First let me start by saying that I absolutely love my model S and I will probably never buy any other vehicle besides a Tesla. Now let me go into the details of my ongoing disappointment

I first visited the store in Tampa around October 2015. I met with a sales associate named Brandon and I took a test drive. I was not even in the market to buy a Tesla but I fell in love after my first drive. I told Brandon very specifically that I travel to Miami From Tampa multiple times per year to visit my family and I wanted to hopefully get there without having to charge. At the time my options were a 70D and 85D or a 90D.... Brandon convinced me to just purchase the 70 D based on the fact that he said my battery could be swapped out for an additional cost later if I decided I needed more range. I came back with my wife and we sat down and I inquired about it again to make sure he was right… He again assured me that my battery could be swapped out and that the cost at the time would probably be over $20,000 but to me it was worth it as I intended to keep this car for a long time.

I ordered my brand-new car at a cost of roughly $94,000 before the end of October. Towards the end of November I decided I should go ahead and upgrade the car to a 98 I want battery however when I called Tesla and they said that my car was already done being built and it was too late. I would have to completely cancel my order and start over and they would charge me an additional $2000 and I would likely have to wait another six weeks. Again I confirmed with Brandon that I could swap my battery later after purchase if I was not satisfied. I took delivery in the middle of December 2015. I loved it from the first day. In January I took my first family road trip in the car from Tampa to New Orleans.
I decided right after that road trip that I still wanted a bigger battery and I was willing to pay the price. I asked for a quote. It doesn't seem that I can post a picture at least from what I can tell or I would send everyone the picture of the text message string between Brandon and myself when he gave me an exact quote for the price of the 90 kW battery replacement.
Here is what he said IN WRITING BTW February 9, 2016 at 2:55 PM Eastern time: 90kWh upgrade will cost $22,500 plus labor, approximate $310
And it looks like you will get a $2500 credit if you turn in your old battery.

OK everybody taking out… Not only was I sold the vehicle saying that I could swap the battery but I now have a written quote on how much it will cost with labor and with a rebate for my existing battery pack.…

And then a while later when I brought the car in for some wind noise I told them I wanted to go ahead and have the battery replaced… At that time I found out Brandon no longer works for the company but even worse I was told they could not swap the battery in my car… I explained that I was told this at the time of sale and I will send a quote in writing so how could they possibly be wrong?
I called California and I called multiple other service locations to make sure that everybody was telling me the truth. They all seemed to be on the same page that I was lied to and apologize for the incorrect information. I was beside myself. This was the most expensive car purchase I have ever made and actually the first brand-new car I have ever purchased. I am beyond happy with my car and will probably never drive anything else but I was beyond disappointed. I felt deceived and lied to at best.

I wasn't sure what to do so I called around and spoke to my other five friends who all but teslas because of mine… Yes I am one of the greatest unpaid salesman's they have. Fast forward a few months I don't have the exact date with me but I was told by one of the service people and service managers when my car was again in the shop that my car qualified for the 75 kW battery upgrade through the software… Nobody offered to do anything for me so again I continued with my disappointment. They offered to sell me an inventory car but nothing had the options that minded and nothing made real financial sense. They wanted me to take a huge loss. This is just not right. I go to car shows with my car with a group of other owners and met a very nice girl named Allison. She mentioned that they should be able to do something for me and I said honestly the only thing I want is what I was promised. I was willing to pay the full price for the battery replacement. I then said to her I can't believe that nobody even offer to upgrade my card to the 75 kW since it's just a software upgrade… A couple days later Allison called me and told me that whoever told me that my car had the upgraded battery and was eligible for it was wrong again. This is the second time I was deceived. Now I really felt a kick in the junk…

Here we go on the third strike… When my car was in for service and when I was notified that they could not upgrade me to the 75 kW battery via a software upgrade I made sure to tell them in writing when I put my car into service that I absolutely did not want the software upgraded to the latest version. My friends and I have tested the latest software and none of us like it. I wanted to wait for future versions and see what other changes they make. I do not think it is right to change features and take things away from me like the new auto pilot changes. I have safely driven 25,000 miles on the existing auto pilot with no issues and I trusted and do not want it changed at this time to add additional restrictions. They replied to me and told me they may have to upgrade depending on what they had to do my car so I replied again in writing and said that if that is absolutely required I want to be contacted by a service manager to discuss it before it is done. Did they listen?? No they did not and when my car was brought back to me the software was upgraded without any phone calls or care from any management. Third strike… Again I still love my car but now I have lost all faith in the people who represent the company.
I've ordered two of the model three cars and still take people for rides in my car all the time and still love it but why Tesla has not done anything for me besides offer me a service credit to cover some labor is beyond me? What I think is fair and I've said this and hopefully Elon reads this…
I want to trade my car in to Tesla and they cover my depreciation. I walk away without having to pay the difference between my purchase price and what I owe on the loan… Yes I will have lost a year and a half worth of car payments totaling well over $15,000 but I don't think it's fair to lose anything else. I will then purchase and even more expensive car ... the 100 kW and tesla get to sell another vehicle and they will get my vehicle back to sell to someone else. Again I will happily pay for the battery upgrade as promised as I really do love my car… At this point I just wanted to be treated fairly without making a public stink about this beyond the forum. I await a response…

lilbean | 24 February 2017

Why didn't you use just get the 85D or 90D in the first place?

SCCRENDO | 24 February 2017

Yes. Why didn't you?

Rocky_H | 24 February 2017

I do see that you have had a really frustrating experience. Perhaps a little perspective is called for here.

(1) Yes, you were lied to repeatedly by Brandon. That is really unfortunate. There have been some times that sales people at the stores have given people incorrect information. That one was especially bad, because that has been frequently asked, and many sources at Tesla have said that is something they will not do. So that does suck that Brandon kept giving you bad information. However, Tesla got rid of him, which is a good thing. So it seems like Tesla has done the right thing to try to fix that, getting rid of someone who was misleading customers.

(2) I'm not quite following this part of your story. You refer to stuff like:
"Nobody offered to do anything for me"
" I can't believe that nobody even offer to upgrade my card to the 75 kW since it's just a software upgrade"

I don't get why you are waiting for someone to spoon feed this offer to you. If it's available, it will be shown on your MyTesla page, and you should go ahead and buy and request it. If it's not there, it's not available.

In this case, I think there was again some confusion there, and somebody gave you mistaken information. There are 70kwh versions that can be upgraded, and there are some that can't. You said yours was from late 2015, right? I think those were when they were actually 70kwh batteries--no upgrading available. It was later in 2016 that they started the 60/70/75 battery that could unlock some portions of it. The Tesla personnel might have been fairly new and only knew about the current unlockable versions.

(3) Dang, yeah, that is pretty bad. They should really respect your wishes on that, and there isn't any defense for them there.

Rocky_H | 24 February 2017

@lilbean and @SCCRENDO, Did neither of you read that? He was told repeatedly that if he wanted bigger capacity later, he could pay to get the battery changed. He bought the lower version to try it out based on that promise.

Rocky_H | 24 February 2017

It was wrong information, but one would normally think a Tesla sales person would be telling the truth that you can make a decision on.

lilbean | 24 February 2017

Yes, I can read, thank you. From what I gather, he was concerned that the battery pack may not be enough and range seemed to be very important. Why not just get the 85 or 90 for piece of mind, regardless of what any Tesla employee tells you?

frank | 24 February 2017

Rocky your right.... I was told repeatedly that I could swap the battery later and remember I even tried to call and do it but they said my car was already done so I decided to trust what I was told and take delivery and make a decision later even though it might cost me more money.
I didn't purchase the bigger model because my sales person literally talked me out of it. My wife even stood there and said why don't you sell your SUV and go ahead and get the bigger battery and Brandon insisted that it wouldn't matter because my travel to Miami would require a stop either way and then I could just upgrade down the road when the battery options became bigger. It is all about the deceit. Had I been told first off I could not switch I have done exactly that. I waited around to see if anybody would do anything and trust me I notified multiple people personally not through email.

lilbean | 24 February 2017

frank, Sorry for your experience. My experience with Tesla staff is that they don't give their opinion on what a customer should get. They simply stand there and look pretty and answer questions as best they can.

frank | 24 February 2017

I'm hoping bringing this to the forum will get an appropriate response. Again I love my car and I plan on buying nothing else in the future, I just want to feel like somebody cares and they do something reasonable to get me what I was promised one way or the other.

codyb12889 | 24 February 2017

Did you by chance get anything in writing before or at the time of signing your contract? It is unfortunate but this is a perfect example of why you have to get everything in writing and trust no one, no matter what company you are dealing with.

Maybe there is a CPO Model S out there with the same options as yours that you could trade in to without taking a substantial loss.

lilbean | 24 February 2017

I'm afraid your shouting title may no get you nice responses.

Captain_Zap | 24 February 2017


He said above that he got it in writing. But, it doesn't sound like it was a Tesla document. It sounds like it was the employee acting on his own.

bigd | 24 February 2017

lilbean"My experience with Tesla staff .... They simply stand there and look pretty" Shucks , now everyone will know I was there to sell you the car ;-)

lilbean | 24 February 2017

Awe, bigd! That was you? I knew it!

Rocky_H | 24 February 2017

@lilbean, Yes, I asked because it was made very clear why he didn't choose it at first.

@frank, I don't see anything that you did wrong, and I don't see much that Tesla as an overall company did too badly. You even got the offer of the battery replacement in writing. Yeah, we who have been following Tesla for years know that offer wasn't legit, but how could anyone who is just learning about Tesla know that? You just unfortunately got really burned by Brandon not knowing what he was talking about and misleading you badly. I'm somewhat glad they got rid of him. I still don't get why he would even try talking you down from buying a bigger battery. That would even be better for you and Tesla.

At this point, I guess the advice is enjoy the 70 as much as you can. Tampa to Miami is still easily doable with a Supercharger stop or two.

codyb12889 | 24 February 2017

@captain_zap he got some text messages unfortunately well after the sale was complete. Had he gotten those claims in writing before signing the contract he would have an argument that the sale was made on false pretenses. Unfortunately misquoting a service estimate after the fact does nothing to prove that those statements were made prior to the sale.

I am very curious on how this guy was that committed to false information that he went so far as giving an exact quote. It feels like some one else was feeding him some very bad information.

This is why most dealerships will do a promissory note attached to the contract on any claims including something like this to protect both them self from false claims and protect the customer from claims that are not approved from some one higher up.

SamO | 25 February 2017

If you are willing to pay, WK057 (Jason Hughes) offers a battery upgrade in North Carolina for $15,000 to 90 or 100kWh pack.

Silver2K | 25 February 2017

A text from a Tesla employee can be considered a legal "document" and Tesla can be forced to stand by what Brandon texted to Frank as a representative of Tesla at the time he sent the texts. I know for a fact texts in NY can be used as legal "documents" in Real Estate.

Tesla should back what Brandon texted Frank, because it's Tesla's responsibility to properly train their employees.

SamO | 25 February 2017

Tesla opened the offer but didn't promise to keep it open forever @SC.

Tesla was able to convert Green Car Reports writer's 60-->85 in 2012/13 time frame. At some point they stopped offering that service.

If OP disagrees he can purchase the upgrade and sue Tesla for the difference in price.

But the kicker is . . . Private pack swap is cheaper than the Tesla "offer" and thus Tesla owes nothing.

As I've reminded you before about giving your legal opinion . . . Stick to doctoring.

SamO | 25 February 2017

Oops. Sorrry @Silver. I misread I was responding to @SCCRENDO. Who has offered misguided legal "interpretations" on a few occasions. And who is a Dr.

:-) | 25 February 2017

Unfortunate issues. I'd look at SamO's post for a possible solution.

On the software upgrade, I've heard of a few others trying to hold back getting changes. The difficulty is some software changes may be for critical safety issues. Tesla does not want you to be killed by something that new software now handles. The best example, is the trailer than cut in front of the speeding Tesla while in AP mode and the owner not paying any attention. Tesla indicated the newer software may have prevented that tragic situation.

While existing car companies kill their owners so regularly, it's not even news anymore, Tesla is harmed by any tragic event that is often blown out of proportion by the media. I think it's great Tesla is so proactive with safety. I don't see any other company that comes close.

Silver2K | 25 February 2017

SamO's solution is actually a good one, but will the battery be under the Tesla 8yr/unlimited mile warranty? If so, I would go for it. Heck, in a few years I may go for it if I can get a 100 kWh pack without disturbing my free for life charge and be covered by the original warrantee

Silver2K | 25 February 2017

SamO | February 25, 2017
Oops. Sorrry @Silver. I misread I was responding to @SCCRENDO. Who has offered misguided legal "interpretations" on a few occasions. And who is a Dr.

it's ok, I understand :)
I never offer legal advice, I just mention how it is in NY in certain situations :)

SamO | 25 February 2017


Everything you wrote was correct. I agree Tesla should (and perhaps did at some point) stand behind their words.

But it would be classified as an OFFER. Which can be rescinded.

There was no ACCEPTANCE while the OFFER was open.

Thus no contract.

carlk | 25 February 2017

Anything that is not written in black and white has zero value. Words come out of a mouth or your interpretation of these words has zero value. That's true whether it's the mouth of a sales clerk or the POTUS. Why didn't you put a little effort to verify if it's that important to you? We should all be old enough to know that.

carlk | 25 February 2017

I finally read the whole post. Another attempt from someone tyring to blackmail Tesla into giving him something special he is not entitled to. What else is new but it never worked. I do know a couple years ago Tesla cancled someone's X reservation when that poster made a big fuss out of not be able to trade his new pre-AP1 and pre-D MS for a new one at no cost and threatend a lawsuit. Go ahead and sue Tesla if you have a case. Just be forwarned that you're treading on thin ice if you still love Tesla and plan to get youf M3 in the future.

ram1901 | 25 February 2017

Seem to recall fine print when signing for my 70D --- boiler plate language -- oh yes ... here it is in the purchase agreement:

QUOTE: Governing Law; Integration; Assignment. The terms of this Agreement are governed by, and to be interpreted according to, the laws of the State in which we are licensed to sell motor vehicles that is nearest to your address indicated on your Vehicle Configuration.
(Here it comes!!)
Prior agreements, oral statements, negotiations, communications or representations about the Vehicle sold under this Agreement are superseded by this Agreement. Terms relating to the purchase not expressly
contained herein are not binding. We may assign this Agreement at our discretion to one of our affiliated entities."

So no matter what you have in writing from a sales representative is meaningless.

Life is tuff when you fail to read the fine print.

carlk | 25 February 2017

That's right. Even what Elon said or tweeted does not count unless it is written into an official quote or contract. Matter of fact Elon has said P90DL could be upgraded to P100D for $20K. I'm still waiting for that to happen but I don't think it will.

Haggy | 25 February 2017

This is something you should discuss with a lawyer. Nobody here can go by a third hand account of what a sales rep might or might not have said, or any of the details. An attorney can take an objective look. Tesla is responsible for the actions of their employees.

People here may or may not know technical details such as the feasibility of an upgrade, but that has nothing to do with the legal issues or your direct interaction with Tesla.

Whether or not prior statements apply is one for your attorney to figure out. It may depend on state law. If a company advertises something that's not there, that's a prior statement that's materially different from what's in the car, and it might not be part of the agreement you sign that the feature exists. I have no idea what applies in your situation but it's pretty clear that false advertising isn't allowed, and some claims made by a sales person wouldn't rise to that level.

rxlawdude | 25 February 2017

@Silver, statements, even in writing by an employee not authorized to do so are null and void. See ram1901's post of relevant sections. "Prior agreements, oral statements, negotiations, communications or representations about the Vehicle sold under this Agreement are superseded by this Agreement. Terms relating to the purchase not expressly
contained herein are not binding."

There is another place in the contractual language that no one has the authorization to modify any of the written terms.

Clearly, here's a case where a consumer feels cheated, and I sympathize. However, by doing a modicum of research (TMC, these fora), the OP would have found out Brandon was full of caca.

Silver2K | 25 February 2017

Good points rx and SamO

carlk | 25 February 2017

I guess everyone does come to an agreement about legal implication now. The only thing still puzzles me is why Brandon tried so hard to talk op out of purchase a car with bigger battery.

SCCRENDO | 25 February 2017

@Samo. Which legal interpretation are you referring to? Didn't offer any legal advice on this one. For the record I never try masquerade as a lawyer.

frank | 26 February 2017

Thanks for all the "opinions" for the record, I was given a quote for the swap in writing by Brandon. To answer some of your questions about why he would try to sell me the smaller battery… I think he just saw an opportunity as a salesman to make an easy sale without asking me to spend more money… Indeed it was an easy sale when he told me that the battery could be changed at a later date. You guys are right a lot of this is about bad info. All I want is for somebody to stand by their word. Offer a loyal customer something to keep them happy. I have run my own business for the last 17 years and when I have a concerned loyal customer I bend over backwards to get them what they want and keep them happy. It's just good business.

I'm very interested in this battery swap thing going on privately… Are there any threads that come from people who have actually done it? I'm assuming they are changing the software and other components if they are increasing performance? One thing that has like kept telling me was that my car was not built to handle the upgraded performance of the bigger battery models? Does anybody have any insight into this? That is the excuse they gave as to why they can't just send it back to the factory and change the battery… They said a lot of other components would have to be changed as well. I wonder if anybody has insight into this? Especially somebody who has done the private swap… Are they getting better performance?

frank | 26 February 2017

I think your comments are ridiculous, blackmail? Really? When somebody is promised something by a company and the company does not stand by their word you call this blackmail? Have you ever ran a business before?
I did not threaten anything I simply stated my case openly and I'm asking for someone higher up hopefully to contact me and work out something reasonable.

rxlawdude | 26 February 2017

@frank: Sadly, your beef is with Brandon, not Tesla.

lilbean | 26 February 2017

+1 rxlawdude

carlk | 26 February 2017


"At this point I just wanted to be treated fairly without making a public stink about this beyond the forum. I await a response…"

This does not sound like a blackmail to you?

lilbean | 26 February 2017

Isn't it public if it's on the Internet? Just asking.

carlk | 26 February 2017

I think he meant, or threatened, to go to media outside this forum which is read mostly by Tesla owners only so he could really make a "public stink". Kind of a laughable idea though.

Dwdnjck@ca | 26 February 2017

Tesla needs to do a better jod screening customers.

Silver2K | 27 February 2017

rxlawdude | February 26, 2017
@frank: Sadly, your beef is with Brandon, not Tesla


I'm am no law expert and will ever claim to be, but the OP and the law may still hold Tesla accountable. The training still falls on Tesla's lap and can be held responsible for it's employee's actions.

I'll give you an example of something I need to know as a broker associate with the ability to be a Real Estate Broker holding a sales associate's license.

The broker is ultimately responsible for the associate's actions while holding his/her real estate license. The broker is also responsible for training and keeping track of training records, even though the associate is an independent contractor.

Judging by that scenario, Tesla cannot be held responsible for their direct representative's actions?