Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Why Tesla Will Fail

  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: GSP and MXWing


I can only guess you meant sarcasm in your post.

FWIW, Tesla does does do extremely well in Car Brands Ranked by Owner Satisfaction.
He was sarcastic! It is a trifle disingenuous to have such severe criticisms which seem to be so at odds with what most fo us find and which CR finds. I'm no fan of CR but on presenting their customers views of products they are the most reliable and valid (both as statistical, not colloquial, terms) source that exists in the US.


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Oct 13, 2016
He was sarcastic! It is a trifle disingenuous to have such severe criticisms which seem to be so at odds with what most fo us find and which CR finds. I'm no fan of CR but on presenting their customers views of products they are the most reliable and valid (both as statistical, not colloquial, terms) source that exists in the US.

Absolutely sarcastic. OP revealed that while Tesla isn't perfect/has room to improve, OP himself was fairly incompetent at getting his own issue resolved. I suspect the *majority* of people would have resolved it in a satisfactory fashion which would back up the satisfaction ratings from CR.

While I like the satisfaction ratings, I'm not a fan overall of CR on the vehicles - just because I don't think they have a deep enough level of understanding of Tesla's capabilities.

Example was downgrading the safety on the Model S because AP2 cars didn't have AEB working above a certain speed. Obviously, this would get addressed with OTA updates. The problem is when you commit words to paper or publish an article, it stays for the history books.

If you want to say you are not happy with the capabilities of the Bolt, thats fair play. That car isn't getting any updates to make it better than it was the day you got it.

And geez.. "reliability" means different things to different people. Wanting to be in a Model S/X if I were faced with a head on crash with an Escalade speaks volumes about "reliability".

Though overall sentiment is very high on Tesla. Study what the hot-crazy Matrix is all about, and Tesla's are as hot as it gets for automobiles.
For a variety of reasons, all thoroughly discussed on TMC, it's often useful to compare Apple to Tesla. I'm old enough to remember:
  • Years of Apple offering just a 90-day warranty on their computers. MacUser had a running graphic entitled "X years of insufficient warranty coverage," until Apple was shamed into increasing their warranty to one year.
  • Arrogant and unavailable Apple repair people. Who could repair your Mac? Only an authorized Apple dealer, of course, and they were, at least in my part of the world, overwhelmed, rude, expensive, and entitled.
  • Years of horribly named, horribly planned Mac models shotgunned at a confused public. (Quadra, Centris, etc. WTF?)
  • Mac clones that cannibalized Apple's own sales.
  • A 50% drop in Apple stock in a single day in the late 90's.
  • Common Mac viruses in the late 80's.
  • MacOS 7 that was so buggy that bombs and crashes were a daily occurrence.
  • And so on.
Many times during these painful years, watching Apple stepping on their tail over and over, it was tempting to believe that Apple was doomed. Overall, their vision and their products carried them through. This is no guarantee of Tesla's success, of course, but it's interesting in hindsight to remember just how confused, messed up, and arrogant Apple was at some of their darkest times.
I think Tesla is still trying to figure out it’s oveall service strategy (like its trying to figure out its supercharger strategy). With the model3 and more and more Tesla’s on the road the Tesla only service center approach will be bound to get overwhelmed and suffer.
The ICE car companies operating for over 100 years now have a great dealer and independent service market and owners of course have more choices, and this competition drives improvement (you suck you go out of business).
I think once we hit some critical mass of EVs and there is enough money to be made, independent service centers specializing in this will start popping up giving owners more choices of where to bring their car.
I see tesla’s strategy so far as being bold and putting a lot into getting the EV in a place where the average driver does not have to sacrifice much to be part of this revolution, but I don’t see them wanting to be the only shop in town or create a monopoly when it comes to charging station, or I hope, service.
  • Like
Reactions: navguy12
This is why Tesla will fail -- not this year, not next year, but in a few years. It's just one story, but unfortunately it's representative.

I don't hear many (actually, any) such service horror stories. My experience is just the opposite. I bought my first S in early 2013 and my second in December 2017. I have around 120k S miles. Service has been absolutely stellar.

I will say that those silly door handles, along with poor 12v batteries, have been a major irritation. As I've said many times, "I would pay extra to have simple reliable door handles". But, I certainly can't complain about service.

There does seem to be geographical variation. My local service center is in Austin Texas. I've received good service in Salt Lake City and poor service in Las Vegas.
  • Informative
Reactions: GSP
I am in Rochester, NY, and have dealt with Omar. I have had 2 service calls and they always had the parts and the techs were great.
The N.Y. service center has always been responsive. I am hoping that your experience was not typical.Tesla should certainly make it right. I understand why they need a central place to log in the service calls and order the parts, but the technicians may do a better job with an assistant that reports to a regional manager.

This is why Tesla will fail -- not this year, not next year, but in a few years. It's just one story, but unfortunately it's representative.

Mid-december, the latch fails shut on my rear right door. I call up the service center I've been using to tell them that the latch is stuck shut (can't be opened from the inside or outside). They tell me that top management at Tesla (aka idiots) have told them they can't service my area any more and that I have to be directed to the "New York Mobile Service Team".

Now, there's no upstate NY service center. This is because Tesla top management (aka idiots) have *chosen* not to build one. It is legal for them to build one -- there is a limit on the number of stores, but no limit on the number of service centers. They are lying about this to their technicians, incidentally.

So, the service center I've been using refuses to make an appointment and says the NY mobile service team will call me. They refuse to give me the phone number for the NY mobile service team. They say they'll report my problem and order the part to be delivered to the NY mobile service team. I emphasize that it's the *latch*.

The NY mobile service team doesn't call me back after several weeks. I call the service center again and yell at them. This time I manage to get a phone number for the NY mobile service team. I call them. They say "our computer system says we tried to call you". They never tried to call me -- their computer system is lying. They say the parts came in a week ago (but they never bothered to call me....) I tell them *again* (since it's different people) that the problem is that the *latch* is stuck and ask them to make sure they have ordered the parts for the latch. "Omar" assures me that they have the parts for the latch. At this point, about four weeks after I first called, I am finally able to make an appointment. There is then a further delay because my schedule doesn't allow for an appointment in the next week (but would have in the earlier weeks which Tesla wasted).

Come today, the service tech shows up. He doesn't have the parts for the latch, because nobody ever wrote down that they were supposed to get the parts for the latch. Complete waste of time. I yell at the NY mobile service team guy (Omar), who lied to me, who now claims that the order regarding the stuck latch was never entered in his computer. I ask and he won't give me his manager's number. Or the number of the idiot in top management who ordered that we get all our mobile service through this idiot division. He says he'll talk to his manager -- we'll see.

This is par for the course with Tesla service. I have been dealing with this crap for five years, and it gets worse and worse every time. Meanwhile, the software team breaks basic functionality in updates (such as USB music playback).

This is going to kill the company. Not now, but as soon as there are other decent electric cars on the market -- ones where you can go to *independent service shops*.

They've had five years to fix this sort of crap and they've only made it worse. My advice to investors at this point is to hold on now, but dump the stock before 2020 if they don't fix the chronic and ever-worsening service problems.

It's not the bottom-line technicians. They're all fine. It's top management failure. There's no internal communications: information does not get passed from one person to another, and any one person who screws up the information ruins everything. The only way to get good service is to talk directly to the service tech who is going to do the work on your car. The only way to get a software bug fixed is to find the programmer who is responsible for fixing it. And Tesla does their best to *prevent* you from talking to the people you need to talk to.
  • Informative
Reactions: EinSV
After being a Tesla follower for years and now having owned the Model X for 1.5 months, I have to agree with much of this thread. It's time for Tesla to focus on quality.

I've had 4 significantly issues with this new car in the short time I've owned it. Only 2 of those have been fixed so far. It's disappointing to know that this will start festering inside of the company.

If the high rate of quality and service issues are left unaddressed, the word could blow up on social media and in the news. As mentioned, this could affect brand confidence. In my case I know it already has negatively affected the opinion for myself, my friends, family, and co-workers.

I believe in Tesla's mission, and I'm glad they forced the hand for every other auto manufacturer. I look forward to seeing other car manufacturers introducing other EVs. This will give folks cheaper and higher quality options.

As for the Apple comparison, I look forward to the Dell and clone growth.
  • Like
Reactions: navguy12

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.