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

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Aug 10, 2017
Santa Clara, CA
I'm not sure if this is exactly what the ranger service is.

Basically over the last year or so Tesla has been gearing up to do a lot more house call type service. It's really the only way they can manage so many vehicles in certain regions.

But, there is a limit in terms of what they can do. It's not like they can do an alignment, but they can take care of quite a few things. As an example I complained about a squeaky seat (it rubbed against center console), and that was an easy thing for them to come out and fix.

More info on tesla rangers. Basically the nomenclature they used for their mobile service fleet.

Tesla updates service operations ahead of Model 3, expands ‘Ranger’ program for mobile repairs at owner’s home or office


Apr 16, 2017
San Diego, CA
Who do you contact at Tesla if you were considering a lemon law provision?

Speak to the manager at your local Service Center. They will have access to all of your service records (which you should have as well). They will also know who to contact internally in Tesla, and if your vehicle is in a condition to even warrant such discussions.

The Service Center manager should (and generally will) work with you and be your advocate in the process. That's been my experience.
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Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
What did they say when you asked them if they could pick up the car at your house or office?
Spending my time going back and forth to the Tesla service center was not something I had time for or enjoyed doing.


Feb 11, 2017
New York
Agreed! I know of no other manufacturer that doesn't allow buyers to see the car that they're buying. Too ridiculous. Maybe this was the "policy" of this specific Tesla location?
And Tesla isn’t one of these manufacturers either. Hell, they spent 30 minutes with my wife and me going over the car, inside and out, before they asked for a penny or a signature. This was at the Manhasset, NY location.

IMO the OP’s experience is far from the norm.
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S 100D 2021.4.18
Mar 8, 2015
And Tesla isn’t one of these manufacturers either. Hell, they spent 30 minutes with my wife and me going over the car, inside and out, before they asked for a penny or a signature. This was at the Manhasset, NY location.

IMO the OP’s experience is far from the norm.
This had been our experience as well. We've taken delivery of four Teslas over the past year and a half and they've always given us as much time as we needed to look over the car before they brought out the paperwork.


Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
This had been our experience as well. We've taken delivery of four Teslas over the past year and a half and they've always given us as much time as we needed to look over the car before they brought out the paperwork.

Side note: If you ever need a garage to store one of those--especially if it's before, say, April when I could conceivably have a Model 3--I'm close, and I've got a garage with 40A service. Just a thought. ;)

Re: handing over a check without seeing the vehicle first: not a chance. And not because it's Tesla--no chance of handing over a check that size to anyone, in any industry, without first inspecting the product. Sheesh, some of you are trusting.
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Active Member
Jul 8, 2014
Bloomingdale, GA
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.

I've gotten to the point where I now tell companies not to apologize to me when they screw up - just fix it. These companies have learned to apologize profusely, but basically do nothing to fix the issue or compensate the customer. So I always tell them not to apologize because that does absolutely NOTHING for me. It's just empty words - in an attempt to make me happy without actually doing anything. Thanks, but no thanks.


Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
Good lord. Look at everyone turning on this guy. It's like a cult with Tesla sometimes. Its a great car, but they definitely have room for improvement....especially with the service dept.

To be clear since I was the proximate poster: I think he had every right to sell the car and move on, and don't fault him for it.


Feb 4, 2015
Lincoln, NE
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.
Sir, spelling aside. I hope you are as picky when you work on my eyes.

Don't worry about the comments. If I were Tesla I would have enlisted you as an evaluator. I'd be interested in knowing which vehicle you replaced this one with. It seems most of the complaints could have been handled by a 'trained' technician and I don't really know what kind of training they have. But if I were Elon, I would investigate that service center and set them straight.
I am curious why you didn't get a P100D instead of the 75. You indicated that money was not an issue (envious) but I sure would have gone that route. So why didn't you? I sure don't have the resources you have but I would have tried for a 100D at least. The P would get me in trouble.
About spelling, there is an element of precision on these Tesla boards. And that's why we get a little picky from time to time. 'Lose' is when you don't win. And 'loose' is when you might win but it doesn't fit tightly. Like my loose armrest in my 2015 model S a couple of years ago. And really it's Tesla's loss and they lose a good customer.

But don't take it as a slam, just a clarification. And don't expect that anyone will give you a break .. as opposed to brake..anywhere on here! :)
I hope you'll stick around and let us know what kind of car you got. Or maybe get a new model S?
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Nov 30, 2017
I can't blame you. I traded an SUV after just 3 months due to an intermittent acceleration problem. It left me hanging I'm the middle of a turn through an intersection a few times, something that can get a family killed. Hyundai couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge the problem, so I traded with full disclosure for a Toyota Tundra, which never had an issue. The Toyota dealer figured the Hyundai just needed an update, but I couldn't live with a car I didn't trust.

I'm starting to get a bad feeling with the Tesla Model X we have on order since September. It has been built and is somewhere in the world, but communication is nearly non-existent. I was excited, but not getting an update in several weeks kinda sucks. I'm hoping I get a good Tesla, because I believe in the mission. We'll see if it's worth it.

Tesla should hire some experienced quality control type managers to straighten this stuff out.


Jan 10, 2013
Longview, Tx
Well darn. Sorry to hear about the issues. I was an early adopter and didn't have near that many problems. I wonder if that particular service center needs a new manager? I have dealt with Jack at the Dallas service center and the guy has been worth his weight in gold. I haven't had any issues in a couple of years. Early on, had some headaches which were quickly resolved. Keep Tesla in mind for a future purchase!


P85 VIN 693
May 23, 2012
Woodinville, WA
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)

Sorry to hear about your troubles! Good luck with your next car!



Oct 22, 2016
Los Gatos, California
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.

Even with the lemon law, you don't get a brand new car, just an equivalent used one. And 'equivalent' doesn't include emotional loss. So the $15K would still have been lost.


Aug 25, 2017
So my only question is Stan23 going to but another Tesla?;) BTW not a big deal but my molding has been noticeable off since day one and been back once so I could understand dumping it after all that crap even though every person may not agree with you. Speaking for myself I'm a poor poor blue collar worker and can be irrational so I probably would had been down there scaring every service person including the delivery team!:eek:
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Active Member
Sep 11, 2012
Burlington, Vermont
Stan, sorry to hear about your experience. I have owned two Model S cars in succession, a 2013 P85 and a 2016 90D. I noticed a substantial improvement in fit and finish in the 2016 version—with the notable exception of the paint, which had considerably more orange peel than the 2013 car. Both are pearl white. Apparently, the factory reconfigured the paint line. Newer cars I've seen at Tesla stores show that the paint issue has been resolved.

Otherwise, my 2016 Model S has been quite reliable over the past 18 months and 30K miles.

I believe that some buyers, especially those who've owned other high-end luxury sedans like the Porsche Panamera, come at the Model S with an expectation of a similar level of coachwork. It's just not going to be the same thing. The value in a Tesla is found in other parts of the car: its battery (the most expensive part of the car), the onboard computer (which is way beyond what's used in other luxury cars), and the digital power inverter (the part that makes the car feel so delightful under acceleration). The over-the-air upgradeability of the car's firmware, and thus its behavior, is an extraordinary feature that can't be found in any other car at any price. These are the features that will keep most Tesla owners from wandering to another car brand in the future.

All that said, there is a minimum standard of fit and finish that purchasers of a $100,000 car should come to expect. You would do Tesla a big favor by sending a description of your experience directly to the factory.


Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
Wantagh, NY
So I started reading this thread and got to about 2 1/2 pages. Decided to skip to page 7 here and it seems I have not missed a thing. :)
To the op: Thanks for the posting. I have had my S a year and a half now and only a few small issues. I love the car and accepted this before purchasing. My wife gets a Lexus every 3 years and for 12 years now we have never sent a car back for any issue. Granted , Lexus has a few years on Tesla. :) While I personally would have given it more time before taking a loss, I understand the frustration. Yours is not the first with QC issues, or even service center communication issues. I don't understand the vitriol to anyone criticizing Tesla
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