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...

I don't think my post was venemous, and you most certainly are allowed to point out whatever you wish, but aren't I allowed to do the same and make a comment that I think your complaints are unwarranted?
What other car comes with a delivery specialist who comes to your home and takes you through the features of the vehicle, whether or not the one you got was the 1st or the 3rd assigned to you the fact that they exist at all is a step of service well above what other manufacturers provide. My point about the adapter is despite a slight hiccup in terms of what you were told about availability in the end a company representative had delivered you the item within 12 hours of you receiving the car, I think you can count on one hand the number of companies who would provide such a service. I would also rather they err on the side of caution, if they are not sure an adapter will be available because inventory is low I'd rather they say it may not be available then make promises they cant keep.

In the end I think Tesla has set the bar higher then most other comparable products and whilst I agree they should aim to maintain that consistently high standard I also understand that with hundreds of employees living in the real world hiccups will occur, it is how they deal with them that is the most telling and I think your story is far more telling in the fact that the small niggles were solved rapidly and fully.


Your criticism of a complaint about the delivery is not warranted because you are comparing Tesla to other manufacturers and they are different. The fact that Texas makes it some sort of a crime for Tesla reps to even tell prospective customers the prices says something.

You can't go buy a car at a Tesla dealership and delivery isn't on a dealer's lot. There are no Tesla dealer lots. They have showrooms (or whatever they call them). If they had dealer lots and traditional sales people, then the need for a delivery specialist would not be warranted.

Tesla promotes this service because it serves a purpose and they also include the fee for that service on the contract, so expecting Tesla to fulfill their contractual obligation is not unreasonable.

Tesla has changed the way cars are sold. That's great. They are a young company and have not paid as much attention to the small details that cause disproportional distress for their customers, but at the same time they are attempting to produce the best product possible. I think what they are doing is great or I wouldn't have been willing to pay 100K for a car that will no doubt soon be scratched or marked in some way.

I think it is necessary that the customers who pay these prices speak up so that Tesla learns and improves. All who bought have to realize that the company is young and acknowledge it isn't perfect, but to say criticism is unwarranted is to be oblivious to the concept of golden nuggets. Complaints that are received can be useful in improving the product and services.

Anyone is free to say what they want. We all have opinions. Some may say things that others think are irrelevant, but attempting to prevent any negative comment because you think it unwarranted is not useful.

I didn't in any way shape or form "attempt to prevent any negative comment" I simply expressed my disagreement with his comment. I think that the statement "the delivery process is broken" is completely out of proportion with the experience as described and I said so. Can you explain exactly how I tried to prevent him from making any comment he wished?

You responded to cfriedberg and said you were entitled to your opinion about his comment. You said one of his comments was ridiculous. You can certainly disagree, but when you add insult, it goes too far and amounts to bullying and attempting to control the discussion.

This is an very intersting thread - don't go into the he said she said mode... Not helpful

Only a process that once existed working can be broken. The Tesla delivery process is still just an idea and in its infancy to be implemented. So far it is only a skeleton of the idea, it still a process in the making. I like the idea.

That was my expectation from day one and also taking delivery yesterday at the factory. Besides paperwork the walkthrough barely lasted 5 min... I got my questions satisfied, some unexpected info and out of there.

So I think it depends soley on your expectation - if you expect that Tesla has polished processes like a 50 to 100 year old company then you will be disappointed.

The moment I made a reservation I wrote the entire purchase price off as a loss. Now every little thing I get out of the car pure gain.

Understandably TM is in its infancy and the car and entire process is a new. I was prepared for many issues with a first generation vehicle but have found the car exceeding my expectations and coming in very close to what I was dreaming of. What I don't understand is the disparity in the outstanding quality of the design and manufacturing compared to the inconsistent performance of the Tesla experience, in particular the delivery process. I confess upfront that my background is the development side of the house and I am completely naive about the other aspects. What I have learned is that creating something entirely new requires a well defined vision, leadership with the experience to know where the alligators may be hiding and a team that has the training and is focused on the end goal. Clearly this is the case with the car itself. I have to wonder which ingredient is missing from creating the Tesla experience. If it is simply a case that non-recurring manufacturing cost were greater than planned and ate away at the budget for developing the Tesla experience then I am good with that answer and even agree. Give me the best car you can build and I can live with everything else.

@charles friedberg

WTF, You are "reviewing" a car you did not research when you ordered it? You did not know about the "roof options"? You did not know about not having a heated steering wheel or backseats? (you should have known about these things and accepted them without bitching.)
You then complain about who shows up to "your door" to deliver the most advanced auto of all time! You try to call him many times when he is trying to deliver to you? What, he is supposed to pull over and take your call? You then bitch at him for being 30 min. late? I could go a bunch more, but I will stop!


"The moment I made a reservation I wrote the entire purchase off as a loss. Now every little thing I get out of the car pure gain."

This is a awesome attitude. It is also my attitude.

I am only 12 days away from delivery. I could care less what is "broken" on the car when I get it. I could care less about what breaks when I own it, because Tesla will fix it! If I want more cup holders, I will buy them. If I want a coat hangar, I will break out my drill and put one up. I do not care what the car will be worth in 5 years!!! I just want my Tesla...And I will not give them any shit when I get it. I will be happy!

I took delivery a few days ago, which was about 10 days after promised. Apparently during their QE process they found a problem in the drive train so needed to replace and retest before delivery. I was disappointed but ultimately happy to know they perform a thorough quality control before they send them out. My delivery specialist, Chris swann out of Phoenix was superb. He checked on the status daily and kept me informed. When it was finally ready, tesla made a special delivery from costa mesa to las vegas to get it to me the next day. Chris flew in from Phoenix simultaneously just to show me how everything worked. I was impressed with how they recovered from a bad situation, that's the mark of a company that is concerned with their long term reputation. Very encouraging. As to the car - all the hype and all the excitement is well deserved. There are a dozen things I find annoying (primarily the lack of covered storage). Beyond that, all I can say is wow, this car is freakin awesome! I find excuses to drive it constantly - it truly is an amazing product

I certainly didn't intend to prevent him from making comments by using the word ridiculous. I am a firm believer in everyone's right to say ridiculous things. Personally I think if you think the word "ridiculous" is bullying and controlling then you've suffered very little of either. I disagree firmly with some of his opinions but I support strongly his right to express them.

@skymaster, I ordered the car in Feb 2012, there was very little information to go on. Options not finalized, pricing not finalized, etc, etc.

I find it interesting that people leave out the lack of inspection (illegal in NY State) and messed up registration as well when commenting on all that went wrong with my delivery. In terms of all the other comments that my expectations should be 'low' because either a) the process is new and b) they come to my door, my counter to that is TM sets the expectation that the entire process will be different and better than a typical car buying experience. That's the expectation the company sets.

Threads like these are very interesting. As a business owner and entrepreneur myself, every time I've started a company I've relied on early adopters to support my business and to make it successful. I always encourage customers to let us know everything about their buying process, the good and the bad, especially the bad - because that's where the best, most important improvements can be made. When those early adopters, who I knew were supporters of the firm (after all, they were early adopters), came back to me with horror stories about the process, I don't call them liars or nitpickers, I thanked them. I thanked them because 1) they were taking the time to help me and the company get better and 2) because I knew they weren't bombing the company, they were supporting it. Had I written either on this board or in my review that I hated the car, regretted my purchase, and the car sucked I could understand some of the feedback, but I didn't, I did the opposite. I hope Mr. Musk & Co have my attitude towards feedback on these forums rather than some of the others.

The fundamental task of a delivery system is to deliver you a functioning product, did it do that? Yes. Therefore I think the phrase "the delivery process is broken" is untrue. Were there glitches that were fixed, yes, are there ways it might be improved, yes, but I maintain that the story as told does not reflect a "broken" system. I have no issue with feedback and constructive criticism but this seemed inflammatory and not all that constructive.

I'll respectfully disagree. The task of the Tesla Delivery Process is to deliver the car as per the expectations set. That includes

1. Properly inspected (not having this is more than a 'glitch' as its illegal to deliver a car that isn't inspected because you can't register the car properly)
2. Properly registered with the state.
3. Fully charged (as per Tesla)

You and others seem to keep glossing over those first two points. Could one say having 1 DS never contact me, and then getting passed off to 2 others, along with not getting a charging adapter (so you know, I could charge my not fully charged car) was a minor glitch? Sure, I'll concede that, but that WAS NOT THE ENTIRE STORY. So taking the full story, are there major communication processes that need to be resolved - at least according to Tesla, and emails I've gotten as a follow up to my delivery, yes. To suggest that reporting exactly what happened, especially numbers 1 and 2 above as inflammatory is a gross mischaracterization of what I did. That said, I'm going to let this one rest, b/c you and others can't seem to take all of what I wrote into account, instead focusing on two points, which is your right, but not worth my time further to dispute.

Love the car.

I think a missed compliance inspection that was able to be carried out in a few hours with a few phone calls is similarly a minor glitch. Tesla is delivering this car to 50 states and D.C and now also to several other countries. All have their own bureaucracies and requirements and trying to navigate dozens and dozens of them as a new player ramping up quickly is a nightmare. Will glitches occur yes. Did one occur here yes, but it was quickly and easily solved. Feedback is useful so they can add the inspection requirement to a checklist for deliveries in your state but I don't think the inspection issue is anything other then a minor glitch in a new and inevitably imperfect system.

Hysterical..."quickly and easily", doesn't entail 2 hours of calling around to find someone who could do the inspection. Making excuses for what every car company that operates in the US is required to do by law isn't going to help them. I did mention that it is against the law to deliver an improperly registered car without an inspection right? :) Moving on...

I would consider any regulatory issue that can be solved in under 3 hours incredibly quick and easy.


A process that fails to meet local regulatory issues is indeed "broken". Per cfriedberg, the DS *delivered* a car that did not meet local laws, thus -- broken. At the momemt the DS handed the FOB over to cfriedberg, Tesla could be levied fee(s) and what ever other penalties may apply. It is totally unacceptable that it happened for a 100 year old company or a 1 month old company. If Tesla isn't ready for a particular areas rules (ie: doesn't have it processes properly in place and executable) it doesn't need to be deliverying there until it does.

Which brings up a 2nd point - all our fanboys want to use the youth of Tesla as an excuse for quality & delivery issues. Unlike skymaster, I don't have $100K to "write off" - so I fully expect to get the product I paid for (2-3 weeks to delivery). I don't *expect* to have QA issues, I *expect* that when the DS arrives I will have a car I can drive to my neighbors homes and show off (legally). I expect to be able to drive said car every day without issues (within it's stated constraints and stated maintenance requirements). If I have to take it in for repairs (I'm already unhappy because it not meeting the previous expectation) it needs to be quick and painless - so I can get back to driving my car every day.

These expectations are no different than any other car, including the one I spent $70k less to buy. And yes, the amount I pay for something does raise the level of expectation -- I really don't care about the age of the company as far as that goes.. It's still my money and I expect the promised product for it.

So while some of cfriedberg comments may have been a little melodramatic, he is totally justified to be upset - a product (which includes delivery) was promised and not quite delivered.

Thanks for your very rational response. But I want to be clear on something, I was upset about the delivery process, not the car (it's awesome, you'll love it, even if, when for the first time you go pick up your dry cleaning, you realize there are no hooks in the back to hang it :) ). You also make a very good point, the expectations I have when picking up a Porsche are different than when picking up a Honda (no offense to any Honda owners out there, which I was once).

I disagree that the expectations when picking up a Porsche are or should be different than those when picking up a Honda. I expect to be given what I was told I would get at the time of purchase, regardless of price. Anything less is a failure on the part of the company, whether I'm buying a car or a pizza.

RobertAL, don't you think you are being overly sensitive? You might want everything to be PC, but these guys are having a great discussion. Having both sides of any issue is a plus.

I was a little floored when I read the review. Your outrage at the ds delay, and the number of calls you were making before the car even showed up. You paid a lot of money to get an expensive car, and you got one.

I find it hard to believe you didn reasearch things like the sunroof. And lets be clear. You DIDN'T order your car in Feb 2012 as you state. If you had, you would have received the car months ago. You reserved the car in Feburary, perhaps. When did you do your configuration? Im guessing about September of 2012, correct? All the info was up long before that point, except supercharger option on the 60.

The delivery process is CLEARLY broken and in some cases does not even exist. Docrob's insulting and demeaning responses notwithstanding, he and others here seem to think there should be zero experience standards as long as we end up with a car at the end.

There is no arguing with the following statement: I was pulled over yesterday for the sixth and seventh times for having no tags, once in Virginia and once in Maryland. Until now, I have gotten away after explaining and showing the TM letter. However, I now have a ticket from Virginia for not having an inspection sticker. Of course I can't have the car inspected without a registration. Any other new car beng delivered to a Virginia owner comes standard with the sticker on the windshield. Every other car manufacturer selling cars in these states has engaged with a system that somehow avoids guaranteed interaction with the police, and ultimately being ticketed. TM, on the other hand delivers cars to customers in a way that absolutely guarantees that you WILL be pulled over and be made very uncomfortable at a minimum, and potentially wind up court, as I must now do. This is a moving violation, without points, but expect to be found guilty, as there is no grace period in Virginia. The officer who pulled me in Virginia yesterday had pulled me over about two weeks ago. This time I got the ticket, and next time I will be impounded. TM's delivery experience isn't broken? Really? Really?

I have spoken with Tesla staff about this, and they are beyond embarrassed. They have aplogized profusely, bith in person and in writing. But they also have no solution. They know there is no excuse, and say themselves that the delivery system is a nonfunctioning work in progress. Those of you who make excuses for TM, saying we should give them a break because this is a new company with start up issues that will be resolved, don't get it. The delivery process is sold by TM in capital letters as one way they are revolutionizing and improving the automotive world. Really? Really?

Right now, today, the employees in Maryland and DC are just shaking their heads about how it is going, nicely referring to planned improvements and to "issues" in California. They get changing direction daily about where and when it is legal to deliver cars (and right now even they don't know if it is okay to deliver at the Rockville location, but are doing so under a kind of black-market "don't tell anyone" approach.) Really? Really?

The decision to eliminate dealers may or may not eventually turn out to be a good one. But right now, about 5,000 cars into delivery, it is completely broken (or if you prefer, failing). It is far too dependent on individual employee performance and is not systematized, and some systems, such as licensing and inspection, dont exist. This is logical given that every state has different rules and requirements, which is one reason why auto dealers exist. How can any one manufacturer, even GM, deal with the myriad of licensing and inspection rules that vary from state to state and country to country? They have enough challenges understanding and meeting state-level design, safety and emissions criteria.

TM may eventually figure it out, but I doubt it, as their volume cannot justify the kind of investment that would make buying a Tesla in every government jurisdiction as seamless as walking into a locally-licensed car dealer. I also detest the dealer model, but can at least talk to a decision maker there, not true with TM. And in my experience, MB, BMW, and Porsche have figured it how to make the customer/manufacturer experience pretty seamless. I do not advocate that model either, but perhaps there are good reasons that it evolved to what we have today. In the meantime, TM is looking like a silly neophyte in a field with pros as the comparable model. Right now they have no clue how to do it without putting their customers into hot water. How's that work for ya? I also love my car, but the TM experience leaves me personally in trouble, with potential legal and insurance ramifications, solely because of THEIR delivery process. Defend THAT Docrob.

I was recently speaking with the head of BMW Motoraad US, the motorcycle arm of BMW. They have exactly one factory owned US store and delivery point, in Manhattan, NY. I have purchased two vehicles directly from them (one motorcycle, one Mini), and discussed with him why they don't do it in more locations. He said that BMW's Manhattan showroom is really there for product visibility and marketing, similar to the Manhattan NBA store, Niketown or Sony store. It isn't about making money there, and they don't, it is purely for marketing, but they do sell some cars directly that way. He went on to explain that BMW explored doing more factory stores, but determined that the minefields at the state level were sufficiently complex and varied, that it wasn't worth the hassle, that the dealer model, despite all of its inefficiencies, is the only way to deliver relatively low-volume products into the consumer market, at least for BMW.

It is pretty clear that TM either did not do enough research or decided to learn on the job. Whatever the answer, it isn't working. Yes, we are getting our cars. That isn't the only standard.


I don't believe I am overly sensitive at all. I defended a person's right to express frustration and criticized the way he was challenged. I don't criticize any challenge itself.

What I believe is that all are entitled to their opinion, critical of Tesla or not. The objection is to the style of rebuttal often found on message boards where a person responds with ridicule rather than reason or with a childish "no you're wrong" but offering nothing of substance to back it up.

It sure seems as though there are a group here who are quick to criticize or challenge even when no comment is warranted. Some are perceived as supporters even as they slip in what reads as unfounded negativity just as there are those who attack any critic who happens to be an owner and is reporting something that can be improved.

This forum serves a useful purpose for those awaiting their vehicles as well as for those enjoying their recent acquisition. The concern by any "defender" that negative comments are in any way a threat to the future of Tesla should not be seriously entertained. Not that many who can afford the car will spend time on a message board if they have not already made the commitment to own it.

I can make my own decisions about the relative value or merit of a comment and don't need others discouraging anyone from offering their thoughts. On the other hand, there are the trolls who stir up the board and serve no beneficial purpose. I think ignoring them is as important as encouraging experiential negative reports. If one disagrees with the reports, challenge it with their own experience, but don't challenge the legitimacy of any owner's feelings or thoughts.

"unfounded criticism"? its unfounded to be dismayed at receiving a car that isn't properly registered and having no inspection? Really? How, as an owner, can I be considered any but a supporter? What you and others seem to say is that supporter=never say bad thing about TM. That's ridiculous. NY delivery/service and even CA OE people, like Dave, have expressed embarrassment and remorse at how my delivery was handled. Even internally they are saying the process is not working.

I take great offense at being referred to as a 'troll who stir up the board and serve no beneficial purpose'. Great offense. Providing feedback to TM, like many others, is INVALUABLE to the company improving and becoming a successful company.

correct, i 'reserved' the car in Feb, people really are a bit uptight on jargon...that said, yes, i 'reserved' it in february. And I'm not really concerned as to whether or not you believe I didn't realize that the only sunroof was the glass one, what purpose does it serve to show I overlooked something so basic?

Again being a 'supporter' is not mutual exclusive from being critical.

@Pungoteague_Dave, thank you for being a voice of reason amongst the clatter of fanboyism.


You have lost track of the thread. You have now become what I was accused of being for defending you. Rather than explain myself, I suggest you go back and read all the comments and then you will realize how seriously confused you have become. Or perhaps docrob will chime in and present your latest post as evidence to support his comments, which I criticized.

Maybe I have lost track, if you were actually defending me, apologies...

+1 RobertAL

I have been asked many times to make private my threads reporting real issues, such as overstated range expectations, licensing problems, and my loose bumper nuts, apparently because some people believe that any issues discussed here can potentially impact brand value and sales. They often say it is okay to discuss, but only among owners, not outsiders, or where media can see. I disregard that kind of parental policing.

Oh, and nnt is a proven, documented, lying troll. I learned the hard way it s best not to respond to him in any way.


I have read your comments all over the forum. I think they present a fair and reasonable account of the positives and negatives experienced by owners. The licensing fiasco is especially concerning.

Anyone thinking of buying would be served by reading all the comments. It prepares them before delivery to inspect or ask about items they might have overlooked or not been aware are a concern. This is new technology produced by a very young and ambitious company. Problems with both are to be expected but not overlooked or dismissed. Car and company improve with owner input. I expect that Musk recognizes that, even if some of the owners do not.

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