Terrible experience at Santa Clara and a non-resolved issue - a broken windshield after the service

Terrible experience at Santa Clara and a non-resolved issue - a broken windshield after the service

I am a Tesla X owner since August 2017. I have been looking for a way to escalate the issue with the Santa Clara service center for several hours, since Tesla didn’t make it easy for the customers’ voice to be heard, I decided to give it a shot to write to this customer support email address.

Within the past 1 year and half owning the vehicle, I have visited the service center 5 times (wings and trunk door not aligned, car make weird noise from time to time, cruise control or autosteer can’t be activated, annual service, cruise control and autosteer deactivated seconds after, rear row seat belt signal not working). I enjoy the car in so many ways, however my recent visit in April was extremely frustrating and change my attachment to your company and brand.

My autosteer and cruise control have had problems once before and was not functioning again. The cruise control will deactivate itself seconds after it’s been engaging. Also an alert of “Blindspot detection limited” appeared from time to time regardless of whether autosteer was engaged or not.

On April 1st - I went to the Santa Clara service center and turned it in. The advisor Bryan believed that it can be fixed within a day or so. They called the Lyft to send me home and had the Lyft to pick me up the same day, they said the car was fixed.

On April 2nd - the autosteer was encountering the same problem. I contacted the advisor Bryan and reported this issue.

On April 3rd - Bryan called me back on April 3rd after discussing with the technician and told me that the technician would like to drive with me. So I brought the car in at 1:30pm, drove the car for 5 minutes with the technician Patrick and answered his questions. He said he will replace the 3 cameras behind the rear mirror to eliminate the possibility of the malfunction of the cameras. And he will go from there. I left the car there, asked Bryan whether I could have a loaner since I won’t have a spare car to use on Thursday if they can’t get the car fixed the same day. He IGNORED my request, nor had he ever offered a loaner to me, asked me whether the Lyft should send me to the same address. So I thought – Ok. They are trying to save on giving customers’ loaners. Hopefully they can get it fixed the same day and resolve the issue. Late afternoon on April 3, I received text from Bryan that the technician replaced the cameras behind the rear mirrors. They will do a road test first thing in the morning of April 4th. Also a Lyft has been requested to pick me up at 8am on April 4th.

On April 4th - 7:17 am, received messaged from Bryan that the new cameras were not helping with the problem of the cruise control/autosteer. He asked me whether I would like to leave the car with them for further notice or pick up the car as planned – I was very upset. You shouldn’t be informing me/planning on “getting rid of me” before you are certain that my car is fixed. I felt no care at all when seeing that message. Even though Tesla paid for the Lyft, but who has the time to come and go multiple times on a busy working day to pick up car and drop off car? Not to say that I had to get there to pick up a loaner, which he could have offered upon dropping off the car.

April 5th – 12th – Car was in shop. Got a message from Bryan around 7:00pm on the 12th that the technician was able to replace the parts of the rear seats to resolve the seat belt signal problem. I can pick up the car now. I said I will be picking up the car first thing Saturday morning.

April 13th Saturday – Got there before 9:30am. The advisors couldn’t find my document or key. I said that Bryan has already sent me the invoice through email and we saw the car at the front line of the factory. The on-duty advisor drove the car out of the factory, apologized for not having time to wash the car. Again, it’s no big deal. But I feel rushed and being pushed out of the door throughout this entire experience. Didn’t feel cared for from Bryan AT ALL. Drove the car for a stop, around 11am, noticed a crack in the windshield as I was sitting in the front passenger seat looking at the bird poop at the top of the windshield. I was shocked. Had a car wash two days before the service, parked in the garage, no crack noticed before the service. I took a picture immediately and texted Bryan. No response until Monday.

April 15th – Bryan responded, requesting for pictures. Emailing him the pictures (again, didn’t go through the texts). He said the technician confirmed that the crack was pre-existing during the walk through. I asked for the record/note he or the technician had. In my experience, it’s common sense that service center performs walk through upon drop off and have you sign on documents suggesting the pre-existing documents. He responded saying the same thing that the technician confirmed the crack was there, but didn’t send any documents. I asked him to call me, and my husband took the call, requesting the documents again. The branch manager Greg sent us the notes the technician made as a courtesy/to show good faith he said. We received the pictures of the documents and reviewed them, asked Bryan to call us back. Never heard back via text or call.

April 16th, I contracted the branch manager Greg (without knowing that my husband has spoken with him already, I thought he was talking to Bryan). I was very calm and wanted to have a discussion with him. I haven’t felt more unappreciated or disrespected ever being a customer of any dealership. I pointed out that on the form where he stated that the technician circled the “C” as “chip” was not conclusive or convincing enough. The form was not properly documented, was not signed nor dated by the technician who performed the walk through, if performed. The form was not shown to me at the time of drop-off regardless there was a line for signature. The form was not signed by me, which means that was not acknowledged by me. And the paper evidence could have been produced at a later time/date since it was not properly filled at the time of the walk through. Nor can I be sure that the inspection was performed. As an owner who takes responsibility of the vehicle, don’t I deserve to be shown for any visible pre-existing damaged to the vehicle? To my question, Greg said some customers really don’t like when they are informed about some pre-existing problems they found during the repair. The majority of the customers don’t need that. That is their internal policy that they don’t need to show that to the customers. On the other piece of paper, the technician wrote “Upon replacement found outside damage to front glass”. The branch manager Greg said that that’s evidence of the technician noticed the crack prior to the repair and it’s for internal use only. Maybe I don't understand English well enough to understand his logic. He said again it’s only a courtesy to show that to me.

I felt mistreated, frustrated and running in circles talking with him. I asked whether he can point me the direction how can I escalate this to his superior. He was very impatient towards the end of the call and said I could find it on the website. I said I have been looking for hours and couldn’t. He said he has my information; he can look again and send it to me. Didn’t get it yesterday when he said he will send over; didn’t think he will send it over today. He said the case will end up on his desk if I escalate and he has all the proper documentation.

Who to judge it’s the proper documentation? I have been an internal auditor and external auditor for many years and we both know this is not a proper documentation. Needless to say, is that the way to treat a customer? I don’t think I am here, spending my time documenting this is because I can’t afford to replace a windshield. I am writing this email because I am very disappointed and surprised in the quality and effort in Tesla’s customer service when things don’t go smoothly. I am disappointed in lack of internal structure and transparency when dealing with customer’s complaints and disputes. I feel wronged, brushed off in this matter. I feel no compassion, understanding from Greg or Bryan. As a customer, and as a customer who has referred my family to purchase Tesla doesn’t appreciate being treated in such way. Have emailed customer support regarding this matter. We shall see whether they will deal with it.

PS: Already put deposit on Porsche's Taycan. It makes me feel sad to think about the experience and don't want to give my business to Tesla any more. Stevens Creek Porsche said they have 250 people on the waiting list. Fremont location said they have 150 people on the waiting list. A lot of the customers are current unhappy Tesla owners so they said. Time to keep up with the service Tesla...

quintman99 | 16 april 2019

How many miles have you put on this since you have had it???

Triggerplz | 16 april 2019
lilbean | 16 april 2019


jimglas | 17 april 2019


Passion2Fly | 17 april 2019

Your statements are confusing. You wrote that you can’t afford the glass repair but later you put down a deposit on a Porche Taycan... Have you contacted your insurance? Was the autopilot fixed?
I do agree that the quality of service is worse now. However, based on my experience, Model X owners still get VIP treatment and not getting a Tesla loaner is very surprising... it’s true that these days you need to be more patient and might need to spend extra time on the phone trying to get an update from the SC...

jjgunn | 17 april 2019

Perhaps he didn't hear the request for a loaner. Why not repeat yourself & ask again?

Service is a 2-way street. You're not the only customer. It helps to work WITH the service team. Not against them

Why even post this if you're soooooooo unhappy with Tesla? Just buy your Porsche & be done with it.

I'm taking delivery of my 2nd Tesla on Friday. The most expensive car I ever purchased before these 2 was a 1994 Camaro Z28. For $23,000

Saw a Jaguar iPace the other day at the mall. At 100% it's about 245 miles. Porsches Taycan is about the same. Enjoy that reduced range & limited charging options.

I can't wait until Porsche & Jaguar start having issues. It's going to be glorious. | 17 april 2019

Is possible (likely?) the crack was in the windshield before service? Often a crack starts tiny and grows over time. Even sitting in the parking lot for 5 days or so might have expanded the crack to be more noticable. The unanswered question is what caused the crack - a rock hit (most likely), glass manufacturing defect (unlikely for a 18 month old car, but not impossible), something service did while removing/mounting the mirror assembly (crack would likely originate around that area and be on the inside portion of the glass). For the first situation (rock hit), the owner's insurance is responsible. If the later, clearly Tesla is responsible. Seems like it would be easy to identify which of the three situations likely occurred.