Body Shop before delivery.

I just received a call that my sig performance was going to be delivered this Saturday. Super excited UNTIL I got another call saying they found scratches on the bottom of the right bumper and the car will need to go to the bodyshop to be repaired! I ordered the paint armor so the scratches had to be pretty bad. I asked my DS to send me a photo.

Here's the thing. For the money I am paying, I really do not want a new car that has been to the body shop before it has been delivered to me! The bigger issue is my wife - who has been very supportive of the purchase - says she wants a different car than that one! She doesn't want to pay for a new car that has had body work.

What do you think?

I am a huge Tesla fan but this is very dis-appointing.I know its not there fault but still....

I wouldn't jump to conclusions. They are likely being hyper critical of making sure everything is as perfect as possible. "Body shop" I agree makes it sound as if the frame is bent, which of course it isn't. Hang in there. You will never look back once your Model S arrives!

If they change a bumper or a body panel, how is that any different from the panel or bumper that was put in the factory?

I once went to pick up a new BMW that had some after-factory paint work done on a door panel. You had to look at it in the right lighting but it didn't match the rest of the car. I was offered a $1000 discount but I didn't care about saving a few bucks. What I paid for was a brand new vehicle with 100% factory paint, and that's what I wanted.

The regional manager had to get involved but they got me another brand new car. You deserve the same.

I've had two new cars that spent time in a body shop before delivery.

The first was a Toyota Camry, which started to develop paint problems after about ten years. The paint shop guy used a magnetic gauge to determine that the car had been repainted (paint was thicker than it should have been). Since I purchased it new and it had never been in an accident, he said it was probably a repaint at the factory, which is pretty common if they discover flaws in the paint job.

The second one was a Mitsubishi Eclipse. After I got it home, I discovered broken glass under the back seat, and asked the dealership about it. They admitted that the rear window had been broken out by a sign blown over on the lot. They cleaned up the glass and I never had any trouble with the window leaking, etc.

I think this kind of thing is actually pretty common, but other car companies don't disclose it. I'd give Tesla marks for coming clean, though I hope it doesn't bite them by causing negative reactions. It would be a shame if they had to be opaque about such things because their competitors have already set that expectation.

I'll take your car! You can wait for a new one. :-)

Well, you will not believe this but here is what happened. I received the call about the scratches on the front bumper. I asked my delivery specialist to send photos of the scratches. After 30 minutes of not receiving a photo, I emailed her asking her if she was sending a photo. She emailed back that the car had already been shipped to the body shop. I figured there was no way they would get it out of the service center that fast and it raised suspicions. I tried calling her but got voice mail. When I got home, I called the service center directly and asked if my car was still there. They said it was. So I was lied to by my DS. I asked the gentleman on the phone to send me pictures and he did send two. He said it was small scratch but that the bumper would have to come off to paint it correctly. I said, do not move the car to the body shop. I will be there in the morning because I want to see the car. 10 minutes later I get a call from the territory manager saying that in addition to the scratch on the front, someone backed into the car in the parking lot and the rear quarter panel and the rear bumper were dented!!!!!! It was like a nightmare! Bottom line, whatever happened to the car happened - BUT the service center, my delivery specialist and who knows maybe the territory manager all lied to me! They were going to fix my car that had been in an accident - without disclosing the accident - and then sell me the car as new! I believe that is a felony!

For over three years I have been telling everyone about Tesla and in 1 hour, the Chicago service center threw it all away. I am speechless and totally disheartened.

Things happen, all they had to do was be honest but instead lied and were going to make me pay for their mishap. I do not know how customer service gets any worst than that. I know (or hope) that Tesla does not operate this way. I asked for an executive member to call me - George Blankenship or higher to make sure they know what really happened in their service center. I wait to see if I get a call and needless to say, I am not accepting that car.

Wow. Bummer.

Ouch. Bumper could have been replaced with a factory new, and its a sperate painting process anyway. Quarter panel, no. Its part of the body in white and is painted at the same time. Tesla used an electostatic paint and bake process. A body shop can match the color, but not the paint process. No way to restore the car to actual factory state. Bumpers, yes. Quarter panel no. $90,000 totaled new car imho.

Where there is smoke, there's fire. Kudos for stickin' with your gut!

Heads should roll ... "Pour encourager les autres."

I was called and the whole situation is going to be investigated. Employees will be interviewed. I just do not see the employees admitting they lied. I tried to get across the reality. We will see what happens.

This is all disheartening, but stick to your guns. I can't imagine this is representative of Tesla. I would bet a few employees screwed up and are panicking, trying to cover their rear ends. They should be weeded out by Tesla so no one has to endure this frustration. Good luck.

The territory manager has been great with information and service. I am sure the others screwed up and he will make it right.


Probably a darn good thing that you have never visited a dealer's lot when a new shipment of cars arrives off of the trailer. The mobile paint and body van that is scurring around the lot isn't there to talk about the football game! I have seen instances where every single car arriving has needed touch ups or repairs.

If you are not a dealer with a lot then you send the car to the auto body shop. Had Tesla lied to you and said the car was delayed a day (like 99% of dealerships would have done), then you would be happy as a clam the next day when your car was delivered and you would have been none the wiser. Instead you are mad at Tesla for telling you the truth and trying to accomodate you.

A few swirls needing a buff is one thing, sounds like this vehicle has been the victim of a fender bender in the yard and a few employees have panicked. I don't know that heads need to roll but a few serious conversations are in order. Mistakes happen and people do stupid things, the bigger picture is not that shit happens but how it is handled and resolved.

Brian H

J'imagine que tu voulais dire...

Heads should roll ... "Pour decourager les autres."

--- Cherif

Instead you are mad at Tesla for telling you the truth and trying to accomodate you

It doesn't sound like that:

She emailed back that the car had already been shipped to the body shop
I called the service center directly and asked if my car was still there. They said it was

If that is not a lie, then I don't know what is. Someone is lying.

I think the good thing in this is this one:
I was called and the whole situation is going to be investigated.

This means Tesla is serious about good quality service and is reacting fast to prevent future incidents like this.


My point is that this happens with new cars at every dealership in the country. Letting the guy know two days in advance of delivery that there would be a delay, sending him photos at his request, and then having a Territory Manager follow up is pretty damn good service in my books.

Now if a customer decides that they don't want a car because it had a dent or scratch repaired it is perfectly understandable and I am sure that Tesla would accomodate that.

They should have told you straight out what the problem was. I agree with JBunn. I don't know about totalled, but this car should be repaired and become a demonstrator. (Unless you are prepared to accept a VERY substantial discount!!)
It is common for dings to be present on new cars and repaired before you even know about it, especially in Australia where most of our cars are imported.
However, I had one experience which put me off General Motors for life. Bought a brand new locally made, high end car, and i did not get the car home from taking delivery before i found that the automatic gear box was stuck in 2nd. Went straight to the service centre and had exactly 14km on the dial - maybe 9 miles? Told them i wanted a new car. No go. They replaced the auto gear box (Borg Warner) overnight, not bad for a big job, but the episode left a very bad taste in the mouth.

Tesla is unique in that there are no dealers. If I'm Bobs House of Hondas, I'm a private owner. I purchase the cars from Honda and I can sell the car for what I want, treat it how I like, and fix it as required. With Tesla, you are purchasing from the factory. Literaly right off the production line, and I think there is an expectation it would be in the same shape as if you'd taken it right out the back door at the factory.

CherifB | November 15, 2012 new
Brian H
J'imagine que tu voulais dire...
Heads should roll ... "Pour decourager les autres."
--- Cherif

Nope. Google the phrase. It's a famous quote.

Look at it this way, you could have been the proud owner of the first model S beater ;)

They are keeping a "record book" of "firsts" at TMC.

@craig t

You could not be any more incorrect.

The car did not come with a few scratches. The car was involved in an accident. Now I am saying put aside the fact that something happened to the car - accidents happen. 1)The issue is I was lied to by one to several employees. 2) they were going to send the car to a body shop and fix the scratch AND the accident damage and sell me the car as new AND never disclose the accident to me.

This in my eyes is blatantly wrong AND the worst case of customer service I have ever experienced. Lying and deceitfulness do not coincide with great customer service. I do not believe the actions that took place is Tesla's way of doing business. That is why I am getting this situation in front of executive management.

I have uncovered something really wrong(think watergate) and I feel it is Tesla's job to figure out who in the chain of command made the decision to handle the situation this way. There is just no correct explanation for lying. Something happened - fine. Just be truthful about it and we move on - not fix it behind the customers back and never tell them??!!!?!!?!

Also, lets not forget this isn't some $100.00 item, it is a $118,000.00 item!

glad in a way that you persisted and found out.

Really sucks and puts a 'dent' (excusez le mot) into their 'perfect car' ambitions...

Wah, Wah, Wah. Until you take ownership of the car it is still "new". Bodywork, replace parts are all part of the deal when a car comes into a lot. They will replace the parts and paint as needed. Not any different than if it had happened at the factory. They would have sent it back for repair. Quit your whining.

They didn't exactly cover it up. In your first post they called you and said otherwise needed to go to the body shop. I agree that the next 4 things that happened sound like a whole lot of fumbling. I hope they make it right and either warrant the damage for life, offer compensation, or allow you yo accept a new car or some combination of these options.


You were right to escalate the issue. Regardless of the poor decisions that may have been made on the part of line managers, the executives at Tesla understand the future of the company is riding on the success of this product and the satisfaction of its first customers. The way your story should end is that they offer to build you another car, at their cost. Period.

Let us know how it actually ends.

There is an old saying, always assume incompetence before malice.

The suggestion that there is some "watergate" type conspiracy to sell off damaged cars as new at Tesla is inane. I hope that Tesla gets you a car you are happy with and the matter is resolved to your satisfaction.

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