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

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comanchepilot

Member
Oct 3, 2017
404
324
SoCal - EAST
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.
No one is ever going to reach 100% - even Benz/Porsche/Audi buy back lemons.

I don't expect 100% - but in our case, with the snapped off light trim and the dirty finger and shoe prints- you don't want to ensure self-inflicted wounds.
 

sub

Active Member
May 24, 2013
1,480
2,431
Sonora California
You would think that after 8 new cars in 5 years someone would realize that number 9 isn't going to fill the empty hole inside.

I get the feeling they the op gets bored quickly and having knowledge of tesla's qc issues simply used that as justification to move onto the next one. I'm not implying the issues stated didn't exist, but you would think having been on the forums before buying the car that the op would have already decided that the qc issues were acceptable.

I've never looked at panel gaps, no idea of the quality of my BMW or landcruiser. I pick up a new X this Saturday and I expect some minor issues, I also trust Tesla to fix them.

We see a small percentage of people complaining about these things, happens with everything in life. Some of these people can't be satisfied, ever. Better for Tesla that they move on.

I use to run into these type of people as patients, I typically referred them to other doctors in order to avoid being the next doctor on their list that they went around town trashing.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
You would think that after 8 new cars in 5 years someone would realize that number 9 isn't going to fill the empty hole inside.

I get the feeling they the op gets bored quickly and having knowledge of tesla's qc issues simply used that as justification to move onto the next one. I'm not implying the issues stated didn't exist, but you would think having been on the forums before buying the car that the op would have already decided that the qc issues were acceptable.

I've never looked at panel gaps, no idea of the quality of my BMW or landcruiser. I pick up a new X this Saturday and I expect some minor issues, I also trust Tesla to fix them.

We see a small percentage of people complaining about these things, happens with everything in life. Some of these people can't be satisfied, ever. Better for Tesla that they move on.

I use to run into these type of people as patients, I typically referred them to other doctors in order to avoid being the next doctor on their list that they went around town trashing.

Well, you could not be more wrong. Some of the new cars purchased were for family members. Like I said, im a car enthusiast, and we like to keep a stable of cars. I didn't buy 8 cars one after another only for myself. Again, people like to interpret what I post in order to belittle others. Its a forum. I expect that. I'm also a research freak and spent a good month doing research before taking delivery of the car. As stated, I really liked the Tesla and the driving dynamics are second to none. I too, expected the service center to "take care of my issues" not cause new ones where I had to come back so often. The first strike for me is having issues with car at delivery. Second strike is the service center not fixing said issues after multiple visits. Third strike is them causing more issues. The service center is well aware of my frustration and the fact that they have failed me. All they did was apologize. If I was one of those "never satisfied" people, why have I not had any other new car taken in for warranty work?

At first, I tried hard to overlook the issues. I didn't even mention the water getting in the little front triangle window issue until later because it did indeed sound petty. But everytime I washed the car, my interior door panel was dripping with water. I had to convince myself to mention it because that can't possibly be normal. I've chalked up to my alignment issue as just a quirk, since they were not able to get it right. The first time they aligned it day after delivery, they said it was way off spec--everything in red--even showed me the paper. I drove it and it was the same. They blamed it on the crowning of the roads, but decided to align again. They said whomever did the first alignment was off, and they will redo. I drove it with no difference. That's when they just straight up said, all teslas pull to the right. And the only way they can make my car drive straight is if the go "out of spec" they said to maintain warranty, I had to go to the maximum limit of specs and I should see an improvement. It was better, but still pulled. I again just chalked it up to my Tesla experience.

That said, I'm sure most of you are more patient than I am--i wish I was more like that! I know my experience is not the norm, and I hope to see the company succeed so I can perhaps look into a redesigned S in the future.
 
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cbdream99

Member
Apr 8, 2017
130
94
DFW
Of the 13 vehicles I owned before, only 5 of them is truly trouble free throughout entire ownership and Tesla is not one of them. I can empathize with the OP. Yes, it's frustrating when you paid 100K and have to keep going back to the service center. I drove loaners more than my car in the first month ( even the first hour! ), I am glad all the issues are resolved and now close to 10K now without any major issue.. some rattles here and there just started to show up.

Someone may be more tolerant than the others and don't want to continue to bet on it, that's fine.

For me my concerns are years down the road; putting cost aside, will I have to wait several months for parts to fix certain issues ? Will other electronic parts have a short mean time between failure ? No one can tell what will happen to Tesla years down the road, but I hope Tesla has the will to improve on QC and service.
 

TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
271
365
Boise, ID
No one is ever going to reach 100% - even Benz/Porsche/Audi buy back lemons.

I don't expect 100% - but in our case, with the snapped off light trim and the dirty finger and shoe prints- you don't want to ensure self-inflicted wounds.
Yes, but 100% is the goal. Or maybe 5 nines. I get your point though.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Of the 13 vehicles I owned before, only 5 of them is truly trouble free throughout entire ownership and Tesla is not one of them. I can empathize with the OP. Yes, it's frustrating when you paid 100K and have to keep going back to the service center. I drove loaners more than my car in the first month ( even the first hour! ), I am glad all the issues are resolved and now close to 10K now without any major issue.. some rattles here and there just started to show up.

Someone may be more tolerant than the others and don't want to continue to bet on it, that's fine.

For me my concerns are years down the road; putting cost aside, will I have to wait several months for parts to fix certain issues ? Will other electronic parts have a short mean time between failure ? No one can tell what will happen to Tesla years down the road, but I hope Tesla has the will to improve on QC and service.

The one thing I really really liked about the Tesla is it's simplicity. The drive train for example. Something like 3 moving parts for the RWD version. I was blown away at how modular the car was when I saw all the parts laid out at the factory tour. Everything was made to remove and replace as needed. Except for body panels, of course. But then of course they offset that simplicity with the problematic retractable door handles. ;)

I'd like to think that 90% of the issues I had would have been caught at the factory. I heard that panel gaps and paint quality is paramount and of high importance in the final check. I honestly can't see how they can say that when my hood was obviously not centered. Also not fixable since if they move the hood over, the bumper alignment will be off. The service center suggested I just live with it (I did) but if pressed, they could possibly have a body shop remove and replace the fender and repaint (they believe the fender is the offending part)

If they drove my car prior, they would have noticed the steering wheel buttons, and seat buttons weren't working. They would have caught that the car didn't drive straight. All very little things to check and fix, and it would have been a completely different Tesla experience for me.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
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.

No apologies needed. I didn't pursue a buyback or lemon law because all my issues were minor. In 1800 miles, the car never left me stranded, always started, and worked correctly as an automobile.

I'm not the kind of person to cry lemon at any given chance or to take advantage of any incentives because of remorse. I felt it was my problem, and just plain bad luck that so many minor issues cropped up so quickly after taking delivery. Again, Tesla is very smooth in keeping your car away from their service center for any length of time.. I know they keep very good tabs at how many 'overnight' visits your car has.
 
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Mark Z

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,842
1,301
North Orange County
...Random spots in the paint where it was dull...
Thank you Stan for a well written OP. After owning 3 Teslas over 5 years, my list would be a lot longer, but I love the Model S EV capability more than ongoing issues. Some minor flaws are built into the vehicle, like a minor front end paint defect that my detailer showed me on several vehicles in his shop that were caused by the plastic molding process. One loose driver door trim is the same on my 2012 and 2017. Some of the quality issues are considered normal and some are fixable or preventable.

I selected "Random spots in the paint where it was dull" as an example of preventable. The only way I know to prevent the spots is to have a detailer apply something to prevent dulling due to bird droppings. The clear coat won't stand up to the dulling on its own unless you are cleaning off small yellow spots immediately. I'm sure that some areas of the world are different and it doesn't occur. In my area it happens and I chose not spend thousands on clear bra or other protective measures. It's livable and only noticeable when examining closely with the light just right. Paint correction by a detailer can solve many flaws from the factory or from daily use, it just depends how much time and effort is applied. With the 2017 90D, I chose to not be a slave to paint perfection and enjoy the Model S with an occasional wash before special occasions and when Tesla owners gather to enjoy great conversation, food and travel.
 
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MIT_S60

Active Member
Nov 23, 2016
1,044
881
Orange County, CA
[...]
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.
From my experience, Tesla never emailed me any copies of the repair orders from my post-delivery quality issues (even though I repeatedly asked for it), but I know my email works since I later on received the email from the regular paid service for the annual inspection later on.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Thank you Stan for a well written OP. After owning 3 Teslas over 5 years, my list would be a lot longer, but I love the Model S EV capability more than ongoing issues. Some minor flaws are built into the vehicle, like a visual defect that my detailer showed me on several vehicles in his shop that were caused by the stamping process. One loose driver door trim is the same on my 2012 and 2017. Some of the quality issues are considered normal and some are fixable or preventable.

I selected "Random spots in the paint where it was dull" as an example of preventable. The only way I know to prevent the spots is to have a detailer apply something to prevent dulling due to bird droppings. The clear coat won't stand up to the dulling on its own unless you are cleaning off those spots immediately. I'm sure that some areas of the world are different and it doesn't occur. In my area it happens and I chose not spend thousands on clear bra or other protective measures. It's livable and only noticeable when examining closely with the light just right. Paint correction by a detailer can solve many flaws from the factory or from daily use, it just depends how much time and effort is applied. With the 2017 90D, I chose to not be a slave to paint perfection and enjoy the Model S with an occasional wash before special occasions and when Tesla owners gather to enjoy great conversation, food and travel.

Thank you for your post. I can see that you are a very patient man. I wish I had more of that quality.

When I was jotting down the list of issues I encountered, I expected some lashing due to the seemingly 'pickiness' of my issues. Issues that would make me seem OCD, and never happy. I guess I didn't need to feel to expand on them since I didn't want to write out a longer post than I needed to.

But i'll take the dull spots as an example of how Tesla failed me.

When I took delivery of my car, It was in their new indoor showroom in Fremont. They were in mid construction. It was a bit dark, and I noticed immediately the car was pretty dirty. I'm pretty sure it was not washed or wiped down from initial assembly. I'm OK with that.

I washed the car when I got home, and noticed some dull spots on the paint. I tried to wax, clay, but they didn't come out. It was near the roof. 3 or so spots, about a half dollar size each spot.

When I had my first service stop, I mentioned this to the SA to see if they can do anything about it. They were actually very concerned, and even took pictures of the spots so they can improve their QA. They had circled the spots where the dull spots were with a wax pen, and in my repair order, it was specifically mentioned to have their outside detailer fix the spots.

When I got my car back the next day, they went through the repair order with me, and they mentioned they had the car detailed only. No special attention paid to the dull spots. I went to the car with the SA, and just like the day before, the spots were there and not looked at. He again, took pictures of the spots and was apologetic -- that there was a miscommunication. He said they do not have the ability to fix this right now, and for me to come back at a later date. I had to make another appointment to come back to have them fix this trivial issue.

So for that issue alone, it took 2 visits to the service center.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
From my experience, Tesla never emailed me any copies of the repair orders from my post-delivery quality issues (even though I repeatedly asked for it), but I know my email works since I later on received the email from the regular paid service for the annual inspection later on.

It does seem very strange. Every time I drop off the car with my list of issues, they would write up the repair order for me to sign. I am never given a copy of said repair order. Even after picking up the car, they would say that they will email me a copy. I never got them. They blamed it on my spam box, but yet i've gotten other emails from their service center, and my gmail spam box is empty with nothing Tesla related. This is a direct violation of CA State bureau of automotive repair. Almost like magic, when I mentioned how I think this may be a violation of BAR, copies of my repair order magically came into my inbox within the hour.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
I also forgot to mention this tidbit.

Like many of you, i'm pretty busy guy. Spending my time going back and forth to the Tesla service center was not something I had time for or enjoyed doing.

I recall when I was thinking of selling the car, one thing (albeit trivial) was that when I ordered the car, it was sold with adaptive headlights. I didn't even think about this until the 7 or so visit, and after meeting/speaking to another owner at the service department, that my car should have had them.

I asked my SA about this, he looked up the VIN and said, yes. You were supposed to get adaptive headlights. For one reason or another, they didn't install them from the factory. Probably a shortage of parts he said. We will call you and let you know when to bring your car back in for retrofit.

That kind of did it for me. After bringing back the car in for so many times.. I had to bring it in yet again, for something they didn't install at the factory for whatever reasons.
 
Mar 25, 2013
622
557
Key West, FL
I also forgot to mention this tidbit.

Like many of you, i'm pretty busy guy. Spending my time going back and forth to the Tesla service center was not something I had time for or enjoyed doing.

I recall when I was thinking of selling the car, one thing (albeit trivial) was that when I ordered the car, it was sold with adaptive headlights. I didn't even think about this until the 7 or so visit, and after meeting/speaking to another owner at the service department, that my car should have had them.

I asked my SA about this, he looked up the VIN and said, yes. You were supposed to get adaptive headlights. For one reason or another, they didn't install them from the factory. Probably a shortage of parts he said. We will call you and let you know when to bring your car back in for retrofit.

That kind of did it for me. After bringing back the car in for so many times.. I had to bring it in yet again, for something they didn't install at the factory for whatever reasons.

That, right there, is 100% inexcusable!! So Tesla just let it go? What if you hadn't brought it up? WTF. And you already had a legitimate beef with your long list of issues.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
That, right there, is 100% inexcusable!! So Tesla just let it go? What if you hadn't brought it up? WTF. And you already had a legitimate beef with your long list of issues.

I would think that if I didn't bring it up with them, they would have just done nothing. Getting wrong headlights didn't bother me so much as the fact that I have to bring the car back in... again... I had some Xpel wrap on my car--including headlights, and they said I would have to get them re-done on my own dime. Again, trivial since re-wrapping the headlights would have been a hundred bucks or so, but again. Time involved in going to the xpel shop...
 
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ACA Man

Member
Jul 19, 2017
714
489
Rancho Cucamonga
I would think that if I didn't bring it up with them, they would have just done nothing. Getting wrong headlights didn't bother me so much as the fact that I have to bring the car back in... again... I had some Xpel wrap on my car--including headlights, and they said I would have to get them re-done on my own dime. Again, trivial since re-wrapping the headlights would have been a hundred bucks or so, but again. Time involved in going to the xpel shop...

Time is money so why should anyone, after spending a lot of money for the car, had to keep going back and forth to have it fixed.

Furthermore, I can’t comprehend the fact that some people think they know the reason and/or intention of anyone who does not have anything positive to say about Tesla?

The expressioon...If you got nothing good to say....rings true! AMAZING.
 

ACA Man

Member
Jul 19, 2017
714
489
Rancho Cucamonga
It does seem very strange. Every time I drop off the car with my list of issues, they would write up the repair order for me to sign. I am never given a copy of said repair order. Even after picking up the car, they would say that they will email me a copy. I never got them. They blamed it on my spam box, but yet i've gotten other emails from their service center, and my gmail spam box is empty with nothing Tesla related. This is a direct violation of CA State bureau of automotive repair. Almost like magic, when I mentioned how I think this may be a violation of BAR, copies of my repair order magically came into my inbox within the hour.

Lesson learned.

Next time, pull out your phone and take a picture of the work order.
I have read about this practice elsewhere, something akin to the work order didn’t reflect 100% of what the customers reported.

This comes at a right time sine I am having an appointment this Saturday to have outstanding issues both pre & post delivery fixed.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Mark Z

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,842
1,301
North Orange County
I tried to wax, clay, but they didn't come out. It was near the roof. 3 or so spots, about a half dollar size each spot.
I had several on an early Model X. The entire hood needed a fine sanding of the clear coat due to some extra pinpoint specks of clear coat that hit the finish. Some defects require professional paint correction for the clear bra to lay perfectly flat without imperfections. Those were all corrected at my expense, since I didn't want Tesla to repaint the vehicle at an auto body shop (their solution). The extra money spent was worth it, because original Signature Red paint deserved the best result. Everyone loved examining and feeling the final finish. Each owner must choose what level of quality they want and be willing to either except what Tesla can correct or seek the ultimate in car finishes by handing the vehicle over to the finest in the industry. Glistening Perfection
 
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thinklabinc

Member
Jun 26, 2016
79
20
USA Northeast
I had several on an early Model X. The entire hood needed a fine sanding of the clear coat due to some extra pinpoint specks of clear coat that hit the finish. Some defects require professional paint correction for the clear bra to lay perfectly flat without imperfections. Those were all corrected at my expense, since I didn't want Tesla to repaint the vehicle at an auto body shop (their solution). The extra money spent was worth it, because original Signature Red paint deserved the best result. Everyone loved examining and feeling the final finish. Each owner must choose what level of quality they want and be willing to either except what Tesla can correct or seek the ultimate in car finishes by handing the vehicle over to the finest in the industry. Glistening Perfection
Agreed.

I had similar issues to what has been mentioned in this post and that would typically have driven me crazy.....But I believe Tesla ownership is part of being an early adopter. That includes paying a premium and possibly having issues that otherwise would not be acceptable. In whole, knowing that I'm on the tail end of the early adopter's curve, I'm absolutely happy with my decision and car.
 

Sawyer8888

Member
Mar 16, 2017
422
421
South Florida
You were supposed to get adaptive headlights.

I remember reading about this issue a few months ago. In my experience, members on the forum are informed much faster than Tesla employees.


I had some Xpel wrap on my car--including headlights, and they said I would have to get them re-done on my own dime.

Amazing. It is obvious that some service centers operate quite differently from one another.

When I brought my car in to correct an issue with panel alignment, my SC advised that they would reimburse me for any Xpel that would need to be replaced as a result of their work. Fortunately no Xpel needed to be redone, however a sheet of Photosync tint needed to be reapplied - the windshield was damaged during the operation, which they said could happen. My SC advised they would reimburse me for the tint - no hesitation. It's been a few weeks, I better check on the status of that reimbursement.​
 
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