Water testing for 3 weeks? Terrible delivery experience.

Water testing for 3 weeks? Terrible delivery experience.

I'm having a pretty bad delivery experience unfortunately. A delivery specialist called June 1 to say the car was rolling off production and would be delivered to AZ June 10 and I needed to make payment immediately. I made payment, procured the loan and insurance. Shortly after I pay, the delivery specialist goes dark, no return calls or emails. Finally someone else calls me around the 12th saying the car is in water testing and will be ready by the 17th. He said he is my new delivery specialist and will email his contact info. Well ... no email, no call nothing past the 17th. Finally reach someone at headquarters after the 17th to get the name and number of my new delivery contact. Got in touch with the new delivery contact and he tells me that its still in water testing and to expect the car early during the week of the 24th. Again the 24th rolls around no call nothing. I find out today the 26th that its STILL in water testing and to expect delivery around July 5th. So WTF is going on? Water testing for over 3 weeks?? Not at all pleased with the lack of communication an inability to meet promises. Anyone else have such issues??

fuellss | June 26, 2013

Sounds odd. Our experience was perfect. Timely communication. In fact, Tesla had it available a few days early.

justineet | June 26, 2013's getting water looked suspicious to them :))))

sfcgee | June 26, 2013

Yes odd indeed. I thought for sure they would want to deliver by the end of Q2.

Neech | June 26, 2013

Water testing? What the heck is that?

delerph | June 26, 2013

I was supposed to take delivery of my model S P85 today but instead i keep getting emails from Tesla financing asking for more financial documents. This has been the worst car buying experience ever. Mind you ,this is all after getting 2 emails confirming my loan approval and transferring my down payment of almost $40,000 as well as arranging with AutoNation for my trade in vehicle. The product might be great and Elon Musk is a true visionary but they need to improve their finance department's communication abilities. They have managed to kill my excitement about buying the car!!!

Runar | June 26, 2013

Why are ppl not using private posting? Easy to suspect trolls

reitmanr | June 26, 2013

Sorry. Your experience sounds awful. It is also unique in all the lives of so many people I know who have had the best experience ever in their dealing with Tesla. I have never had such a great positive experience in my many years of buying cars. Hope your problem is solved soon. Who is your delivery specialist? Who else have you spoken with? And what is water testing?Where is your delivery specialist located?

J.T. | June 27, 2013

Tesla DS called me 5 days before my arranged delivery date to tell me that I could pick up my car tomorrow if I wanted to. As I was out of town it wasn't possible but the funny thing was I knew they had not yet received the funds from Alliant Credit Union. When I informed my DS of this he took a minute to look over the paperwork and said, "I guess we missed a step somewhere."

I don't know what would have happened if I went down there the next day. Would they have given me the car without the 80 grand? Stranger things have happened.

So I guess the financing geeks just aren't as sharp as the tech geeks over at Tesla.

justineet | June 27, 2013 car once they sign off the title to u.....u don't owe any money to the bank and Tesla would be out of 80K

campsalvage | June 27, 2013

Actualy, yes they would give you the car. I had a pen fed loan issue and they gave me the car as we worked out the details. I wrote the an uncashable check for ~80k and they held it as we waited for pen fed to catch up. I didnt have 80k in the bank so they basically gave me the car on good faith. That was back in march. Loving every minute since.

Brian H | June 27, 2013

Water testing is directing hi-pressure sprays at the seams and lights etc. to check for leakage.

Brian H | June 27, 2013

they knew they could nail you for fraud and check-kiting, and they knew you knew that, so they trusted in your desire to stay out of jail.

J.T. | June 27, 2013

@justineet And the car would be totaled in a week. Karma is a bitch.

lolachampcar | June 27, 2013

I've posted on this subject before. Tesla's business side is behind the rest of the company. There are times when, as a buyer, you really need to have a quick five minute conversation with a decision maker to get an issue or two sorted. I've made it up the chain to the SE Regional Sales Manager and he is one incredibly sharp, switched on guy. The conversations are short and issues are addressed quickly these days but this was not always the case. I'm on buying MS number two and this transaction is going much smoother.

I suspect the financing thing has thrown even more on a business arm that is not well flushed out. From what I have seen, it is getting better but perhaps it is just not there yet. There does seem to be a wide disparity on a regional basis as well.

I hope you get someone to engage and would encourage you to walk it up the food chain.

July10Models | June 27, 2013

Yeah, when I picked up my car at the service center where it was delivered because I was out of town, I had to remind them there was a bit of financial matters to settle. They had a surprise look on their face like they did not know what to do with the check.

sfcgee | June 27, 2013

No trolling here, a real buyer. I just received this note this morning:

I have received an update on the production of your Model S. Currently our Tesla production team is installing your headliner, windshield and interior are being currently being installed. I will continue to update you on the progress of your Model S and inform you when it is ready,

We apologize for the delay and any inconvenience this might have caused.

Best regards,

Chris Swann

Chris Swann Delivery Experience Specialist

So after I was told that it rolled off production and in water testing for 3 weeks, they are just putting the car together. So I'm paying a month of insurance and car payment based on a delivery promise that was not at all accurate. Honestly all will be forgotten if the car is as good as promised but the excitement is definitely no longer there.

AmpedRealtor | June 27, 2013

@ sfcgee - how is it possible that you are paying for insurance as well as your car payment yet you have not physically received the vehicle? That seems a little odd. I certainly wouldn't have done it that way, is this the only way to do it?

jchangyy | June 27, 2013

sorry to hear that. I had some difficulties with my delivery--I picked mine up at Freemont. My car was delayed for 10 days or so after my window closed. this was back in Feb when they were really busy ramping up, so I'm a bit surprised to hear about delays now. I guess (totally guessing) is that your car may have failed the initial water testing and they are having to replace certain parts. MOre likely though, some of the people you were talking to just did not have the most accurate info at the time.

good luck. once you get your car, you'll forget all about this frustration.

GReese | June 27, 2013


I am tired of people who don't like negative commentary saying people should post them private.

The private stuff doesn't work here. Get over it.

sfcgee | June 27, 2013

Tesla contacted me first week of June and said that the car will be delivered for sure on the 10th. As such I bound an insurance policy for the day of delivery. They also put pressure to clear the funds for the vehicle as delivery was "less than a week away." Based on all the positive experiences on the boards (maybe not the case as I read more) I took them at their word, closed the loan and sent them the PenFed check. Obviously if I thought that they were a month out from the promised delivery date I would not have done anything until I knew it was on the truck. What bothers me is that they kept telling me it was done but in water testing. Before the above email I posted I had received this:

I wanted to touch base and provide an update for you regards the production of your Model S. Currently your Model S is still in the "Water Testing" phase of production, but will hopefully be finished soon. As such delivery has been delayed and will most likely occur late next week.

I find it very interesting that they were doing "water testing" before the windshield was installed. There is at best some serious miscommunication and at worst some lying going on.

jchangyy | June 27, 2013

@GReese. I think IT IS reasonable to post in private thread so we can keep the trolls out. So you should get over it.

AmpedRealtor | June 27, 2013

@ sfcgee, can you contact your lender and insurance company to suspend both until the car is delivered? Alternately, i would escalate up the chain at Tesla to have them reimburse you for the costs given their clear miscommunication and pressuring you into paying for a car that you hadn't actually received. Whether or not the money is an issue for you might be secondary, but it's the principle. They screwed up, they should reimburse you.

archibaldcrane | June 27, 2013

Sounds like they found a leak with the water testing and had to replace a few parts because of it.

That's the only reasonable explanation, but the lack of communication is unacceptable.

GReese | June 27, 2013


Private threads don't work.

This person hasn't taken delivery even if they did work.

The troll paranoia in this forum is astounding.

Get over it.

blisSfullee | June 27, 2013

Sorry for your experience. My car was delivered 2 weeks earlier than I had originally been told. I brought a check with me when I picked up delivery. I arranged for my insurance to start upon delivery. Things could not have gone more smoothly. Really sorry your experience has been different.

shop | June 27, 2013

The insurance agent should adjust policy start time based on when you get the car. Mine agent sure does that.

justineet | June 27, 2013

There should have been better communication once it became clear Tesla would not meet the deliver date. One possible reason for the delay is that the car went back into production line because they found out some issues during the "water" testing and validation stage...

oildeathspiral | June 27, 2013


As a recent new car owner (a Tesla wannabe aka Volt), I was told by my insurance co. that I was automatically covered when I took possession of the car and in fact had 30 days to settle the paperwork with them. You might consider contacting your ins co to obtain a refund.

kback | June 27, 2013

GReese - I'm not sure what you mean about private threads not working. Many people successfully post private threads, and only those with cars on order or who are owners can view these threads.

Sometimes requests for private posts are also to avoid giving ammunition to the many journalists and big auto supporters looking for ways to damage Tesla's reputation. This is not conspiracy theory - there have been many inaccurate articles written, some of which have referenced the "many unhappy owners" who have commented on the forums. Since the majority of posts on forums tend to be due to problems, keeping them private can keep these forums from misrepresenting a great car and a great company.

For what it's worth, I have had incredibly good experiences with Tesla representatives on all levels throughout my ordering and ownership experience. It has been the best service I've ever experienced, with Infiniti a close second. The car is above and beyond my expectations, and the best car I've ever driven or owned.

hademarco | June 27, 2013

I would have never paid for the car until I was there to pick it up. I held both the bank check and my own down payment until I saw the vehicle. It does sound like there was something wrong with your vehicle.

Bighorn | June 27, 2013

I used Tesla's email contact form to request access to private forums and I was granted access within a couple hours. My car will arrive in a few weeks, FYI.

GReese | June 27, 2013


They don't work.

As in, many new owners aren't given the access to do it any more.

As in, Tesla is actively encouraging people to use the TMC forums instead.

I don't have access.

mreitman | June 28, 2013

I love the car, but the delivery process was a mess. DS only had a cell number that rang directly to VM and didn't return calls or emails. I finally called Tesla HQ and they transferred me to her. Four weeks since delivery and State can find serial number for registration and insurance company is finally going to write policy without number in system.

DS Emailed me the day before delivery and told me that I had to send Cashiers Check overnight. Said wire would take 5 days to "process". Worked out a deal with service manager to give him the Cashiers Check.

NKYTA | June 28, 2013

Clearly some new owners are getting quick access.

AmpedRealtor | June 28, 2013

@ GReese, I have private access - no issues.

AmpedRealtor | June 28, 2013

So is everyone required to pay for the car before receipt? This is scary. I would rather have the car delivered to the local service center, have them give it a once over to make sure everything is fine and of course I would inspect it as well. If everything is good, I would prefer to give the check directly to the service manager and have him send it back to corporate or wherever else it goes. Would this even be an option, or would Tesla be skirting the state laws about dealership?

hademarco | June 28, 2013

@AmpedRealtor, I gave my checks to the delivery specialist at the service center where I picked up the car and when I picked up the car. Paying early is not required.

AmpedRealtor | June 28, 2013

@ hademarco - praise the tech gods! :)

tylerhen | June 28, 2013

In some states, I believe money cannot change hands at delivery so you have to pay beforehand. I live in WA, so I didn't have this problem. PenFed was actually late in delivering my check so I didn't even pay for the car when I did pick it up. The delivery specialist did have me call PenFed and verify I was approved and the VIN on the loan matched, and then I simply delivered the check the next day when I received it.

sfcgee | June 28, 2013

Sounds like the delivery experience is across the board. My major concern at this point is that the vehicle goes through the appropriate steps and I don't receive a lemon. 2 weeks in water testing then putting it back together again makes me wonder if there is a major problem. The vehicle will be at my summer home through the summer and the service center in AZ has been "a month from opening" for 6 months now so no telling when it will be available. Summer home is 140 miles from the service center so I would be relying on the ranger service and having to pay $100 per visit so I'm really hoping that the kinks are worked out before delivery. We will see.

AmpedRealtor | June 28, 2013

@ sfcgee, there is a Tesla service center in Phoenix. Per an email from Tesla's inside sales, there will be a new "customer facing" service center opening in Scottsdale in the next 3-6 months. In the meantime, service at the Phoenix center is by appointment only. Others have already utilized this service center and I've heard good things about their service manager, Nicholas.

I believe that if you have a warranty issue, you do not have to pay for ranger service if you are far from a local service center. So in your case, I'm sure Tesla would dispatch a ranger at no cost to you if it's for a warranty repair.

Regarding your vehicle, it doesn't make sense that they put it all together, it failed the water test so they took it apart to re-build. That seems a little too simplistic and ignores the realities of car manufacturing. I would imagine that the information was just not updated or incorrect. Employees are at the mercy of the information they are provided, or what they see in their computer, so I probably would not worry too much about this. But if it is a concern, send it up the chain.

GReese | June 28, 2013

Yeehaw, a couple of you have access.

I don't. I know a number of others don't.

Carefree | June 28, 2013

AmpedRealtor - unfortunately, AZ is one of those states where you'll have to pay for the car in advance. Tesla cannot accept payment at delivery - it's the stupid AZ laws.

AmpedRealtor | June 28, 2013

@ GReese, email and they will turn it on for you.

@ Carefree, that sucks but at least I'm not being asked to do anything that you all haven't also had to do. How was your delivery experience? Did the car arrive wrapped and in a covered truck? I went so far as to ask my Tesla sales advisor if it would be kosher to inspect the car in Fremont, watch it get loaded onto the truck and follow the truck to Arizona. Yes, I would like to stalk my own car…

GReese | June 29, 2013


"@ GReese, email and they will turn it on for you."

Been, there, done that, bought the t-shirt, but I haven't taken delivery because no one at Tesla can follow up on simple requests.

GReese | June 29, 2013

Let me add that I am done actually trying to get access to private threads. It's not worth my time.

I am simply making the following two points:

* Not all owners actually have access to those things
* It's not always trivial to get access as it's not part of Tesla's delivery processes
* Tesla people recommend you got over to TMC anyways
* I'm not interested in going through hoops because of your stock portfolio

cybrown | June 29, 2013

Don't know why people have problems with this. I emailed 2 sentences to ownership and the turned on private forum access the same day. Seems like it's luck of the draw on who your email gets routed to. Sorry it's not working for you!

sfcgee | July 3, 2013

Update - got a call out of the blue from transportation yesterday, the car is ready for delivery! They show up at 9PM and I have to sign off at night without being able to inspect in natural daylight. Unfortunately the car was absolutely filthy, dirty dusty not cleaned or waxed. I have mobile detailing being done right now. The car also only had 60 miles of energy. Really deflated the delivery experience. Now that I'm actually able to fully inspect and play with the car noticing the following issues:

1. Plastic chrome triangle off upper rear window is detached and not holding in place.

2. Water dripping from frame by the back rear tire. Dripped most of the night and left a small puddle in the garage.

3. Dreaded fan noise from the display. Still not sure if this is normal or not.

Still haven't logged many miles but planning to have Ranger service after about a week or so to get everything fixed. Hope that goes better than the delivery experience.

I hate to nit pick but I feel like Tesla should pick up the $125 detailing fee. I've never picked up a new car dirty and without a full tank. You would think they would have a process in place to ensure clean delivery.

justineet | July 3, 2013

@AmpedRealtor....of course if it fails the water testing they are going to put back together the parts that failed....u think they will pass it to customer as is............hope that ain't the deal in the real estate biz!

justineet | July 3, 2013

sfcee...water dripping from the back frame?? Guess ur car is still drying off from all the water testing :)))))