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Disappointment

I hesitate to post this topic. I am a staunch environmentalist and fully support the electric vehicle technology. And in my view, Tesla's success or failure will be the success/failure of the industry. I'm all for being an early adopter and dealing with the kinks that come with that, but my experience so far with this car has been near horrendous.

I own a rather large environmentally responsible company. I write a blog and wrote on the topic of supporting Tesla- and the Washington Post ran the story... http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-03/business/36728936_1_electr...

I have put a deposit down for the X to replace our minivan. I'm eager for delivery, but my wife says she doesn't mind waiting- hoping that Tesla will work out kinks (explained later) before her car is made/arrives.

I really want to support Tesla, but my experience thus far with Tesla has been terrible:

Delivery was a bear. They said they couldn't deliver to my house because the truck couldn't get down my street. After eventually calling their driver at 4:00 to check in (I was told that he would deliver some time on this particular Saturday, but he never called to give me a time window), we arranged for pick up at school. My car was delivered with another owner's and mine needed full unwrapping, which I did because the driver was busy with the other car. Once done, there was glue on my windshield and windows. I went to the nearby hardware store to pick up some remover and got to work the next day. My car had 17 miles of charge on it when I picked it up. It's a good thing I lived nearby. The other owner's car was a wreck- the kid seats were uninstalled and his leather bucket seats were messed up. It looked like half of the leather was unfinished on them. He scheduled an appointment right away to have them replaced.

Driving the Tesla takes some getting used to. I hit a curb and got a flat. My bad. No spare. But whatever. Easy fix.

My brakes squeak, especially when the car is first driven for the day (maybe I can just hear it then). I asked Tesla to take a look at it and they said they couldn't hear anything when they drove it- but they lubed something or another. They still squeak.

I'm not a fan of some of the design. The center console is basically a floor with a couple of edges. It seems like wasted space and stuff pretty much just rolls around down there, in full view. The cup holders and armrests are an either/or situation. You can't have a drink and armrest at the same time. And no cup holders in the back.

I have 3 kids. I have to clean out the car every month, at least. I go to do that and to shake out the floor mats in the back. No floor mats. I call Tesla to tell them they forgot to give them to me- they say they don't come with the car.

I was thinking about taking my car to Maine on vacation, but after looking at the existing supercharging stations between DC and Portland, I realize that ain't happening. Why Tesla installed a 2nd charger in Connecticut before putting one in Boston (or DC, or Philly, or Portland for that matter) is beyond me.

I go on vacation and leave my car at a body repair shop (story coming later). I occasionally check in on the car's charge and see that it's going down into the double digit range, even though it had been charged to about 200 miles before I left. I call the shop and ask if they've turned the car off. They say yes. We call Tesla, which is nearby, and they run a charging cord over to the body shop and have me plugged in so the battery doesn't go to zero. What kind of environmental car bleeds out about 8 miles per day worth of energy? That's got to be the biggest vampire loss of energy of anything a person a can own!

Re: the body shop... My wife sideswiped a stone wall at the front right of the car. The fun really begins now. The car is bent up and scraped at that front right corner. She hit it at about 3 mph, so no crunching of metal or anything, but scraped up nonetheless. We call Tesla. They say the nearest/only "certified" Tesla body shop is in Annapolis, which is an hour away from where I live in the DC burbs. Why in the hell would they make the closest certified body shop 40 minutes outside of DC (where there are probably more Tesla owners than anywhere else south of NYC)?!? We send it to our tried and true body shop, which is about 1/2 mile from the Tesla garage in Rockville, MD. They are excited to get the car and call Tesla immediately to order parts. Here is how they described their experience dealing with Tesla...

"here you go!- 1st called down to the Rockville repair and was told to Call Tesla since we could only order parts from Freemont. L/m 6 different times for Jake-parts mgr. starting on 8/5. Called tesla back 510-249-3650 spoke with Jared? was told to email mailto:service@teslamotors.com%20 (sent several emails.) and was told that we would not be allowed to order parts since we are not direct repair. John the owner of White flint went down to tesla in Rockville again and spoke with the Mgr and they stated they couldn't sell parts to us on 8/9. After several attempts of trying to get a hold of someone in parts. On 8/12 John went back down to Telsa and told them what was going on and spoke to Lee from parts. He asked his boss again if he could just sell the parts to us and explained what was going on. He was the only one during this time who has helped us get the car repaired. The repaired should of taken 4 days not 3weeks of run around from Tesla trying to get prices and parts."

Yes- it took 3 weeks. No loaner offered. And, wait for it- $7000 ($5000 for the body repair- parts were $3500- and $2000 from Tesla to fix the air conditioning and alignment)! I have a picture of the accident. It wasn't bad- just some scrapes. If it had been a Toyota, it would've been $1300 and 4 days.

My kids sit in the back seat. One of them looks up about a week after I got it back and points out a big crack in the roof glass. I call Tesla, for the record- and ask if it's covered by warranty. He asks if anything fell on it. I said "no". He sounds skeptical- says I'll have to bring it in for him to look at it to be sure it's a stress crack rather than an impact crack. I say OK- when? He says anytime, but he doesn't have a loaner. I tell him to call me when he gets a loaner. A few days later, I open the sunroof and hear some crackling and popping- there is definitely something wrong with the mechanics of the sunroof.

A day or 2 after I got the car back from the body repairs, a light came on saying that my car might not start the next time I try. I figure it's just a glitch- like how a "check engine" light might come on when your gas cap isn't on tight. Car starts next time. About a month goes by- and yesterday I go to start my car to go home and it's dead. It's connected to the charger at work. The windows work, it's fully charged, but it won't start. I call Tesla and they start asking repeatedly if I ever let it go down to zero miles or if I've left it uncharged for prolonged periods of time. I told them I charge it almost every day and the only time it was not charged frequently is when it was in the shop- and even if I had let it go for a week or 2 uncharged, does that really warrant it not starting?!? They send a tow truck, with loaner. Takes 90 minutes, even though they're 15 minutes away. They pull up with a trailer and I inquire how they're going to get my car towed. The driver says he's going to drive it onto the trailer. I point out to him that the reason why I'm being towed is because the car won't start...

I call this morning to remind them to look at the roof glass and to also point out that now the sunroof isn't working right. The first thing out of the guy's mouth is- "Something fell on the car?" "No"- I reply.

I've had this car since April. It's got 6000 miles on it. I keep telling myself that Tesla will get their act together regarding service- that this will be the last time I have to deal with an issue from them. I so hope this company thrives, but they're making it damn hard for me to endorse them. People ask me all the time how I like it, and I say "it has great acceleration and a nice big screen", but to my close friends, I'm telling them to avoid the car.

A customer asked me on my blog how I'm liking it- I say it's great, but there are just some minor issues that come with a start up company. I'm lying, but can't lie much longer (starting with this post, I suppose)...

And the reason you didn't make this thread private is?

All I can say is I haven't had your experience at all. You don't mention ever emailing ownership@ or calling Tesla themselves, just the service center -- have you tried that?

Odd post here. Many of these "complaints" should have been considered before your purchase. If you were unhappy with the interior design of the car or the location of supercharger stations then why did you go ahead with the purchase? And with regards to the cost of body repairs you said, "...if it had been a Toyota, it would've been $1300 and 4 days." Are you seriously comparing your S to a Toyota? Apples and oranges man.
Some of your complaints seem legitimate, but in reading your post I can help but feel you're just searching for things to bitch about on the non-private thread. Odd.

Yikes. Sorry to hear about your problems but it sounds like you have a bit of bad luck as well. Hitting a curb and getting a flat tire within days of getting your car? Sideswiping the side of the car within a few short months of getting it?

I got the car about 2 weeks ago and my car came with mats both in the front and back and also the third row where my kids sit.

So far I love the car. I did take delivery of the car covered in a ton of dust (there is a rock quarry near the service center in San Diego). And the next day I did notice some paint imperfections but I couldn't be happier with how they handled my call. I simply called my Delivery Specialist who put me in contact with a Manager.

They told me the next date when they had a loaner car and they told me I didn't even need to come in to the Center. They would deliver the loaner and pick up my car to fix the paint scratches and blemishes.

They are picking it up on Friday so I'll see how they do. I couldn't be happier with their customer service after taking delivery of the car.

Maybe you can speak with someone higher up on the chain if you're having that many problems with it.

Good luck.

@nashveg
Sorry to hear the issues. While I don't question the veracity of your story, this is so diametrically opposite of my experience through and through.
I hope it gets sorted for you soon.

hmm... i don't think tesla gives loaners for accidents. vampire draw isn't new, they will fix in upcoming software release.

haven't had any problem with service, they are really nice the couple of times i dealt with them and they provide me with a loaner. i understand there is a low inventory on loaners because they keep getting bought out.

superchargers are on their way, they tripled the number during the summer. think they are doing great job at deploying them. as for why one gets deployed and not the other, think they are hitting the superchargers that support the most people. they have data on where the cars are being purchased. also there are delays in permitting and such, so give them a little slack.

you did buy in as a early adopter and it is hard to imagine that you didn't realize some of these bumps will happen. if you don't like the car, sell it... you may make a profit. then you can wait until they are more mature.

All these problems, well that really sucks, and I feel for you, but the Tesla design stuff... I mean, you knew it was coming with the arm rest cupholders, and the lack of a center console, that shouldn't have been something you figured out after you took delivery.

Also, do you and your wife normally ding your cars so easily? I mean hitting a curb and blaming it on the car? Sideswiping a WALL? What the heck man?

@ nashveg, sorry about your problems but thanks for sharing.

I think this will be interesting for us all to see how it ends, so far I understand your frustrations.

What I don't understand is why this should be a private thread? This concerns anyone, also future owners like me. I love Tesla just as much as most people on this Forum, but if they have service/support issues it should dealt with.

Why is this forum only for positive discussions? New owners are bound to be disappointed if all we can read is peachy posts...

Keep us posted on how Tesla acts on this, and ignore the fanboys that wants you to stay quiet with any criticism.

Sounds like you had a frustrating first six months. Some legit complaints, and some i think are just sideeffects of a growing, very young company with still limited infrastructure, which is what you knew when you bought the vehicle.

I agree that the first repair experience should have been way smoother and supportive of you and your situation.

The delivery truck street issue, the solar roof issue (how do you know for sure nothing dropped on it, maybe when parked?), the few numbers of superchargers still are all things i would have let slide....as long as roof gets fixed.

And i whole heartedly agree, the centre space between the seats is just like an unusable vacuum of space. Someplace to effectively stow my laptop or briefcase would have helped, or some shelves to stash knick knacks like coins, access cards, ipods, cell phones or whatever. I trust there will be aftermarket things one can buy to address that. But you knew this when you bought it.

I am very curious though, what did they say was the issue with the car not starting? Did you get a lemon battery by chance that leaks when idle?

I searched this website last night for a way to contact someone higher up at Tesla. I didn't see anything under "contact" or anywhere else, which I posted here (assuming Tesla is monitoring these forums).

I did call Tesla service last night. I almost asked to speak with a supervisor to go over all of this, but I got the impression I was at a call center and that the guy on the other end of the line was pretty much just reading from a manual. He kept making me do the same thing over and over again (putting the key against the cigarette lighter and stepping on the brake for 5 seconds- I did this 4 times) and he kept focusing on whether I've left the car uncharged for long periods of time.

Right- I probably should have made this a private post. I'm unfamiliar with these forums and just clicked on "public" without giving it much thought- with the experience from other forums I've been on that "private" might be premium subscription or whatever and potentially dormant.

And I bought my car sight unseen. The design flaws like cupholders and console wouldn't have been enough to prevent me from buying the car anyway, but that doesn't mean they're not a nuisance or room for improvement, so not sure what the point there is.

btw- another irritation was the windshield sprayers. When I first got the car, I needed to take it in to get them adjusted. The one on the driver's side squirted right into the blade (too low). Another minor, yet mounting inconvenience- death by a thousand cuts.

I've had some bad luck, but that doesn't excuse poor service. Hell, I forgot to mention that a shopping cart rolled down a hill and slammed into my driver's side door, putting a rather large dent into it. We had to get that fixed up too. That went fine- no replacement parts.

@nashveg -- You have used up your bad luck allotment for this decade, you should now be ok until 2020.

The problem last night, btw- was the 12v battery apparently. I'm pretty sure the roof glass crack is a stress crack- there is a not a "star" indicating a collision and is starts from the edge. I would have heard something hitting the car while I was driving it- and the thing is, if it is because something hit it, it's likely that it happened at either the body repair shop or Tesla's garage. It wasn't noticed when I turned it in and got noticed just a few days after I got it back.

I'm not blaming Tesla for me hitting a curb, nor my wife hitting a wall. My only comment on the flat tire was that there was no spare. That's not my fault- and it's even something that bothers me (yet, worth mentioning), considering they probably need the space for more batteries to increase the range- obviously a great trade off.

This is an interesting thread. Many Tesla owners are early adopters. This kind of issue-set raises the bar for the future, though, and when Tesla gets to the point of selling to the common-consumer, these nagging things pointed out by the early adopters will have Joe and Jane Public screaming at the service techs to make it right and will end up telling all their friends about the experience. The fit and finish issues will need to be shored up before going mainstream to the public. Early adopters seem to be getting along with some of the hassles so far. But from my point of view, the only thing I had to take my 2011 Volt in for service has been for an oil change and to take a look at something that got loose in the front engine/motor compartment, a quick few minutes fix. 23000 mile and still smiling.

I hang out here because I am interested in a battery SUV/CUV solution for our family and need to know what is going on with the Model-X. The news from one poster on teslamotorsclub was that he was told at the factory that Model-X will not be shipping in higher-quantities until mid-2015. This works for me since I wouldn't need anything until mid-2016.

I am also sorry to hear of your journey with your Tesla.

The accidents are just that. Accidents. I managed to slice my fender on my 2-day old BMW 5-Series a few years ago and I was a mess about it. That wasn't an attractive repair bill but it was covered by insurance. Had your wife not had that accident and you not hit the curb those wouldn't be concerns but those things happened and it sounds like you were unsatisfied with the quality/time/price of the repairs and that may be justified.

If it's any consolation, my wife was backing up in our older Honda Accord and the driver's side front fender well was crunched by a small low metal pole she never saw. We took it into the Honda dealer because even though it is only cosmetic, it completely ruins the look of the car. The cost to repair it was $3300! They needed to pull the entire front fender and because the car was older the paint matching was very difficult and they would not even guarantee that it would match 100% when finished. I had a second opinion from a body shop and they were at $3000 for the same job. Needless to say, our fender was not repaired and we took a nice hit on the car when we sold it due to the damage.

My point is that a 10-year old Honda Accord can have a cosmetic fender crunch and cost over $3000 to repair so it's not just Tesla.

I've had long talks with my wife and am fully going into this knowing that at some point we may need to be towed, the car may not start, we will need to reboot the screen, we will get a flat, we may hit a curb and incur high repair fees, the motor may start to whine loudly at any time, the sunroof may break, the rear door window may fall off the track, and the car may just tell you it is shutting down and you'll have 10 seconds to pull off the road.

I hope Tesla helps you and all of your concerns are addressed. I do feel that since you are an owner you should have put this into the Private section but that's not my call. Good luck!

@swalkermd +1

OP doesn't support his assertion of a 'near horrendous' experience with the car IMO. He might have more credibility had he omitted complaints about cupholders, floor mats, the lack of superchargers in his vicinity, the interior design of the car, etc., all things known in advance of purchase. Also, if the alignment and AC both had to be repaired after his wife's (allegedly) minor "scrape" with the stone wall, I question how 'minor' it was.

I just can't help feeling like we're not getting the full and objective story here. OP just comes across as disgruntled.

It's the cars fault that you nailed a curb and smashed in the side ? Maybe public transportation would be a better option.

It's Teslas fault you live on a street that can't accommodate a car hauler ? The driver that delivered mine delivered six cars that day. Only complaint I had is he called to keep me updated to many times. The driver was amazing. I was his last delivery after a long hot day delivering in AZ and he was very helpfully to the end. I gave him $100.00 tip and thanked him for keeping me so updated on his arrival time.

I ordered my car online, never left the house and it delivered to the curb out front. It even came gift wrapped in nice white paper, only thing missing was the bow. The driver helped me unwrap my present and I wiped the packing residue off with a micro fiber rag and a few squirts of auto glass cleaner. No big deal.

I was ecstatic to not spend five hours at a car dealer getting sold extended warranties and undercoating packages. This was the most painless car purchase in 40 years of car buying. Still smiling that the car delivered to my driveway and took all of 15 minutes to be underway.

I knew I was buying a first production run of a new high tech car and expected all kinds of problems. I was pleasantly surprised at how well everything went. I am amazed that Tesla has pulled this off at this level. Other companies that have been building cars for a 100 years can't do what Tesla has done.

I have two Performance model X's on order and can't wait to unwrap them when they deliver. I fully expect glitches on a new production car during initial release.

My BMW 760i has not been driven in 5 months. Can't sell it until the charger network gets built. But then I knew that when I bought the Tesla.

7000 miles on the Tesla S and could not be happier. Amazing car and amazing technology.

This forum seems to be very harsh on people saying anything the least bit critical about tesla and the model s. the typical responses seem to be:
-it's your fault
-that's a stupid feature to have anyway
-you're lying/ you lack credibility
-keep it to yourself / don't post here

Not really sure what good this does anyone including Tesla. As I consider one I like to know about all the potential issues so I go in with my eyes open. In the short term I suppose the suppression of information could make someone buy the car thinking that there are no issues. But once they get it they will be way more annoyed than if they had known the worst case upfront. Anyway, it's still a first year product from a young company so problems are to be expected. What's wrong with someone reporting their experiences?

By the way, I currently have a bmw 335i which are notorious for chewing through fuel pumps. I knew this going into it and in fact I did have this issue. But knowing about it beforehand made it way less annoying when it actually happened. There is a similar attitude on bmw forums as well with the typical response being "buy a Lexus". Given the ecologically concious and therefore community minded sensibilities of tesla I was hoping for a better attitude here.

Sure, not everyone is going to have the OPs exact problems or situation but they're all valid complaints. Even the "small stuff" like the center console and cuoholders are things you might notice in the showroom but won't realize how annoying they are until you live with the car.

Again...........This must be a lemon or we are all going to be drinking a lot of lemonade!

Or worse Koolaid

I don't think the car is a lemon. He hit a curb and got a flat. His wife hit a wall and damaged the car. He is unhappy with aspect of the interior design. He didn't receive a rear floormat.

I see a couple of problems - the sunroof (common), the fact the car didn't start once, and a crack in the rear windshield. This is for a pretty early car (April 2013). I don't know what the resolution was for the fact the car didn't start. He said it was flatbedded in but didn't mention the resolution.

Nobody has doubted the veracity of his report. Nobody is telling him to suppress his problems - just that this might be better served in the Private Forum for other owners to comment upon.

Kind of like posting in the Marriage Forum when you're having difficulties with your spouse instead of the Divorce subforum. ;)

Wow! They have made a bunch of mistakes. I hope that I don't have a collision in the next year while they get the parts stuff together. The car works fine for me. I'm very happy with the purchase and the service that I've received after the sale.

At the same time, I hope Tesla's ability to take care of customers that aren't having such a good time better than they have so far.

Sorry but when you write a novel it seems like you are a high maintenance complainer who will never be happy with anything. Some of your complaints may be legitimate, some seem a bit overboard.

Perhaps there should be a maximum number of characters for a given post.

Life is a bitch isn't it?

Also, why would you take a brand new vehicle, unlike anything else on the road, to a neighborhood repair shop?

Can't see why you would expect that to go well. I drive a Camry and only go to the Toyota dealership to get it serviced. Can't imagine buying a Model S and trusting a mom and pop shop to know how to fix it.

I struggle with this post. I agree that the delivery experience was poor. I picked my P85 2 weeks ago at the Dania Beach store (which is a service center) and had less than a stellar experience. I let Tesla know and got a call back from one of the VP to go through my concerns. They have some issues to iron out on delivery.

The trade off for me was a few hours of frustration and weeks (so far!) of the best vehicle I have ever driven.

The rest of the post I have issues with. The center console and cup holder issue is fixed with an order for a custom console (awaiting mine) or the new Tesla center console option coming this fall.

The body shop issues come with the territory for a brand new vehicle.

The supercharger complaint is a bit unfair as there was plenty of data available as to where Superchargers are currently and when more are coming. The Northeast is lagging a bit, but a little patience on this issue is warranted. Also, you can charge at any number of other public charging stations, it takes some planning. Again, well worth the price of admission for the very best ride on the road today.

Some of the complaints - "it took them 90 minutes to get there when they are only 15 minutes away" sounds like frustration - maybe the truck was doing something other than waiting for your call?

Other than a poorly executed delivery, I have had nothing but pure joy from Tesla. Sorry your experience has not been the same, but to not recommend this car due to a poor repair experience, and one real service issue (not starting) seems a little over the top.

Dallas Teslan, I had the same thought.

He complained about no spare. In my experience 90% of the car owners spare tire is sitting in the car flat because they never check the pressure. If the tire does have air they are absolutely lost as to how to change a flat tire and its probably safer for the rest of us that they don't try.

Call triple A. Not much reason to haul a spare tire around with the reliability of todays tires and availability of service. Tesla does sell an aircompressor and sealant system that will work for small holes. Probably not much help on a curb cut.

You didn't say what size tires you ordered. The low profile tires look cool but are a tire cut just waiting to happen. I gave up on low profiles years ago and only run 19's now. Better ride with fewer rim scrapes and tire cuts.

@nashveg....I have had my Model S since January and you indicate your Model S has a very unique feature that I have never seen or heard of...a cigarette lighter...where is it located?

@nomorebmws

I think people should expect harsh responses when they put out a laundry list of complaints like this OP. I'm surprised he forgot to complain about the color he chose.

@ I am 3146 - the cigarette lighter is next to the Mr. Fusion.

1) You probably got one of the bad early 12v batteries: a known issue.
2) In re the cupholder vs. armrest issue. I always use both...so before buying car I already planned to put any drink in the passenger's side cupholder and to use the armrest on the driver's side, at least until I decide to purchase an aftermarket center console with a cupholder.
European purchasers (cars frequently come without any cupholders whatsoever) would doubtless find this discussion amusing...or pitiable.
3) Sorry for your bad luck. Would be worse if you lived in Kabul.


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