So received my car last week, and I love it, but wow what a bad delivery experience...wrote it up for a little blog site I contribute to...
The delivery process is CLEARLY broken and in some cases does not even exist. Docrob's insulting and demeaning responses notwithstanding, he and others here seem to think there should be zero experience standards as long as we end up with a car at the end.
There is no arguing with the following statement: I was pulled over yesterday for the sixth and seventh times for having no tags, once in Virginia and once in Maryland. Until now, I have gotten away after explaining and showing the TM letter. However, I now have a ticket from Virginia for not having an inspection sticker. Of course I can't have the car inspected without a registration. Any other new car beng delivered to a Virginia owner comes standard with the sticker on the windshield. Every other car manufacturer selling cars in these states has engaged with a system that somehow avoids guaranteed interaction with the police, and ultimately being ticketed. TM, on the other hand delivers cars to customers in a way that absolutely guarantees that you WILL be pulled over and be made very uncomfortable at a minimum, and potentially wind up court, as I must now do. This is a moving violation, without points, but expect to be found guilty, as there is no grace period in Virginia. The officer who pulled me in Virginia yesterday had pulled me over about two weeks ago. This time I got the ticket, and next time I will be impounded. TM's delivery experience isn't broken? Really? Really?
I have spoken with Tesla staff about this, and they are beyond embarrassed. They have aplogized profusely, bith in person and in writing. But they also have no solution. They know there is no excuse, and say themselves that the delivery system is a nonfunctioning work in progress. Those of you who make excuses for TM, saying we should give them a break because this is a new company with start up issues that will be resolved, don't get it. The delivery process is sold by TM in capital letters as one way they are revolutionizing and improving the automotive world. Really? Really?
Right now, today, the employees in Maryland and DC are just shaking their heads about how it is going, nicely referring to planned improvements and to "issues" in California. They get changing direction daily about where and when it is legal to deliver cars (and right now even they don't know if it is okay to deliver at the Rockville location, but are doing so under a kind of black-market "don't tell anyone" approach.) Really? Really?
The decision to eliminate dealers may or may not eventually turn out to be a good one. But right now, about 5,000 cars into delivery, it is completely broken (or if you prefer, failing). It is far too dependent on individual employee performance and is not systematized, and some systems, such as licensing and inspection, dont exist. This is logical given that every state has different rules and requirements, which is one reason why auto dealers exist. How can any one manufacturer, even GM, deal with the myriad of licensing and inspection rules that vary from state to state and country to country? They have enough challenges understanding and meeting state-level design, safety and emissions criteria.
TM may eventually figure it out, but I doubt it, as their volume cannot justify the kind of investment that would make buying a Tesla in every government jurisdiction as seamless as walking into a locally-licensed car dealer. I also detest the dealer model, but can at least talk to a decision maker there, not true with TM. And in my experience, MB, BMW, and Porsche have figured it how to make the customer/manufacturer experience pretty seamless. I do not advocate that model either, but perhaps there are good reasons that it evolved to what we have today. In the meantime, TM is looking like a silly neophyte in a field with pros as the comparable model. Right now they have no clue how to do it without putting their customers into hot water. How's that work for ya? I also love my car, but the TM experience leaves me personally in trouble, with potential legal and insurance ramifications, solely because of THEIR delivery process. Defend THAT Docrob.
I was recently speaking with the head of BMW Motoraad US, the motorcycle arm of BMW. They have exactly one factory owned US store and delivery point, in Manhattan, NY. I have purchased two vehicles directly from them (one motorcycle, one Mini), and discussed with him why they don't do it in more locations. He said that BMW's Manhattan showroom is really there for product visibility and marketing, similar to the Manhattan NBA store, Niketown or Sony store. It isn't about making money there, and they don't, it is purely for marketing, but they do sell some cars directly that way. He went on to explain that BMW explored doing more factory stores, but determined that the minefields at the state level were sufficiently complex and varied, that it wasn't worth the hassle, that the dealer model, despite all of its inefficiencies, is the only way to deliver relatively low-volume products into the consumer market, at least for BMW.
It is pretty clear that TM either did not do enough research or decided to learn on the job. Whatever the answer, it isn't working. Yes, we are getting our cars. That isn't the only standard.
I don't believe I am overly sensitive at all. I defended a person's right to express frustration and criticized the way he was challenged. I don't criticize any challenge itself.
What I believe is that all are entitled to their opinion, critical of Tesla or not. The objection is to the style of rebuttal often found on message boards where a person responds with ridicule rather than reason or with a childish "no you're wrong" but offering nothing of substance to back it up.
It sure seems as though there are a group here who are quick to criticize or challenge even when no comment is warranted. Some are perceived as supporters even as they slip in what reads as unfounded negativity just as there are those who attack any critic who happens to be an owner and is reporting something that can be improved.
This forum serves a useful purpose for those awaiting their vehicles as well as for those enjoying their recent acquisition. The concern by any "defender" that negative comments are in any way a threat to the future of Tesla should not be seriously entertained. Not that many who can afford the car will spend time on a message board if they have not already made the commitment to own it.
I can make my own decisions about the relative value or merit of a comment and don't need others discouraging anyone from offering their thoughts. On the other hand, there are the trolls who stir up the board and serve no beneficial purpose. I think ignoring them is as important as encouraging experiential negative reports. If one disagrees with the reports, challenge it with their own experience, but don't challenge the legitimacy of any owner's feelings or thoughts.
"unfounded criticism"? its unfounded to be dismayed at receiving a car that isn't properly registered and having no inspection? Really? How, as an owner, can I be considered any but a supporter? What you and others seem to say is that supporter=never say bad thing about TM. That's ridiculous. NY delivery/service and even CA OE people, like Dave, have expressed embarrassment and remorse at how my delivery was handled. Even internally they are saying the process is not working.
I take great offense at being referred to as a 'troll who stir up the board and serve no beneficial purpose'. Great offense. Providing feedback to TM, like many others, is INVALUABLE to the company improving and becoming a successful company.
correct, i 'reserved' the car in Feb, people really are a bit uptight on jargon...that said, yes, i 'reserved' it in february. And I'm not really concerned as to whether or not you believe I didn't realize that the only sunroof was the glass one, what purpose does it serve to show I overlooked something so basic?
Again being a 'supporter' is not mutual exclusive from being critical.
@Pungoteague_Dave, thank you for being a voice of reason amongst the clatter of fanboyism.
You have lost track of the thread. You have now become what I was accused of being for defending you. Rather than explain myself, I suggest you go back and read all the comments and then you will realize how seriously confused you have become. Or perhaps docrob will chime in and present your latest post as evidence to support his comments, which I criticized.
Maybe I have lost track, if you were actually defending me, apologies...
I have been asked many times to make private my threads reporting real issues, such as overstated range expectations, licensing problems, and my loose bumper nuts, apparently because some people believe that any issues discussed here can potentially impact brand value and sales. They often say it is okay to discuss, but only among owners, not outsiders, or where media can see. I disregard that kind of parental policing.
Oh, and nnt is a proven, documented, lying troll. I learned the hard way it s best not to respond to him in any way.
I have read your comments all over the forum. I think they present a fair and reasonable account of the positives and negatives experienced by owners. The licensing fiasco is especially concerning.
Anyone thinking of buying would be served by reading all the comments. It prepares them before delivery to inspect or ask about items they might have overlooked or not been aware are a concern. This is new technology produced by a very young and ambitious company. Problems with both are to be expected but not overlooked or dismissed. Car and company improve with owner input. I expect that Musk recognizes that, even if some of the owners do not.
Wholly agree with those comments RobertAL...and thanks for the advice PDave, duly noted :)
I think the true measure of Telsa's worth will be weather they have the means and
infrastructure to take these criticisms in hand and make gradual improvements.
I'm not going to measure them on how screwed up the delivery/licensing/communication issues
are right now. But in two months, how have they changed for the better? It takes
months to hire good people and integrate them into a company. Should they have realized
the extent of the complexity earlier and gotten a jump on hiring and developing policies?
Absolutely. But we are where we are and can only really judge them on how conscientiously
they get better.
This kind of feedback, assuming it makes its way to the right people is absolutely crucial
to Tesla's success. It also is more likely to be well received and acted on if it is as free
of hyperbolic emotional content and full of facts as possible. Should you be angry or disappointed
that they failed to live up to their promises? Absolutely, but be aware that the person you
are complaining to may have little control over the situation. The hope is that they convey
the criticism up the line. Yelling at them or declaring this or that the worse ever is only likely
to make them defensive (I'm not saying anyone is doing that, but I can imagine it happening).
By all means if they make no attempt to make things right or if there isn't improvement over time,
then we should get more pointed ;)
* whether, not weather. Although weather is apparently important too.
Good, thorough review. Many of the (real!) issues are things that can be fixed via over-the-air software updates. IMO, leaving some things out was a carefully made decision so that they could ship product and reduce the cash burn. The thing they could *not* do was need to upgrade (recall) the hardware - so the platform is pretty solid (though they made compromises there as well, but their calculations seem to have been OK since the drivers/reviewers overwhelmingly love the car). My review at http://EVTripPlanner.com/review.php
In every interaction with TM staff on issues, I make sure to let them know I am a happy owner, love their car, and that I know TM will do the right thing in the end. Lately the license and inspection issue is getting out of hand, but even there, I don't get mad at anyone, just point out the necessity to upstream the issue so that it is dealt with. With that said, I see regression, not improvement. Two months ago TM seemed to have its Rockville delivery act together. Now they don't know which way is up. Local staff say there are only a couple people in CA handling licensing, and they have a hard time getting answers (although have been very responsive on my issues, no solution yet). The issues around delivery are no further along in the last three months, at least optically and based on staff comments.
Also, what are we to think about the fact that on March 3, no new Superchargers have opened since December 21? There are supposed to be 100 by year end. Subtract 9 open today, and divide by 10 months remaining, that's 9 per month for the rest of the year. What are the chances? They've proven that producing the world's best car can be done, and that it can have much longer range with a Supercharging network, and that they can push volumes to 400 per week. Now TM has to make it all work systematically. I am not betting against Elon and crew, in fact put my money with them, but time is short, and apparently for some people, so is patience. As a reminder for the fanbois here, this is how TM described the Short Hills, NJ store opening:
"our revolutionary retail concept" and "Tesla is redefining the way cars are sold." Really? It is presented as a fully formed and executable plan. So far, not. George Blankenship was part of pioneering the retail strategy at Apple and you can see it in both the product design and marketing approach at Tesla, which are exceptional. However there is a big difference in the sales process, regulatory, and support issues between iPods and cars, and those gaps are widening as delivery volumes increase with little or no progress evident toward overcoming the hurdles. Think the NYT range article was unfair? It was. But it may not be unfair to show a picture of my car being impounded for license and inspection violations, because that's the next step. I already have to appear in court due to Tesla's sales methods. Think the NYT would love that story and a picture of the car in front of the Accomack County Courthouse? I just scanned a copy of my VA moving violation for failure to have an inspection sticker...
There is NO question that TM does not yet know how to deliver cars in its current sales jurisdictions, except maybe the west coast. If you think that's okay, or that youth is a valid excuse, keep defending them. If you think those of us with real issues should shut up or take the thread private, that's your prerogative, but it isn't going to happen.
+2 Electron. Agreed and well put. And thanks cliff.
@Electron +3. You said that much better than I could, so I just erased most of what I planned to post.
@Pungoteague_Dave Living in a state (Texas) where the regulatory climate is fairly hostile to Tesla (I believe the State DMV is run by someone who used to be a dealer), I'm very sensitive to your plight and hope Tesla resolves your issue soon. Tesla is in a tough position, though. While I personally don't believe Tesla should abandon their quest to bypass the typical dealer model, for really tough jurisdictions Tesla should probably have an additional "Are you sure?" dialog pop-up before reservation finalization with some additional expectation setting. The problem is, the ground shifts. For example, Texas used to allow Ranger service, but now that the service centers are open, Ranger service has now been deemed out of bounds. For how long, who knows? It could get fixed tomorrow. I ordered my car even with the many uncertainties (and haven't regretted it a day since), but I think some people might appreciate a choice. In a world where lawyers can figure out tax avoidance strategies like the "Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich", it would be nice if someone could figure out creative legal loopholes to work around issues in places that are being particularly stubborn. Unfortunately, it is probably going to come down to lawsuits like in Massachusetts before things can get fully worked out. Please keep us posted.
@cfriedberg "Properly inspected (not having this is more than a 'glitch' as its illegal to deliver a car that isn't inspected because you can't register the car properly)"
Minor point, and not living in New York, I don't know what the rule is--perhaps it is different from Texas. However, I don't see how having an inspection could be required for registration. If it were, how could you buy and register a non-working car? In my mind, registration should always come first, and inspection second.
You must be the gent who posted on the review site, I'll say the same thing here I said there (but again, thank you for taking the time to read the full review).
1. You don't live in NY, you admit you have no idea about the regs, yet you make an assertion. Odd no? All you have to do is goto the NY State DMV website and it will tell you that in NY, a) every new car sold needs a proper inspection before being registered and 2) a car cannot be registered in the state without an updated inspection.
2. In terms of a non-working car, I'm not sure I follow, both registration, inspection (and insurance) are required by state law for the car to be driven, and kit cars, as you asserted in the post on the other website, fall under different regulations.
Would it not be better to comment on things of which you know about, rather than speculation? This is how NNT got his well-earned reputation I believe....just sayin'. :)
After reading this thread I don't think I am going to bother with clicking on the OP's link.
Captain_Zap - it is a good review and worth reading. The issue is that the delivery process was not was TM promised... and that needs to surface. If we don't voice it TM has no chance to fix it.
I had a picture perfect delivery exceeding my expectations. Howerver I live close to the factory so no stress to the system.
btw, for all of you who question whether Tesla delivered a car against state regulations, I point you here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/vehsafe.htm, where in the answer to the very first question, it states:
"If you buy a vehicle from a NYS dealer, the dealer must have the vehicle inspected. The inspection must occur within 30 days of the date of sale and prior to delivery."
TMS is a NYS dealer.
Now can I go back to enjoying my car?
@cfriedberg Ah, makes sense. I didn't know Tesla got a dealer license in New York. They were unable to do that in Texas (and a number of others). I stand corrected!
Actually, TM may not be a NY dealer. At least in MD and VA, they are acting as a CA dealer, using the CA rules to issue temporary CA registrations to customers here. If I understand their model, it is to be a dealer only in CA, and sell direct, with all documentation, signatures, etc., happening over the internet, so no state can regulate their activity. It is pretty smart if it works, but to accomodate customers who don't want or know how to deal with the local licensing requirements, they also act as registration agents, doing this remote with staff in CA.
In MD and Virginia, many new car dealers are online with the state systems, have stocks of plates on hand, so when you leave the dealer, your car has its final tags, and you have the real registration in hand. Most dealers can even handle regional buyers, so when I buy a car in Maryland, they can issue Virginia plates.
Because TM treats their stores as promotional locations and won't take orders there so as to skirt the dealer rules, and can only do deliveries using Delivery Specialists (not salespeople) who roam as non-dealer free agents, they are in a regulatory box - they can't do the basic things that all local dealers can - even taking a stack of registration papers over to the MVA is impossible for them. So yes, this may be out of their hands as Steven says, but it is a direct result of their decision about how to do business - decisions that TM touts as groundbreaking and better than the old dealer model. I wish it were so, and was very hopeful up front. Apparently, however, when we break enough rules, we get our hands slapped, even if the rules are dumb, or just their to protect local business interests.
Right now, all I know is that my wife is afraid to drive the car for groceries tomorrow for fear of 'seeing' officer Simpkins again.
According to my local service center, they are :), (I was their first customer, spoke with the location manager and associate for a long time - once they finish building it - yep, wasn't finished when I came by for a small problem, which, while I'd bring up here, I'd probably be flamed for 'fanning the flames' - should be a really neat service center). In fact, while the NYS Dealers Association is suing Tesla for its direct to customer approach, they, again, according to what he told me, are licensed, and also agreed that the car required inspection before being delivered. Now, he could be wrong, and the person on the OE line could be wrong, but I'm going on what those two told me.
Sucks about your registration situation. I'm really surprised Tesla hasn't bent over backwards to fix the problem...while my delivery was screwed up, they have done everything they can to fix what went wrong...
Keep in mind that for every poster here with problems, there are dozens or hundreds of buyers whose delivery experience was at least as positive as TM aims for. This thread is, necessarily, full of loudly squeaking wheels. Hopefully adequate grease will be applied before they break or burst into flames. ;p
When I picked up my car in Rockville on 2/16 I signed a power of attorney so my DS could file the registration and plates paperwork for me in Maryland. I signed the same form for another car I ordered just a few years ago so the processed looked the same to me. May not be the latest and greatest online system but it is something, of course they still can't issue temporary tags for the state.
I think you were misled. The DS is not allowed to do the Maryland paperwork for a bunch of reasons. Your power of attorney was probably sent to CA along with the other paperwork. I discussed this with Rockville staff on Friday in person and they said all registration processing is done in CA, that it is out of their hands. They were able to research my specific status, and emailed that the paperwork was sent to the DMV, and they are waiting too.
My delivery date was Feb 3, and I have now been driving "illegally" for a month, and have been pulled over 7 times, was ticketed the sixth time, and now must go to court. I am not ballistic. Yet. Some people might not be so charitable, and the delivery process is clearly a clusterf**k.
Please remember, The Delivery process is messed up in only a few states. Is it Tesla's fault for the rules of your DMV?
so you are suggesting that if Tesla doesn't follow state laws its the states fault? Just trying to understand what you are suggesting. But that said, is it not the responsibility of every business to conduct its business in accordance with state and federal laws?
I am just suggesting that I am happy that I don't live in VA,MA, or NY.
got it, thanks. :)
It's clearly the state's fault. Its business is to facilitate the business and welfare of its occupants, not to force them to preferentially deal with a special interest group.
Tesla is struggling to navigate a regulatory framework specifically designed to keep out
companies just like it. What should we expect to happen? You think there aren't roadblocks
that the bureaucracies are putting up that we aren't hearing about? I guarantee there is
behind the scenes pressure from various groups to slow things down. Just enough to be in
compliance, but make things difficult.
skymaster - if you read other posts on this you will see that it is an issue in many more states. And the local dealers have no problem putting cars on the road with legal tags, so it is clearly a TM procedural dysfunction that has now caused my car to be pulled over 7 times.
I have bought a lot of new cars in several states and have never once been put into jeopardy by the manufacturer. This is clearly and solely on TM, not state regs. I find both the Maryland and Virginia licensing authorities to be very accomodating, and currently have 27 vehicles or trailers registered in those states, without ever having an issue except a clerical typo typo that made the title for one of my VW's read Volvo instead. Spin consipracies all you want, this is TM's issue and they are embarrassed.
we will have to agree to disagree BrianH.
@PD, Okay I was a bit extreme (who doesn't love a good conspiracy?), but the fact is, there
is unnecessary complexity introduced by the various agencies, and the reason other manufacturer's
do well is because they have distributed resources (the dealers, which have legal protection) capable
of focusing on their regional systems. How does Tesla replicate that? Well, they either have regional
resources dedicated to each registration/licensing system (which may not be legal for them without
dealers), or they have a team in CA that does it. I'm guessing they have the latter and that team
is finding it difficult to communicate with agencies out-of-state. So they underestimated how
hard it is.
My question is, why is it so hard? Are Tesla just a) idiots b) backed up so far or c) unable to get satisfaction remotely. Reality is that no one is going to fix the system, so TM will just have to find
Please keep us updated with your situation. I'm in the same boat. I picked up my car from Rockville on Friday and cannot be happier with the car itself. I'm not excited about not having a license plate for up to a month. I live right next to the Mont. County Police HQ, so cruisers are always behind me. I'm not looking forward to being pulled over every other day! The Rockville staff are great and I can definitely feel their pain. They are indeed embarrassed by the MVA problem.
Maybe we can start a twitter campaign to Elon Musk. How can one of your companies manage to launch a rocket to the ISS, but another can't get me a license plate in less than a month?!?!?
Tesla must have quite a product for it to be able to MAKE owners drive around illegally with no plates .. You would think they could get that worked out.
You make good points...here is my understanding from the DS who delivered my car and my local service center GM:
1. Delivery is woefully understaffed. Others have noted that the DS's themselves are sometimes up for 48 hours straight, delivering 10 or more cars in a stretch. Bottom line is that no one could keep everything straight being worked like that.
2. This is a result of issues at headquarters in CA - local DS and Service Centers have been relaying the problems back to HQ but additional resources are not forthcoming (this according to my local service center general manager)
3. As an example, given that the Nema 6-50 is part of the standard mobile pack IF you order the HPWC (sorry Stephen, called OE today and they confirmed that), the White Plains center has apparently asked HQ for them for 'months', and at the time of delivery, still didn't get them (my DS had to have a DS from a different area drive one up because he couldn't get ahold of one).
BTW, my DS did note there is a very detailed checklist they/someone is supposed to go through prior to delivery, but again, staffing appears - according to what I was told, again, by my DS, and the local Service Center rep - to be the issue.
Can someone let me know how to change a thread I started to private from public?
I had a bad delivery experience, first the wrong car was delivered and then my car got stuck on a broken down transporter for 5 days during which I got 3 or 4 ETAs that were all missed. I think Tesla has a lot to learn about customer service. (In the end they offered me a free shirt that I still haven't received.) That was about 6 weeks ago. Now that experience is a fading memory. The car is 100% awesome and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. Of course I do very much hope they will provide customer service for all deliveries equal to the quality of the car soon.
So the problem seems to come down to staffing. They are probably trying to run too lean
as an organization and/or having trouble attracting the right folks :(
Does the shirt say, "I ordered this awesome car, delivery which was f'd up, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt! (and an awesome car)...just kidding, but seriously, agree, i love my car, delivery is a fading memory, i just want them to get it right because i want them to succeed. Damn, I want a t-shirt!
Here ya go:
I think your reaction over the delivery issues was overly harsh, and I would not expect a delivery driver to have to immediately respond to a delivery customer, especially a question like "How's traffic?" Really, that's like you're trying to monitor his job over his shoulder.
I had more to say, but then reading it, I thought that now my reaction to your reaction seemed overly harsh too, lol. So I edited myself a little.
I had a cruiser follow me halfway through downtown Baltimore (with the temporary tag on my back window and the 'Zero Emissions' cardboard in the license plate holder), and they just ogled the car and left me alone. Got my Maryland tags in the mail about three weeks after delivery, and actually kind of postponed putting them on because I liked the anonymity of the temporary tag (for red light cameras). I'm guessing those cops in VA must not have enough going on, so they get excited over temporary tags.
They left the coat hooks out because you can't have coat hooks without parking sensors.
They left the coathooks out because in the future we all wear spandex jumpsuits.
I wear spandex jumpsuits. It has the Starfleet academy stripes as well as a special communicator. Do you guys not have one?
Okay. that was way too geeky...sorry for the post.