There's a reason for the existence of dealerships: they are local businesses that local jurisdictions can hold accountable for such things as lemon law refunds. If Tesla wants out from under the dealership laws, they better handle this kind of problem more professionally from the factory.
They also need to grow their corporate PR and communications to be bigger than a single Twitter account if they're going to appeal to a mass market.
All that being said, I really like my Model S. I hope they make it.
I'm not sure this argument holds water. Civil and criminal law hold all sorts of corporate entities accountable without forcing them to franchise out the business of sales and service. We have a sort of "protected status" for car dealers now in order to prevent the manufacturers from squashing them unfairly after setting up local markets and goodwill.
The idea that franchised dealerships somehow improve customer service is laughable.
The former has an incentive to portray its product as a stress-free and worry-free purchase, as most people are not thrilled about buying a clunker that has consistent issues. Highest mark of success here is the complete lack of future customer interaction - no complaints, no warranty claims, no recalls, no class-action lawsuits.
The latter one does not get paid until the customer comes in for service, and the higher the frequency, the better.
Say you have two service writers. One is highly competent, motivated and puts the customer's interests first, they try to properly diagnose the problem and fix it the first time. They will also strive to learn from any mistakes so they are not repeated. The other doesn't really care and just does the easy thing. Throw parts at the problem and if you can get the manufacturer or the customer to pick up the tab then all the better.
When it comes time for promotions what gets considered? Is it minimal repairs, customer satisfaction or is it dollars in the register? It could be some combination of all of course but I think at the end of the day it is dollars as long as the customers in general have a perception they are being cared for. If that means telling them a repair will be free from BMW that's probably even better than not having a problem at all. A customer may think "Wow the dealer really helped me out of a jam there!" even though the problem never existed.
Over time this means that the thoughtful and customer-focused service writers get pushed out of dealership service departments for a lack of performance. In fact the service writer at my independent shop used to work at the dealer and left.
Given how easy it is to properly gap a spark plug, I can't help but think this is a scam when it is overlooked. But the scam only works if you don't get the gap too far out of spec. The victim should come back a month later, not a day later.
Oh, forgot one more thing. They didn't tighten down the coolant cap fully, so that eventually seeped out enough to set off the coolant level alarms.
It's a staggering level of incompetence.
The amazing thing isn't just the degree to which they make mistakes it's the frequency. More often than not they are doing the job wrong.
If you have the knowledge to jack up your car then just do it yourself, it's really easy, even better if your car is such that you can reach the fluid valve by the wheel without jacking it up.
Buy a brake bleeder kit, it's a small bottle with hoses.
You'll need an assistant to press and release the brakes on command.
Keep an eye on the fluid reservoir and don't let it go dry or you'll waste even more time and fluid bleeding it. Keep it covered at all times, open it just long enough to fill - don't do it like the mechanics, who just leave it open since it's not their car and they don't care.
He stores his with brake fluid in it which seems to me to defeat the purpose of bleeding brakes because the weed sprayer isn't going to be any more resistant to moisture than the brake system in the car. I'll probably have him help me build my own and then use that.
There is also a tool library around here that may have an actual pressure bleeder I can rent.
Leave brake fluid stuff to the experts. If you manage to get any moisture or air into your brake systems, say goodbye to your brakes. Back when I had a car, I did everything by myself except brakes, engine works and steering - mess up on these three and you can end up dead.
That isn't true at all. You just bleed the air out, it's really easy, I've done it multiple times using just a small $5 brake bleeding bottle.
The only way you'd get enough water in your brake system for it to cause a problem is if you poured it in there, or left it open for several days.
> Back when I had a car, I did everything by myself except brakes, engine works and steering - mess up on these three and you can end up dead.
The brakes are the easiest [major] thing of all to to fix on a car. Your caution was completely unnecessary.
Yeah but when the brakes fail (or the steering, or the engine seizes) you usually end up injured or dead.
If you have had a licensed mechanic dealing with the life-critical stuff and it turns out that it was the fault of the mechanic then you can at least sue his insurance for damages after the fact (or, if you die, your dependants can sue, e.g. for widowers' benefit). It also protects you from being sued by others in case your screw-up causes an accident.
Unfortunately, their insurance didn't cover dropping the gas tank that was in the way of replacing the brake lines, so then I had the fun of driving to the next nearest place two miles away with only a handbrake and engine compression to slow me down. Fun times!
However, no brake system is perfectly water right because it has moving parts. Flushing the system periodically removes this moisture before it can accumulate to a level that will cause significant corrosion of the internal brake parts.
You are right to be concerned about moisture, that's actually why they need bled. BMW suggests bleeding them roughly every other oil change because no system is perfectly water/moisture tight.
The nice thing about having my mechanic do it is they already have a place to do it and they deal with the waste fluid plus they also inspect the rest of the car and have a lot more experience with what to look for than I do. Preventative maintenance is a big deal on these cars so having an experienced mechanic look at it regularly puts my mind at ease.
I just recently started renting a friend's garage so I could rebuild my motorcycle so now that I have my tools and a space to do work I am much more likely to do this kind of thing myself.
A large C-clamp and the old pad work just fine.
I was in the waiting room of another Toyota dealership and the service writer told a woman that her scheduled service would cost $500.00 because her drain plug was stripped out and she needed a new oil pan. She insisted that the car had always been serviced at that Toyota dealer and they told her they could not verify that and the part is not covered under warranty because it is a "wear part".
The incentive structure at a dealer service department is the exact opposite of favorable to the customer. Dealers are incentivized to perform the maximum number of warranty services so as long as they don't run afoul of the manufacturers expectation of warranty costs they are rewarded for excessive repairs. The excessive repairs are passed on to new customers in the form of less standard equipment and increased sticker prices so as long as sales are at an acceptable level manufacturers have no incentive to call the dealers on it.
When out of warranty cars come in the customer is treated as a blank check to be bled dry because most people won't question the repairs if the price seems reasonable.
e: I forgot about the time that same Toyota dealer that left out the drain plug over-torqued my lug nuts so severely that they warped the brake rotors. I noticed the pulsing in the brakes and pulled the wheels off to replace the rotors and the studs snapped off with my hand wrench! They were so tight that the threads were visibly stretched.
Oh and when I worked there as a lot attendant in high school a tech replaced a radiator but didn't reattach the fan shroud so when I started the vehicle the whole fan/shroud assembly exploded and destroyed the radiator.
Guess what. In of his his visits to the dealership, the mechanic came around and pointed out with 'pride' that he had found completely worn out brake pads. His brake pads were worn out to the point where simple replacing replacing wasn't enough. Because the brake pads weren't replaced in time, the repair was going to be more complicated and $$.
The thing is my coworker had been taking the car to the same dealership since he had bought it there like 3 years before. And apparently no one had inspected or bothered to inform customer about the worn out brake pads.
Think about it. Elon Musk, the man who very possibly could put first humans on Mars, is annoyed with car dealerships enough to the point he refuses to sell his Teslas through dealers. He is going through needless hassle with sales channel of Tesla because he's sick of car dealerships.
As is at the doctors. A doctor should be paid for not seeing you.
Then I found a physio (= physical therapist) who treated it but also gave me an explanation for what was wrong, an exercise regime, and told me that, in the nicest possible sense, she hoped never to see me again.
From my personal experience dealers are much worse than tire shops but I'm not going to claim that's true in general.
It's unfortunate that the shop that carries the manufacturers name is not a trustworthy place to have the work done, even with their exorbitant premium on labor.
The Tesla model irks me because they are also pretty much keeping all repair work in house; disclosure I work for a major parts/repair/distribution company; and this limits both customer choice but also valuable information on reliability that all consumers should be able to get access too.
That letter at the end looks exactly like a corporate guilt acceptance letter you see in the news. We settle but do not plead guilty. That just doesn't cut it in a consumer oriented industry like auto sales and I really don't see how Tesla will be able to defend their dealer less strategy with the III should problems shake out this way. If anything the noise on the internet should be loud.
This was the day of first bitter truth of Tesla: even you have a new car covered
by warranty, you will need to wait in line for a few days to get it checked up.
I get that not every car that rolls off the production line can be perfect (though I suspect that Tesla's defect/lemon rate is a lot higher than most other manufacturers), but at least the other established manufacturers have a network in place to remedy issues like this when they arrive, and to minimize the negative impact to the customer.
When I brought the car in to the service center in Sunnyvale, they told me they were backed up and that they probably wouldn't be able to look at it until the end of the day. At the end of the 2nd day, having heard nothing, I called them and they told me they wouldn't be able to even look at it until the end of the week. It took me half a dozen angry phone calls to the service manager to convince them to look at it the following day, determine that it needed a new part that had to be ordered, and order the part. All told, the car was with them just over a week.
About 2 weeks later, my AC stopped working (South Bay Area Summer--hooray!) Again, they tell me it'll be days before they can look at it.
All told, from the moment I drove out of the Fremont factory in December 2013 as a happy customer, Tesla the company did everything in their power to lose me culminating in a bait and switch offer on my car after 3 years.
They want people to believe they are different. They're not. :(
Here you leave the car at the dealer, go to the reception and ask if they will be providing replacement car or have a preferred rental company.
Many of the luxury brands, and some of the larger dealers, provide this as a value-added service. When my Lexus goes in for service (even just an oil change), they provide a new Lexus for the day. For my VW, the dealer provides a car from a rental service. When I owned a Jeep, I was SOL during service, having to schedule my own transport.
Even though in the end they did do the right thing, it would have been far better handled if they'd simply offered a replacement the moment the (just freshly checked and declared good) car refused to start.
...of course not.
The fact that problems exist says nothing of what caused them. I don't imagine it would be difficult for a competitor to intentionally damage a Tesla in a way that they could make a blog post like this about it. I'm not generally conspiracy-minded, but I feel like this is something worth considering when you're reading an article that seems to be put up on a throwaway LiveJournal account by somebody that doesn't link to any of their other social media accounts or websites.
Now you're not just looking for a dodgy cable. You're looking for one of three things:
1) An as-yet-unknown design flaw, which needs to be documented for maintainers and fixed in future revisions.
2) A manufacturing defect, which should be investigated by quality control and again documented in case it reoccurs.
3) Malfeasance, in which case you want to preserve any possible evidence, finger prints on parts, damaged tamper seals etc.
It's not just about good customer service, it's about finding out exactly what happened.
Well said. This might be a problem, in a state of mind way, when you think of your car as a computer but not so much a car. Have you tried turning it off and on again? No? Well, do so and the errors will go away. Not really a good attitude for a car manufacturer.
It wouldn't be the first time they've done that.
I feel like everybody is being hyper-critical of Tesla because most people dislike the auto industry and see Tesla as a major disruptor of the status quo.
My local dealership has a 100% failure rate with my car. Every service action they took has resulted in an egregious misdiagnosis or future failure of a part due to improper service.
I'm not sure if I will ever buy a new BMW unless I can be reimbursed for the factory warranty that I will never use. The single most dangerous place to take your BMW is a BMW service location.
I haven't ever left a BMW service center NOT feeling like I was being fleeced.
I did have my Model S throw a 12 V Battery Needs Service error 3,000 miles in. Called them on the way to work, they remote diagnosed that it was NOT the HVLV connector (Tesla's take on the alternator, effectively), and offered to have a Ranger out to my office to swap the battery later that afternoon. Done and done. Though I've heard plenty of complaints for very long waits for more complex fixes, I've also heard of those for every manufacturer.
Right, because car dealerships are always built in perfectly smooth fields and you put 40 miles on it using a treadmill. /s
They also told me that if I brought the loaner car back with less than a full tank they would charge me $5.00/gallon(!!) to top it off. They put 40 miles on my car and didn't reimburse me.
Franchised dealer service departments really are the worst. I am very impressed with the engineering and build quality of my BMW but the service is so bad the rest doesn't really matter. I hope Tesla is able to improve the level of service and forces others to do the same.
Now, on the other hand: my Lexus has had a lot fewer issues.
Compared to the ICE cars I've owned, which have had all sorts of issues with the fuel injector, transmission, carburetor, etc.
Oil changes and other small services are done while I wait and do NOT require scheduling ahead of time. They have a large lounge with food/drink, TVs, wifi, and a quiet office space for work.
Larger services have always had a loaner car included. It's always been a current model year Lexus RX. Again, no call ahead, just drop it off and drive away. The longest they've taken is a Sunday PM return on a Friday PM drop-off.
I've got 3 years of experience with them that tells me it's just not worth it. Sad too, I really wanted to be a Tesla owner for life when I got the car.
I see a real parallel: not being able to transfer your money when you need it and being stuck on the side of the road.
A few things regarding the towing situation tho... Do tesla's honestly not have any form of rear tow hitch/chassis/axle? The bit where the tow truck driver had to push the vehicle out of a park because it was nose-in boggles my mind. Like,why didn't he just strap on to a rear axle/chassis point and pull it out with his truck/winch? I haven't had a chance to crawl under a tesla but if by design they have nowhere on the rear end to slap a strap this sounds like an absolutely terrible oversight/poor design by the tesla team. That or the towie was just being lazy/precious and didn't want the late night. If anyone owns a tesla and could take a snap of the undercarriage from rear I'd be pretty interested.
Apart from that and the crap customer service experience I've gotta say that this being such a new model of machinery I would be blown away if the first half decade(or full decade) of releases weren't plagued with problems... Most combustion vehicles engines/blocks have literally had 30 years on the same base design slowly removing flaws with each iteration(and creating new ones in the process).
Issues with needing to be in the vehicle, "warranty voiding", manual stating "do not tow"...
I suspect the issue is more to do with the electric drive. There is no neutral unlike a traditional ICE vehicle, so any kind of towing could potentially damage the electric motors.
I have a Prius and it's the same issue - if I need to get it taken to a garage, it's recommended to get a flatbed with a crane.
In California, a vehicle is presumed to be a “lemon" if, within 18 months of the vehicle's delivery to the buyer (or 18,000 miles on the odometer):
- 2 attempts or more have been made by the manufacturer to repair a warranty problem that could result in death or serious injury.
- The manufacturer has attempted to repair the same warranty problem at least 4 times.
- The car has been out of service for 30 days or more for repair to warranty problems.
- Problems to the vehicle are not the result of abuse by the owner.
You don't hear about this much any more because most manufacturers don't deliver many lemons.
Its so easy for a service center manager to blow $500K in goodwill chasing $1k in savings to secure his $2k Christmas bonus.
2 brand spanking new Teslas passed out like party favors would have been cheaper than having this story hit front page on HN alone.
That's actually quite problematic. I hate corporations as much as anybody, but there are now actually people going around demanding free stuff and threatening to make up some story to "my 20,000 twitter followers". Or consider the story of the developer of "Dash" that hit HN: he threw all sorts of allegations at Apple, and using the HN community as props actually got Apple to offer him a way out. Only thing that exposed this scam was that he got drunk on his power and posted the audio of a secretly recorded phone call (!) which he believed to be supportive for his side of the story (it mostly just made public that "someone" was faking reviews for apps with an account using his credit card, hardware, name, address, and naming scheme)
I just cannot justify that kind of service and reliability for a car that expensive. I'd rather buy a BMW or Mercedes, because they actually handle this far more maturely.
But what scares me most about this story, is that they do not have their software done right. Even if their system is devided into a critical part, and a non critical part (the infotainment system, ect.), if it throws a code like in this story, it better log every possible thing it knows and what lead to this error. And I would actually expect it submitted it directly to Tesla to look at and analyze.
Remember in the early days when Tesla owners would claim some wacky thing or other about the car (unintended acceleration etc) and Musk would publicly say "Nope, got the logs right here on our server"?
Seems nearly impossible that a trouble code as bad as "car will be undrivable" wouldn't be logged like crazy somewhere.
-Tesla owner since 2013.
But you're right about the QC. Although, I don't think Tesla is alone in this, every startup developing autonomous software (uber, cruise, google) will probably have their own unique quirks.
That's somewhat terrifying! I'm surprised there isn't a requirement for a backup, analogue version of core instruments, as there is for planes fitted with digital displays.
I wasn't buzzkilled at all; I did kind of sign up for some growing pains with an all-new technology. And Tesla service has been courteous as heck. And the car is still WONDERFUL to drive, so...
I don't really subscribe to this line of thinking with a piece of equipment that is so expensive.
That being said, I'm a car nut. I've gone through more than my share of vehicles over the years and the percentage that have been problem free straight out of the dealership is pretty low. I had a 5-series that my wife got to drive for a day before it sat in our garage for 6 weeks. I was quite perturbed. I had a mercedes that was in and out of the dealership for a few months right out of the gate, but their dealership was the friendliest and most helpful that I've dealt with. I had a mustang that I left service with at one point with no brakes. Imagine being a block from the dealership and figuring that out. I had a Navigator that I spent three months complaining about before the manufacturer admitted they had a problem and put out a kit to fix. Up until then the dealer laid blame 100% on the fact that I had aftermarket wheels put on it.
It's not new technology. It's that the nature of the car business is such that they put them together with best-effort and there isn't a lot that is done from an individual quality-control perspective before they reach customers. Dealer fix-it shops keep themselves busy and full of employees by fixing warranty issues. The danger of doing it differently is that dealers would be short manpower and repair parts would be crazy expensive if cars never had any problems. It's cheap to fix a 12 year old F150 because so many people know how to fix them.
Personally, I'd love to get a Tesla. From all I've heard they have great customer service and work hard to make sure solutions are complete. I don't expect perfection. The only thing that drives me crazy is getting the runaround when problems are unusual.
That's disappointing, only because as I go through my mental list of cars purchased new, I can't think of any major problems out of any of them. '82 Honda Accord: it never saw a dealer again after I drove it off the lot. 90-sumtin' Geo Prizm: problem-free. 2005 Scion xB: took it back for some rattles. 2010 Nissan Leaf: haven't done a damned thing to it other than change the crappy OEM tires.
Though comparing my list to yours: maybe you should buy less expensive cars. :-) The only new vehicle I've owned that had actual broken stuff to fix under warranty: 2014 BMW motorcycle, which has been back to the dealer more times than all of my other new vehicles combined (granted, that's only three times, and it has never left me stranded). Honda motorcycles: not a one ever saw a dealer's lot post-sale.
Even if you like the Bolt better, AFAIK that's literally the only long-range EV that isn't a Tesla. So if you like EVs, you kind of have to cheer for Tesla, or else you really just like one EV.
The driver assist capabilities aren't as great but otherwise can't think of much to complain about.
It actually works out pretty well, because 99% of my driving is well within the 120 mile all electric range, it's super quiet, and accelerates at any speed! For the 1% of the time I need to go on a longer trip (longest so far is about 250 miles), I simply treat it like a motorcycle trip and fill up gas every 50-60 miles, after exhausting the battery.
Plus, in good chunks of Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas its easy to go nearly that far without seeing another building, let alone a gas station. There are wind turbines on the ridgelines tho, which are pretty.
All the other EVs are basically limited to local driving.
And the range when burning gas seems kind of beside the point to me since we're talking about battery electric vehicles here, not cars that run on gas. (Like, my 2010 Prius gets 450 miles, but that's because it isn't relying on its battery and instead mostly uses an ICE, and for that reason it isn't usually considered in the same category as the Bolt.)
Arguably, I'd say the i3 is closer to the bolt than any other EV.
That said, it's clear that innovation can come at a cost, as we read in the article. Tesla handled this very poorly. If I were the author, I would have taken them to court, despite being a huge fan.
Tesla's bypass of dealers is another point in their favor.
Tesla might have kicked off the hype, but Nissan kicked off the "movement", having released their mass-market vehicle a full year before Tesla did.
(Disclaimer: I own one. I also used to own a Volt, which was nice... but there is no comparison, frankly. I think the Bolt looks cool, and I generally think pure-electric technology is the way to go... if we keep applying pressure to the battery problem, it will keep getting better and better, same as every other technology in history)
Where? Leaf is ugly and has crappy driver UI and limited range. i3 is ass-ugly, has terrible UI (as is to be expected given the manufacturer), Bolt is so-so, the best of the bunch and even it doesn’t have OTA updates.
As far as I’m concerned, nothing comes even close to Tesla with its huge charging network, actually good software and UI and regular car-improving OTA updates.
(I have nothing but good experience with their service, personally, in multiple locations. It’s not perfect, waiting times are long-ish, it’s a 4h drive each way to get there, but they are proactive and treat me better than any other service before. The sale process, that was another story closer to this article, and I’m scared shitless of crashing the car and not totalling it, but still, I love having owning a Tesla and wouldn’t go back.)
Tesla is the one single entity most important in assuring that future. Not that it cannot happen without them, but, it might not.
I really want to like Tesla, but as long as they treat their cars like a service rather than a product, I'd be terrified to invest my money in one of their vehicles.
While this grey area has generally survived in smaller items, I suspect a car, where you literally have a title to it, is not so defensible under that claim. Especially when they also make it effectively impossible to repair the hardware outside of their company as well.
I thought the problem was that this part was illegal also
When we had the flat tire, it was on Xmas eve, they worked to get our car towed to the service center and even offered to deliver it to us later that night. We left the key in the trunk and went Xmas shopping and it got towed just fine.
Source: I build electric racecars and my own cars have thrown this error one or twice in three years, usually from component failure or cable abrasion against carbon fiber.
It's a bit of a shame though as "Tesla" has actually been the first kind of car I would have been interested in.
Doesn't sound like a great story, but it means a lot more with statistics.
I believe the author meant that Tesla would build a new one to the original specifications. This is probably reasonable, the majority of Teslas probably don't have terrible problems or we'd hear more about them, so throw the old one in the river and get a new one isn't a bad idea.
Given that Tesla thinks there is nothing wrong with the car, the only way I see that conversation working is if the car is returned unaltered.
Perhaps it is the EV equivalent of "have you tried turning it off and on again"
tldr: The author was excited about getting a brand-new Tesla, but a lot cheaper than a brand-new Tesla, which turned out to be false.
2. ...which Tesla had been unable to remedy, to the extent that the customer has requested a new vehicle or a refund...
3. ...but the customer is eager for the chance to get the same vehicle back.
I'm afraid I don't understand the thinking.
If I understood correctly, they sold your old car to someone else?!?
If they did, i would not recommend posting the vin here so that the owner might find the story. Don't do that.
By not owning a car, I'd avoid certain costs and inconveniences by opting for certain other larger costs and inconveniences. If I lived somewhere where it was actually feasible to ditch the personal vehicle, I would've considered it by now.
My wife tried to use Metro to get to work. She literally couldn't, as it wasn't reliable enough to make client meetings. So, she drove.
There was no where left to escalate.
Moral of this boring story - things can break. The car company won't just give you a new one. They will try to fix your old car. Tesla sells things, and they can't just give you a new one when it breaks.
Actually, they can. And legally, they have to (or offer a refund), if the car breaks as much as that one did. I don't think you quite grasp the magnitude of the issues being alleged.
> I once bought an suv. It had a problem [...] Eventually my car was repaired
Right, good story, but totally different than the OPs story, where he had tons of problems and they were never fixed.
But you seem to think he's just whining.
You could not even imagine the amount of engineering that goes into making sure the fasteners are positive locked in a redundant manner, whilst preloaded against temperature change, without breaking isolation.
Yet, a Tesla is, in general, relatively reliable. Maximum props to them on a job well done.
No alternator, fuel injection, radiator fluid, oil, pistons, spark plugs, fuel pumps, exhaust, manifolds, shafts, rods, gears, blowers, turbos/superchargers, catalytic converters, etc.
Not saying it's easy as described with unstable lithium chemistry, and its own heat dissapation problems, but MECHANICALLY it is fundamentally simple.
The first failure was while they were away from home and had to convince the service manager that a week was a long turn-around time. They offered them a loaner, but not one they were allowed to drive to their destination so they had to rent a vehicle with their own funds. They found nothing wrong after three days.
As they left from that repair, the car announced that it needed service twice between Ohio and California. As such, they brought it in for service in CA. This service took 10 days and they found nothing wrong.
1 week later, the problem is back and they took it in for service (at yet a third service center, this time the headquarters). Another 10 day turn-around time.
The next problem was that the car refused to start.
Through this, Tesla kept taking their sweet time and being less than communicative. They also didn't offer a Tesla loaner (rather giving them rentals from Enterprise). Most luxury automakers try hard to make their customers happy. Tesla didn't.
When it came time to deal with the lemon law, Tesla offered to re-manufacture the car for them. They accepted and around 2 months later Tesla told them that they'd have to pay up for the re-manufactured vehicle.
Finally, Tesla wouldn't even admit that there was a defect with the vehicle.
As the author notes, friends with similarly priced cars had much better experiences with actually getting them repaired or replaced.
It's frustrating to have problems with a car, but if the manufacturer/dealer is communicative, prompt, helpful, and honest with you, it feels a lot less bad. In this case, it doesn't feel like Tesla was any of those. They had to keep checking in on the status, Tesla took much longer than I expect car repairs to take, Tesla wasn't able to help them, and the dealing around the re-build and refund feels like a bait-and-switch.
Yes, car trouble can happen to you if you buy a Porsche or BMW. But that's not the issue in this story. This isn't a story about Teslas being unreliable. This is a story about Tesla service and customer support being non-communicative, unhelpful, slow, and possibly even dishonest.
This is what happens when there is in fact an intermittent defect, but the technical staff does not believe the user/customer. Basically, this is poor epistemology on the part of the Tesla staff. If this is an exceptionally difficult intermittent problem, their choice is between replacing the unit, or losing a customer. They chose the latter, which is clearly the wrong choice. This indicates some sort of dysfunction and/or poor planning on the part of Tesla management. That they are going to have wastage based on defects is inevitable. They must have underestimated the numbers.
That said, hearing that they provide fossil fuel powerred vehicles as loaners has lowered my opinion of them.
The Russian military during WWI also underestimated wastage of its rifles. (~800000 a month) They were building rifles as fast as they could. In fact, they were stressing their resources so hard, they took up all their gunsmith/worker manpower and were unable to repair broken weapons sent back to the factories, which only exacerbated their problem.
It could be that they feel they've already made their reputation, and that more profit is now their priority. In other words, it seems that they no longer think they have to give amazing service. I think that would be a bad policy move for them. They still have to be better than all the internal combustion engine cars out there.
This isn't the usual holier-than-thou I did noth-ingggg! bad review.
But it's always hard to know....
If there is something you can do from between the wheel and the seat to cause those error messages, it's Tesla's fault.
All I'm saying is that the letter is not actually wrong; as far as Tesla can tell, they had repaired everything wrong with the vehicle and therefore it was in good working order. And for all we know, this diagnosis is correct, seeing as how the owner didn't try out the vehicle again after the last repair.
> After a few days, we’ve been told that the car is working with no problems again.
At that point the owner rightfully decided they didn't trust it anymore and wanted a refund. That's perfectly fine. All I'm saying is that the thing he was being asked to sign wasn't a lie, because Tesla had repaired all known defects. Yes, the owner is perfectly justified in not believing that, but that's not the same thing as saying it's false.
Like the several previous service incidents where they said the same thing, but there obviously was?
I'm willing to deal with that when it comes to buying a $300 cellphone, but for a $100,000 car it is inexcusable.
(The primary reason I haven't gone to a Pixel from a Nexus 5X is that even $650 crosses over my threshold of dealing with Googley-service).
The difference is those companies have their shit figured out.
If I had a vehicle checked like 2 times and it left me stranded, I would blow up in someone's face if I got handed a letter that says "Customer made it up"
BMW NA told me that there was nothing they could do and that they "stand behind their dealers". All manufacturers leave a lot to be desired on the customer service front.