Service experience

Service experience

Just got my MS (purchased in Mar - 2500 mi) back from service in Costa Mesa. Took it in due to the following issues:

1) Had 2 instances of the car not moving in reverse until the accelerator was pressed and then there was a physical and audible "clunk". They said it was due to the firmware not releasing the parking break and did an upgrade to address it.

2) B-pillar wear. See this thread:
Parts were supposed to be delivered for my service appointment but they didn't make it. Will have to take it in again.

3) Subtle whine at high accel (above 200 kw). They did not detect a problem. I guess it's normal.

4) Had the A/C cutout on me during a trip. Found out this was because I was in "extended range" mode. I figured that since I wanted all my charging to be on ER mode, I would just leave it for the duration. But, the ER mode cuts the A/C output. Good to know.

5) Radio sound varies by location. A fairly minor annoyance. Sound goes kind of "echo-y" at certain locations. They could not reproduce the problem.

Overall, a fairly good experience. They addressed the more serious issues and returned the car with new floor mats. One significant disappointment... no MS loaner. It turns out they only have 5 loaners at CM and it's first come, first served. With 10+ cars being serviced when I was there, they odds are less then 50% of getting one. They took me to Enterprise where I got to choose between a Volkswagen bug and a Kia Forte! Not acceptable alternatives in my eyes. If they can't provide an MS loaner, it should at least but a close equivalent. I'm still extremely happy with my MS and a big fan of the company but this should be fixed.

bradslee | July 26, 2013


Thanks for sharing your service experience. Glad that you are satisfied with the service except the loaner situation. I agree with you that TM should provide more MS as loaner, not more ICE cars. Yet I understand that MS are now still in high demand by the buyers and TM rather sells more MS than using them as loaners. I guess realistically we would not see all loaners as TM brand until GIII comes to the market. Or don't you wish that auto manufacturer can produce cars in the way like biotech firm uses cell line reproducing cells?

JPPTM | July 26, 2013

Tm is VERY aware of the loaner situation...all the way up the food chain. The service centers get the brunt of the unhappy customers, and you can be sure that Jerome on the service side and George on the sales side are working on it.

AmpedRealtor | July 26, 2013

Wow, 10 cars being serviced? That seems like a very high number of Model S vehicles to be servicing at one time... What's up with the reliability and quality?

jjaeger | July 26, 2013

Well I've been into the SC twice - once when I picked up a nail and the other time when I asked for a rotation. Neither to do with reliability or quality. Have yet to email, call or visit Tesla for a problem, issue or concern with the car.

easydjr | July 26, 2013

My service experience at Menlo Park has been excellent. I've been in three times since I took delivery in early January. Once for a nail in a tire, once for due bill items to be installed, and once upcoming to replace windshield because I apparently hit a small pebble and a crack is spreading. They have covered everything for free and been exceedingly sympathetic, friendly and on time. And they have returned the car washed and clean. I haven't needed a loaner, fortunately because it might have been a Roadster and I don't fit in a Roadster! | July 26, 2013

> Wow, 10 cars being serviced? That seems like a very high number of Model S vehicles to be servicing > at one time...

This assessment based on....?


Rte66 | July 26, 2013

5) My radio has an "echo-y sound" when in "FM HD" mode. Try turning HD off.

Tâm | July 26, 2013


10 cars do not necessarily mean something wrong. I took mine to Service Center for my annual check up. There was nothing wrong, there was no quality problem with mine!

negarholger | July 26, 2013

If CM serves 3000 cars on the area then you can expect every day 12 cars in the shop just for annual service.

Brian H | July 26, 2013

The ER mode only has to do with accessory draw, nothing to do with charging or drive characteristics. RTFM

stevenmaifert | July 27, 2013

"5) Radio sound varies by location. A fairly minor annoyance. Sound goes kind of "echo-y" at certain locations. They could not reproduce the problem." If you have the radio set to HD, when you first tune a station that is broadcasting in both analog and digital, you will first hear the analog audio. As the radio transitions to the digital HD audio, there is a brief moment where both the analog and digital audio comes through. There is a slight time delay in the digital audio as it takes a fraction of a second to be processed into sound. That causes the echo. You are hearing both the analog and digital audio momentarily. If you are in an area where the signal strength of the digital broadcast is marginal, the radio will be continuously shifting in and out of HD mode, and the constant echo is annoying. Best to turn off the HD in that instance. Bottom line though is the echo is normal.

AmpedRealtor | July 27, 2013

@ Kleist, Tam and omarsultan - just getting nervous and obsessive, waiting for my car to arrive on 8/15. I'm incredibly excited, but also incredibly nervous that's all. I don't want to be one of the "horror stories" that we read about. I'm sure everything will be fine. Just ignore me for the next week as the toxins pass... :)

negarholger | July 27, 2013

@AmpedRealtor - we have all been there. Let me tell you the real horror story. The DMV screwed up my registration and suspended my registration. For 16 days a perfect working model S was stuck in my garage. And by the way the DMV doesn't provide a loaner, there is no human on the other end of the telephone and the web site sends you going in circles. The local DMV office can not help you with the registration and I was ready to go to Sacramento... only with what car?

cb9 | July 27, 2013

My experience with Rockville SC has been exceptionally wonderful. Early on (before they got voicemail set up) it was hard to reach them, but lately, they are responsive and totally competent and helpful. And not all service is the result of defects - I was in with a flat tire (not their fault), getting tpms set when I bought run-flats, and the last time they fixed the hatch sensors (same day and on good will!) because the body shop they recommended didn't adjust them correctly after replacing the bumper. And to be honest, it looked like a lot of the service was delivery prep!

@Kleist - ouch! I would have been livid! Hope that has been resolved...

@AmpedRealtor - relax, we were all that way and I hope Murphy's Law works in your favor: because you are prepared to diagnose and handle the worst case, everything will be perfect!

AmpedRealtor | July 27, 2013

Thanks guys :)

bioengr | July 27, 2013

"The ER mode only has to do with accessory draw". The ER mode I was talking about is the extended or max range charging mode. So how does have "nothing to do with charging" as you say? And, it does affect the A/C output... at least according to CM service center. Before you tell someone to RTFM, maybe you should read the post more carefully.

michael1800 | July 27, 2013

Check out the owners manual pages 9 and 17. Range charge and Range mode are two independent functions, and the details are in the 30-page-ish book.

bioengr | July 27, 2013

Thanks michael1800. I see what you're saying.