Love the car, but the delivery process is broken.

So received my car last week, and I love it, but wow what a bad delivery experience...wrote it up for a little blog site I contribute to...

Link doesn't work and won't let me go back. Were you hacked?

Hmmm I think you better check you receipt. "Elsewhere delivery is $900". This is not true. Right out-of-the-box I have to tell you, it honestly makes me question the legitimacy of anything else written after that. Sorry but just call me cautious.

Apparently, owners who have a positive experience and like the carvas is aren't honest. Well, color me a liar!

*carvas=typo---car as

@cfriedberg...One thing on your blog, you mentioned that factory pick up is for those who live in California only and that any where else, they charge $900 delivery charge. The delivery charge is EVERYONE. Even if you pick up the car from the factory as I did. So, you didn't get screwed with the delivery charge. I did. But then again, EVERY dealership charges destination fee, etc. So, please correct your statement. sends the wrong impression that Tesla charges something extra. In fact, I've been screwed numerous times in the past by "dealerships" where they charge you with things like "paper prep" fee, "dealer convenience fee", most of which were difficult to find. At least the Tesla's paperwork is simplified.

I do admit that the communication from Tesla has been less than ideal. you may have read me ranting about that in the forums.

As for the amenities--or the lack thereof--on the MS compared to other luxury cars: I think it's a matter of taste and in this case, I do agree with you. I wish it did have more storage compartments, parking sensors, blind spot detection, side view mirror on screen (2013 Honda Accord has this feature as an option) etc. However, many of these vehicles do not have 17 in screen, a browser, iphone app to control the car (although some are working on it, I think), etc.

In the end, could Tesla improve the buying experience for all? yes. (many had no problems at all).

Could Tesla have added more features? yes. But, it also has features others lack.

This is their first production vehicle (not counting the roadster since it's a modification of an existing one), so I think we can cut them a little slack while continuing to give them input so that they can improve their process.

Re: "response is instant when you mash the gas peddle" -- FAIL! Also, the manual speaks about holding down the charge cable button (page 16). Lastly, it should be "heel" when referring to Achilles' posterior.

All told, an informative review. Seems consensus is once the car is in your hands it's great but not without minor problems. The delivery experience seems to vary widely, both in what condition the car is in as well as how the car is delivered (open/closed trailer/driven: charged/not: tagged/not: inspected/not: etc). Of course some of the problems relate to 50 states doing things 50 different ways, but car dealers must adapt.

My major concern, living in the middle of the country with NO usable chargers of ANY type within 100 miles, is the range when cold. From what I can tell, the model 85 should be rated at around 150 miles to prevent a Broder. For what I need a vehicle to do, the S is not ready for prime time but represents a marvelous start at a premium price. Thanks to the early adopters!

I think it's a great review. I want to know the good things as well as the things to watch out for before I take delivery in Apr/May. So I appreciate everyone who has review that are well balanced. So far nothing that I have seen has made me too nervous!

NNT = Liar Liar Liar.

My personal perspective -

I'd like to say the purchasing/delivery process was quite refreshing.

Out of college I used to sell cars at two dealerships. Later, my company landed a software development contract for inventory, F&I, and service for a Toyota franchise holder in part based on my experience. I don't like the adversarial nature of car buying from a franchise. As a sales person you are taught to screw the nice folks, because the hard negotiators don't leave you with much profit. Therefore, you take it where you can get it.

Each stage of the process is designed to extract profit, from the sales staff, to the closing manager, to the F&I guy, to the aftermarket floor mats and rust coating.

The Tesla experience was very refreshing. Staff in the stores could not sell you a car if they wanted to. Purchase is done online. They can help you, but can't do it for you. Price is set in advance. No wondering if you got screwed, or got a great deal. Everyone gets the same price nationwide. No second sticker, no hidden fees. Flat delivery charge, state tax if any, and the state license fee. Bam. Done.

I waived delievery and decided to pick up at the store. Had a friend drop us off at the nearest transit center into Seattle, grabbed a bus, then the trolley, and a one block walk. Car was ready, we were met on time, walked with the DS another two blocks to their indoor storage, got a hour walk through, and drove our baby home. First time I ever drove one.

Compared to the nerve wracking experience I'd had in the past (on eiehter side of the desk), this was sooooo pleasant and straightforward.

I really hope they do well, because I would never consider an ICE again. I feel that I'm going to be a Tesla for life customer.

Overall very pleased with TSLA experience so far. Full disclosure that I'm still waiting for my car and a firm delivery window but from reservation to now, it was an awesome experience. Delivery side there are definitely some rough edges (experiencing them first hand) that will get smoothend out. I want to give TSLA some benefit in that an aggressive ramp up in production can create issues for downstream process but overall, I'm glad TSLA is successfully bringing a welcome change to car buying experience. Kudos TSLA.

cfriedberg Enjoyed the blog post and videos (the link is good):

So received my car last week, and I love it, but wow what a bad delivery experience...wrote it up for a little blog site I contribute to...

Looking forward to your follow up views of Tesla Model S experience.

"FAIL" indeed. Why would the MS peddle gas? Hitting the goose pedal gives you instant electric go-power!

Sheesh, pretty tough crowd.

1. I know not who NNT is, I only recently joined the forums after my car was delivered.
2. As for instant response when i hit the gas peddle, true, I should have used the word 'accelerator' rather than 'gas', but to call the entire review a fail is just plain silly
3. Was unaware everyone was charged delivery...seems kind of silly to be charged if you pick up, although I do get the 'destination' charge one mentioned above that is typical with a car. I will correct this.
4. Didn't realize that 'Broder' has become a coined term...hysterical.

Overall I've been please with the car, but my delivery was a total clusterf...fortunately the car makes up for it.

So I corrected $900 comment and 'gas peddle' in review. As per having to push and hold the charging unit to remove it, yes, that is in the manual, but as I clearly indicated, the delivery specialist told me otherwise.

Bottom line is I love the car, but I find it worrisome that when even enthusiasts point out issues or problems, they are attacked and either called 'liars' or worse. Very Apple-like. Before doing so, consider that, I was an early believer and I wrote I loved the car.

One has every right to disagree with my or any review, and if there are errors in it please point them out and I will correct (as I have already done with the two above comments), but let's keep that liar accusations out of it. :) Thanks.

Love the car too; yes, it takes a little time to get use to the different technology and terminology. There are clearly many first generation items but I would rather have the car now and enjoy it than wait for perfection.
You can take delivery at the factory if you don't live in California and yes everyone gets charged the $900. What is more significant is that you have to pay Fremont sales tax (9%) regardless of where your final destination turns out to be.
My delivery experience was nowhere near what it should have been for the price range; there is no excuse. I am currently living in Utah and my Product Specialist botched the plans and sent the car to Maryland so I ended up taking delivery there. That was the biggest issue but there were plenty of smaller ones too.
TM staff have always been very courteous and friendly which I appreciate but they don't grasp the anxiety of a $100k investment in a company with so little history. It maybe a generational norm but little emphasis is placed by the staff on details such as communicating the when, where, and hows; something that sets the established high end companies apart from TM. In every way the TM staff are in the same class as those selling iPads.
In the end I always wanted a car where the design and production engineers took the front seat, I can live with the rest of it. The car is fantastic!

@StefanT - why did you take delivery in Maryland? They would have shipped the car to Utah.

Thanks for the comments, and in general I agree...I had an issue where I didn't understand that the only sunroof was the glass one (I just assumed a 90K car came with one, I was wrong). I called up as soon as I found out, shortly after I finalized my car, and asked them to add the sun/moonroof, whatever its called. I was told no, too late. It took 2 months (Oct and Nov) of talking to people to finally get them to add it (and its great). But to your point, when buying a car like this, the service/delivery is something I think is key. What finally got them to do it was I, very kindly, told a senior person (so they said), that either a) they add the moon roof or b) they can keep the $5K and I'm going to get a Panamera. Fortunately they added the moonroof b/c I love the car.

Absolutely shocked you didn't have them ship the car back to you in Utah, even more shocked they didn't offer.

Bottom line, while the car is amazing, and I have zero regrets (tonight will be the first night it will be valet parked...little nervous about that), they, admittedly, need to work on the delivery process.

drp | MARCH 2, 2013
Okay woo hoo! It's been about seven hours and I just absolutely love this car. The delivery was to my house and he was 45 minutes early for the delivery. I think the delivery specialist, Andrew, was as excited I was He spent about two hours with me and we went for a little ride and went through all the things that are outlined on the video as well. I went out on the expressway by myself and put about 80 miles on it. It only had 18 on it when they arrived. I don't think I'll have any problem at all getting terrific range. It was about 27° out and I was using about 310Wh average so far. I can see how I can burn to the energy about pounding around on the accelerator but I don't plan on doing that too much. I was able to get the range to just increase as I drove along the expressway. The car really does love 55 or 57 mph however. That's all for now, going to take it out and showed off in the nightlight for dinner! Oh by the way, I plug it into the 1450 and at 30 A I'm getting about 28 mph charge. I dialed it down from 40 A because I wanted to take time.more later.
Charged to 280 miles at 29 A. I dialed it back but the full amps came to 39/40 flickering back and forth. This was on standard charge

3 days short of 6 months from order to delivery at home

congrats. I'm surprised you only had 18 miles on it, mine had much more. I actually asked him why so many miles were on the car. He told me because they 'break in' the car...something specifically about the battery which kind of went in one ear and out another...enjoy. I'm loving mine, just passed 750 miles on it today...

Good summary. Watch out - I was also once called "the most honest person on this website" because I said something critcal about TM marketing (overstating range), and the troll likes that sort of thing. Then I figured him out... (I am way slower than others in that respect).

If you ever need a charge, I have a free and available HPWC on the Eastern Shore of VA, a charger wasteland... Easily found on

cfriedberg - didn't say the review was a fail, just the sentence - now corrected. You still need to "heal" (defined as "to set right") your "heel" (the body part)... Looking forward to the follow-up, especially any cold weather info you can provide.

thanks for the offer and advice, you mean you have a HPWC that you don't need? I'm still waiting on mine, they told me I should have by the end of March...for now I have a Nema 6-50 installed (and a regular 110 on my backup generator panel)...I'll be on the lookout for trolls.

But in all seriousness, its a first gen car, it can't be perfect, no car is (but I love mine and its AWESOME), but I am surprised at the venom that can come one's way when they make an honest comment....

Cfriedberg and others,

Thanks for coming on the forum ... I'm living the dream thru the forum, your videos and reviews...

until the family gets our Model S delivered.


Could you please correct an error in the last paragraph. You say that supercharging is only free to those who purchase the twin charger upgrade. This is incorrect. Free supercharging is available to all owners with an 85 kWh battery and those 60 kWh battery owners that purchase the seperate supercharging upgrade. Supercharging is competely unrelated to single or twin onboard chargers. Thank you!

As for your delivery specialist comments I think they are fairly ridiculous. You in the end had the correct delivery specialist arrive within 30 minutes of the time he said he would arrive, I think it is completely unreasonable to be pissed he didn't answer his phone whilst driving, and as for answering a call from a work colleague I screen calls all the time whilst driving and answering work calls is far more likely then non work calls. In the end he was ~20 mins from your house and answering your call would have changed nothing.
The complaint about charge level is again nitpicking, "full" on normal range is 90% but the car will commonly float down a few percent even if kept plugged in so 85% plus would be considered full, your car was delivered at 75%, were talking about the difference between ~200 miles of range and 225 miles of range. In the end the only reason for the initial charge concern was because you thought you were only going to have 110v charging however a delivery specialist hand delivered the correct NEMA adapter later the same day, rendering the entire point moot.

I am on temporary assignment in Utah which has no access to TM service. When I placed my reservation the delivery was expected summer '13 which placed me well back in the DC area. Since my build was earlier than expected I was to take delivery in Fremont and spend a few days getting to know the car in an area that is EV friendly. This way if I encountered service issues I would have access to TM. My friendly product specialist was on this from the beginning and we talked every few days through production.
A few days before I flew out to Fremont I was informed the car was at the Rockville center. The time for TM to ship the car back to Fremont was outside my window to have any significant time in CA with it. I also felt time with the delivery specialist would be important, something I would lose with a Utah drop and run. Plus a delivery in Utah meant I had to pay the Fremont 9% sales tax. I decided to take delivery in MD and store the car until I return in July. It was a rational decision, saving 3% in taxes, faster cross country drive back to DC without it, and having a car in the DC area instead of a rental when I have to visit but emotionally it is another story. I get to play with it every few weeks when I am back in DC but I really miss it. I find myself checking in on it quite often with the phone app.

Thanks for your comments, unfortunately you are exactly the type of venom I referred to. I purchased a $100K car, on spec. For that I believe I have the right to have certain expectations:

1. You failed to point out that my final DS was the 3rd assigned to me
2. You failed to point out that I spoke to the DS the day and three days before delivery, when he could have told me about the lack of the proper adapter.
3. You failed to point out that he had the opportunity to tell me the morning he delivered the car, that the car was not charged nor inspected
4. I failed to point out that the car was delivered with 161 rated miles of range, my math of 75% was admittedly off.
5. You failed to point out that if I didn't raise the point of not having the correct adapter, in all likelihood it would not have been delivered to me that day (nor did you point out I gave them credit in the review for delivering it that same day).

See here's the problem, I gave an honest review, which ended with my pointing out I love the car. You however, chose to point to 2, TWO items of the 10's or more I pointed out that was below or beyond expectation. That is the problem. I hope, no, I WANT, Tesla to be the best car company out there. I've financially supported it to be so. So why can't I point out things that I feel could be improved without being attacked? Am I not a supporter of Tesla? Far from it, I am an AVID supporter, but apparently you have an issue with me being honest. That is a shame, and not in Tesla's best interest.

Making the correction now, thanks for the info!

Oh, and Docrob, I was told by my DS, the day before, that the car would come fully charged (as I noted in my review)...if he told me otherwise, I wouldn't have noted it as an issue.

I didn't have the best delivery experience either, and I certainly complained to my DS, and they responded "We know, and they are working on it". What more can I ask?

I know expectations are high when spending 100K (this is more than double any car I ever bought, so mine certainly were) but after having the car 3 weeks, the frustration has faded.

I'm sure everyone has read this before, but it's worth repeating...we are the early adopters, and we're suffering through the growing pains.
Not that we shouldn't report them, but that we should expect them.

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