Dissappointed in Phoenix , anyone use the lemon law yet??

Dissappointed in Phoenix , anyone use the lemon law yet??

What can I say, car has had major issues,

12 volt battery, then,
bad connection that was fixed in about a week
can't charge the car now, don't know what is wrong - went away on a flatbed today,
here is also the window cracking,
rear speakers hardly working,
cracking noise in the sunroof- which had been corrected.
How about the people who have had the car for a while don't get the % residual value guarantee.

Or how about when you buy the car it is hard to get the delivery details, etc. It also bothers me when I call to complain, I just hear-- will it is a new car, listen I have had at least 10 new cars, and I buy them because they shouldn't have so many problems. Not offered a rental car this time and the last one was a terrible Nissan Altima. I left that car at home and drove a different one.

Even today nobody called to tell me when the tow truck would show up, they call and said he was just a couple of minutes out, will guess what I was as my daughters summer birthday party. Inconsistent communication leads to frustrations.

Any Ideas


riceuguy | May 21, 2013


First, on the lemon law, there are pretty specific rules that you haven't yet met, so I'd focus on getting your issues addressed. As for the battery, it took them a while to figure out a couple of problems related to the 12v battery, but to be fair Tesla got screwed by their supplier and the issue has been resolved. The charge issue you're currently dealing with may be serious or it could be something simple; it's got to be frustrating in light of the 12v problem. The sunroof issue is actually pretty normal for a first model year of a new design; that's not an excuse, but it isn't that unusual. It's irritating, but definitely not lemon law-worthy (unlike the battery and charging issues).

As for the delivery details, I had major challenges there, but mostly thanks to my ridiculous state legislature that won't allow Tesla to have a dealer's license, which I believe is an issue in AZ as well. And finally, as far as the tow truck goes, if you ever find a roadside assistance that shows up at the scheduled time--or even gives you one--please let me know! :-)

In short, it sounds like you're having a rough go, but I'd bet you're about over the hump (unless the charging issue is worse than I'm hoping). Since you don't qualify for lemon law relief just yet, try to focus on getting the attention of some key folks at Tesla (ask Ownership Experience to have a service exec call you, for example).

Good luck!!

cgiGuy | May 21, 2013

Sorry about all the problems your having.. keep the faith and Tesla will make it right.

Regarding the rear speakers.. (when you get your car back) check to see if you have Dolby on. If so, the rear speakers are only going to supplement some sound to the others, not play full power. Just like your home audio surround setup, if you turn off all speakers but rears, you'll only hear what was designed for that channel. I don't understand why they even put Dolby in cars that don't have video screens (for movies).

Anyone listening to Dolby FLAC files?

info | May 21, 2013

John, I can't tell you how sorry I am that you're having these problems. I bought the first redesigned Mercedes SL in 1990 and had problem after problem that Mercedes finally made right by replacing the car. I have found the Tesla service center folks to be great in trying to get satisfaction to it's customers, but sometimes there are problems that take a while to fix. Now they are providing Tesla loaners.

I have had a bunch of small but annoying problems. I ignore them because I know they will be fixed and the guys at the service center seem to really want to make me happy. Obviously, if the car can't be driven it's a wholly different story.

This is what I would do. Contact the service center and ask for a reservation on their Tesla P-85 loaner. Drop your car off and tell them the problems and ask them to call you when it's fixed. You'll have a Tesla P to drive and enjoy. You won't be putting miles on your car. Tesla will have an incentive to get your car back to you because they want the loaner back. Take a deep breath. Someone had to get the car that was built by the guy with the hangover or who had a fight with his girlfriend and wasn't paying attention. I'm sorry it was you, but from what I've seen Tesla WANTS you to be happy and my guess is they'll succeed. Until then you need to minimize your inconvenience and disappointment. Good Luck.

Ron5 | May 21, 2013


You say that John has not met the Lemon Law rules yet, but I'm curious as to how you know that? I have been a Lemon Law arbitrator for 13 years, by the way.


john | May 21, 2013

Thanks for the replies. There are no loaner telsa's available in Arizona, and like I said a car was not offered at all. The rear speakers I just made the complaint a week or two ago and don't know about it, they will check it out. I have had cars with problems but they were still drivable, unlike the electrical ones I have had with the tesla. The sw manager called yesterday to discuss, I was unavailable, me did leave a message and hopefully we will be in contact soon.


riceuguy | May 21, 2013

Ron5, it sounds like each safety/driveability problem has only been addressed once (12v battery; new non-charging issue; etc.), and that the total time out of service is well under 30 days. At least here in Texas I believe those are the criteria based on my painful experience with a Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder (note to self, early adoption isn't always a good thing...first hardtop convertible in 30 years, and it showed).

youlikeadajuice | May 21, 2013

I had a jeep wrangler replaced in Az about 10 years ago via the lemon law. It had transmission problems that were not fixed after multiple attempts...this web page says they get 4 attempts ( The dealer was zero help in getting my car replaced, I ended up having to hire a lawyer and go straight to the manufacturer to get things straightened out (interesting given Tesla's struggles right now to sell cars in certain states where the dealer claims they are there to "protect" the consumer...definitely not my experience).

In all honesty though, I would allow Tesla to continue to try and resolve your problems. Tesla is very motivated to make you happy and they are ironing out some early issues still. While I had to fight the jeep dealer in my past experience, Tesla is willing to work with you. I had Tesla call me last week and ask me to come in to swap out my 12v battery. They said they noticed that its level was a bit low and wanted to swap it before it became an issue for me. This shows me how they handle things once they know there is a problem. What other car manufacturer does that?

Ron5 | May 21, 2013


Well, to me it's unclear how many times, so that's why I wasn't sure. And he didn't state how many days, either.

In any case, in most states (including AZ), the # of attempts and # of days clauses are "presumptions" for reasonable number of repair attempts. This is, for lack of a better term, a guideline. An arbitrator can find that there were a reasonable number of repair attempts without meeting these presumptions (and I have, on several occasions, and given the consumer his/her money back or a new car).

bigdaddymak | May 27, 2013

I've had 3 challenges with my otherwise perfect car since I received it a month ago, and in each case, the service level has been incredible. Matt and his team in San Rafael and Randy in Menlo Park have provided me with the best customer service I've ever received from a car company. Hands down.

1. Cracked windshield (not Tesla's fault): I ended up getting this fixed in Menlo Park because I had business down there anyway (I live in Sacramento). Randy did everything he said he was going to do and was superbly helpful and communicative throughout the 3 day process.

2. Faulty connectors caused my car to brick up at the airport: Matt in San Rafael was super responsive and rented me a car so I wasn't stuck there. The next day (Monday), Matt's team picked up my FOB at my house, got my car out of the airport garage, flat-bedded it to San Rafael, diagnosed and fixed the problem, and had my car back to me the next afternoon, and even returned my rental car for me. Extremely impressive.

3. I thought the button on charge cable that opens the charge port wasn't working: Matt had one of his guys swing by with a new cable the next day on his way back from servicing another car in my area. Turns out the car just needs to be unlocked for this feature to work, so I didn't need the new cable after all, but again, Matt and his team were prompt, friendly, communicative, and most important--HELPFUL.

I know from others that these service centers are beyond busy, but in each instance, Matt and Randy and their teams made me feel like I should feel as a guy who just spent this kind of money on a car. That's no small accomplishment.

Bravo and well done.

Brian H | May 28, 2013

Take it easy with the "brick" word. It doesn't mean "stalled" or frozen. It means permanently dead, needs replacement. Very charged term due to controversial reporting of Roadster battery abuse-unto-failure.