How well is Tesla dealing with the 'issues'?

How well is Tesla dealing with the 'issues'?

Although it is highly unlikely I will ever own a MS (I did buy some shares though!), I have Tesla psychosis and read the forum topics daily!

Awesome car and I already consider my ice-age car bizarre..........

The fiendish activity recently on the forum re the new pricing/Tesla 'attitude'/sales experience made me wonder how well Tesla has addressed the concerns that have routinely been raised on the forums. Obviously Tesla will want to increase prices till demand and supply match - there is no real direct comparison with any other car so pricing is, to a large extent, 'arbitrary'.

But Tesla need to stay aware that the overall car experience has to be excellent to keep everyone happy. How many of the recurring issues with the Model S during its first year of production have been adequately resolved in the latest cars?

Over the months the main topics seemed to be:-

1) Unsatisfactory purchase experience with conflicting/inadequate info
2) Incomplete pre-delivery checks with faults not flagged up
3) Poor paintwork or damage on delivery
4) Pano roof issues - operation and noise
5) Door/window seal problems resulting in noise
6) Software/hardware glitches
7) Road noise - (has insulation been improved?)
8) Variable motor/transmission noise/whine
9) Water ingress (during washing - common?)
10)Unpredictable delivery dates
11)'Missing' high-end/luxury features - cameras; parking sensors; tramlines in rear view screen; etc
12)Below 'expected' seating comfort ("Too firm" - have the seats been altered since introduction?)

Most of the other comments are picky or subjective but these directly relate to build quality (any others?) and are initially excusable as Tesla start and then ramp up production but will harm the image of the marque if they are not quickly addressed.

Have earlier cars with these issues been sorted by Tesla to the owners' satisfaction by now?

We all want Tesla to succeed and produce not only an awesome, but an awesomely perfect car!


jbunn | August 7, 2013

You only hear about issues. Eveyone does not write in every day about the thousands of features and devices that work flawlessly every drive.

eAdopter | August 7, 2013

I think these items fall into three categories: car, service, and experience with TM corporate.

I've had several issues and have read about many others. In summary:

Car is awesome!

Service is excellent most of the time, and continues to improve.

Experience with TM corporate needs major improvements. Many concerns are ignored or go unresolved. Customers are not consistently treated fairly. TM holds all the power, knows it, and abuses it. Many issues require Forum members to apply excessive public pressure and persistence rather than receiving appropriate responses quickly. For the price of a Model S, I expect a Nordstrom-level experience.

AmpedRealtor | August 7, 2013

@ eAdopter - I've been reading your negative experiences in other threads. I notice, as in the above post, your hyperbole gets quite prominent when you start discussing Tesla. It sounds like you had a bad experience? Would you mind relating your own experience and what happened, so we can make up our own minds, rather than saying negative things in a vacuum?

You've labeled Tesla as a company that ignores consumers, has no concern to resolve issues, treats customers unfairly and abuses its "power". Wow! You would think buying a Tesla vehicle is like visiting Iran... can you please support some of your statements with actual examples or incidents? Given your vehement, surely your language is resulting from a personal experience? I'd love to hear it, as I'm taking delivery on 8/15 and sharing is caring! :)

PBEndo | August 7, 2013

I have had some issues (mostly related to 3,4 and 5). I am fortunate that my problems are all minor issues with the "old" technology. Tesla didn't reinvent every single thing in a car. If I have a problem with the paint, for instance, I know it can be fixed because the car industry solved that problem long ago. I would be much more worried about a problem with the battery/motor/touchscreen. Any malfunctions in those items could be more indicative of a design flaw that Tesla can't easily remedy or an ongoing problem.

My communication with the company has been great. I have nothing but praise in this area. I have been caught bragging to others about the excellent communication I have experienced

My experience with the service has been overall very positive, but I have had some issues. Basically, they seem very eager to fix problems and they go to great lengths to make the service painless. However, several of my issues that required service were related to or even caused by a previous service attempt. So, I applaud their efforts, but their results need some work. I am confident this will improve as the service technicians get more experience.

NKYTA | August 7, 2013

I've had 2 great service experiences. During both they addressed @GuyDormehl's #5 on the passenger front window/seal. No problems in the last 1k miles.

I've had none of the other problems listed.

@ GuyDormehl
On #6, software glitches? Hmm...all those can be corrected with an over the air update to your car. I've gotten a number of updates since December, all improving the car (aside from Sleep mode which we've been told is coming soon).

If any other non-Tesla car out there had a software issue there would be a recall. In fact, the way Tesla rolls out software updates slowly and respond to feedback so well, shows me that they are doing things the right way.

Jesse K | August 7, 2013

I have had the car for 2+ weeks > 1,200 miles on it and I have not experienced one thing that the forums talk about. I am generally viewed by others as "picky", while I think that assessment is arguable, I would agree that I do not take things with a grain of salt as often as I probably should. That said, my experience thus far has been stellar. Communication, build quality, etc. Maybe more miles / time will tell a more complete story, or perhaps Tesla has dealt with some of these issues successfully. | August 7, 2013

Unfortunately, I think some of the comms issues are going to be around for a while. Like any startup, Tesla needs to think hard about how it grows head count and where it goes. If you add a new HC, where will it do the most good. I would guess, for a while to come engineering, manufacturing and service are going to continue to get priority over HQ functions, which I would argue is me right call.


hsadler | August 7, 2013

Nice try @Guy

negarholger | August 7, 2013

After 5 month and 5000 miles
1) no
2) no
3) no
4) n/a
5) no
6) no
7) no
8) no
9) no
10) no
11) no
12) no

Captain_Zap | August 7, 2013


No way! Tesla has done backflips to make things happen.
As soon as they validate feedback, they act. It doesn't take the forums to make this happen. Some folks are just inclined to use the forums as a sounding board or, as a resource or, to find out if their situation is an anomoly or not.

They do have growing pains as they add staff and systems. It is mindblowing how far they have come and how quickly they adapt. It is a young and agile company that wants to succeed.

Captain_Zap | August 7, 2013

Oops... missed the "p" in eAdopter. Sorry.

geucey | August 7, 2013

I am very happy with my T. I've had issues though:

- DRL led light out - fixed recently
- car out of alignment after picking up from factory - fixed recently
- Drive unit to be replaced because of whine

I think service is good and responsive, they just need to open more service centers and that happening now. I think Tesla hurried a little bit to get my car finished by the end of the quarter, but we are all early adopters and a certain amount of patience has to go along with that fact (I know, I own a 2011 Leaf also).

I think Mr. Musk has done a better job rolling out the S than Carlos Ghosn has done with the Leaf. My experience is that nobody at the Nissan service centers knows how to fix anything on the Leaf.

Brian H | August 7, 2013

TM will raise prices till demand drops to meet supply? I doubt it. They will avoid stoking demand to avoid overwhelming production capacity, for the time being, but will expand production as fast as consistent with QC to make it possible to "test the real level of demand", as Elon once put it.

Lon Seidman | August 7, 2013

My father's P85 had some significant damage that was over looked on delivery. The rear spoiler had a chunk taken out and the rear bumper had a hole in it. We drove over an hour and a half to pick up the car so it was quite disappointing to arrive and see that.

We did take delivery and Tesla towed the car back to New York to replace the bumper a week later. I chalk it up to startup glitches and hurrying to meet demand. Beyond that the car has been great so far.

stsanford | August 7, 2013

Have had a few glitches, the responsiveness has been excellent. The ENTIRE PROCESS has been awesome. I've only purchased Porsches and a Jaguar over the past 15 years, and it has easily topped those experiences...

cwmenne | August 7, 2013

Every time I turn around, the car and the company amazes me with excellence and dedication. They will never please everyone and those few are the ones that post the most. Tesla has no major problems, they get it. All of it.

Dcp9142 | August 7, 2013

1250 miles in 2 1/2 weeks. Issues:

Slacker and the iPhone app inactive at delivery, went live the next morning
Charge cable failure, replacement delivered to me on Saturday 14 hours after I reported the problem to Tesla
Have to give a demo ride or talk to average of one carful of co-workers each day
Seat belt cuts into my neck, unless I use a $3 after market clip
Not getting cash back on my credit card from buying gasoline
Sore smile muscles
No good place to put my morning donut, have to use the floor tray and a napkin
Listening to too many UK, German, and Indian radio stations
Beginning to forget how to use a starter, parking brake, gas pump, oil filter, and smog inspection station
Because I back into my driveway, I done directly see my garage door. So I drove off one morning with garage door still open
Have to restrain myself from jumping directly to cruising speed from stop signs and stop lights

oildeathspiral | August 7, 2013

Dcp9142 enjoyed your post-the good and the humorous parts!

Cindy I II III | August 8, 2013

@Dcp9142 you are so funny. Love those later issues. Already lined up folks at work for test drive (and the car is not here until September). Got the news this morning that the campus will have solar plugs installed by the end of this year.

I'm going through crisis of personality dissonance right now. On one hand, I don't like to attract attention. On the other hand, Model S is making a sales person out of me, to the point of thinking about putting a note on the car at work: "If you have questions about this car, feel free to e-mail me at". I'm so ashamed and happy at the same time, a big issue that Tesla will not be able to solve.

Dcp9142 | August 8, 2013

Funny? These are serious issues! Gets hard to get from the parking lot to my office without interruption. And I don't know how I'll ever use all that frank space. The footwell space in trunk holds all the stuff I used to keep in my trunk, except that reusable shopping bags are left to bounce around in there.

Then there is the problem of remembering to plug it in. I never had to do that with my Jeep.

Also, I have to wait to get my HOV stickers, so I can't drive in the carpool lane yet. And the free parking pass for the city garages can't be gotten until my registration shows up.

And there's no place to hang my suit coat.

Then there's the problem of figuring out how to engage the cloaking device.

Lots of serious issues, you know.

tobi_ger | August 8, 2013

Sorry, cloaking device was abandoned in favor of rear seat cup holders.

negarholger | August 8, 2013

You don't need a cloaking device in Silicon Valley... you are invisible in the heard.

portia | August 8, 2013


actually not true, you are visible to others in the herd, invisible to those not in the herd because of all that instant torque

nickjhowe | August 8, 2013

I think the number of issues is remarkably small for a new company who've put 13,000 new cars on the road and covered 60 million miles (per the Q2 Shareholder letter)

ppape | August 8, 2013

A little off topic.....I have a question.......I assume 13,000 is how many cars delivered from June 2012 to end of June 2013. If current VIN's are 19,500.....where are those 6,000 cars?

I realize some are loaners, and store models, and Europe not yet delivered, and cars delivered during July & Aug 2013, and some still in production but not delivered.......but 6,000 still seems high?? Am I missing something?

Just to add to topic thread......My issue with Model S is still the same since date of delivery! Hubby is not good with sharing, but I don't think TM can help me with custody. :-((

Still Grinning from the passenger seat.
J. :-))

ppape | August 8, 2013

Ops.....6,500 cars........


eAdopter | August 9, 2013

@AmpedRealtor (and a few others)
Here's the most recent example

I posted my opinion in the thread. This case of TM behavior is consistent with experiences many have had with TM corporate. Again, I think the car is awesome! The service is excellent and improving! I think the corporate penny pinching is ridiculous. I don't think customers should suffer financially when TM mishandles a pricing transition.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

And yes, I think the pricing transition was mishandled. A minimum of 6-8 weeks notice would have been appropriate given the circumstances of ordering the car online and waiting 6-8 weeks for production.

AmpedRealtor | August 9, 2013

@ eAdopter,

You link to a thread about someone who was able to get a "concession" from Tesla because they were willing to move up his delivery date. This person had a prior order with a confirmed delivery date, but the addition of a few options under the new normal initially pushed his delivery date back. Tesla showed excellent customer service by accommodating this buyer with a date closer to his original delivery date.

This whole time you have been complaining about how Tesla "doesn't give a damn" and how it "abuses its power" and "doesn't value early customers" because of its supposed inflexibility. Now you point to a thread where Tesla gave a very reasonable accommodation to a customer - and Tesla should be applauded for this - yet in your mind this accommodation is further proof of some evildoing by Tesla.

All I can say is that you are one very bitter individual who will never be satisfied.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

Dang! Wrong link. I'll find the correct one...

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

Double dang! The link is correct. Read all the posts, not just the one at the top. There are plenty of buyers in similar situations who could easily have been accommodated.

The original post also indicates the concession is "Not exactly the resolution I was hoping for". He had to pay an additional $4200. $4200! Does receiving the car one week sooner with sensors for $4200 really sound like a good outcome to anyone? (maybe)

Not me. In my opinion, a "good" outcome would have been to allow the sensor addition for $500. A "world class" outcome, while admittedly a high expectation, would have also included the one-week schedule change as an apology for the inconvenience.

I think much of our difference of opinion boils down to expectations. I observe that others are different. I don't think it's a matter of who is right or wrong, and no one should feel offended. It's simply a difference of opinion. This is a good place to discuss them and I'm glad others are sharing.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

Just a quick follow up for those playing along at home.

$500 Parking Sensors
+$750 Subzero Weather Package
$1250 total

All for the incredibly low price of $4200.
Wow! What a concession by TM! (sarcasm)
I wish my customers were so easily pleased.

Yes, this irritates me a little. TM can do better for customers. Am I the only one who thinks so?

AmpedRealtor | August 9, 2013

@ eAdopter,

You are beating a dead horse. The decisions have been made and complaining won't change that, so can we move on? What else has you so pissed off at Tesla? Also, forgive the question... do you own or have you ordered this car?

Brian H | August 9, 2013

eAdopter has achieved "scroll-by" status.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

Exactly. Complaining to TM rarely makes a difference because they have the upper hand and know it. My point is the issues just keep coming, week after week, and TM continues to treat some customers poorly. We should be standing up for the minority of owners who have trouble. Someday it could be you or me (again).

There have been so many positive buyer experiences and I don't mean to diminish that fact. However, they don't erase the harm that's been done to a few people. I think TM should make things right whenever possible. I'm not talking about people who order a 60 and want an 85 upgrade for free. I'm refering to people who, for example, had to pay(!) for rear tire replacements after TM delivered misaligned cars, etc.

I hope to put these things behind us but we continue to read about new issues. My concern is not that the issues will exist, but that TM will continue to mishandle them causing harm ($) to owners. I think we need to hold them accountable when possible.

My car was delivered 6/4. I won't go into details today, but TM put me through multiple issues prior to delivery. I'm in the process of working through the last issue but that will take some time. I'll keep you posted.

I appreciate your concern.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

@Brian H
good one ;)

AmpedRealtor | August 9, 2013

@ eAdopter,

I make the following statement very humbly, but is it possible that your own (negative) experience with Tesla is coloring how you react to all things Tesla? As I said in another thread, your hyperbole ramps up when you start talking about Tesla, so obviously you are carrying a lot of your own baggage into conversations about other issues.

Did you ever start a thread about your issues? If you did, I'd be curious to read it so that I can better understand what you have gone through. If you haven't started a thread about your issues, I encourage you to do so as it would be informative to others. | August 9, 2013

What issues?
Any concerns have been addressed by Tesla in a prompt & professional manner.

eAdopter | August 9, 2013

You may be overlooking all the good things I've written, and focusing too much on the negative.

I've stated many times that I think the car is awesome.

I've also mentioned here and in other posts that my SC experience has been excellent. Even my flatbed experience went very well.

My gripes are not negative toward all things Tesla. As I mentioned above, two out of three are great.

In general, my gripes are with TM corporate and how they deal with individual issues. For example, I don't like how they convince someone to pay $4200 for $1250 in upgrades plus a one-week faster delivery. The list is fairly short but affects a significant number of people.

@Brian H
Is it affects or effects?

As I was saying, TM has done a great job with many(!) things. I'm taking issue with the few issues not handled well. While it may sound negative, my expectations are very high for such an expensive product. In some parts of the country, $70k-$120k buys a house. While some people can handle extra expenses and risk with ease, I think a significant number of buyers have stretched to purchase a Model S. They've taken a chance on TM before TM earned trust. I think early adopters should be treated very well in return.

Mistakes are understandable but I think TM needs to make amends whenever possible. I think direct compensation is appropriate in some cases. I say this as both an owner and investor.

So please, don't ignore the positive. There's plenty written on that topic by myself and others. At the same time, don't let TM off the hook. It's a great new company and some improvement is still needed.