Problems with Car

Problems with Car

Took delivery 12/18. Worked great for 5 days. Then, lots of problems. Realized the paint on the hood is scratched and has blemishes (looks terrible). My NAV doesn't work (it shows Palo Alto and I live in Chicago). The chrome door pieces for front and rear driver doors were put on incorrectly and need to be reordered. And, this week the front door handle stopped working. I now need to roll down all the windows and open this car from the inside door handle! Tesla seems overwhelmed and unable to cope with all of these issues (I read on another side that others are having paint problems)

I am so frustrated with all of these problems. Had I known about this before I made a final order I never would've purchased this car. I wish I could take this car back to them now. Be forewarned.

eltonf | 15. tammikuu 2013

Have you been to the service center to get these items fixed?

Rodloew | 16. tammikuu 2013

Had a Ranger out to order new chrome trim pieces. Now waiting for 3 days on the door handle. They told me they'd come out to fix it when the pieces arrive. Not sure what they're going to do about the blown paint job.

jat | 16. tammikuu 2013

@Rodloew - someone else had their car scratched by the delivery, and Tesla had it taken to a local paint shop that they approved off and instructed. I would imagine the same would happen for your car.

jinglehyme | 16. tammikuu 2013

The Lemon Law Applies to Tesla Too! If they can't fix it, they will have to buy it back. I have a feeling that you need to develop a relationship with someone in service. IMO - Frequent drives on curvy roads will ease your buyer's remorse.

iholtzman | 16. tammikuu 2013

Call the service center on Grand in Chicago 312-733-9780 and tell them you want a loaner and will leave your car until it is fixed. Dirk the service manager is out on vacation until 1/21 so ask for Chris. They have been very helpful. I live in the Chicago area and am waiting for a bluetooth module to arrive from the factory. My mic does not work. It has been three weeks but I do love the car and knew being an early adopter there would be some issues. Take a deep breath and give them a chence they will make it right.They are expecting a number of parts to be delivered this week.

Rodloew | 17. tammikuu 2013

@lholtzman - thank you for the suggestion. I have been in touch with Chris about the door handles, but no one seems too concerned to address my paint issues. Just wondering how this car will do over the next year, not just next 5 years, given all the initial quality problems. Paint seems like a simple thing to control.

jaq1 | 17. tammikuu 2013

@Rodloes -Wow that is really unfortunate. Would you mind taking a picture of the paint issue and posting it so we can see if this is a problem shared by other owners.

stevenmaifert | 17. tammikuu 2013

The Lemon Laws are different for each state. Tesla provides them with the final MVPA. Don't make any assumptions until you read the one applicable to your state.

docdac | 20. tammikuu 2013

The only major problem with my MS Perf is that the sunroof is inoperative. When I try to open it, I hear and see it start to move (only a few mm), then it reverses and stops. It behaves as though there is a mechanical obstruction. I am going to leave it alone until early spring, and have the Rangers fix it at the same time that they come out to install my CF Spoiler. I don't want to get the roof 'stuck open' in these Minnesota winter temps.
Has anyone else had a similar problem?

DouglasR | 20. tammikuu 2013


If you hit the button a second time, will it open? There is a known issue where the sunroof opens slightly to vent on the first tap (or drag), and requires two taps to open properly. This is apparently fixed in the 4.2 software.

ira | 20. tammikuu 2013

You know I understand everyone wanting everything perfect on our new six figure cars, but cut Tesla some slack. They have just created the most technologically advanced car in the world and the are taking care of everyone's needs as best they can.
There are just too many people crying.
so come on lets get some tissues and grow up a bit.
And for the record the passenger door on my car doesnt open from the outside more often than it does open.
But the car is just too awesome to whine about little problems that will be taken care of.

bp | 20. tammikuu 2013

Considering that around 3000 Model S cars have been delivered at this point, if everyone was having problems with their cars at delivery, wouldn't the forums reflect that?

Might be interesting to get a survey put up - asking how many small and how many major problems were present at delivery.

bill | 20. tammikuu 2013

I would like to see the pictures of the blown paint also.....

noel.smyth | 20. tammikuu 2013

The car is awesome. i have one small defect -- there is condensation behind one of the reflectors on the back end. regrets none... i love to drove now, look forward to it each morning and evening. When I think about what they did, the quality of the drive train and the ride itself, i know this is the future of cars. its that good... they will fix my reflector in due time. And I am sure all of the defects that are out there. most of all the drive train is everything and more than expected.
if MB or BMW was putting out these defects on delivery folks would and should be unhappy, but this is a game changing product with a superior drive train. The other defects will be and should be fixed in time. Just keep it all in perspective, this company along with the early adopters are changing the game. I now think its probably that when my grand kids are buying a car, more than half will be electric. its that good.

Brian H | 20. tammikuu 2013

Yes, it seems likely that the vast majority are (serious) problem-free. But those wheels aren't squeaking!

JohhnyS | 20. tammikuu 2013

our was delivered 12/21
4 weeks, 1300+ miles
no issues, beautiful car
attracts lots of attention wherever we go
fun to drive, very practical

jjaeger | 20. tammikuu 2013

factory pick-up 12/23
4 weeks, 1000+ miles
no issues, amazing car
still in the mode of taking it out whenever I can

Brian H | 21. tammikuu 2013

jj and jm, that only works out to 13K to 17K miles/annum. You'll have to double up on that to show your enthusiasm!

Hogfighter | 21. tammikuu 2013

@noel.smyth....I have the same condensation issue. What was their response to you when you inquired about it?

jjaeger | 21. tammikuu 2013

Brian - am planning my first road trip (Bay Area to Scottsdale in early March) for spring training activities. Will be a 2000 mile week w/ local travel while we're there. Will up my average a fair bit with that completed.

Brian H | 21. tammikuu 2013

Well, you'll need a few more of those throughout the year. Plan ahead! ;p ;)

JoeFee | 21. tammikuu 2013

To answer the question above, there is a poll on "your total delivery experience" at the Tesla motors club delivery thread posted by Joe Fee .... I'm dictating this post to Siri, maybe somebody could put the link in this thread, thanks!

JoeFee | 21. tammikuu 2013

Here is the delivery poll link

Poll Results as of 1/21/13: Delivery Experience Poll Voters 89.

Anthony H | 22. tammikuu 2013

I'm actually in Phoenix, but only 5 minutes from Scottsdale. There is a thread on TMC just for the Phoenix/Tuscon following. Friendly group here, many of whom I suspect (including me) can provide an overnight charge.

jjaeger | 22. tammikuu 2013

AnthonyH - thanks for the offer. Was looking through the Arizona - Phoenix and Tucson Corridor thread on TMC this evening (still have pages to go) - for info on local area. Was wondering how the folks at the local Tesla store would react to a drive by charge as well - think they'd be Ok with that? Have mapped local chargers around our Old Town hotel, and actually seems to be a fair # within an easy walk. BTW, do you have a different handle on TMC?

Anthony H | 22. tammikuu 2013

(off topic)
@jjaeger, I'm "monsoon" over on TMC.
The local Tesla store is in Fashion Square (very nice Scottsdale high-end mall), but I don't think you can recharge there yet.
My direct email address is "" and there are a few other fan-boys in the area who will be happy to help.

TINO F | 24. tammikuu 2013

You can charge at the Scottsdale Fashion Square location. You will need to walk into the Tesla Store, and barrow the adapter first.

noel.smyth | 24. tammikuu 2013

@Hogfighter - the condensation in the one reflector is listed on my due bill list. I have been in contact with the service manager about it and he will take care of it as soon as i find the time to bring it in.
the car has been awesome since I got it, love to drive it, love to learn more about it daily and I got 4.2 installed this morning with no issues.

privacylaw | 24. tammikuu 2013

excellent thread. I'm car 2932 and love it. Model S Performance.

Notably to others in the thread:

Sunroof - yes I have the tap v. double tap issue hoping v. 4.2 fixes it.

Rear reflectors - condensation appears under reflector.

I know this is a brand new world - confident Tesla will make good - and patient to wait until they work the kinks out. I have not even made my issues known as I know others have and once a solution emerges, I'm sure I'll get it fixed.

I enjoy the fact that I am driving the future while others have no idea.

Vawlkus | 24. tammikuu 2013

Please do report them to Tesla. They need to know about them, and what cars are affected by them. If they find that certain errors crop up in a specific batch, then they know where to focus their attention to prevent them in the future.

mike_f | 24. tammikuu 2013

Did ever post the pics of the "damage". Odd how he dropped off the forum. I for one would like to see what he considers to be the awful paint job on his car.

Brian H | 24. tammikuu 2013

Why will you need to barrow it? It's not that heavy. ;p

HansJ | 24. tammikuu 2013

I have limp windshield washer jets. The fluid barely makes it to the window. I have to check if the hoses are plugged or the pump needs to be primed.

Robert22 | 24. tammikuu 2013

Easy adjustment for the repair shop. I gave them a call and they did mine.

smd | 24. tammikuu 2013

I had ro have the yaw sensor replaced about 10 days into ownership, but the Fremont Service Center did a good job.

Now I have discovered a crack on the windshield in the lower passenger corner, which is something a number of the earlier cars had. That will be replaced under warranty next week. I expect good service from Fremont again as the service advisor has been very accommodating on the phone about my issue so far.

He's going to round up some paint armor scraps for me to use for my CA carpool lane stickers that I hope to receive anytime now. I will apply them on the scraps and then put those on my car, so they are easy to remove in the future if I choose to do so (ie when they expire).

dtich | 24. tammikuu 2013

the vast majority of owners have no or very few minor issues. many of which even established brands (bmw, mb, etc) can have as well. there are a few people with major issues and that is unfortunate. but tm seems to be making every effort to rectify all the issues, it will just take a little time.

the poll is useful, but only if about 1000 more people (actual owners only please) vote, so please do:

docdac | 25. tammikuu 2013

I just got software v4.2 last night and now my sunroof works! I am looking forward to spring to actually use it - it's 15 deg F here in MN right now. Also looking forward to some kind of programmable or remote battery warmer. I have reduced performance and no regenerative braking for my entire 5 me drive home after work.

Theresa | 25. tammikuu 2013

docdac, I feel your pain as I am in Iowa and have exactly the same issues. But what are you hoping to gain by preheating the batteries? More range? Alas I think preheating the batteries will only reduce your range. I have quickly gotten used to the no regen and limited accel. The limited accel is still better than most cars I have ever driven so really no loss there. And the no regen is really no different than driving an ICE vehicle.

I am more interested in getting the remote app to preheat the cabin so it is warm when I get to the car in the sub zero days.

Getting Amped Again | 25. tammikuu 2013

Preheating the battery will not reduce your range unless your subsequent trip is too short to allow the battery to warm up to the temperature set by the preheating, or if the battery sits at the preheat temperature unnecessarily before being driven.

Theresa | 25. tammikuu 2013

GettingAmped, I would like an explanation about how/why preheating the battery will not reduce your range. docdac was talking about a car sitting in the parking lot all day (as mine does) and not having regen available so where is the preheating going to come from if not the battery? And if it is coming from the battery how is that not going to reduce range? Unless we have discovered the perpetual free power answer! If so I think I would preheat my batteries long enough that the charge goes up. Of course I am being sarcastic with that remark.

Brian H | 25. tammikuu 2013

The energy that warms the battery driving is the same as sitting in the parking lot before leaving. Only, as GAS notes, if you're holding it warm longer than necessary before use will you waste energy overall.

Note that the Wh/mi figure on starting will be low, in the normal range, for a preheated battery, but about 600 for a cold one. Same amount of energy, from the same source (battery). 600 of one, half a dozen hundred of the other.

docdac | 25. tammikuu 2013

I want to preheat the battery so that it is at standard operating temperature when I use it. I am not sure what 'wear and tear' there is for the battery when the battery is very cold and forced to put out significant power. The 'yellow lines' limit what we can draw when it is cold, possibly because forcing a larger draw from a cold battery is bad for it, and may reduce it's life. I know the battery is designed to be used at a relatively constant temperature, and I would prefer not to continuously operate it at a significantly colder temp.
As far as regenerative braking, I just really like it, and would prefer to use it, instead of stepping on the brake pedal. Of course, I can adapt.

Getting Amped Again | 25. tammikuu 2013

I'm re-posting a portion of the response from Ted M., a Product Planner at TM:

A future software release will introduce a full schedule for your Model S including timed charging, ready times and perhaps even vehicle behavior settings based on ambient temperature, calendar dates or other factors. Since the mobile app is not yet available, reducing charge current to finish charging just before planned use is the easiest way to ensure the battery is at operating temperature when you want to use it. As you mention, it is slightly less efficient, since chargers are most efficient at their max capacity, but less active cooling is needed at lower current charging so there's a tradeoff.

I emailed Ted today to clarify if the Ready Time feature is included in the mobile app and not just the car software. We need to be able to pre-warm both the cabin and the battery whether the car is plugged in or not. Both of those events are going to use the same amount of energy whether the car is stationary or being driven, unless they are "ready" too long before you get in the car, or your trip is too short that one or both events don't have time to complete.

Hopefully the Ready Time feature has a user-defined timeout in case you are delayed getting to your S, or it eventually it will be cold and DOA!

Getting Amped Again | 25. tammikuu 2013

Here is Ted's response to my last query:

Yes – you'll be able to precondition the car using the app, even when the car is disconnected form a power source.


He has also told me the mobile app will be ready within two weeks, so it's not long before you get a warm cabin, realistic range calcs, and immediate regen, even if you live in Iowa!

This is really going to make people happy and I think this forum helped get it done, as it definitely is a Brian H. NNIC issue.

amneet | 25. tammikuu 2013

Santa Monica pick-up 12/17
5 weeks, 2000+ miles
NO problems!! P85 loaded w/o rear seats!
I want to take it everywhere I go!

Brian H | 25. tammikuu 2013

Wassamatah? Doncha like kids? >:( | 25. tammikuu 2013

My P85 has about 1500 miles after about 3 weeks. Finding a lot of reasons to drive. Just loaded the 4.2 release. I am all praise for Tesla and no problems to speak of.

Hills | 25. tammikuu 2013

Regular 85W, almost all options except premium sound. Delivered Dec 8, 2012. Lots of little problems. Except for the phone, none are deal breakers.

- Rear trunk slightly misaligned, not a big deal. Tesla says will fix.
- Inability to connect Verizon Samsung flip phone. Phone sees car, car cannot connect to phone. ATT iPhone 5 can be connected, but ATT signal is bad where I live.
- AC noise rumble, inconsistent, worse on low speed.
- Noisy windshield wiper, especially in heavy rain.
- Windshield spray weak and aim is low.
- Charge rate from Nema 14-50 always between 20-24 miles/hour on the big screen. Why not 31? Or even 27 (multiply 31 by 0.8)
- Charge port does not open reliably. Many other people report this problem.
- Screen can go dark in bright sun.
- Key fob does not open trunk reliably.
- "since last charge" does not reset about 1/3 of time. This is true on 4.1, and on 4.2 software.
- Lose charge even when alseep. Have lost as much as 8 miles of range in 10 hours. This was under 4.1.
- Odometer froze twice. Fixed with reboots.
- Rear camera useless in rain, numerous other reports similar experience.

Brian H | 25. tammikuu 2013

that charge rate reading may be wrong. Check totals, not "instantaneous" rate.

DeborahS | 25. tammikuu 2013

Phone issue: I have connectivity with my iPhone 3 gs and model S version 4.2. The problem is when I make a call they cannot hear me but I can hear them just fine. Any help would be appreciated.