Why I won't be a repeat buyer of a Model S, despite trying.

Why I won't be a repeat buyer of a Model S, despite trying.

How conflicting info, ambiguity, and an absurd trade in offer made me a non-repeat buyer and soon to be ex-shareholder:

Will AP1.0 manage stop signs and traffic lights as we were led to believe it would in 2014 when buying the cars with AP1.0? Or as Elon stated in early 2016 without clarifying that we'd have to buy new cars less than 2 years in to avail ourselves of the rest of the autopilot features?

I didn't think so.

This ambiguity, combined with the absurdly low trade in offers lately (Simple version for those with short attention spans is that I was offered March 2018 GRV value for my barely 2-year old Model S in November 2016) have pretty much caused me to no longer pursue a 2nd Model S.

To be clear, it's not the additional $30K in acquisition costs that's the most annoying part of this. It's the inconsistent communication and lack of timely and/or clueful follow up at pretty much every turn.

I have exactly zero expectation that AP1.0 will be supported, which is to say improved, in any meaningful way from this point forward. Nor that much of the v8.0 UI/UX horribleness will be fixed. Prove me wrong. I'll wait. But I'll point and laugh in the meantime at unsubstantiated fanboism.

In any case, it now appears that I'll drive what I've got into the ground before I buy another one as a result. And I tried for over a month to buy a 2nd one - but we're easily $10K apart for trade in value and I just don't have the time to screw around with selling it privately. So fine. I'm sure I can find something to do with the $30K I'm not spending as a result.

Why $30K? Think about it:

$10K in CA sales tax and insanely high registration hidden tax plus the bogus mandated doc/dest fee
$10K in trade in offer versus loan balance (gap)
$7500 in aftermarket - (which breaks down approximately as follows: $1200 in paint correction/Opti-Coat w/5-year warranty, $1250 in Photosync tint including windshield and front pano panel, $2000 estimated for Reus system transfer, $750 for powdercoating wheels/loaner wheels/logistics, $1.5K quad dashcams, Bel Pro 500 radar detector and installation)
$5K down payment if through Alliant. $10K if through US Bank.

Add all that up and there you have it - $37.5K less $7500 tax credit = net $30K to replace my current Model S with a new one.

I don't mind spending $120K for another Tesla. I don't mind the $30K in net acquisition costs or even losing the few days of my life that will be lost getting the aftermarket work done again. I can even barely accept losing a full-sized frunk/microwave and the yacht floor to a microfrunk that won’t even hold a set of golf clubs and the clutter center console.

However, I do mind getting absurdly lowballed for a barely 2-year old trade in that is in, dare I say, excellent condition, with a present value offer *that's guaranteed 15 months in the future*. What would be less absurd? Take the GRV and add even $750/mo x 12 months in average depreciation (so $9K to the offer). Anyway, that, folks, combined with the flaky communication, is what you call a deal breaker.

The sun will indeed rise in the morning. However, experiences such as the above do tend to kill the word of mouth. And that’s a shame.

Don't be offended if I don't reply to this thread. I hold many of you in high regard, and some of you in low regard, not that you should be concerned either way.

Am merely moving on.

sp_tesla | 24. joulukuu 2016

"Don't be offended if I don't reply to this thread. I hold some of you in low regard, not that you should be concerned either way."

Are Red Sage ca us, carlk & vperl on that list?

Mathew98 | 24. joulukuu 2016

Were you not prepared to lose out on the low trade in amount from years of moanings from those who traded in before you?

Let's be realistic, TM has to motivate the second hand buyers to take over "outdated" technology. Aftermarket upgrades carry little to no additional resale value for any car. So tough it out and take it like a man.

If there's nothing wrong with your car, then it make little financial sense to upgrade within 2 years. You'd have much better value running it to the ground in perhaps 15 to 20 years or longer.

SamO | 24. joulukuu 2016


How much was the offer from Carmax?

Didn't you drive a lot? High miles?

My trade-in offer from Tesla is $10,000 less than I expected due to 25,000+ annual miles/year.

burdogg | 24. joulukuu 2016

Good luck with whatever you decide to do next Tao. Won't say that I agree or disagree with you as you have your own feelings and I don't have to convince anyone what to do. So good luck.

Bighorn | 24. joulukuu 2016

Better than the $130k it would cost me--not counting any crazy add ons. And I'm not upside down on financing either. Nor in crazy CA tax zone.

carlk | 24. joulukuu 2016

Yes life is a bitch. And then you die.

J.T. | 24. joulukuu 2016

I have been toying with the fact sea of a trade up but as Tao said, why would I give up my frunk, my non-console Classic 85 and have to pay $1500 just to get white?

I don't find AP2 compelling in the least, so I don't even feel as though I'm giving up anything.

Tropopause | 24. joulukuu 2016


All this stress just for the technology to "manage stop signs and traffic lights". I know you wanted this ability in our AP 1.0; we all did but attempting to trade-in your perfectly good car simply for this singular minimal technological gain isn't worth the money.

Now if your goal was full self-driving technology, then you have a choice to make. Because the new hardware 2.0 is leaps and bounds better than 1.0 and will do FSD some day.

I bought my now 2 year old S85 knowing that AP 1.0 was and will always be SEMI-autonomous. I'm happy with it. Yes, I wish the ability to manage stop signs and traffic lights would have panned out but when I bought the car I never truly believed a semi-autonomous car would be capable of doing so anyway.

There is no other car or tech company that will push the envelope more than Tesla. They are not perfect but they continually strive to be the best. All the CEO's out there are greedy, selfish schmucks. Elon is different and you know it.

Hope you get what your looking for and hope you'll continue to contribute to this forum.


J.T. | 24. joulukuu 2016

Fact sea = idea

Silver2K | 24. joulukuu 2016


I think you should hold onto your car and drive it into the ground. I would also wait till the next version of AP and complete refresh of the car if I was serious about an upgrade.

I have learned from you as well as other and I don't think anyone would want to see you leave. You would / will be missed

sbeggs | 24. joulukuu 2016

I was thinking the same thing.

But then, who will remind us about Tesla's dragging of feet completing I-10 from Texas to Tucson for winter safety?

bill | 24. joulukuu 2016

I am trading in my AP1 90SD 4 months old with just under 11,000 miles next Friday. I want a the car with the best self driving capability as soon as it is available, I am 60 years old and want to enjoy it for as long as I can. I just wrote a check, or more accurately e transferred $26,732.24 which including the $2,500 deposit brings my trade up cost to $29,232.24. Gee I could have bought a new loaded Prius for almost that much.

Pay off of old loan was $17,239.49 which is what I think of as the real cost of the upgarde

So how many of you APP 1 owners would pay $20,000 to upgrade your APP 1 hardware to AP2?

Silver2K | 24. joulukuu 2016

I tweeted about weather conditions and pictures to Musk as to why AP2.0 will not work well. I think that's why he mentioned he will be testing in all weather conditions in one of his tweets.

mathwhiz | 24. joulukuu 2016

Best point @sbeggs .. +1

But we're now actually getting I-10 movement. Thanks @TaoJones. :-)

tes-s | 24. joulukuu 2016

Adios. Good luck to you.

justinmk3 | 24. joulukuu 2016

@TaoJones When you customize a vehicle you never ever get back what you put in. Sounds like, you simply can't deal with the speed at which Tesla innovates/Upgrades. You should know better than to come here to the forum, and complain. If you truly meant to "teach someone" caveat emptor, I'd say most here are pretty educated, and up on the way Tesla works, sorry you were not. I'm actually not sorry, it's just a saying. That said, I can only conclude that you are trolling!!! Ok I don't really think that, but cmon, man, nothing you posted is jaw dropping, or revealing in the slightest. In the great tes-s's words... "adios. Good luck to you"

Made in CA | 24. joulukuu 2016

More blah, blah, blah...

I could never seem to read past the first paragraph of any of your long, often nonsensical, rants.

Have a Happy New Year in whatever car you end up with.

dborn | 24. joulukuu 2016

Let's face it, Elon DID promise, self driving, car coming to meet you at your door and basically full autonomous driving on AP1.
I too am a fanboy, but, it could be construed as breach of contract that in fact, AP1cannot do any of these things. In fact, I would doubt that AP2 can do those things either.

SCCRENDO | 24. joulukuu 2016

@Tao. I guess I agree with many here. It was nice knowing you. I havea classic 85S. April 2013, Vin 77xx, 105,000 miles. No AP1 or anything. AP1 and 2 look cool to me but it's not worth trading in for it. So I guess I will just run it into the ground. Perhaps aim for 300,000 miles. Will get my new model 3 fully loaded with AP2, the biggest battery etc. and I guess I can enjoy my autopilot there. Don't really need a car as big as the S anyway. Don't think I'm going to cry or sulk and go buy a Porsche or something just because Tesla is progressing quickly. Perhaps Tesla will start flying 2 weeks after I get my Model 3. then I will have to decide whether to cry, sulk or just enjoy my Model 3. Be careful that the door does not hit you in the back on your way out Tao.

robgorman | 24. joulukuu 2016

@Tao, think back to how you felt the moment your MS first arrived. Now think about how blessed you are to be able to even consider buying another MS. You're a lucky man. Enjoy what you have. Merry Christmas.

ram1901 | 24. joulukuu 2016

Bottom line of the OPS post: remove all the noise and you find yet another complaint about
the trade-in value of a USED car. Is anyone ever pleased with what a dealer (car company) gives in trade??
Anyone over the age of 18 knows that the moment you drive the car away from the showroom it begins it's downhill reduced value roller coaster ride.

Another 'short' with un-realistic expectations. ((i.e. 'ex shareholder ... non repeat buyer'))

(Don't think Elon Musk ever specifically promised that AP1 would reach full autonomy...only that full autonomy was one of his goals for Tesla. One's tech-ee spid-ee senses would tell you that a single camera, with some ultra sonic sensors and basic radar and an underpowered computer in the first edition was never going to be able to achieve full autonomy....but what it has achieved is pretty amazing. )

Life goes on..

TM21 | 24. joulukuu 2016

I too was thinking of doing a trade up before the end of the year. The value they quoted me for the trade in would be about the same as the out of pocket amount a lease would have cost me. I decided not to chase AP2.0, as I'm sure this hardware will not be the last. What about car to car communication? AP 3.0? Costs will fall, and I will let others beta test the AP hardware and software that gets up to true autonomous driving in the next 5 to 10 yrs. At that point, hopefully I'll get my 2nd Tesla. Maybe they will have an offering at that time to entice you back.

malcolm.hall1932 | 25. joulukuu 2016

OP: I'm pretty well in the same position as you - 2 year old car and 30k to upgrade to a new model S - but quite the opposite outlook. I can't wait to get my new AP 2 ready car. Like many I feel the journey has just been amazing, not even close to perfect, but then I never expected it to be. I'm going to keep chasing the Tesla autonomous dream while I can still scrape the money together - like they say, "you can't take it with you".

rg22.vanhorn | 25. joulukuu 2016

@OP / @malcolm.hall1932, Yes, everyone has differing tolerance levels. I've had my AP1 P90D just one year and have loved the journey. I'm trading the P90D for an even more-fully loaded P100DL... considering the additional cash payment to be a "donation" for evolution of technologies I believe in. Nope, I can't take it with me to... so why not enjoy it now while I can! Hoping for delivery of the P100DL on Wed, 28 Dec so this adventure can continue!!!

malcolm.hall1932 | 25. joulukuu 2016

rg22. Even better, I like the "donation" part.

bp | 25. joulukuu 2016

When did Musk claim AP 1.0 was going to provide FSD?

As I recall, the earlier marketing was about on-ramp to off-ramp travel on a highway (which would imply limited access roads), autoparking and summons (FSD for short distances around a home or a parking lot).

We seem to be close to that with 8.0 and the imminent 8.1 release.

Beyond that, with the sensor and processor limitations, it seems unlikely AP 1.0 will ever be able to do much more, and future software updates are likely only to make small improvements and not extend functionality.

It appears Tesla is close to delivering what they promised for AP 1.0 (at this point, some skepticism is justified for Tesla's claims that AP 2.0 will pass validation AND receive regulatory approval).

As for the software quality, that is a valid complaint. Tesla has had software quality problems since the first Model S was built over 4 years ago - and the software that was delivered lacks basic functionality present in other vehicles (no playlists, waypoints, route customization, ... - and today we can't even play USB music reliably, or play an audiobook off USB).

However, Tesla cars continue to be on the bleeding edge of the technology curve, and anyone purchasing bleeding edge technologies has to expect they come at a higher price and will have technology that will be obsoleted more quickly, as the technology rapidly matures - which is what we are seeing.

Are we happy that we may have to drop an additional $80K (net) to purchase a replacement 100D for our 4 year old P85? Not really, but we've had 4 great years driving the P85 - and if the next car can get us 25% more range, EAP with the potential for FSD, and, with SC V3 can charge in 5-10 minutes on a road trip - it'll be worth the additional cost...

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016
Tomonken | 25. joulukuu 2016

I had never leased a car until I got with Model S. I knew I couldn't chase technology and win. Things would be changing and changing fast. I know leases don't make the most financial sense and I have always paid cash in the last 20 years. I like the idea of after 3 years I turn it in and get the latest and greatest in the new Tesla technology. To me it seems that in a company where technology is what we all love about it, a lease is a good way to go. I will get the new Autopilot in 2.5 years and not worry about having to resell my car.

Silver2K | 25. joulukuu 2016

they screwed up that youtube skit, they should have wrapped the house!

fail! :)

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016


Hart | 25. joulukuu 2016

Great video, lilbean. So true. Merry Christmas!

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016

Merry Christmas Hart! <3

jjs | 25. joulukuu 2016

+1 lilbean NICE.

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016


hcwhy | 25. joulukuu 2016


What you say makes perfect sense....if you're a techy who wants the latest...... lease. I love my Feb '14 built S and have no desire to trade in in on a new model....for people like me, buying is the way to go.

OvrICE | 25. joulukuu 2016

@lilbean +1. The video is so true. I think a lot of people don't appreciate the little things in their life that makes it worth living. Sometimes it needs to be pointed out. Remember, at the end of the day, you are driving a Tesla! The majority of the population doesn't, and might not ever, know that feeling! When you start feeling too sorry for yourself, volunteer at a children's hospital, or an animal shelter, or a homeless shelter, etc. and put things back into perspective. Merry Christmas everyone!

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016

Great advice, OvrICE!
So true! Merry Christmas to you!

ken.hixson | 25. joulukuu 2016

Sad to see a good Tesla owner leave. I would encourage him to look past AP2 to the next iterations of the Model S. Elon has repeatedly stated the best time to buy is today for the latest. That will apply also in the future as more and more new features, enhancements, and designs are put forward. By the time the current Model S with AP1 get old there will be a new Model S that puts the AP2 versions to shame and we will be in the same position as Tao. Imagine your Model S with HUD, no exterior mirrors, maybe no sterring wheel, 500 mile range, and perhaps even seats that can convert to sleeping beds for that really long night trip and you do not need to stay awake.

You cannot keep chasing technology every step. You need to recognize that what you buy today will be out of date tomorrow but that doesn't diminish what you have and the day after tomorrow will be even better. Black and White, Color, Enhanced, HD, and now UHD. TV keeps moving forward. So will Tesla.

TPilot | 25. joulukuu 2016


If as you say the money doesn't really matter and it boils down to you getting pissed off about the early trade-in value, then why wouldn't you just keep the car another year and collect the GRV you were promised when you bought the car?

Realure | 25. joulukuu 2016

The OP is ignoring the $7500 federal rebate and $2500 from California. Every car looses 20% off the lot and it seems with the rebates, that is all he lost.

Tesla and all dealers do not pay extra for the aftermarket additions.

carlk | 25. joulukuu 2016

It's really nice to hear wise advice from so many fellow Tesla owners. We already own a toy that 99%+ of people in the world love to but could not own one. We don't need to own one no one else have to be happy.

I'd upgrade if and when I am willing to spend the money. Otherwise I'll just stick to my normal cycle of replacing cars. Couldn't be more simple than that. My car is always as good as it was the day I drove it home, and for Tesla's case even quite significantly better.

SCCRENDO | 25. joulukuu 2016

@carlk +1

ckcland2 | 25. joulukuu 2016

I say this with peace & love towards Toa. You cannot blame Tesla for the CA tax, or losing the modification monies (not that you did but you did list that). And how can you NOT expect to take a bath on trading in a 2 year old Tesla through the company? The only chance you have of making that up is a private sale.

As @carlk said, upgrade if you are willing to spend the money. If not you are stuck with the awesome car you originally purchased.

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016

I'm happy with my car today and I'll be happy with it five years from now even though the cars will be better, as long as the software doesn't make my car unable to drive.

SUN 2 DRV | 25. joulukuu 2016

carlk & scc: +1 each Merry Christmas, let enjoy and appreciate what we already have....

SO | 25. joulukuu 2016

Haven't people ALWAYS received a worse deal when trading a vehicle in vs selling private party?

Heck, even kbb shows that plain as day.

Why be shocked now?

SUSTEKI.TOKYO.JP | 25. joulukuu 2016


Silver2K | 25. joulukuu 2016


is that the expanded version of your comment?

Tropopause | 25. joulukuu 2016

I want to wrap my Tesla every year for Christmas! Like in the video. :)

lilbean | 25. joulukuu 2016

That would be fun!