A word of caution to all Tesla Model S Owners based on experience I received from Service Center with a loaner owned by Tesla

A word of caution to all Tesla Model S Owners based on experience I received from Service Center with a loaner owned by Tesla

Dear Model S Owners,

Recently I had my 2013 Model S in service for multiple issues, one actual issue never addressed 3 months after I purchased my CPO back in 2016. After many excuses and service reps saying the part wasn't available, and then seeing most of the service reps being laid off at the service center recently, I really needed to step up and get it corrected and fixed. It was one of many other issues with the car, which I won't list here since all of them were taken care of with excellent service by the rep that took care of my car. It took nearly a month to actually get the right part - the first order came in after two weeks and it was the wrong part that only fit a 2015 or newer Model S. Had to wait longer....for this one item (it's the silver trim that goes around the 17-inch screen). It was severely dented and bent when they replaced the screen when it started leaking the epoxy glue that Tesla used to use. I had to show the service center the pictures and then the day I received the car back the damage of the trim to get the new rep to take care of it without me being charged. Luckily I have a cloud account that can show all these Telsa pictures. A note for everyone, always take pictures of your car and your damage and make sure you keep a record of everything, as long as you have proof, it should be covered under the warranty.

When you turn your car over, make sure you force your rep to do a walk around to note all the existing issues that can be visually seen. The only issues my car had that wasn't being addressed are scuff marks and road debris issues on 3 of the 4 wheels.

However, this service center (East Coast, Mid Atlantic area) - damaged my front end while it was in service, and I was rushed to get it out of the parking lot because the mechanic left it in the middle of their parking lot and a huge semi came in with a new order of Model X and 3's. I had to move out pretty fast. He told the rep I could not do a walk around. So I came home, and sure enough, front end damage. Immediately took pictures, and texted back the service rep. Unfortunately, I had no idea the text system would not accept pictures, so I didn't hear a thing back except please email us the problem description. So I noted and attached the pictures, and they came back admitting damage and would bring my car to a certified body shop for repair. Since I just got my car back, I asked how long, they said oh 3 to 4 weeks due to backlog. Ok. Well, I don't like the Enterprise Car rental place at the Service Center - so I asked if I could get a Tesla loaner for the 3 weeks or more since the rep knew how far my commute is for my current work contract. Yes, the rep could line up a Tesla loaner in a day or two.

I get the email the loaner is ready (after 4 days, waited a whole weekend). This car is a Tesla owned Model S P85D circa 2015. Wow, what a bad shape the car was in. I did a quick walk around noted damage pretty much on every side of the car, and huge road debris issues with all 4 wheels. Not to worry, my rep showed me the inspection sheet and it was marked pretty much on the entire diagram of the car. Including windshield. The windshield had weird water stains that could not be cleaned or removed. I told them there is no charge kit in the car, do they have a spare. Nope. Ok I hope I left mine at home. Damn, I get home, my car kit is in my car!!! I forgot about it. I needed it for Tesla to test it when it was in for service and forgot about taking it out of my car.

Oh well, fast forward 2 days into having this Model S. Driving only 15 minutes down the road at night to go to the last remaining post offices in my area that opens until 8 pm. The center console screen starts flashing, I noticed the 3G service disconnect and then a few minutes later, it just goes completely off. When I get the post office, I get my stuff sent out, and then I go and attempt to reboot the console. 2 scroll wheels, hold the brake down, wait 1 minute. Nothing happens.

Try this probably 5 times. I give up. I notice on the dash now that when I attempt to start the car it says this message now "Systems are powering up Press brake when this message clears" on the dashboard. Wow, waiting 2 minutes before this goes away. And then I notice I have to go to the nearest supercharger because the dash changed from % charge to remaining mileage and I know I might not make it home.

I get to the supercharger and I called Tesla Roadside. They get the VIN from me and then they start doing a remote check. Apparently, the car is back on 3G as he can see me on the supercharger. He gets another lady on the call and they remotely do something and tell me to press the two buttons on top of the scroll wheels and hold the brake but do it for 3 minutes. They told me on the other end they will send a rebooting signal to the car.

Low and behold, dashboard resets and then the center console reflashes the T logo like 8 to 10 times and then reboots. But they tell me on the car that it's running an old firmware that needs to be replaced immediately. They say they can stay on the line while I drive home and attempt to connect the car to my wifi. I told them that the car has never successfully connected to my wifi.

So I get home, and I learn the firmware, based on them telling me that it has a bug, and I need to provide an unencrypted wifi signal. So I told them I can, just hold on, and I brought down an access point into my garage and extended my wireless network with an unencrypted channel. The car finally connects and they say it's now staged and just wait for the car to show the yellow clock symbol.

I hang up. Well 3 days later firmware. No dice.

I go back driving regularly as I usually do, and entire center console screen flashes then freezes the entire console. Everything on the screen is frozen. I ignore that, go to work and come back out an hour later and find out the car never shut off. NEVER SHUT OFF. I lost 20% charge. I immediately call Tesla roadside. They call the service center. I get a runaround. No options presented except return the car and get an enterprise. Ok, it's 4 pm now and they close at 6 pm. No way I can make it from the city I work to their location.

I drive back and the screen goes dark. All my climate and everything didn't' work anyway when the screen froze. Then that night, we get a bunch of snow, I call Tesla Service Center first thing in the morning, no answer, no callbacks. Find out later through roadside that the service center is closed. I call roadside. Get back to escalation services and I get a person that looks into the history of the service calls and directly starts talking with the other escalation person. The person gets on the call as a phone conference and first can't believe the firmware is still at staging. Then he said, oh no, leaves, comes back 5 minutes later and says, you need to return the car immediately. I ask why? He says the car hasn't connected to the network for at least 3.5 days and the only last status he sees is when the car switched to wifi mode in my home. After that, no calls backs. He tells me clearly - the console is corrupted, the SIM card has stopped communicating, and it is essential you stop driving the car. But the time is 11 pm EST. And a snowstorm is approaching.

In the meantime, I log into my app to check my car, and I notice the body shop charging my car finally it sat with a 1% battery for a very long time. I call them, ask about a status update, and I get a "we will let the service center know when it is ready"

Oh well. Now keep in mind the car won't power off now. I get home, and sure enough - it doesn't power down. I tell my wife I need to go to the supercharger to charge. It's getting really cold and of course the windows fog up, and I'm driving like an older person that is very cautious.

So basically the center console is pretty much everything to the car. More than I thought but the very scary part is the car will not shut off. It stays powered on the entire time. Overnight it lost 50% of the charge and low and behold the service center read all my emails, seen the pictures of the console not working, the bad firmware report from the escalation team, they received all the news and they have great news. My car will be at the service center at 3 pm! Well, I could never make it back so I ask them to give my keyfob to a salesperson since they close at 7 pm and I can make it by then. They tell me that it'll be on the side of the service center and will be ready for pickup by 7 or by 8 am the next day. I rush to get back to turn in the nightmare of a P85D.

I tell the sale rep that had my keyfob about the loaner, they don't believe me and I say look, you have the loaner keyfob, leave it here. Let's go take a walk outside, and you notice I've been in the waiting room drinking lots of mini bottles of water for at least 10 minutes. Yep. We walk out and I show 3 of them the car is still fully powered on, and I get in and I try to power off, there is no way to do it. They immediately pull into the garage bay and talk to a mechanic. I hear the entire conversation. The only thing I want to say here is that the mechanic knows of this p85d and said, we stopped allowing customers to use this car back in September for a reason, and Mr ..... should not have been given this car as a loaner.

They make some notes and assure me someone will get back to me. That's two weeks ago, no getting back to me. The 17-inch screen is the API control center on the car and a vital component of the system. I have never experienced so many issues like this with my own car and the console, but through some first-hand experience I know now that if something happens to my console, I'm not waiting, I will literally call and bring my car in to the most available service center - I don't care if it's the closest one or the furthermost away.

So as I was outside reorganizing my car, the tech came out, profusely apologized to me and said I should definitely report this to management. I have.

Anyway, something to note that I hope that Tesla will improve its API. Having one all-powerful API and one computer controlling it all that is tied the center console is not a great engineering function currently.

Bighorn | February 28, 2019

Spark notes:
OP insisted on a loaner because he hates Enterprise. Was mistakenly given a car with a bad MCU that wasn’t on the loaner roster. Drama ensues.

Earl and Nagin ... | February 28, 2019

Wow, the OP got a P85D as a loaner! All I've ever gotten is an old S85 or a X75D. Was it Ludicrous enabled?
Seriously, it sounds pretty clear that the only thing functionally wrong was the MCU which, unfortunately, is kind of the central brain of the user-facing portion of the vehicle. Clearly, the hundreds of critical computers that control the driving functions were all fine though. It is unfortunate that the OP had to deal with this car. It sounds like the service center tried to help by providing a car despite the shortage of them and that didn't work out.

lilbean | February 28, 2019

Wow! Longest post I’ve read here in years. Painful. Don’t do it!

NoMoPetrol | February 28, 2019

Thinking I was almost through reading his saga, I decided to scroll down to see some responses. I wasn't even halfway through his diatribe. Wouldn't want to get boxed into a conversation with him at a cocktail party after he had put a few drinks in the tank.

Mathew98 | February 28, 2019

He just needed to vent. It was much cheaper than paying the shrink! | February 28, 2019

'bean - too late. Lol.

rxlawdude | February 28, 2019

That's 2 minutes I will never get back.

PBEndo | February 28, 2019

2 minutes? I quit reading after 30 seconds.

Mathew98 | February 28, 2019

Is it really the time and place to brag about your bedroom prowess?


Bighorn | February 28, 2019

Evelyn Wood?

Greenville, KY | February 28, 2019

I hear you. we had the same experience with Tesla service center. Not good communication! Not great service either.

Mike83 | February 28, 2019

I am stunned by the drama where characters are most likely fictitious.

ST70 | February 28, 2019

@lilbean- saved me a read (I always look for your comments after long posts first :-))

inconel | February 28, 2019

I was not even able to finish reading the thread long title

Silver2K | February 28, 2019

Wow.. I stopped at the reboot. The OP supplies info like my Wife does! Why did I need to know the post office part! Get to the point for God's sake!

Yes, I do ask my wife to get to the point after 4 segways! :)

Mathew98 | February 28, 2019

Doesn't she ask you if you were done after 30 seconds in return?


Silver2K | February 28, 2019

Yeah, so?

PBEndo | February 28, 2019

and I thought my Supercharger Tips thread was long!

Uncle Paul | March 3, 2019

OP forgot to mention what he had for breakfast :)

Seriously. All would have been avoided if you had simply taken the loaner they suggested.

Bighorn | March 3, 2019

Did he mention the current price to mail a first class letter?

barrykmd | March 3, 2019

BH - it costs forever.

lilbean | March 3, 2019

You're welcome, @ST70. :o)

kcheng | March 3, 2019

...and the usual snark from the usual crowd. You people never disappoint!

NKYTA | March 3, 2019

@kcheng, those who have lived it don’t get snark points, vs rambling?

Color me unsurprised.