Delivery/driving/service experience

Delivery/driving/service experience

I just wanted to write about my experience with the model S. This will be a long story so read only if you are interested.

I do not have access to private forums (I haven't emailed the ownership experience about it as I didn't see a need so far.

I decided to buy the model S the last week of May but was so excited that I didn't want to wait for 6-8 weeks to take delivery (may have been longer I was going to be out of the country for 3 weeks July/August). So I called the Tesla HQ and asked for any cars in the inventory that met my needs. They asked me to pay the deposit to reserve the car before they can look in the inventory which I promptly did on May 26th. I then got a call from sales person in San Diego who looked at the inventory but didn't find a car that fit my needs (Black/85/Pano/Tech/Tan or gray interior with rear seats). He didn't find any with the rear seats unless in the performance models. I was little bit disappointed and spent the next 7-10 days trying to finalize my order and manically reading the forums. I was not sure whether to get the sound system and air suspension. The day I was supposed to finalize my order (June 6th) I had my order put on hold (because of concerns about delivery date falling when I was out of the country). The next day driving back from work I called the sales person in San Diego and asked him to look at the inventory again. This time he found several that closely matched what I wanted and he found a Black 85 that was just coming out of production in a couple of days. It had pano roof/tech package/tan interior/obeche gloss/rear seats/air suspension/sound package/parcel shelf. I asked him to change my reservation to this car. Apparently I had two different accounts under my name but he was able to place this car on hold for me using my existing reservation (or so I thought). I did not test drive the car before but posted a request in TMC and was given a test drive by one of the owners in AZ (Thank you Shock!)the day after my order (helped me feel better about getting the pano roof in AZ weather)

Financing: Tesla does financing in only 8 states and Arizona is not one of them. However they can do the financing if you fly to Oregon and sign the papers. I decided to go with Alliant and called them but it was Friday afternoon (June 7th) in Illinois so the finance guy asked me to call on Monday after I open the account. I got my check on the 12th. I was asked to mail the check to Tesla before they would deliver the car to me (apparently the delivery specialist cannot accept the check in Arizona). Tesla got the check on the 13th and told me they could deliver after the 17th. I was out of town 16-19 so I got the delivery date set up on the 20th.

Charging: I got a qoute from Mr.Electric for installing a 14-50 for 500$. I got hold of a local electrician who did it for 140$. The outlet went right behind the panel so did not require much wire. I can give the contact info if anyone needs one in phoenix suburbs - west valley)

Delivery: I was contacted by the truck driver on 19th evening confirming the delivery time. The delivery specialist called me on the 13th to confirm the delivery date and also scheduled an appt at the Scottsdale mall for a walk through after delivery. The car was delivered pretty much on time. It was delivered in a closed truck (fits only 1 car but also had 3 motor bikes). It was not wrapped. It was dusty from the travel but without any obvious issues. Thanks to the forums I used the delivery check list to quickly look through and did not find any thing amiss.

The actual experience and issues: I got the car on the 20th and so far drove about 1500 miles. It has been a great experience so far. My son loves the rear seats and hasn't complained about excess heat so far. I had 2 minor issues - 2nd day I got the TPMS service warning. This has been posted in the forums so I wasn't worried but called the Tesla ownership (Saturday). The person who answered didn't seem too knowledgeable. she infact stated that the car may be getting used to the road and asked me to monitor it. The warning came on after driving the car for about 30 miles and would disappear after 5-10 mins. I got a call from Tesla delivery on Monday asking about balance payment (4200). As I had 2 different accounts in my name my deposit never got transferred to my car payment and I also owed them about 1500 as I my loan was not 100%. it took them about 4 days to get my depost changed to my car payment and I got the call on Monday to ask about the payment. I told him about the TPMS warning and he promptly called the service center in SD who called me immediately. they ran remote diagnostics and told me that the left front sensor was malfunctioning and needed replacement. I was told that the phoenix service center would call me to set up the repair (I wasn't aware of the temporary phoenix service center until now). This was done on June 27th at which time I also met the DS who did the walk through. He noticed that there were some very minor scrapes on the hood and promised to get it detailed once the crew who were on vacation are back. After about a week I got the TPMS warning again on the 5th and when I called the service center in Phoenix I was told the sensors are now in back order and will get replaced once they get the parts. That same evening I noticed the passenged side door opening spontaneously 4 times. I emailed the TMOE and got a call the next day from the service center. I got a loaner on Sunday and got the car back at work on Monday (7/8). I am still waiting for the TPMS sensor repair at this time.

My experience with TM with regards to ordering and delivery is way better than anything youn will have with a regular dealership. There are some minor issues but if you get hold of the right people to fix any issues with delivery or service then those are taken care of promptly.

Issues with door handles/TPMS and some others experienced by other owners (pano roof creaks etc) remain but are taken care of promptly with exceptional customer service at least in my experience.

What I would do differently if I had ordered the car now: I saw a red one after I got my car and loved it (I don't usually like red). If I saw all the colors (saw brown/gray/white) before hand I would have gotten a red one.

I would not get the air suspension (personally don't think worth the cost and expense) and don't need the parcel shelf (don't order it if you are getting the rear seats). If any one wants to buy it I can sell it for less than 250).

For folks worried about heat and pano roof/rear seats - can't get hotter than here in AZ unless you are in death valley. I have no problem with pano roof. rear seats so far good, but we only took short drives with my son in the back).

Thanks for reading...

yonak | 10 juli 2013

I have a red P85 & it's stunning. Great delivery experience, had a wind noise great service experience. Tesla has made this a no hassle car to buy & service. I also had concerns about the pano roof , the sun can be glaring thru the windshield & you are in the shade under the pano roof.

lolachampcar | 10 juli 2013

A fantastic summary of Tesla's current state of being. It is an incredibly impressive start up and one that is committed to getting better. I can second the observations above for anyone considering purchasing Model S.

I have now gone through the order process twice and expect delivery in a week of my second MS. I've posted elsewhere but it seems like I should repost part of my comments here.

The order/business process was MUCH better the second time around. There was a six month difference between the first and second purchases and Tesla has worked out 90% of the rough road (which, as the OP pointed out, was still much better than any dealer interaction). I have great faith that Tesla will iron out the last 10% of my order/business related issues (similar to the OP's issues).

Sanjuro88 | 10 juli 2013

Thank you for the detailed write-up. I'm sure this helps a prospective buyer.

Re: heat in AZ, I highly recommend window tinting. If you get a high-quality tint (3M crystalline etc), it cuts down on the heat SIGNIFICANTLY, which also raises your range (because you use less A/C).

thatryan | 10 juli 2013

Excellent write up, thank you for sharing.

Always great to hear about positive experiences!

Brian H | 10 juli 2013

I think Elon ordered immediate tint and air circ changes to deal with the jumpseat heat, so you may have a new setup there.

TomasT | 11 juli 2013

Great post. I've had a very similar experience, except I put my down payment 3 years ago! Lucky you!!!

AmpedRealtor | 11 juli 2013

@ Brian H, source?

Mathew98 | 11 juli 2013

My MS60 with jumpseats was delivered a month ago with tinted glass on the liftgate. It has a light green hue when viewed from the rear view mirror.

I also tinted the rear and back windows with limo tint myself and it keep the rear cool.

Brian H | 12 juli 2013

One or another of the interviews he gives, or maybe a tweet. Not sure, which is why, J-water, I said, "I think."