Body Shop before delivery.

Body Shop before delivery.

I just received a call that my sig performance was going to be delivered this Saturday. Super excited UNTIL I got another call saying they found scratches on the bottom of the right bumper and the car will need to go to the bodyshop to be repaired! I ordered the paint armor so the scratches had to be pretty bad. I asked my DS to send me a photo.

Here's the thing. For the money I am paying, I really do not want a new car that has been to the body shop before it has been delivered to me! The bigger issue is my wife - who has been very supportive of the purchase - says she wants a different car than that one! She doesn't want to pay for a new car that has had body work.

What do you think?

I am a huge Tesla fan but this is very dis-appointing.I know its not there fault but still....

CraigT | November 16, 2012


You make a very good point about Tesla trying to be different. I am interested in thoughts on what people think Tesla should do though in the case where a car has a dent or scratch from shipping. Do they tell everyone that they fixed the car and offer a discount or replacement? Or is it just telling people up front everything that was wrong with their vehicle for full disclosure?

Ultimately if we want to complain about a process then there should be a suggestion on how to fix it. My guess is that 15-20% of cars will get some cosmetic damage in shipping so using them all as demos isn't viable.

walla2 | November 16, 2012

Uhh. Lgag. Not sure you can equate ramming my private vehicle intentionally to what happened here. This was an accident. A mistake. It isn't a bumperfendergate. They told you more than any other car dealer would.

I understand you are unhappy. I would be unhappy. I hope the right tthing is done and the you can post a good conclusion to this post. I would recommend you email George B and be polite when you do it.

markapeterman | November 16, 2012

Just curious, but how much of a discount would satisfy you for a repaired baseball size dent and some scratches? $2000, $5000, more??

walla2 | November 16, 2012


Ebay seems to be a great place to sell Tesla cars.

I wonder if any of this is covered in the final MVPA or otherwise.

If the damage was a scratch on mine, I would want a repair and a repair guarantee. And to be told of course.

CraigT | November 16, 2012


eBay is a good place to LIST Tesla's :-) Thanks for the suggestion though.

mrspaghetti | November 16, 2012

Not sure if a baseball sized dent would upset me that much. And I struggle with lgagliardi's certainty that a cover up is involved vs. simple laziness. I'd probably be happy if they fixed it and gave me a couple tee shirts or something.

optimistic | November 16, 2012

People cover things up all the time, that is what makes the biggest scandals. We are all counting on everyone at Tesla for integrity. Tesla's awesome leader hopefully spawns that culture.

petero | November 16, 2012

Sorry, slightly off topic. When I worked at a auto dealership dents, scratches happen-regularly. Our benevolent dictator (the General Manager) had a simple rule. If you damage a car, tell me or your sales manager. They would fix the damage. However, if they found out you damaged a car and did not report it … can you say pink slip!

If I was a betting man, I would wager that more than a few of the 800-900 Sigs manufactured have visited a body shop and the customer was probably none the wiser. Test Question. Has any Sig owner been advised that his/her car was damaged or repaired prior to delivery?

Brian H | November 16, 2012

CherifB | November 16, 2012
Brian H

Heads should roll ... "Pour decourager les autres."
--- Cherif
Nope. Google the phrase. It's a famous quote.
I was looking at the statement from the position that he/she should pursue his/her interest so as to DIScourage wrong doers from getting away with bad service.
I'd failed to see the other way of looking at it (which supports the original version); so as to encourage those wronged to stand up for themselves.
Neither postion is mutually exlusive and we are saying the same thing... basically.
My apologies for being nitpicky.

--- Cherif
Actually your first interpretation was right. It's from Candide and referred to a purported British Navy habit of hanging an admiral or two from time to time. To keep the others from getting sloppy.
That's the original sense, anyhow, and the one I intended.

Brian H | November 16, 2012

Sorry, blew the tags. Everything down to "Actually" in italics.

Brian H | November 16, 2012
nvjx | November 16, 2012

frednorris100 | NOVEMBER 16, 2012
Wah, Wah, Wah. Until you take ownership of the car it is still "new". Bodywork, replace parts are all part of the deal when a car comes into a lot. They will replace the parts and paint as needed. Not any different than if it had happened at the factory. They would have sent it back for repair. Quit your whining.

frednorris100, you are fl=ull of xxxx. If this was your car you would be "whining" too!

GoTeslaChicago | November 16, 2012

I think it is to encourage them to do the right thing, as opposed to discourage from doing the wrong thing. All the same in the end.

Sudre_ | November 16, 2012

I think the difference here is what people are missing. Tesla IS the dealer. With any other car sold in the US a dealer buys a large number of cars and those cars are delivered to them. The dealer repairs any minor damage and the cars are sold. People can get the same car from a different dealer they trust more.

When I bought my current car from a dealer I was able to walk around it in full daylight and look at it very closely. I was planning on keeping the car for several (now 12) years so I wanted it to be almost, if not, perfect. I looked for scratches and odd texture changes in the paint. I looked under the car for issues with the undercoat. I drove the car and listened for the slightest noise... then I bought it. If they made repairs to it I could not tell and I was happy. No need for full disclosure.

With a Tesla I DO NOT get that option. I put down my money and wait months for them to make it. When it shows up at my door I take delivery, defer and get back in line, or lose my deposit and not buy. That give Tesla a HUGE advantage. The shopper does not get a chance to inspect several different cars and pick the one they like or feel is the best. They just get what Telsa gives them.

I guess everyone now knows the first question to ask when receiving the car... "Have there been any repairs to the car since it left the factory?"

Brian H | November 16, 2012

Voltaire's joke: fear is not an "encouragement", except in the loosest functional sense!

Robber: "I'd like to encourage you to give me your wallet, lest this gun go off."
Victim: "Certainly! I'd be happy to!"

CraigT | November 16, 2012


If you are buying a car off of a lot then sure you can pick and choose. If you order a car through the dealership then you are in the same boat.

At some point I am sure that Tesla will have cars in their showroom that you can purchase on the spot.

Sudre_ | November 16, 2012

Absolutely right Craig. You have a choice with current dealers. You can pick and choose or order.

Tesla has claimed they will never have an inventory of cars. You order them only. Maybe one day they will have used cars.

Brian H | November 16, 2012

Yes, Elon suggested as much in the Q&A, saying it might become a significant profit center (its own brands only, of course).

nickjhowe | November 16, 2012

Re TM having used cars: they are running a buy-back program for Roadsters now for Model S converters. Maybe a pointer to the future...?

Brian H | November 16, 2012

Say, e.g., that mid-2014 someone decides they'd rather have a Model X AWD Perf than their Sig. Perf. Who ya gonna call?

SSL161 | November 17, 2012

"markapeterman | November 16, 2012

Just curious, but how much of a discount would satisfy you for a repaired baseball size dent and some scratches? $2000, $5000, more??"

That's a good question...

I guess that the market could decide. I wonder if they could just sell the owner rejects as "Floor Models" or as "Minor Defect".

Though it might create a secondary market that Tesla may not want to deal with just yet.

--- Cherif

stephen.kamichik | November 18, 2012

For a small dent, TM can hire a Paintless Dent Remover specialist.

Brian H | November 18, 2012

Does he use a plunger? ;)

Tiebreaker | November 27, 2012

@lgagliardi, any update?

gagliardilou | November 28, 2012

I just spent 15 minutes explaining the final outcome but when I went to post, it said validation error???

mrspaghetti | November 28, 2012

That sucks. Always save before hitting submit - I learned that the hard way too...

MB3 | November 28, 2012

The validation error happens after a time out period has elapsed.
Just copy your post into the clipboard and go back to the forums home. Then reload the thread and post again.

gagliardilou | November 28, 2012

One more try.
Well, after several emails back and forth with GB, and an apology email from my DS, Tesla is making me a new car. It was not a given though. GB had to make a separate trip to the factory and see if they would be able to obtain the signature parts needed. Maybe they only ordered exactly the amount they were going to use? Gilbert the VP of manufacturing agreed I should get a new car.

I asked what they were going to do with the "accident" car and that I would purchase it at a discount for my wife but I never received a response. I received a new VIN # and I know what the old VIN # is. The car should be a demo but who knows where it will end up.

GB and I agreed to disagree that they were going to fix the car and not tell me (although the apology email from my DS proved to me that they were going to do this) BUT as I told him, the bottom line is the car. I want a signature performance model s - not one that has been in an accident but a new one. That is what is going to happen. At the end of the day, I did not want to let a mistake by a few employees stop me from getting the car I have been waiting over two years to receive. It ironic, in a different thread, I said I wanted a VIN # under 1000 - which I had - but now my Vin # is over 1000. Oh well, I guess thats the way it goes. I hope to receive my car in December. | November 28, 2012

Glad it was resolved to your satisfaction...hope it arrives soon for you.

mrspaghetti | November 28, 2012


Glad it worked out for you bro! Could have been worse, right?

gagliardilou | November 28, 2012

Thanks KJR. You know I was pretty steamed about the situation - so much so I almost lost site the real focus - the car. I almost was going to take the refund offered as one of my options. But as with anything, after a cool down period, I was able to see past this and focus on what was important - the car. Reading post on here also helped me cool down. Thanks all!

gagliardilou | November 28, 2012


We know that for sure, things can always be worse or better, the goal is to be content!

Brian H | November 28, 2012

Igagliardi & tm;
I mention this from time to time: the Lazarus add-on. Install the in FF, Chrome, or Safari. When I get kicked out by the Validation Error I renew the tab I'm reading from my other tab having the whole forum open, then r-click the Reply box, and select Recover Text. Lazarus replaces the whole thing instantly.

I've set it to save everything for 54 weeks instead of 14 minutes, and it's searchable.

Works on any and every site.

Brian H | November 28, 2012

Oops, corr: "Install it in FF, ..."

DouglasR | November 28, 2012

Funny, I get validation errors all the time, but my text remains in the comment box. I just copy the text (after the error), leave the thread, return, and paste the text back in the comment box. I use Chrome.

Brian H | November 28, 2012

yup, that works. It's the "leave return" that I'm trying to shortcut there, I guess. The thing about Lazarus is it works no matter what, even if you have a sudden power outage. Your post is saved after every keystroke.

jbunn | November 28, 2012

The validation errors started it seems a couple weeks ago. About the same time the changed the timeout on the return to forum button that now takes you back to the My Tesla page. Sysadmins have been fooling with timeout settings it seems. I was going to agree with Douglas and Brian as well. Text stays in the box. Copy it and return to the page. Annoying to be sure. Whish we had a way to contact the sysadmins.

@lgagliardi - Good you agreed to disagree. Once you agreed to a replacement car for the car you were to have received, you have no further interest in it, nor have they any obligation to explain to you what they intend to do with it. Period. They can crush it, put it in a museum, sell it for a discount, keep it as a demo, or part it out. Does not matter. Because you never took delivery it was always their property and remains their property.

I am glad they replaced it, and it was the appropriate thing to do. Damaged as it was, it would have had diminished value.

vouteb | November 29, 2012

It does put Elon's 'I check every car' in perspective

That s just marketing talk

Volker.Berlin | November 29, 2012

vouteb, I don't know what to make of your comment. Are you serious? If so:

It was never suggested that Elon would inspect every single car for the rest of his life. That kind of scrutiny was reserved for the first few dozen vehicles, and since thinned out to testing some random sample every once in a while... Which I think is perfectly adequate. As much as I like the thought of Elon himself inspecting my very car, I'm convinced that he can put his genius to far better use in the same amount of time.

And finally, it is still entirely possible that Elon checked and approved the car in question. Since he doesn't personally guard the car until it is in the customer's hands, things like that can always happen.

Bottom line... I assume you weren't serious!

CraigT | November 29, 2012


Hopefully they put a sticky beside your order so they know that if your new car gets scratched in shipping they should fix it immediately before you call!

I am glad that Tesla sorted this out for you. Every company makes mistakes, but the real measure is how they handle them.

Brian H | November 29, 2012


If serious, a ***less comment.