"SC will take care of that..."...umm, no they may not

"SC will take care of that..."...umm, no they may not

Had my first SC visit/experience today.

Background: Picked up car on 9/29 at Fremont hub. Noted all the "issues" during inspection and was told for every singe issue "the SC will take care of that for you". So I called before my 72 hrs were up and asked how I officially document my delivery noted issues. They wrote down everything we found and also made a SC appt for 10/10 (today). Few days afterwards the SC cancelled my appt and put me on a virtual wait list due to paint issues. I requested my original appt be kept as I had other repairs besides paint.

Arrived a few min early and waited until a SC adviser came over. He took my name and went back in for paperwork. Surprised at how inaccurate the descriptions were of what I noted for today's visit. No biggie. A few interior items and a few frunk items. He noted them and went back inside. Came back out about 10 min later and said everything would be covered except the font seat. Said the material ripple/stitching issue was not functional/performance related and only cosmetic, so it's not covered. Here's the part where I say "I knew this was going to happen".

Told the adviser that the delivery specialist said it would be taken care of by the SC. Then walked him around to my bumper and pointed to a paint blob the size of a ball bearing and asked him what about this. He said, "Oh, that will be taken care of by the paint/body shop". I then asked why, it wasn't functional and didn't impact performance of the vehicle, but Tesla is willing to fix cosmetic paint why would you deny interior cosmetic issues? He said "let me check with my manager".

Comes back out saying denied and even his coworker's seat has this "issue" if I wanted to see. Great, let's see. Coworker shows me his seat and my first comment was "let's trade, I see nothing wrong with your seat, especially compared to mine". Then I ask why would you try and justify my seat issue as being acceptable to me by showing me someone else's car, especially when that seat that you say has an issue looks great to me. "Let me check with my manager". I lost track of how many times he made that statement and disappeared into the back area of hidden managers. He also spent more time in the back room than talking with me.

Bottom line for those of you concerned about issues at delivery. The standard line we were given was "the SC will take care of that for you". There are plenty of threads here for people saying Tesla will make that right. So I'm hear to say that might not be the case. Now you are denying repairs expecting owners to just deal with it. That's probably the fastest way to make one time only owners. My guess is with the number of model 3's that have issues due to rushed production volumes, the issues are now becoming expensive repairs as a whole and Tesla is now denying some "repairs".

In hindsight, delivery inspection felt like the used care salesman that will say anything to make the sale...and once the sale is made...just deal with it. Both unfortunate and unexpected but deep down I had a feeling "the SC will take care of that for you" was just too good to be true. I found that to be the case today.

efuseakay | 10 octobre 2018

Oh December is going to be fun.

Sorry about your issues. Hope they come around.

ebmcs03 | 10 octobre 2018

Ya. Tesla does a lot of things to create one time customers. I’ve been able to count a few myself.

Hopefully there will be more electric cars from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche soon. Cuz my next car will def still be electric but high chance it may not be a Tesla.

OROCHIzc | 10 octobre 2018


This is truly a bummer, but it may help if you try a different service center or call their customer service?

If you have noted this issue at the delivery center and they said the SC will take care of it, there should be a way for you to get it fixed. I simply don't believe Tesla will turn its costumer down like this.

nineteenelevenfan | 10 octobre 2018

@OROCHIzc - I've "escalated" the issue. Something I don't feel I should have had to do.

At the end of the day, I'm confident they will do what's right. I won't let up until they do, it's that simple. Delivery specialists should not be writing checks the SC can't cash. From a principle perspective, I shouldn't have had to escalate. There is clearly a problem with the seat (think of a boil in the middle of your forehead) at the seam and if the inner stitching is exposed, the likelihood of that getting worse over time is fix it now, as it was called out during delivery...not weeks/months later), especially when compared to any other seat.

There was another 3 in the service bay and she had 3 advisers all looking at the paint (swirls and such) and I could hear them telling her how they'd take care of it (I looked in the window at her seats...100% good to me)...yet a bubble/exposed inner stitching gets a deny...umm how many front seats you guys installing per week...~10k...I think you can find me one that doesn't have cosmetic/stitch issues.

As a company, think of the goodwill you just flushed down the toilet. And guess what I notice EVERY time I get into the car.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 10 octobre 2018

nineteenelevenfan, "My guess is with the number of model 3's that have issues due to rushed production volumes..."

Thank you for using the 'My guess is..." phrase. Too many others seem to state this conclusion as absolute fact, with no evidence to support it. Merely supposition.

"Here's the part where I say 'I knew this was going to happen'."

It helps to know how life, the universe, and everything tend to treat you, personally. Heed those warnings when you get them, and prepare accordingly.

"Both unfortunate and unexpected but deep down I had a feeling 'the SC will take care of that for you' was just too good to be true. I found that to be the case today."

Hmmm... Unfortunate. I still believe Tesla will 'make it right. Too bad they haven't done it yet. Did you ask to speak to 'my manager' yourself, to get a handle on his rationale? Because it seems something was lost in translation with the Service Technician acting as a go between. You have presented your issues clearly here, and likely at Delivery as well. Methinks the Service Tech spoke in general terms and wasn't at all specific. If the 'my manager' didn't take it upon himself to come out himself, that may have tainted his decision making process.

wayne | 10 octobre 2018

Which SC center is this? I think it is a problem with your individual SC. I would keep escalating this. Tesla as a company should take care of these things.

nineteenelevenfan | 10 octobre 2018

@wayne - Dublin

Magic 8 Ball | 10 octobre 2018

Would it be possible to post of photo of the issue?
Not doubting there is one just want to know for comparison.

elecfan2 | 10 octobre 2018

Might be smart to take lots of pictures and video at delivery to help document any issues to serve as proof along with any written list of issues. Should be quick to do and shouldn't extend the delivery that much. Plus, we'll all be excited at delivery and will miss stuff right in front of our faces.

voytres | 10 octobre 2018

If you are in Bay Area - pick another Service Center, we have plenty (about 10) and you are not limited with one. If one SC can't fix something another probably will.

Matinski | 10 octobre 2018

I didn't have an issue with the Fremont "Pop Up" service center. I had what looked a curb docking scratch under the corners of the bumper, one paint blemish on the trunk, passage door rattle with the window down, and finally the passages center console trim piece was slightly loose. Found that when I was listening to music and tapping my hand on it. All were noted and I'm expecting all to get fixed. I'll know for sure on Friday when I pick up the car. In the mean time I'm driving a new S 75D.

What you've noted on your seat, any other car manufacture would repair it, no issue. I know because my Volt had an issue with the drivers seat material a year into my warranty and the chevy service center replaced the seat covering.

I would drive from Union City to the Dublin Chevy service center because the peninsula Chevy service centers are terrible IMHO. In my experience you'll need to find a service center that works for you.

casun | 10 octobre 2018

do you have photos of the seat issue? i’d like to see the defect.

burdogg | 10 octobre 2018

I find it interesting that different SC give different results. Sometimes I wonder if people take "memos" the wrong way - like cut down on waste, so a SC manager gets high and mighty and wants to show Elon that they are cutting down - when in reality, Elon wasn't talking about not taking care of customers. People, I find, tend to look beyond the mark, thinking they know better, or that this is what was really meant.

Sorry for your issues and having to escalate. It so seems hit and miss right now with Tesla Service - have many great reports, and other not so great. But I wouldn't judge it by a forum - as the scales on forums tip more toward the negative - positive results rarely get published, but most negative results do.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 10 octobre 2018

burdogg is correct...

BostonPilot | 11 octobre 2018

So, did the original guy who wrote down the issues note the seat issue? Because if you have it in writing that it was agreed SC would fix it, then you have a verbal contract and I don't think they can decide not to fix it. IANAL, but if they wrote it down as a to-be-repaired, I think you have a very strong case.

Nothing that can't be handled in small claims court if they continue to be reluctant to fix it! (but I imagine they won't want the bad press about being sued over a defect in a brand new car that they refuse to fix).

Also, depending on your state, the lemon laws may have something to say about the situation.

It sucks that you have to escalate but you should or you'll always feel you got screwed. As it is, Tesla has probably lost a bit of your goodwill.

nineteenelevenfan | 11 octobre 2018

For those of you who asked to see a pic.

The blue tape is on the passenger seat, right edge (closest to the door). The tape is there as this is when we were inspecting the car at delivery before signing any paperwork and had the DS note the seam differences.

I have also included a pic of the left side of the passenger seat in the same seam area/curve. The left side of the seat is fine and matches both "curve" areas of the driver's seat. The "puffiness" of the seam is more noticeable in different lighting, but the seam is clearly not as "clean" as the others (including the rear seats) and the stitching is move visible as well as jagged.

For some of you, this may not be an issue. For me, it's something that draws my attention and bugs me as I see it any/every time I enter/sit in the car w/o a passenger. Even more so when I see other Model 3's seats that don't have this.

gmkellogg | 11 octobre 2018

I found the back passenger door had some bubbling in the rubber seal part. I have a SC appointment today to see if it can be fixed, seems like it might be "denied" as well (since it appears to be cosmetic and not functional). I'll let you know nineteenelevenfan.

Magic 8 Ball | 11 octobre 2018

Thanks for the pic. This is good information.

I assume one take home message is to be more diligent and persistent in getting issues documented at delivery?

My guess is that if you are persistent they will address this issue for you but, I hope you understand, it may not be a high priority.

I found a tiny chip on the edge of our back glass a week after delivery. I took off on vacation, without the car, within hours of taking delivery. Out of good will (the "official" 72 hrs had elapsed) they have offered to replace the glass. Some experiences are better than others. Best wishes on getting resolution and I think you will.

elecfan2 | 11 octobre 2018

Good advice, take video and pics at delivery time as well as write stuff down. Proof of issues at delivery should help grease the wheels and get things taken care of.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 11 octobre 2018

'...they may not...' as quickly as you would prefer. There is a difference between the statements 'has not' and 'will not' as well as 'haven't yet'. Time exists so that everything doesn't happen all at once.

nineteenelevenfan | 11 octobre 2018

@ReD eXiLe - I'm in no hurry at all. This appt was the result of my "report issues within 72 hrs". Was told this (SC appt) is part of the process. Told Tesla I'm in no hurry and just ensuring things are documented (process is definitely experience growing pains and my trust level, especially after my denial, is questionable at best right now). In fact, I don't want repairs done right NOW, I want them done RIGHT.

SC tech yesterday was telling me the seat "issue" may take 4-8 weeks (another attempt IMO to dissuade me from pushing the repair/replacement) as these seats are handmade. Ummm...sure they the "low cost" high volume production car for the masses has handmade a rate of 10,000/wk. Tell me another story that is difficult to believe. This seat/cover is a commodity, pure and simple. I can believe the 4-8 week wait due to possible volume of issues after delivery on the Model 3 more than I can believe it's due to handmade craftsmanship...too funny. I'll stand my ground until satisfactory resolution from the CUSTOMER.

finman100 | 11 octobre 2018

just in case anyone cares. I'd overlook that seat stitching issue. now u know how discerning i am as a random internet person. I see others have better eyes for detail than I. No problem. Hope things can be made right in your world.

Magic 8 Ball | 11 octobre 2018

BTW, it appears to me you have taken on an adversarial stance with the people at TESLA that are the only ones that can help you. Just sayn'

nineteenelevenfan | 11 octobre 2018

@Magic 8 Ball - I hear what you're sayn'... not adversarial, just standing my ground on making things right, from my customer perspective. We each have different levels of what is acceptable (e.g., @finman100 stating he'd overlook the seat stitching issue ) and I have absolutely no issues what others find acceptable in their vehicles, both inside and out.

Not going to war with Tesla as I do understand they are the only ones who can make this right (short of going to an after market shop for repair/replacement at my cost), but also not going to be a pushover for something I was told would be resolved. Had I originally been told otherwise, it may have weighed more in my acceptance decision (combined with other issue such as the paint defects). No, I would not reject a car for a seat/seam issue, but I would, and did, call out the issue. Again, to each their own. Honestly, I've never had as many "issues" with a new car (owned BMWs, Fords, Chryslers, Toyotas) as I have with Tesla. I put my new Tesla "issues" right up there with what I've found in the USED cars I've purchased in my lifetime.

I'm not a fanboi (although I wish my Tesla stock would stop getting HAMMERED) and I'm not a pushover. My position on the Tesla spectrum varies based on the issue at hand. Bringing these issues up to Tesla only helps them grow into a better company as I don't think many would disagree the QA/QC needs improvement. Cheaper and faster to make right at the factory than later on down the road.

Magic 8 Ball | 11 octobre 2018

You may be hearin' and maybe some adjustin' is in order. Often tough to see how we come across in other's eyes but that is how I see it.

rxlawdude | 11 octobre 2018

"Also, depending on your state, the lemon laws may have something to say about the situation."

For a seat stitching issue? ROFLMAO!!!

nineteenelevenfan | 11 octobre 2018

@ Magic 8 Ball - agreed.

burdogg | 11 octobre 2018

nineteenelevenfan - it does take that long for a seat - they are not just blowing smoke up you to get you to forge it. At delivery of my Model X in Dec 2016, there was a little scuff on my driver seat. It was noted, and I said no biggie. I got a call about 1-2 months later that my seat was in and I could bring the car in to get it replaced. I was like, ok, I was fine with having it documented for if it got worse and could replace then, but they took it as needing replaced and it just took that long to get the seat in.

It takes time for these parts, whether you realize that or not - they aren't just trying to get you to turn the other cheek, they are just being honest with you as far as time (At least my experience - I am not there in person to see how they are saying it to you and body language etc... :) Just thought I would chime in though that it is true that the seats take time to get in - my personal experience.

nineteenelevenfan | 11 octobre 2018

@burdogg - good to hear. Agreed, all about the documentation and agreement to address/resolve. Not a time thing and I have no doubt parts are scarce as they go to production for priority I'm sure.

I don't think the time issue has anything to do with (nor do I believe) the seats being handmade. I'm calling BS on that. Lack of availability due to production volumes is more likely. There may be hands involved int he process, but a mass produced car has to cut costs, not introduce/increase them...which is what "handmade" seats would do. To me that's just a line to placate customers on the time/delay or make them feel better about the value (real or perceived) of the component.

Magic 8 Ball | 11 octobre 2018

People are people. The guy may have taken some poetic license about why the seats take so long to get, so what? You need to get out more and talk to more people. Focus on the salient points not the fluff.

walnotr | 11 octobre 2018

On a similar note, when the service guy was at my home replacing the charge port door, I asked him what happens to the parts they replace. His answer; every replaced part is returned to Fremont so they can evaluate the cause of the problem. I suspect some may go in for refurbishment but that is just my speculation. He also mentioned they can track it down to the technician that made the original installation on the assembly line. To me, that smacks of a “process of continuous improvement”.

Just one more reason I’m glad I bought my Model 3.

burdogg | 11 octobre 2018

Yeah, not sure on the handmade - but Tesla does make their own seats, and it is Labor intensive. This is from oct 2017 article:
But it is Tesla’s 2015 decision to build its own seats that has some industry veterans scratching their heads. Seat making is a low-margin, labor-intensive enterprise that big automakers generally farm out to specialists. Tesla is operating its own seat assembly line inside its factory, and it is hiring engineers and technicians to figure out a way to fully automate the process"

So who knows the whole process, but it does not sound like just a simple process :)

ReD eXiLe ms us | 11 octobre 2018

nineteenelevenfan: That seems petfectly readonable on your part. I do hope this is resolved to your satisfaction.

I think the 72 hour notation was a rather obtuse manner of the Delivery Specialist noting the '3 Day Buyer's Remorse' statute of California law. Tesla used to allow more than twice that, a full week, for Customers to 'change their mind' after purchase. They changed the policy just ahead of the release of Model 3.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 11 octobre 2018

Geez... 'perfectly reasonable'...

Atoms | 11 octobre 2018

“Exposed stitching uneven seam” should be repaired or replaced. That was not OK. The others are not ideal but no car is ideal.
Best thing is to go to another SC or escalate. Customers have to do what they have to do. Tesla grew so fast that the current staff may not be properly trained and there are too many issues this month. This will settle out in Q4 as they fix quality issues in their manufacturing line. Early adopters need to be a bit more patient. But do not lower your quality or service expectations.

Haggy | 12 octobre 2018

Ask them what it would cost to buy a replacement seat. Ask by email so you can have a copy of it. Then try small claims court.

Matinski | 18 octobre 2018

Reporting back after my first SC visit. Frustrating, communication is hit and miss. Dropped off my 3 on the 8th and was told it should be ready on the 12th. Fridays comes and goes without any contact from the SC and no responses to my phone and email inquires. Tried calling again on Monday the15 and was told I was in the queue for paint. The paint booth wasn't completely setup and they had issue with the generator and had another arriving that day and my car should be ready on Wednesday the 17th. Wednesday comes and again no word from the SC until 6:00pm that my car is detailed and inside so that it is pristine for a morning pickup.

Received a text in the morning that my car was ready for pickup. Drove to the Pop-up center. Escorted the service desk gave them my loan S key fob and was taken to my car for inspection.

The service manager review the work order with me.
Passenger door rattle with the window down: SC determined it was within spec:
Passenger center console trim piece was slightly loose: SC determined it was within spec:

Curb docking scratch and gouges under the corners of the bumper: replaced the front bumper and repainted. Good

One paint blemish on the trunk, something in the paint.: polished& buffed out 90% of it. It is no longer noticeable unless you know where to look and it is really hard to spot. They left very light swirl marks. Pointed this out.

Found a new 1/8" long scratch on rear wheel well. Pointed this out.

Happen to spot two other blemishes, something in the paint, on the rear bumper. Pointed this out.

The service manager had the paint expert come over and look at the noted paint defects. He took the car back into the shop and 20 minutes later they had removed all noted blemishes to my satisfaction. I asked about how long I should wait to have it ceramic coated. He said that since I'm right here in the Bay Area I should wait 2 -3 months. The main reason is to allow any remaining paint thinner and paint out gassing. He said if I lived on the east coast and the required transit time it's not an issue. He also said that he normally works at the Santa Clara SC and if I find any other blemishes prior to the ceramic coating, to bring it by the Santa Clara SC and get them corrected.

I happy with the paint correction and how easy it was to get them address them. They shouldn't have existed to begin with, just poor quality control. I have mixed feelings about the mechanical noises. Its hard to argue with "its within spec". If it isn't within spec it will fail or get worst later and I will be closely monitoring any change in door noises. Everybody was very pleasant and willing to help. In general on par with other car manufacturers and experience, but you can tell that this "pop-up service" is temporary and put in place quickly and you can tell.

sbutler | 18 octobre 2018

@gmkellogg I had the same issue with the rubber seal on 3 out of 4 doors. Tesla sent a mobile service to my work and was fixed in 30 minutes.

This is the first I am hearing about the 72 hours deadline. My 3 months old Tesla is at Service Center for some buffing marks I had noticed during the initial purchase. It took me a while to take it to Tesla. They gave me a Model S loaner while they are working on the paint.

I know its "your mileage may vary" but I have been extremely happy with the service I have received so far from the Fremont Service Center.

CHaley | 18 octobre 2018

So far my experience with SC couldn’t have gone better. I contacted Tesla Service a couple of days after delivery. I gave them a list o 4 items, 2 of which I wanted addressed, 2 of which I just wanted documented in case something developed at a later date. The 2 items I wanted addressed were a raised area in the speaker cover at the front of the dash close to the windshield and a hard raised knot in the trim on the passenger side of the center console. The two items I wanted noted were related to very, very minor imperfections in the glass roof panel. I’m confident no one will ever notice either of the imperfections in the roof panel, but I was concerned that a crack could develop in the future.

My SC appointment was this morning. Last night I deep cleaned the windows for the first time and noticed that my rear door seals also had some issues. I mentioned those issues as well this morning. The service center had resolved the issue with the front speaker cover and the rear door seals before my lunch hour. They also ordered the console trim piece and will schedule mobile service once the part comes in.

Picked my car back up on my lunch hour.

I’m sure your issue will be resolved soon. You just need to get to the right person. It shouldn’t be that way and in my experience so far it rarely is with Tesla, but let’s be honest no one is perfect. Try to stay positive and i’m sure they’ll take care of it soon.

gballant4570 | 18 octobre 2018

I can't help but wonder how long it would take Tesla to make right for the OP the car that I am perfectly happy with....yes I saw the pictures....of...?

RES IPSA | 18 octobre 2018

I gotten the "the defect is within specification" answer from the service center. All in all, I just came to terms with the fact that I will have to live with the minor cosmetic defects that Tesla will not fix. I stopped worrying about them as I want to enjoy owning and driving the car.

RES IPSA | 18 octobre 2018

I "have" gotten... wow, long day

BostonPilot | 19 octobre 2018

Hmm... Is there really a spec? I'd like to see it! Maybe a nice way of saying "You're too picky" ???