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Would you buy another Tesla?

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by gubes, Nov 27, 2016.

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  1. gubes

    gubes Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I raise this question to get a gauge with the level of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction levels are typically high in North America, but I have a suspicion it may be much lower in Hong Kong due to service issues. Service issues matter more for a Tesla compared to other cars, due to the build quality.

    So let me start with my answer: NO.

    Would I buy another electric car? YES, ABSOLUTELY. But not a Tesla. If there was a German vehicle with comparable range and performance, I would go German in a heartbeat.

    Ultimately it comes down to poor build quality, and lack of servicing infrastructure in Hong Kong. If the latter was excellent, it may make me reconsider the verdict.

    I have owned my S70D for just over a year and I will list all of the problems I have had:

    1) Countless headliner noise issues. (had to take it in 3-4 times and now I have rediscovered new noises over the weekend). The car should be silent - which makes interior noises all the more annoying.

    2) Car Panel fit is poor with big gaps. Take a close look at your Tesla and look at the alignment of the doors (in my case the front door sill looks lower than the rear door). Compare the fit and finish to an equivalent Mercedes or BMW and you can tell there is a difference. There is also a large gap between the bonnet and the rest of the body. My car is not the only one - I have inspected many other Teslas.

    3) Interior fit is poor. My glove box squeeks when I rest my leg against it, the healiner does not look solid (moves around too much when I touch it). Rear seats are too firm - although that is not really a build quality issue.

    4) Had issues with the charging port not opening (was a problem in the beginning although seems to have corrected itself).

    5) Had to have the rear door handle replaced as the motor was faulty and needed to be replaced.

    6) Wiper blades needed replacing due to excessive noise.

    7) Electric window on driver side makes noise after it rains. Service guys told me that is normal - but then why only the driver's one?

    8) Mobile app doesn't always find my car (this is relatively minor compared to other issues).

    9) Brakes make noise.

    10) Other small trivial things (like having to replace interior light bulbs etc).

    For a car that is just over 1 year old - this is intolerable especially for a car that costs close to US$100,000.

    ---

    Finally, it comes to service. I go through hell every time. Can take up to a week between when the car is taken and when they even start looking at it - due to issues with capacity. The new service center should be opening soon which would help the issue. However, they are getting more stingy on loaner cars. I have had to take my car in 4-5 times and need to do it again. That is 1 time every 2 months in my case. This is clearly unacceptable.

    This is an immense shame. If the car was built properly, I would love it - driving the car would be quite enjoyable due to the powertrain and general drive. The electric drivetrain is by far the best thing about the car and soon others who know how to build cars properly will offer the same thing - the Tesla supercharger network is becoming less of a selling point given the difficulty in finding one that is not occupied.

    I have had people ask me whether they should buy a Model X. Judging from the issues I have had with the Model S (which in comparison is a much simpler vehicle) - I simply cannot recommend another Tesla, especially the X due the complexity of the doors etc - there have already been well documented issues experienced in North America regarding its build quality. Tesla should get its priorities straight - the X would sell purely because of its electric drive train, performance and space efficiency. Nobody buys one for the doors or the self opening handles etc - all that does is cause problems and turn people off.

    Interested in your thoughts.

    Cheers.
     
    • Like x 2
  2. FishHead

    FishHead Member

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    I have only had my car for 2 weeks, so too early to say whether I will buy another Tesla. But I do agree with you on the build quality and service. I am quite happy with the overall build quality so far, but agree that it falls short of the comparable German vehicle. Had to bring in the car for service three days after delivery because lost auto steer/ TACC. They realigned the camera and sent me off after one day. The problem re-occured after 1 day. I can still drive the car but no auto steer and TACC. My other car is a Porsche and I sold my Mercedes to get the Tesla. The reliability of my Mercedes and Porsche is fantastic and I have not had to bring it in other than for normal service.

    The Tesla is a great drive. Again I agree with you that the electric drivetrain is the best thing about the car. I also love the driving dynamics of the car. But, if Mercedes or Porsche come up with something similar........or better.......
     
  3. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    I've already bought 2, and have reserved a 3rd. So, yes. Granted, I've live in the US and service has always done a great job.
     
  4. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    I agree with your sentiments regarding service. Tesla have seriously let the ball go with that this year. The new service centre is now open, so it remains to be seen whether that improves it. I am seeing good service stories appear more nowadays, but for cases such as yours and mine it is definitely still sub-par. I used to give 9's and 10's on my service surveys. This year, it has been 2's and 3's.

    That said, I would still buy a Tesla. I have vowed never to buy another ICE vehicle, so that narrows my choice somewhat. Even with the issues Tesla are having, they are still the best available.
     
  5. FishHead

    FishHead Member

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    I agree with you that after driving the Tesla, I am a convert. Now when I go back to my ICE car, it is like stepping back into time. My next car will definitely be an electric car. I would hope that it would be another Tesla, but.....

    Right now Tesla is the electric car, but they seriously need to rethink their service here or they will lose customers when the other manufacturers up their ante. The early adopters are very forgiving, but there is a limit to how much they are willing to take with regards to build, service and reliability issues.

    I have gotten my car only for 2 weeks and I only know the new service centre. It looks clean and modern, but reception and waiting room is not on par with Zung Fu(Mercedes). Service definitely not on par with the personalised service I am used to at Mercedes.

    Don't get me wrong. I am willing to forgo all these if they provide a good service and follow-up for problems. But my experience even in these two short weeks have been disappointing. Even so, I still love the car. I just wish service standards were up to par.
     
  6. TESLΛ

    TESLΛ Member

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    This is concerning considering I sold a mint Mercedes and awaiting my Tesla in the next couple of weeks...
     
  7. gubes

    gubes Member

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    Well, supposedly, their quality keeps getting better all of the time. Perhaps I just had bad luck with mine and you will only have some small issues. But just be prepared, because almost everyone I know who has a Tesla has had to send it to the service centre at least once within the first 3 months. The car seems like a constant work in progress.
     
  8. Chong

    Chong Member

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    The driving experience is great with an electric car. However, their quality of the workmanship is lacking. Every time I wash the car, I uncover more defects. So much so that I'm contemplating not to wash it myself anymore. This should not happen to a car at this price. Coupled with a long wait for service, slow resolution for issues, it would not make sense to continue to bear with this again for the next car. I read that service level in the US is great. Somehow, Tesla Hong Kong seems to have dropped the ball.
     
  9. LST

    LST Senior Member

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    I hope Tesla can get their act together in HongKong and approve overall customer satisfaction. Even though this thread might only be targeted to HongKong owners, here's my answer to your question: Yes, yes and yes. I'm actually on my third Tesla, two of which i still own. Roadster 23/250 EU Signature (2009), MS85 (2013)sold, now MS85D(2015). I can relate to all your issues you have with the Model S, i also experienced some of them, but it just doesn't bother me. Having owned several sportcars in the luxury segment, i know they have issues as well. I had to bring my AM V8 Vantage over and over to service due to heat problems in the exhaust system, motor management just to name a few.
    Tesla cars my not be perfect, certainly notin fregards to fit and finish, but the UI, AP, drive quality, acceleration etc. etc. are so superior to everything else i know, i would as of now never change back. And you (can) start every day with a full battery, filled with homegrown solar power.
     
  10. gubes

    gubes Member

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    Everyone buys Tesla's because of the driving experience - primarily. The thing is the competition is catching up.

    Jaguar will sell the I-Pace all electric EV in 2018 and the specs are very similar to the Model X without the nonsense doors. VW will have the ID concept in production by 2020, then there is the mission E from Porsche and BMW's next 3 series is rumored to have an all EV model.

    Entertainment systems are already up there with Tesla now that Apple Car play and the andriod system are now there in almost all premium vehicles now.

    Pretty soon, Tesla will have to produce cars with much higher levels of quality to compete as the others will catch up. I have a guaranteed resale program that expires after 2 years. Who knows what other EVs will be up for sale by then.

    The one thing I did notice though is that VW (e-golf) and even Nissan's Leaf - take advantage of the absence in FRT to charge a higher price in HK whereas the Tesla cars are pretty much the same price as they are in the US (excluding the EV subsidy there of course).

    Time will tell. But soon enough there will be a lot more choices of well built alternatives out there.
     
  11. OBX John

    OBX John Autonomous Driving Enthusiast

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    I'm buying my MS for the self driving capability first and foremost, so until that's available through another manufacturer, yes, I'd have to buy another. I think with the Consumer Reports warnings over quality issues and reading posts here, I'm kind of expecting minor annoyances to get a car years ahead of it's time. My Mercedes CLK 500 has had quality issues, rear spoiler falling off, turn signal covers falling off, trunk divider for convertible top malfunctioning, gear shift cover coming unglued, radio face de-laminating among others, so I don't see any car maker as perfect. Don't even get me started on our experience with an 04' Range Rover.
     
  12. docherf

    docherf Member

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    Yes I'd definitely buy another - build seems similar to bmw/mercedes /Infiniti that we've had. They have all had random build problems in first 6 months. They're all better than an escalade we had - multiple issues - wouldn't buy again. The best car we have as far as lack of problems is an Accord.

    Hopefully in a few years we'll have a large number of cars similar to the model S to choose from!
     
  13. FishHead

    FishHead Member

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    Don't worry. I guarantee that after driving your new MS, the driving experience will negate all the other niggling problems. You will love the car!

    Our concern here is that if Tesla wants to stay ahead of the pack, it needs to improve its service culture and experience here in Hong Kong.
     
  14. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    I have owned two Teslas and will not buy another one, for the reasons stated in the OP's post. This is a company that made one great product (the Model S) and has stepped on a rake since. My Model S is not aging well...all sorts of annoying noises and flimsy build quality, and the Supercharger situation is a deal killer. Like others have said, I'd certainly consider an EV from an established auto company like Porsche or BMW or Audi, etc., but methinks that Tesla is not ready for prime time and things are only going to get worse as the company tries to go mass market.
     
  15. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    18,000 miles/18 months and will never buy an ICE ever again. 2 model 3's reserved.
     
  16. mattse

    mattse Member

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    I have a friend who also experienced similar build quality issue and kept going back for service. For me, I buy this car because it's an EV, and I found myself spending most of my time driving it, rather than looking at the alignment of the doors, trunk cover or the interior fit etc. My trunk cover is not leveled with right side higher when closed, and that used to bother me but not now as the gap is not growing bigger and I only notice it once in a while. Wind noise is too loud when driving but I don't think they can cut wind noise out if there's no window frame (and yes, I wish there was a window frame). I have the old seat, I will slip if I keep high speed in corners.

    So I told my friends, if you are expecting German brands interior or exterior build, do not buy Tesla, why make yourself unhappy? If you are interested in performance, you can buy a Tesla, then spend up to 1M HK dollar to refurnish the whole car, make it to your beloved "German standard" or better. I bet you still have some money left now as you didn't buy a super sports car from Italy and buy an American car instead, so you can buy me a drink with that money

    We will never have the perfect car / thing in this world, we compromise. The question is what you are willing to give up in exchange for another. And with all the issues about Tesla on the table, you are free to choose. I was waiting an EV from traditional big car makers for years and I am increasingly confident to say that they are not going to make one. They simply can't give up their engines (too much R&D cost to recover?). Yes, there may be one or two EV from them to meet emission target, but I don't see them as committed to EV as they could possibly be. With the resources they have, any one of the ICE makers could have crushed Tesla in the very beginning if they played the game seriously. Look at i3, it's designed to be ugly and not attractive, look at eGolf, look at Leaf, where can you go in that in a city like HK? And they make a big fuss when selling in HK

    I don't see car makers catching up with Tesla, I see Tesla giving people what the current technology can deliver, Tesla gives people choice. Do we have good entertainment system, attractive lease programme, and all other gadgets on cars before? Yes, one on a model, the other by another car maker, we now have them all in one car, and big car makers are forced to follow.

    Thanks for reading. In short, service in HK sucks :p
     
    • Like x 2
  17. mattse

    mattse Member

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    Btw, I was referring to the volume of service, not quality. I am satisfied with their service quality so far, just the volume is too small for HK, wait time is toooooooo long
     
  18. ck1116

    ck1116 Member

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    Jaguar has the highest maintenance cost car at Hong Kong some years ago, unsure now.
     
  19. Vmax

    Vmax Member

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    Having my Model S for almost exactly 2 years now. There were 2-3 minor problems in the first few months, but overall I'm very happy with the car. I do admit, the built quality and ambience is not like in a top German car but I'm happily accepting this.
    And yes, I would buy it again. I just placed order for another one two weeks ago. :)
    Nevertheless I would happily consider a comparable German car, when they are available after 2025 o_O
     
    • Funny x 1
  20. FequalsMA

    FequalsMA Member

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    A little off topic but this article conveys clearly why the other brands are likely to first go bankrupt before adopting EV's in a big way.
    A New Reason Electric Cars Make Chrysler's Marchionne Nervous

    To reduce costs/ increase profits, traditional automakers have ceded what was once inhouse manufacturing of their own parts to OEMs, so much now that much of the value added is from car design/ assembly. Even critical items like engines and transmissions are either a joint collaboration with other companies or purchased en mass

    If manufactures converted to EV's in a big way, no doubt they could do it very quickly if they wanted to. But they would likely not make the battery packs or the electric motors (simply because they are not good at it and have no prior expertise in it) and instead have to outsource, their choices coming only from a few OEM's in the world that could handle the scale of demand (see "disintermediation"). If that happened then the guts of cars would be pretty much the same (nothing much to differentiate a BMW vs. Nissan, other than exterior/ interior design)

    The great thing about Tesla is that the revenue they got from their initial cars went back into proprietary tech which differentiates them from even other EV's (battery chemistry and management for quick charge and long life, gigafactory for moving production of packs in house, supercharger network) and this is why the company would still be worth money even if everyone stopped buying their cars tomorrow.

    For those that are unsatisfied with the build quality on Tesla, go ahead and hold off on buying.
    But it won't be long until Tesla crests that peak and starts upping their game on a lot of these issues people are complaining about.
    When they do, traditional automakers will really have something to be worried about.
     

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