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

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ddmcneill

Member
Nov 17, 2017
5
0
Atlanta Ga
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)

I owned 2 BWM 750LI now I own a Model S P85, it's the best car I ever purchased period. I would have ask for a new one.
 

Soff

Member
Apr 20, 2016
6
4
Santa Barbara, CA
It was Santa Clara. It is entirely possible that my car would have been better at a different service location....

Hi Stan,

I'm a fellow motorcyclist, enthusiast and current Model S owner. Once I get more posts, I'll update my profile pic to one of my wheelie photos :)

My story is that I had a floor model delivered at the Burbank service center last year, and the experience was amazing. The guys gave me the car for a weekend, without me having put a deposit on it yet. I already had an older Model S, and was thinking about upgrading. After the weekend away I was determined to upgrade, and I made it happen.

My 2013 Model S had a bunch of issues like my center console computer dying on a long road trip (no touch screen controls at all!), a humming rear bearing on the RWD motor, a contactor failure that shut the car down, and a few other minor issues. All were resolved by the Van Nuys service center under Fernando who is excellent.

I'm sorry to hear about your bad service experience and not having your issues resolved. At the end of the day, it depends on the person/people working on your car and their attention to detail.

Tesla should ensure a high quality of service/protocol followed but that hasn't been my experience all the time and it has varied depending on the service center I visited, and down to the person managing the work order.

I had an issue with a creaky noise coming from the front end of my 2016 Model S for a few months, and Van Nuys service center under a different manager couldn't resolve it after a couple times of working on it.

There was a lot of back and forth until I took it to Santa Barbara where they did a thorough investigation and found an issue with a suspension part, which they replaced and magically fixed it Hooray!

I had a faulty parking sensor in my rear bumper and Tesla Santa Barbara removed the bumper to refit it. Alas, they did not realign the bumper properly, and it looked like they missed a few tabs holding it on.

I took it to an authorized paint shop and they were able to align the bumper better than the service center.

It's probably worth checkout out other service areas to see if you can find someone that will give you better customer service experience. You should tell them what happened, and perhaps they will give you a better deal on your next car if you give them another chance in the future.

I wish you the best of luck!
 

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avesraggiana

Member
Jan 25, 2017
449
307
Chula Vista CA
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.


Wow, you must have been a treat to raise.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
It's a bummer that you weren't able to reach a good outcome with Tesla, but it sounds like for removing your aggravation and Tesla's inability to fix the issues, the $15k was worth it to you to get rid of the vehicle, so you reached an acceptable solution for your specific trade-offs.

As someone who could also afford to write off $15k easily, I decided instead to have Tesla replace the vehicle to address the screwups, which they did. The upside is that I got the July speedboost in the new vehicle. The downside was the endless followups, slow action, and apparent total disconnect within Tesla. It's highly apparent they really do not deeply understand operations, discipline, and effective management. Or automotive related laws in California, for that matter. I still ended up losing thousands of dollars, and the new vehicle had another set of issues with build quality. For anyone who enjoys sporty european cars (I too have owned late model BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes in the last couple years), the lack of refinement or par quality is immediately evident.

ALL that said, in the balance between love/hate which many seem to have, I'm firmly in the love camp. All of the employees in the SC have been kind and accommodating. The car is a pleasure to drive (though as Stan noted, it does not handle like a real sports car), and the tech is years ahead of the competition. It's the future of driving. I've convinced a wealthy friend of mine to buy one, and am working on my father and other family members. Yes, Tesla is quite flawed, but they're still by far the best and I would buy again tomorrow. I am hopeful they will improve their QC, and I give them some leeway for being a new car company and needing to learn how to perfect their manufacturing.

I believe the biggest existential threat is inability to rapidly address manufacturing issues and unblock production of M3, potentially causing a cash crisis in 2018. Manufacturing and process control are hard. I think the QC issues will not sink the company; they are an annoyance and will only affect volume and margins/profitability.

Thank you for your post. I love that although we probably shared some of the same frustration, you went the other direction with your ownership. I wish I had more patience.

I have zero experience in the car industry, and/or manufacturing, but IMO, i'd start with a top down approach. Tesla themselves has already stated many times that they make many engineering changes per week. That leads me to believe they have the ability to quickly adjust changes and 'fix' things inline.

The build process needs to be improved. I agree that if fit tolerances are tight, and the person assembling the car doesn't have much room to work with and is pressured to be as quick as possible, sloppy assembly can occur. I took the factory tour, and while they only want to show you the rosy side of assembly, a lot of the assembly is done by hand.

The final QA check needs to be improved. The only reason why I think a lot of cars slipped with obvious issues is that they just want to fix them after the fact. Having a hood fitted correctly should easily be caught prior to the customer seeing the car. I've seen German auto makers go through a car with a body gap tool to make sure they are in tolerance. I understand to some, they don't care about that, and driving dynamics is most important. There are people out there who do indeed value a well built vehicle.

The biggest issue they need to improve on is having uniform service quality for everyone. Just reading this one thread alone and you can see how different service experiences can be. I believe I got the worse of the worse, and another person gets white glove ranger treatment. I don't need a ranger to come out to my house and offer me beverages while they fix my car, but rather the ability to know wherever I take my car to, I should expect the same level of knowledge, and expertise to fix the car.

Some have suggested that I did not do Tesla service by NOT visiting other service centers. At the time, all the initial comebacks were done at my particular service center. I gave them a chance to 'make things right' so to speak. My time is limited, and I didn't want to open a new can of worms by shopping around for a new service center. A mistake I will admit in making. It may have swayed me into the staying with Tesla camp. Who knows.
 
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stan23

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

I could be completely wrong, but it seems each Tesla showroom/delivery center has a different way of sales/service delivery depending on your region.

Here in the SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley. They don't need to 'sell' us the cars. They sell a lot of Tesla's here. The delivery center in Fremont has a different attitude -- at least with me, and others who have taken delivery there. They know you're going to buy the car. They don't need to coax you into giving them money. The new Fremont delivery center is built to have as many deliveries done in a day as possible. I was directly told that by my delivery guy.
 

Buddyroe

Active Member
Jul 8, 2014
1,072
1,004
Bloomingdale, GA
Wow, you must have been a treat to raise.

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."
 

Sawyer8888

Member
Mar 16, 2017
422
421
South Florida
Well this is a Tesla Owners forum, not a forum to complain and bash the brand we love so much. Im sure there are other websites and forums to bitch and complain until youre blue.

Why after 8years has this website turned into an anti-Tesla forum, where we share info on how to cheat the company we are supporting?

Your comment tells me you likely read the title of this thread and maybe a few posts, but you missed one the main points.

This is not a Tesla-bashing thread. The OP shared his experience in part to help improve the company and the experience for other Tesla owners in the future.

As far as I know, this forum is about sharing all-things Tesla - the good and the bad and everything in between.

By staying silent and accepting the shortcomings of Tesla, positive change will not take place as soon as it otherwise could.
 
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stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Your comment tells me you likely read the title of this thread and maybe a few posts, but you missed one the main points.

This is not Tesla-bashing thread. The OP shared his experience in part to help improve the company and the experience for other Tesla owners in the future.

As far as I know, this forum is about sharing all-things Tesla - the good and the bad and everything in between.

By staying silent and accepting the shortcomings of Tesla, positive change will not take place as soon as it otherwise could.

Thank you for being a reasoning voice. I tend to stay away from replying to those posts. I figure, if one does not take the time to read and digest the information before commenting so incorrectly, it's not worth my time to reply.

If I sound like i'm bitching at Tesla, that's not quite the message I was trying to come across. I am/was a customer. The product didn't work for me described in detail, and I decided to move on. No harm no foul. I've said many times, that I believe in the company and it's future. I am absolutely over the top happy that a small American company with a vision for the future has been able to accomplish so much in so little time, enough to shake the auto industry as a whole. I live for progress--I work in high tech.

I also know that w/o customer feedback, there cannot be improvement. Imagine if everyone collectively said XXXXX FW is really good and we are all happy and no other changes should be made. Tesla has always said that their products are in constant progress and never remain stagnant. I believe that should apply to the product, as well as the service.
 

ram1901

Member
Feb 8, 2017
65
60
Delaware
Does Tesla have known communication problems between customers and service and corporate? Yes
Does Tesla have sporadic service departments that fail to live up to a customers high expectations? Yes
Do ICE companies and dealers have the same problems? Yes
Is it frustrating when a service center (ICE or TESLA) fails to fix something over and over again? Yes

Tesla would love to hiring only PERFECT people but (the more folks they hire)
Tesla service is NOT immune to the hiring of people who do not buy in to the company culture and so they
will hire techs and former service writers that were probably let go by ICE dealer service departments leaving
Tesla owners at their mercy. I suspect, this is why the service experience varies from service center to service
center and region to region.

The truth is, it's a pleasant SURPRISE, based on my many decades of car ownership, when I have a good service
experience whether with my wife's ICE or my Model S. It's a rare joy! It appears this owner lived in an area
with multiple services centers and so one wonders why he didn't try a different center?

My cynical nature kicks in when I see a post like this one because it seems we see at least one of these
pile-on lists of mostly cosmetic complaints (with a few tech items added to make it seem like a legit complaint) every few months;
not because every Tesla leaving the factory has these problems, but because some folks have expectations and a level of patients
that are, IMHO, unrealistic.

If there is one thing life experience teaches us, it is that: -the grass is NOT always greener on the other side-.
 

stan23

Member
Aug 10, 2017
352
393
Santa Clara, CA
Does Tesla have known communication problems between customers and service and corporate? Yes
Does Tesla have sporadic service departments that fail to live up to a customers high expectations? Yes
Do ICE companies and dealers have the same problems? Yes
Is it frustrating when a service center (ICE or TESLA) fails to fix something over and over again? Yes

Tesla would love to hiring only PERFECT people but (the more folks they hire)
Tesla service is NOT immune to the hiring of people who do not buy in to the company culture and so they
will hire techs and former service writers that were probably let go by ICE dealer service departments leaving
Tesla owners at their mercy. I suspect, this is why the service experience varies from service center to service
center and region to region.

The truth is, it's a pleasant SURPRISE, based on my many decades of car ownership, when I have a good service
experience whether with my wife's ICE or my Model S. It's a rare joy! It appears this owner lived in an area
with multiple services centers and so one wonders why he didn't try a different center?

My cynical nature kicks in when I see a post like this one because it seems we see at least one of these
pile-on lists of mostly cosmetic complaints (with a few tech items added to make it seem like a legit complaint) every few months;
not because every Tesla leaving the factory has these problems, but because some folks have expectations and a level of patients
that are, IMHO, unrealistic.

If there is one thing life experience teaches us, it is that: -the grass is NOT always greener on the other side-.

Something tells me you didn't read my posts.

Again, I implore you to read the whole thread and not just pick and choose what you want to hear.

If you believe this is 'pile-on lists' of complaints and ranting about Tesla thread, then I can't help you. Please move on, and have a great day. I'll add you to the list of folks who think i'm trying to short TSLA camp.
 

ACA Man

Member
Jul 19, 2017
714
489
Rancho Cucamonga
Your comment tells me you likely read the title of this thread and maybe a few posts, but you missed one the main points.

This is not a Tesla-bashing thread. The OP shared his experience in part to help improve the company and the experience for other Tesla owners in the future.

As far as I know, this forum is about sharing all-things Tesla - the good and the bad and everything in between.

By staying silent and accepting the shortcomings of Tesla, positive change will not take place as soon as it otherwise could.

EXACTLY!
 

Doug Archer

New Member
May 21, 2014
4
6
Los Angeles
Man, that's bad luck. I mean REALLY bad luck. Maybe try again?? I've had 2 Model S' now. Both have been fantastic with almost no issues, other than a door handle issue on the first one and a rattle above the steering area on the second one. That's too bad you're missing out on an amazing car. I can't imagine going with any other kind of gas car that you probably chose :(
 

Texas

Member
May 19, 2015
138
174
Houston, Texas
My 2015 P85D has been a great car, but there will always be some chronic problem vehicles like the one this buyer got stuck with. The most dramatic dissatisfied owner I know about is on YouTube, where the South Korean man who owned the car systematially destroys his then-new Mercedes S 63 AMG with a golf iron--in front of the Mercedes dealership. Apparently they refused his request to recall his car for an engine problem.
. The MSRP of the current S 63 AMG starts at a cool $147,000
 

Lakewood305

Member
Sep 25, 2017
8
0
Wrightsville Beach NC
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
 
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