I have a demo on hold and am looking for feedback/advice before jumping

Hello all,

I have a silver performance 2012 production on hold presently at a good discount, but before jumping I have a few questions. First, this is VIN 5YJSA1DP2CFP01244. Secondly, this has been on display in the NYC West Chester store (in a mall), and as such has essentially no miles. Apparently in the last couple weeks it became a demo car and now has 300 miles in test drives on it. Feel free to comment on my questions and anything else you think relevant, because I'll probably just jump on full purchase tomorrow unless I have incentive not to do so.

i) Does anyone know this car specifically? Silver performance sitting at the West Chester mall store for probably quite some time since it is a 2012 production. If so, what are your thoughts? Being in a mall store, it probably has a lot more "sit down and check it out" traffic than in another store. Perhaps more watch/bracelet scratches? I've asked for pictures and a verbal description and am hoping to get that back soon.

ii) What is the difference between a VIN ending in 1244 and what comes off the line today? My dealer (in DC) said really nothing different. She said that this is not a Signature edition, because those ended at VIN 1000. Is that correct? Basically, besides age, miles, and condition, what is the difference between this and one that I'd order brand new?

Anthing else that you can feed back on would be much appreciated. I hadn't planned on jumping on a performance, but this will be about the same price as ordering a new non-performance, and since it hasn't been titled it is sold as a new car and qualifies for the Federal tax credit. To me it is a no-brainer....


That VIN segment should match up pretty close with the sequence the cars are built in. So, the cars coming off the line these days should be in the 16,000 range.

The only thing I'd be concerned about are the things they've "tweaked" at the factory to make the car better over the last year. You may get some of the issues that have hopefully now been resolved (cracking windshields, condensation in tail lights, etc.). Of course Telsa will fix it, if it happens. But it may be inconvenient for you, depending on how many issued crop up.

If the price is right and you're a patient person.. go for it.

If it was a display model, it means a lot of people have been getting in and out of the car. Look for any unusual wear on the B pillar and sides of the back seat upholstery. Folks tend to rub up against those areas as they get in and out.

The demo/display models are software limited to a maximum speed of 80mph. You should ask to have it removed :) (Of course, I'm SURE you would never need to go that fast!).

Look at the hood where it meets the nosecone headlights - many early production cars had poor fitment at this location. Also some misalignment of the chrome between the front and rear doors on this sides. I agree with checking for interior wear if thousands of people sat in it at the mall (some cars are locked in the showrooms so this may not be an issue).

A Signature has a different VIN. The last letter before the number would be an "S" instead of a "P". Also there would be "Signature" on the side lights and on the chrome trim on the back.


The 12V batteries in early Model S were of a lower quality and several/many have needed replacement.

Some people have reported fit and finish improvements in later models. I would also second stevenmaifert that you should examine the b-pillars carefully because many have noticed issues and with many people getting in and out of the car that could be an issue.

Otherwise good luck!

How much is the discount?

+1 GLO

Our MS is a 2012 (non-sig) and we love her :). Haven't had any problems. My advice is go for it!

Since then, the door handle mechanism has been modified slightly, so you should ask about that. Also, early windhields were prone to cracks, and the manufacturing process has reportedly been improved. I would ask about that as well. Agree with SamoSam that you should definitely check on the 12V battery. There were major problems with one batch from a sub-par manufacturer.

The discount is nearly $10k, making this, as mentioned previously, about the same price as a similarly equipped non-performance model.

All good feedback. I wish I could easily just go take a look at it.

If anyone reading happens by that mall, tell me your price and I'll pay you to go assess condition for me!!!!

I will be there but not till next week on 4th of July. If no one has checked it out by then, I'll check it for you. Free.

Fog lights came with the earlier version, this may be an added bonus.

Oh sorry ferrari308driver, I thought it was in New York City. I see that it is in White Plains. I will not be there.

I would grab it fast...

As others have advised, do not hesitate or have any second thoughts. It is a good deal with no reason to reject it. If there are any "issues" TESLA will correct them. The worst scenario I expect is a little detailing to clean the interior. That said there could be some "rash" on the wheels if someone hit a curb but your volunteer inspectors will spot that for you.

Correct me if I'm wrong but less than 3,500 MS's were made in 2012. Truly a collector's item.

TM 2012 shareholder annual report states that in 2012 TM delivered only 2,650 MS.

That's 10 grands off a P85 with only 300 miles on it. The initial batch of cars all came with about 200 miles from thorough testing.

Do you still qualify for the $7500 credit at the end of the year?

If so, what are you waiting for??? You're getting a FREE performance upgrade. Do you know how many current owners are drooling over this deal now?

I would buy a new 85 kWh.
In my opinion and experience, less headache, same joy,pride.

Get the car now.You are getting a discount ! Smile and be HAPPY!!

I would go ahead and buy it - that's a nice discount for a car with so few miles on it. If you do end up with any issues (and SOME earlier models did have minor issues here and there), Tesla will fix it quickly. Call up your electrician and get a NEMA 14-50 installed in your garage if you haven't already!

A little interior scuffing is probably worth it for a free performance upgrade.

@ferrari308driver How were you able to hold a demo? I called Tesla and got a call back from a guy in FL (I live in CA) and all he did for me was offer to sell me cars that people ordered and then backed out of. I would prefer a demo to get a slight discount. Who should I call?

My closest showroom is in Washington, DC. I enquired if they ever sold the demos or show cars, and they do. 1% depreciation per month, and $1 per mile driven. If the person at your local showroom won't help, call another I guess...?


I would go for it for 10K off. Have a S85. Got in in Jan 2013. No issues. As mentioned prior Tesla Service can take care of all the mandatory bulletins etc...

I think that sounds like a nice deal. However, as others have suggested, I would look carefully at the car for wear or damage on parts that can't easily be replaced, like the leather on the B-pillar as some have suggested. I would look at the leather and the stitching that you can see on the seats and on the dash and door panels. Make sure none of the stitching looks too frayed. Also make sure that the windows, sunroof, and trunk hatch work properly without making strange noises, since though may have gotten a lot of exercise as demos as well.

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