description of your interactions it sounds more like a problem with the service center than with the car. My experience has been that Palo Alto does a great job, Sunnyvale an okay job, and I've not been to Santa Clara. I've also been to the factory SC and they were okay too. Who did the work on your car?
 

FutureShock

Member
Aug 30, 2017
452
472
NorCal
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.

A little harsh, but... sums it up.

Tesla is a master of technology, innovation, vision, and even daring... but they are still second-rate in terms of their mastery of mass production, for whatever reasons(s). Specifically, quality control. Even on cars they've been producing for several years now (Model S).

Unless this is fixed, it is going to catch up to them in a VERY big way as they try to dramatically ramp up production, and as they expand into the mainstream via the Model 3 (and eventually the Model Y).

Mainstream buyers are going to be much less forgiving of bad quality control than 'EV enthusiasts' are. And it won't take a lot of bad stories about Tesla, spread by word-of-mouth, Facebook, etc. to dramatically damage their reputation. :confused:

Worst of all, I'm not sure Elon is quite as focused on this particular iceberg in Tesla's path as he should be. Space X, the Boring Company, new products like the Semi and Roadster... hey, great. But the BIG issue is – and you can ask any non-fanboy Tesla investor this – CAN YOU GET QUALITY CONTROL UNDER CONTROL, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY RAMPING UP MODEL 3 PRODUCTION IN A HUGE WAY?

Elon's stream of new products and announcements are kind of like being shipwrecked on a desert island, finding enough food, finding terrific shelter, but not being able to find drinkable water. Some things are going really well for you, but, you'll still be dead in three days regardless. :eek:

QC and the M3 ramp-up are 95% of the entire ballgame for Tesla at this point. If those fail, all the neat things Elon wants to do with Tesla in the future won't matter, 'cuz he'll eventually go bankrupt or get bought out.

And that will deeply suck if it happens. :(


.
 
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Upscaleman

Member
Nov 24, 2017
375
375
Los Angeles
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.
Tough state....here in California it's "use, value or safety"
 

davidc18

Active Member
Apr 25, 2015
1,828
1,235
Ft. Lauderdale
In florida, the lemon law process is slow but very straight forward. the issues do not have to be safety related and the board almost always sides with the consumer. Everything is available from the AGs website.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,569
NJ
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 apologize, I assumed you had looked into the Lemon Law process a little more closely and understood that the first step in the process is to discuss it with Tesla. At which point, assuming you have serious issues they will almost always offer to buy back the car at full purchase price. They very much wish to avoid having any customers actually invoke the lemon law and will generally bend over backwards to make sure that doesn't happen.
 

Ken7

Member
Feb 11, 2017
880
863
New York
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.
In your defense, I too bought an inventory car (same S75 model & 2017 vintage as yours) and it arrived in nearly perfect condition. The only issue I had was a misaligned door handle that was promptly repaired by the mobile service van. The delivered condition was certainly better than some of my prior vehicles.

Witness my 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV. My check engine light has come on for the 6th or 7th time. Repair after repair has been unsuccessful as the check engine light has come back on within 1,000-2,000 miles after a ‘repair’. Ironically, the electric part of the vehicle has been perfect. I am now pursuing a buy back from Hyundai or, if they decline, I’ll take it the lemon law route.

As is the case with so many things we buy, it’s the luck of the draw. Your experience, fortunately, is not indicative of the norm.
 
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Snerruc

Member
Apr 16, 2016
976
1,365
Palm Bay
Why didn't you just lemon law it instead of taking a $15k loss?
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.
 

Snerruc

Member
Apr 16, 2016
976
1,365
Palm Bay
Tesla is a car company. Car companies are human endeavors and are subject to error. I have seen worse than described from any car company I have dealt with including cars wrecked and repaired by the company and sold as new. After saying that, there is a lot of fussing about q c at Tesla, who advertise themselves as a premium brand. End of line q c should be better, but delivery centers are not doing their job either. Cadillac dealers in the 70s used to Teflon powder all the plastic interior trim to avoid plastic squeaks. Some dealers run every car through alignment. They find this reduces complaints. If o p had refused this car at delivery, he would only be out $2500 and have sent a message. I think a few hundred rejections would have an impact.
As for the question of walking away from $15000, I’m sure o p has much more money than me, but I have done similar. Life is to short to continually be grinding your gut over an issue like this.
 

davidc18

Active Member
Apr 25, 2015
1,828
1,235
Ft. Lauderdale
Go to your states AGs website and search for lemon law. There will be forms to fill out and file, you also have to notify Tesla. Look in the back of your service manual for Tesla's corporate address. Then talk to your local service center manager and let him/her know you have filed the paperwork. The service manager will handle most of the process if you can convince them to buy the car back before finishing the lemon law process. remember that with the lemon law there is a deduction for use on the vehicle which is close to 1 dollar per mile (based on the purchase price of your particular tesla). good luck.
 
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TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
272
374
Boise, ID
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).

Mine is built well enough. But why would my A/C expansion valve fail at 600 miles? It's because it has a manufacturing defect. I guess I got the 7 sigma part. Anyway, I'm likely a lot older than all of you so my experience is dated. So I will defer to current wisdom here. But it wasn't 30 years ago, it was during JIT and six sigma coming on line.

And Stan had the tour of the factory so I gotta believe there is no difference in inspection based on his observation. Still, I see even today variation among manufactured parts. Even the mold position of plastic parts offers variation. Some may not be functional, but the differences are there.

In the end, there are clearly issues Tesla have not faced in their manufacturing processes. However they do it they are not delivering 100%. Those that get a perfect car are happy, those that do not... well. Here we are.
 

TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
272
374
Boise, ID
I don't want to turn this thread into a bashing one. Mods, please close. I'll see myself out.
Oh, it was just getting interesting. Maybe someone wants to start new threads about Tesla's manufacturing QC, the service centers that can actually fix issues, the sales staff's inability to do their jobs, etc. We can leave the personal stuff out.

Funny how threads like these start all kinds of tangents.
 

hill

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,315
677
Lake Forest, CA
......snip.....
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)
Ha !!
Too bad you didn't buy our X, prior to the S .... you'd realize how you got off easy.
my better ½ wouldn't think of dropping her car ...
maybe the rear hatch & FWD's dropped on her head, one time too many.
:p
.
 
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