Did I get a lemon? Can't get a hold of Tesla Support

Did I get a lemon? Can't get a hold of Tesla Support

I've been trying to reach someone by phone since 3/12. Sometimes the call connects and the call center staff hang up before saying anything. I called sales and was able to get my account annotated with my attempts over to get a hold of someone at Tesla support.

February 2, 2019 Ordered Tesla 3 AWD Long Range
February 15, 2019 Paid complete amount
March 12, 2019 After 2 weeks (separated by 1 week) of repairs I got the car back with NEW issues. I picked it up after hours from their new guarded security lot.

2/9/19 - I could not take delivery of my Model 3 because the windshield was noted to have a crack at its base.

2/12/19 - I came back to attempt delivery again after they repaired the glass but discovered the windshield wipers weren't working because the service team either damaged the power coupler to the wipers or didn't fully seat them. I noticed this after driving on the freeway in the rain and having to immediately get off and navigate the roads with my head out the windows because of the historic storm that week.

2/17/19 - I pick-up the car and communicate the concerns below immediately but am told to wait for a service appointment:

-Bulging and uneven door weather seals on all doors except driver.
-Unevenly installed rear triangle window driver side. There is a bulging piece of rubber material along 1 inch of the length of the window.
-Random chirping/whirling wind sound. It appears to happen anywhere from 10-75MPH coming from the right side of the corner near windshield, maybe at the roof juncture.
-The dashboard was installed incorrectly and pinches the weather seal on the right door and part of the pillar.
-The driver side power window mount to frame was installed incorrectly and is scrapping the black weather seal (the technician noticed this when I texted messaged them unrelated photos)

You can see the photos here:

2/20/19 - I notice the rear right corner closest to the back of the car of the truck floor/carpet was not installed properly. There is a plastic cone glued to the back of the carpet that is supposed to snap into the aluminum body of the car. In this case it was glued incorrectly so the plastic just bulges off the body and is no where near the hole.

2/23/19 - Plastic creaking of the center console. I've tried to push on various panels to try to stop or recreate the sound, but have had no luck. Tried the wall that the usb ports are at, the various joints on the lids, the panels around the steering console, the dash etc.

3/4/19 I take the car to service to my overdue service appointment - I am told on the phone a few days earlier that I will need a second appointment to replace the trunk. I leave the car to see if they can repair at least the other issues.

3/12/19 I take receipt of the vehicle, they replaced the glass window seal, insulate and adjust the center console, fix the dash placement over the door seal. and replace all weather seals on the doors. I didn't notice the damage to the trunk.

3/16/19 You can see in the last photo of the album they burnt/stained the floor of the trunk when attempting to repair it. I can't believe they gave me the car back in this condition. I'm also noticing a new rattling sound at the juncture where the dash was installed incorrectly.

I've given Tesla patience and understanding about not having my car for 2 weeks on two separate rental car occasions as well as having to try to pick up my car 3 times. I love and want to support Tesla but this experience has been absolutely bizarre.

jesus | 17. mars 2019

Jumping ME!

jjgunn | 17. mars 2019

Assuming you live in CA....Not anywhere near "Lemon" status in CA.

1 inch of "bulging rubber" around the small window....1 inch? Wind noise? Creaking plastic?'re pulling our leg...right? The only reason you can hear that is because the car is so quiet.

Assuming this is a legit post with legit issues - IMO you're being a little nit-picky. It's a car. Assuming you drive it daily.... Drive & enjoy it.

apodbdrs | 17. mars 2019


Firaz.ashraf | 17. mars 2019

@skycondition: speak with a lawyer - forum is not the right place

I have my own time spent with service but eventually all reasonable defects are fixed

rdavis | 17. mars 2019

I don’t see any huge issues. If Tesla says they will correct, I would wager they will.

I think people are really nitpicking their cars for some reason. Maybe it’s the first time they have purchased and expensive car? Regardless, the majority of what you showed is common in other cars (I’ve owned many) and most dealers won’t fix (some more reputable will).

Give them a chance to correct your issues. It may take a bit of time (something Tesla does need to work on to get better), but in the end I think you’ll be very happy.

bearsfan | 17. mars 2019

OP you have every right to be upset with the quality. The problem is this forum is filled with a bunch of fanboys who will tell you to suck it up.

Keep pushing Tesla to fix. Shouldn't they also give you a loaner while they fix it?

dgstan | 17. mars 2019

Yes, they should be giving you a loaner EV. If they do that, tell them to keep your car until it's fixed. don't turn in the loaner until you are satisfied.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

You have a few cosmetic "issues" that would annoy most. To call the car a lemon is severe over reaction and tells me you are a PIA customer and most likely difficult to deal with.

thedrisin | 17. mars 2019


Agree. I would get in writing a date to complete repair. If not done in first 7 days you can return it. I am OCD and would really annoy me. When I bring my car in for service they never have an EV as a loaner and give me a Nissan Maxima or equivalent.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

I don’t know that the OP wondering and ASKING if the car is a lemon makes her/him a pain in the ___. Shaking my head... the forum sometimes is difficult to weed through vitriol and dismissiveness.

@skycondition - of course the quality issues you have thoughtfully highlighted and taken pictures of are annoying. It is completely reasonable to wonder and worry about the quality of assembly for your particular 3. And it’s distracting you from enjoying your new Tesla experience. And anybody that tells you differently is the actual PITA.
I don’t know if you actually received a lemon. That’s something you’ll need to establish with Tesla. I do believe they stand behind their products but I also haven’t experienced anything like your situation.
I will say this...when you get on the other side of this situation, you will more than likely fall in love with this car. It is simply beautiful and performs like few others. Welcome to the Tesla family, and apologies some folks here make you feel like you can’t ask critical questions.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

When you go on an enthusiast forum and go with “lemon” in the title of your post you are a PIA. Even if, by some chance, the lemon “question” is sincere you don’t put it in the title if you are looking for help from those with TESLA depth of knowlege to really get things done. People that actually gone LL on a TESLA don’t hang around here to come back with LL advice.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

When you go on an enthusiast forum and go with “lemon” in the title of your post you are a PIA. Even if, by some chance, the lemon “question” is sincere you don’t put it in the title if you are looking for help from those with TESLA depth of knowlege to really get things done. People that actually gone LL on a TESLA don’t hang around here to come back with LL advice.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

It was a question in the post @Magic. Don’t be so sensitive. Had OP stated she/he definitely have a lemon, I would understand the pushback. Also, there’s nothing in particular that makes this an ethicist forum only for sharing positive remarks. Tesla hasn’t restricted us from asking questions that are critical in nature.
From my personal observations, a good chunk of your posts are super helpful to people. You’ve obviously done your homework and you appear to be pretty knowledgeable on a bunch of subjects that are pertinent. I seek out your replies on topics I find interesting or have questions about. You’re also snarky as hell. Often it’s funny. And perhaps just as often you’re unnecessarily rude and biting. To call OP a PIA is funny coming from you.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

*enthusiast (not ethicist.)

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

@terry Thanks for the feedback, so you probably wouldn't want to marry me, I get it.

OP, is trolling. The pattern is the same over and over again. A methodical explanation and I don't find a "lemon" in the title (even in the form of a question) to be appropriate at all for someone looking for help from those that know the ins and outs of TESLA. The question and post, in its entirety, is an invitation for trolls to pile on and rail on TESLA and not a sincere inquiry.

I have never had issue contacting TESLA service The OP is completely insincere with the 'can't contact service' claim. It is absolutely possible to contact so "CAN'T" is more negative hyperbole that puts blame on TESLA instead of their own lack of patience.

The formula this post uses is boilerplate troll type stuff, even if sincere.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

Fair enough. You have more experience on the forum than I do, so admittedly you would recognize the template used. I was approaching from standpoint of it being a sincere question and in the event it is, then you and I just disagree about whether that is out of bounds. Perhaps as someone who has more experience with trolls, you’re overly sensitive to anything that looks like it. And perhaps as someone who is new to EVs and Tesla, I’m overly sensitive to being able to come ask questions without being roasted.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

@terry The funny thing I am a BOD (benefit of doubt) person almost everywhere else but here. The unfortunate thing about this particular forum is that for long time I (pretty sure objectively) determined there were more insincere posts here than sincere. That (hopefully) is turning around but with this latest flurry of announcements by TESLA we have seen a (hopefully temporary) flurry of the troll coming back in force.

I do believe this OP could be legit and if they are there is no reason to post an inquiry for help in way that many trolls would and have used.

So, OP, if you are legit maybe get off the "lemon" and "can't contact" BS and you won't get a defensive 'fanboy' in your face shouting TROLL.

jjgunn | 17. mars 2019

site: "skycondition"

Plug that into Google and take a look.

Nothing but negative back as far as 2017. "Creaks, chirping, Morse code sounds from dash"

Not an owner....moving along.

skycondition | 17. mars 2019

I can see now Lemon was the wrong word as it is a legal term that describes issues that cause harm or significant resell issues. I meant to describe a car that is always going to have issues because maybe an inexperienced crew worked on it or cut corners when assembling the vehicle. I just kept noticing the issues any time I was actually with the car. I didn't even notice the the dashboard and rear view window assembly issues until the service technician noticed them when inspecting other issues. I should have noted these were not cosmetic issues, I could see water getting into the car. I'm surprised by the folks on the forum being skeptical of anyone that has an issue with their car. I have owned about 10 cars in my life from various manufacturers, including an 2 electric cars (1 a model S for a very short period that made me interested in the 3).

skycondition | 17. mars 2019

Also - when I google I find many other examples of technical support being hard to get a hold of. Consider how much call volume they have with the current historic ramp up in model types and pricing changes etc. etc. This might be different than the environment you bought your tesla in and had to contact service. I understand why its taking weeks, I am just disappointed they didn't scale up support appropriately and I am genuinely worried it won't get resolved either in a timely matter or ever.

rxlawdude | 17. mars 2019

Sounds a bit over the top in his shrillness. That said, in fairness, that Tesla's service, especially in areas like Orange County, CA has degraded into a joke - appointments more than six WEEKS at the earliest, and all an appointment means is you have scheduled the time you drop it off. Once there, be prepared for a long wait.

Again, this is my first hand, repeated experience with Costa Mesa in 2018/19. Prior to that, service had been stellar. Now, I figure I'll be driving a loaner with no HOV sticker and Enterprise billing me for tolls even though I had my transponder in the loaner.

As to the cars, both my S and 3 have been reliable and never ever a hint of a problem that would impair driveability.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

@jjgunn. Your post made me reconsider my position. So out of curiosity I googled what yuh suggested. I might very well be doing something wrong but I can find the posts you allude to, and they’re only a month old (Feb 17 2019) and not two years old. When I read them, it simply sounds like a frustrated owner. I still think some of you jump down people’s throats too quickly.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

I think some people are too easy on people that try to make molehills out of mountains and use hyperbole to bolster their frustrations.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

Which specific comments are hyperbole or shrill? I see a lot of descriptions of the post that aren’t accurate but do help shape a narrative that makes the responses make sense. That’s called revisionist history.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

The fact is, OPs post is 100% absent of hyperbole or shrillness. It a list of concerns matched with dates and pictures. Almost entirely absent of emotion. If it were written the same exact way, but were a list of things she/he likes, it would be boring and not described as an excited or flowery statement.

I am becoming convinced that there is an equal effort to sweep under the rug and diminish real concerns as there is for trolls to post fake concerns.

rxlawdude | 17. mars 2019

There are some fanbois (I can think of a mega-fanboi) who reflexively tell people that have issues to suck it up. I have filtered the worst one out, but some of the posts suggest he's back at it.

Yes, the problems that OP reported seem minor and certainly not anything that affect driveability or safety, but I understand the impact of service centers being overwhelmed.

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

@RXlawdude. I probably should've addressed my posts to specific persons. Its Magic 8 Ball that I'm mostly addressing, but others as well. Not sure how you filter people. i didn't know that is an option, though i'm not sure I need that either.
In any case, there was one thing from OP that did in fact affect drivability and safety found here:

2/12/19 - I came back to attempt delivery again after they repaired the glass but discovered the windshield wipers weren't working because the service team either damaged the power coupler to the wipers or didn't fully seat them. I noticed this after driving on the freeway in the rain and having to immediately get off and navigate the roads with my head out the windows because of the historic storm that week.

That's not insignificant. It could also happen with any car, in any garage. just unfortunate. But again, I find the responses to folks who post concerns to be interesting. They're described as over the top, shrill, using hyperbole, and a complete diminishment up to an including ignoring facts and then using revisionist history to put a narrative on the post that just simply isn't true. I've also seen people be over the top and shrill. Be unreasonable. Likely many are in fact trolls. But Magic and others need to slow their roll a bit when acting as the Tesla brand police. some folks simply have shitty experiences.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

Read the prior posts (there is historical evidence of the OP going with hyperbole and FUD). Again, “Lemon” and “Can’t contact” in the title is FUD language that someone who is sincerely looking for help from people that knows the ins and outs are not likely to take kindly. Notice the replies prior to mine were snarky with no real help. I am, at least, explaining the reason for the snarkiness, is that helpful?

terry.k.morrow | 17. mars 2019

@Magic - yes, explanations of your position are helpful. It gave me pause. And i'm totally open to idea OP might be troll. Per your question, I did in fact look at "prior posts of the historical evidence", and found that the evidence was described inaccurately (unless I was making an error in my own search). That inaccurate description of the historical evidence is what made me double down on the idea that responses to posts are at times way more over the top and full of hyperbole and shrillness than the post people are responding to in the first place. This feels like one of those times, in my opinion.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

Despite inaccuracies in dates did you read the other posts?
Again, “lemon” and “can’t contact” in the title is enough to give the OP some pushback, IMO, combined with prior history the OP may be sincere but then they are completely clueless as to how to get real help from people that are into TESLA and know the ropes.

Carl Thompson | 17. mars 2019

@Magic thinks he's so perceptive that he knows what motivates people and can judge their intentions from a few posts in a forum. @Magic is an annoying idiot.

I don't know whether the OP is sincere or not. But there is nothing in his OP or his considered responses that make me suspect he is not for real. So'll I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

It's easier for me to believe the OP I guess because I myself have had more issues than he or she has. And these same people that claim to be so able to know another person's mind were absolutely certain that I was a hired troll that doesn't own a Tesla. Even after I'd posted pictures of my account screen and my car some they still wouldn't admit they were wrong.

So, OP, don't worry about the pro-Tesla trolls here. Even if they throw out their wild accusations and others make excuses for their behavior the are plenty more people here that are willing to listen and give you advice.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. mars 2019

The issue here CT is that I am actually trying to help the OP by advising them how to modify their communication if they want help here. I notice your lengthy post bashes me but does nothing in attempt to help the OP.

lilbean | 17. mars 2019

Get yellow vinyl wrap.

tomasrey88 | 17. mars 2019

call your local service center. use yelp to find the phone number. call them instead of fremont california.