Model 3

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Tesla trying to sell a demo car as "new"

edited November -1 in Model 3
After waiting for months for my M3, I was told my car was ready for delivery on 08/12. On the day of delivery I got a call that they found a dent on the left fender during inspection that they want to get fixed before delivery. I was a bit disappointed but happy that they are being thorough.

I was then told that the car would be delivered on 08/15. I was happy that it didn't take too long and reached for delivery. When the delivery person (Beverly) came out and took me the car, the first thing that struck me (and my wife) was that the car seemed dirty. Like someone washed it with water after it had a lot of dust accumulated on it. There were small dried up drops of dust all over the car. I pointed this to Beverly and she said that the cars are parked outside so they get dirty. She did assure that it will get cleaned. I was a bit annoyed about the casual manner but was excited about the car so didn't fuss about it.

We started doing paperwork and one of the forms she had was for registering a used car with DMV. She asked if I was buying a used car to which I answered an annoyed "No". She skipped that doc saying it might have been put there by mistake. She then went back to finish the paperwork but came a few minutes later and said that I would need to sign the other document as well. When I asked why, I got a very weird response. She said that this was a "service/demo vehicle". I lost it and told her how ridiculous this was that they are trying to sell a used car and being so casual about it. I asked if I could speak to her superior and was introduced to Timothy. Timothy did everything he could to make the matters worse. He said that it was an "inventory" vehicle that matched my config and they wanted me to have the car soon. He then asked if there was anything wrong with the car. I could not believe how he was trying to downplay the fact that this was not a new car.

At this point Mr. Timothy started playing the blame game and explained how everyone except him was at fault. I had heard enough and told them that they need to get me a new car and soon.

This whole situation has left a bad taste. I am fine with delayed deliveries or manufacturing glitches or even a small manufacturing defect that shows up in a car. I have backed Tesla because I think they are doing something good. I believe they are taking us into the future.

But if the company is going to lose the ethics and get down to shady sales practices, then it will hurt the brand much more than everything else combined.
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Comments

  • edited August 2018
    The car had the VIN ending in F024624
  • edited August 2018
    Sorry to hear that Tesla short changed you.
  • edited August 2018
    Wow that’s messed up. How many miles was on the car?
  • edited August 2018
    Service/demo being sold as new? That’s crazy!
  • edited August 2018
    Oh and what did the paperwork indicate the car was? On page 2 of the motor vehicle purchase agreement that they emailed you. Under description of property. “New” or “used”
  • edited August 2018
    I understand your frustration but service/demo car could simply be a car that was used in a photo shoot or displayed at an event. That does not necessarily mean a used car like a test drive vehicle but hard to say what its use was. The real shady part would be if you couldn't qualify for the tax credit because it was classified as used.
  • edited August 2018
    how many miles were on it? that would have been a good first clue
  • edited August 2018
    HMMM! I was presented with a document stating that as per Tesla policy they were guaranteeing my vehicle had less than 50 miles on it at the time of delivery. It had 3 miles on it.
  • edited August 2018
    Tesla considers any car not custom built for a customer as "inventory". Inventory cars are used as demo cars, sometimes service loaners or if it meets a customer's configuration sold to customers. Inventory cars have never been titled allowing them to be eligible for tax credits. I have purchased two inventory vehicles, but always knew they were. Both had about 2,000 miles for it, and I got a discount because of that. I am in Texas, at least here, I never had to sign any paperwork saying the car is used being they never had been titled.
  • edited August 2018
    Our paper work (MVPA) show mileage at 50. Figured it was a standard number they put in there. We are scheduled to pick up this Saturday so I'll see what it actually has
  • edited August 2018
    @stacok 50 is what they all say, mine had 8
  • Bought my last car, a 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid new, but was also andemo car. Supposedly sat in a mall on display (had 11 miles on it) - I was fine with this, and in all honesty it caused me grief the first week of owning it as the car died on my driveway after one day of ownership. Repair center blamed demo people for screwing up the cars electrical system, trying to disable features so people 'playing' with it couldn't do certain things...BUT after that the past 7 years it's been a great car, just waiting on my Model 3 like everyone else....
  • edited August 2018
    I don't necessarily think Tesla is ignoring or sweeping the problems under the rug. I think they are just in over their head with the logistics of certain aspects of the business and they just haven't had the time/manpower to deal with the problems. for example, Quality Assurance on vehicles off the line, they have had to pull people off other duties to get on the manufacturing line which clearly means they don't have enough people to do everything.
  • edited August 2018
    You were not satisfied, you refused delivery, that is how it is done.

    How many miles were on the "demo" unit?
  • edited August 2018
    I swear this is the first time anyone has ever purchased a new car...

    Cars are ‘new’ as long as they have never been titled. I’ve sold ‘new’ cars with more than a thousand miles on them as they were used as manager’s demo cars. This happens every day at every dealership.

    You will -never- buy a car with 0 miles. Buying a car with under 10 miles is extremely rare. 80% of the cars that I sold, over the 6 years that I sold cars, had between 50-150 miles on it.

    This is normal.
  • edited August 2018
    This has come up repeatedly. No evidence that these are in fact demo/service cars. Mine came with 9, My S came with 18. 50 miles is the default on the paperwork. Almost certainly a new car, so don't sweat it.
  • edited August 2018
    Side note: Car people in the know usually reject the offer of service center washes or detailing because they're likely to do more damage than good with their buffers. My car wasn't fully detailed when I picked it up last week and I was fine with it.
  • edited August 2018
    “Buying a car with under 10 miles is extremely rare.”

    Though it seems common for Model 3. There have been numerous threads where folks have worried about the 50 miles shown by default on the Tesla documents, only to be reassured by this community that it is indeed just a default, offering their actual delivery mileage, which is usually 7 or 8. Ours was 4.
  • edited November -1
    17 on my Model 3 and 6 on Model S.

    Paperwork defaults to 50.
  • edited August 2018
    This is not cool from Tesla. But you should take advantage of the situation and ask for a huge discount like 10k or 20k less. if they say yes, it will be a win-win situation for both.
  • edited August 2018
    Some people need reading comprehension lessons.
  • edited August 2018
    I think the issue here is that the Tesla rep needed him to sign an extra document indicating it was a "used car". That really sucks. I would be interested to see the car history report on it. A "used car" is a registered pre-owned vehicle. That document indicates there was a previous owner of the car registered in a state. Dealership demo cars are not necessarily registered which is why they list it as new.
  • edited August 2018
    This thread seems to have wandered off track with discussions about "under fifty miles being a new car", and showroom demos being new cars, and "my car had seventeen miles on it and it's fine".
    The real point here is that....THEY ASKED HIM TO SIGN A DMV DOCUMENT FOR A USED CAR.
    Federal tax credit and state rebate implications are huge. Give the guy a break.
  • edited August 2018
    @Jvb1103 That one point you bring up does not pass the smell test.

    I have never heard of anyone trying to buy a new car from TESLA and being asked to sign a "used car document".
  • edited August 2018
    Having been down the same rabbit hole as the OP, I can empathize. The original M3 assigned to me had a demo/service unit designation as well, My delivery specialist gave me a "take it or leave it" type message but a bit of persistence paid off.

    Deep in your agreement, there's reference to email address [email protected] I sent a message to that address detailing my point of view and why I wanted a new VIN. I have no idea who monitors that address and while I didn't receive a response from [email protected], I did get a message from my delivery specialist, 3 days later, saying they'd get me a new VIN.

    The rest of my purchase was relatively smooth, or as smooth as a Texas purchase can be.

    In an off the record conversation with Tesla (not delivery specialist), I learned that my original VIN rotated rather quickly through a Tesla showroom in San Diego. It wasn't driven as a "demo" but did have untold thousands of kids jumping up and down in the back seat - probably.

    In any event, this isn't to rehash the past but rather to offer, for any Tesla clients struggling with the purchasing process, that [email protected] is another resource that may help.
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