If I had it to do over again on my delivery experience.

If I had it to do over again on my delivery experience.

April 4th 2016 reservation holder here who picked up my Blue RWD Model 3 in Seattle on 8/3. I was one of the many who bailed on AWD when we saw the glut of RWD's being delivered.
I've hesitated to leave a review mainly because of the bitter taste of my delivery experience all self created by me. I've spent so many months in complete OCD, refreshing every forum and group 24/7.
Paint flaws, panel gaps, check lists, 15 minute delivery, reading so much on this stuff for so long had me so worked up with fear that I wasn't myself when delivery day came.

Instead of being filled with anticipation and joy I was hesitant and unsure. I work across the street from the Seattle Delivery Center. So I started popping in a few days before delivery virtually demanding to pre inspect the car........"Sir the car is not here yet". On the day of delivery I showed up 1 1/2 hrs early to have some time inspecting the car. They're not really set up to do that, the cars are in another room until they move them up for the delivery and they are real busy with other deliveries.

Finally they appeased my panic and brought the car up 1/2 hour before delivery. Now I jumped into action on my paranoid mission to find the flaws I just new that my bad luck would bring. I found things on the paint that I never would have noticed before even if you had tried to point them out to me. Suddenly I'm calling for the delivery specification manager ( Who knew there was such a thing) who comes out along with a detailer.
At one point four of us were hunched down looking for a flaw on the bumper that I couldn't even explain. " What are we looking for sir"......never mind. The detailer is following me around and around the car trying to buff away my paranoia.

Panel gaps......panel many times I've read the horror stories. All the gaps were looking great as I'm microscopically inspecting them. Then I see it......Look at that I say! I knew it! I could see the left tail light wasn't completely flush where the trunk met the car. Suddenly in my mind this was a HUGE issue, one that EVERYONE would see. Can't they fix this? I'm assured that its within the tolerances.
The manager measures it and says its off 1 millimeter which is within the tolerance. They informed me that unfortunately it would make it worse to try and move things to make this flush.

Up until this point my wife was being patient with my bizarre behavior. Now she's looking at me like I'm crazy when I ask her if we should accept delivery. Now she's had enough...."we're leaving with this car". So I say ok I'm ready to go thru the delivery process. All the time he's explaining the car all I can think about is I'm getting stuck with a lemon. As I drive away I should have been ecstatic, instead I'm disappointed.

Fast forward to after delivery day. I'm not going to tell you all how transformative an experience it is to own and drive this car, how much I enjoy driving it. You all know this already. Nothing prepared me for how much I would enjoy owning this car.

I have nothing against those demanding perfection before forking $60k for a car virtually sight unseen, having never even sat in one before driving away with it. But reading about about this subject for months before delivery turned me into something I'm not. In the end it's a car. Most new cars won't pass a pages long microscopic inspection checklist. Sure I would prefer to draw the perfect car straw. But a millimeter gap deviation and a few microscopic paint flaws should not have been enough to ruin what should have been a great day.

If I had it to do over again the day would have gone completely different. As you're waiting with nervous anticipation for your delivery day, building your checklist. I recommend from experience to just relax. The delivery day will come when it comes, and you'll be blown away by this car in ways you can't even imagine regardless if you draw the lucky perfect car straw or not.
I've been very high maintenance with my impatience thru this experience. Every Tesla Employee who has dealt with my angst has been very helpful and professional. I'll make my way over to the delivery center eventually to apologize for my bizarre behavior and thank them for their patience.

joey | 2018年8月12日

I recommend hard liquor while your waiting.

wiboater4 | 2018年8月12日

@ Joey , Good one LOL. Greg , nice post. I've been reading all those nit pic posts to but I'm now in the"Cry wolf stage " heard so many of them I am ignoring them and making my own decision when I pick mine up eventually. Keeping in mind how many got delivered with no issues!

Bighorn | 2018年8月12日

Admirable self-awareness—imagine if weddings were this fraught! Glad you could get past the contagion of mental illness to appreciate what you’ve been blessed with. Welcome!

ebmcs03 | 2018年8月12日

Yup good post lucky I want tainted by those who’ve posted that theses cares are made by the car devils and will look like a jig saw puzzle put together.

I read the checklist kind of knew what to look for that unique to this car, like the panel gaps. Cracked glass. Scraped under side or peeling headliner. When I took delivery I quickly looked for these things and the paint but there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The panels were not 100 lined up but well within Specs. I compared it to the new Toyota that was sitting in the garage and there was no difference in worksmanship, compared it to a 2012 Mercedes. Looked similiar.

Basically My the car is fine. Don’t over not pick. Unless it’s overly obvious. Step back and few feet look again and then decide. Otherwise you won’t be happy.

Claudine. | 2018年8月12日

Good story.

During my wait, that checklist made me find things on my Toyota I would have never noticed.

So, I decided not to bring the checklist. My husband found one noticable thing when he sat in the back. The rubber door lining had a ripple look. Delivery guy said that was normal.

I did point it out when I had to get a headlight replaced when a signature light went out but servce said there's nothing they can do. I had read some other people had the same issues with mix results.

I honestly don't care or even think about it anymore.

It's an amazing car and just about perfect.

Zidarich | 2018年8月12日

Thanks for sharing this. Hope it helps someone else with their experience and allows them to enjoy this process a whole lot more.

Liferules | 2018年8月12日

@Marinergreg, nicely written post! And good advice!

David N | 2018年8月12日

“I'll make my way over to the delivery center eventually to apologize for my bizarre behavior and thank them for their patience.“
Cookies always are appreciated.
Thanks for your post, so very true. In all the cars I’ve purchased over the last 35 yrs I’ve never did any kind of inspection/walk-around.
Reading posts on these forums could certainly create a negative/cautious bias ahead of time causing one to miss the joy and excitement of the moment.
I’m glad things turned out well and thank you for sharing your expierance .

Revelate | 2018年8月12日

+1 Bighorn.

Greg: you aren't the only one that can get worked up for not much reason... I was going down the rabbit hole of PPF and ceramic based on this forum and a few others, and then I just stopped and looked at my current car in the garage this morning.

It's filthy. Should I wash it? Nah, don't give a flock, bigger things in my life to worry about. So why am I thinking about this ceramic thing for the new car? At some point it won't be a new car, and at that point I'm probably going to feel the same way... ain't worth worrying about.

So don't beat yourself up over this one; the important thing is to learn from the experience and I strongly suspect you have, so just go enjoy your car some more :).

gballant4570 | 2018年8月12日

Revelate, +10

cascadiadesign | 2018年8月12日

I picked up in Bellevue WA 3 weeks ago. Yeah - the stories lead you to believe you have to go in with your 75 point checklist, a magnifier, lay on the floor, etc. Yes, people have found flaws and even rejected deliveries.

I approached it as I would if buying a new car off a dealership. Walked around the car twice looking for any obvious flaws, but left my magnifier and micrometer at home. The main thing I checked for were paint chips and wheel rash, as it could be difficult to prove later the car was delivered that way. Found nothing. I figured anything else I found later would be easy to document & get fixed.

The only thing I discovered after having the car a couple of days was a dull spot on the paint about 3" in diameter. Obviously caused by a buffer, and only visible at a certain angle in dim light. Took some polishing compound and a micro-fiber cloth and rubbed it out by hand in 5 minutes.

I agree, better to approach delivery with a positive view, but of course take a couple of slow walks around the car.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 2018年8月12日

marinergreg: God bless your Wife. Congratulations!

theblindtree | 2018年8月12日

Yeah, there is no sense of losing the magic of it all for the sake of hoping for perfection. You could've paid a million for it and it would still not likely be flawless. The whole point is to accept what it is: an amazing, future-forward vehicle that few others can even hope to compete against. You're in a good place. Enjoy the moment. :)

james | 2018年8月12日

My wife and I were supposed to take delivery yesterday at 5pm here in So Cal. Got a call the day before vaguely telling us that they need to cance our pick up date due to some diagnostic issue. We asked how long, but no answer was given. The website no longer has a VIN and our pick up date now shows a range; anytime between tomorrow and 30 days out. We already finalized our financing, so I really hope I’m not paying for a car that I don’t have :(
Listen, I’m glad that they inspect the cars and delay the pick up if there is an issue rather than have the customer come back. I get it. But, something feels off. It kind of feels like the car didn’t even exist yet and they were waiting for us to provide proof of payment before they cancelled the delivery date and are now actually working on everything.

I like to think I have decent patience. But, cancelling last minute without any idea of when the new date will be feels like Tesla was completely unprepared.

1 milimeter imperfections are the least of my worries at this point :)

sfbayevrook | 2018年8月12日

+100 @marinegreg Great advice to those who are still waiting and stressing over their delivery experience!

I was lucky that we got a home delivery, where I only had 10 minutes to inspect the car and learn it's features. No time to nitpick or measure with calipers lol. That evening, a friend and I took our two dogs over to the dog park, so the interior ended up with dog prints all over the seats. No more pristine interior to stress over now either :) Use the car and enjoy it...the seats and exterior can be cleaned and detailed again later!

@james I do feel bad for you and others on the forum who experience delivery delays and communications issues. Most are flawless like mine, but for those that aren't I can understand your frustrations.

Carl Thompson | 2018年8月12日

I also purposely didn't bring a checklist when I picked up. If it's not obvious just looking at the car from a normal distance then it's silly to worry about. I have some minor paint defects but the only reason I noticed them is because my face was 12 inches from the car as I hand washed it. Did I take the car back to Tesla demanding that they fix something no one would ever notice? No. I just stopped hand washing the car! ;-)

The short version is it's a really good car. Sure you can find things to complain about if you're the type of person that _needs_ to find something to complain about, just like with any other car. But life's too short. Just enjoy it.

Treetoe | 2018年8月12日

Useful post. Thanks.

Jbhill | 2018年8月12日

Best advice I have seen on this forum in months. Well-said, marinergreg!

jrscarlett | 2018年8月12日

Think we all were influenced by some of the early defect reporting to be super anal-retentive. I now use these new observation skills to inspect other manufacturers cars for panel gaps when in stop and go traffic (while on Autopilot of course). Holy cow there are some really bad panel gaps on so-called mainstream vendors. Seems like after Feb/Mar 2018 panel gaps became a non-issue.

stlouis2003 | 2018年8月12日

Great post it helps.

California85D | 2018年8月12日

Yep, this is some good advice.

xad | 2018年8月12日

Good post @marinergreg, and great advice!

Rjk | 2018年8月12日

Thank you for sharing , @marinergreg. You message is a dose of reality that will help many including myself.
I will be careful not to get overly hyped up on what could be wrong with the new pride and joy. It’s a great sanity check to think, did I look for these things in my ice cars? I am going to take more extreme car of this car because it’s more expensive than the cars I typically bought. But this is not a show car for me.. it is a daily use car that will be a ton of fun and will hopefully make driving enjoyable again. I am going to do everything I can to enjoy the delivery experience, including being patient with Tesla if there is something I want them to correct.

Nothing wrong with the checklist to eliminate surprises, just don’t let them make you look for trouble .

ReD eXiLe ms us | 2018年8月12日

If you spend time closely examining a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or McLaren, you will probably find 'issues' as readily apparent as those imagined on a Tesla.

marinergreg | 2018年8月12日

I'll add this personal experience on panel gaps, which are something up until now that I've never heard of, looked at or paid any attention to. On our 3rd day of ownership my wife and I took a drive to visit and try out a Tesla charging station. We parked next to a Model S owner who wanted to check out my model 3 and was nice enough to spend the next 20 minutes bringing me up to speed on owning a Tesla.

I was showing him the 1 millimeter imperfection on my tail light. He walked me over to his two year old Model S and showed me very large panel gaps and differences between on side of the car and the other. I was kind of shocked by them and that I hadn't even noticed these now glaring flaws.
Was he ashamed of these gaps, did it alter his enthusiasm and enjoyment of his Model S. Not in the least, he just shook it off with they were within Teslas tolerance.
This was a real eye opener for me. Gave me a whole new perspective. Panel gaps aren't a Model 3 thing.

efuseakay | 2018年8月12日

Any paint issues that aren't huge gouges/scratches/bubbling, I'll have my detailer deal with before he puts on the PPF. I feel ya though. When my time comes, hopefully I won't be "one of those" customers. But I am spending $80k on this car and I want it as perfect as it can be. Within reason of course. Hopefully my car won't have any severe issues that require sending to the body shop, or breaking down within hours/days. The 12v battery issues concern me too. But what the heck. YOLO!

Cyphr1s | 2018年8月12日

Great story. Can I take you with my to inspect my Tesla at delivery so I don't miss anything? :D

jjt2122 | 2018年8月12日

I think I’m nervous about my delivery day too, but from what I’ve read about Tesla delivery centers is the employees are super cool and accomidating, so I’m gonna go in this Saturday to pick up my RWD M3 without worrying so much.

libra89 | 2018年8月13日

I agree 1000% with the sentiment of this post. Even my Venza has minor inconsistencies in the panels. MINOR. Yes, I can find them if I look, but it changes nothing about the car. So I am not going to go looking for things that don't exist on my new ride when the time comes. If it's not obvious on a normal walk around inspection, it's not a big deal.

I took a field trip to the Dallas Service Center and walked the lot. I saw several cars. I did come across one model 3 that had a defect on the frunk lid that was so big and obvious that I walked backward to reinspect if I'd seen what I thought I'd seen. Yep, it was a pretty big defect that a detailer wouldn't be able to fix. But of the dozens of cars on their lot, it was just one like that. I'm going to live on the side of positivity and not obsess over what might go wrong on delivery. I am hoping that earns me some good karma and a smooth delivery with a problem-free vehicle.

steve | 2018年8月13日

@marinergreg thanks for posting this. Thursday's the day. :)

janendan | 2018年8月14日

I recommend those who pay for EAP to check Control>Autopilot>Setting. You don’t get ‘Setting’ if they forget to add EAP. And you will never get displays.

lacey.loud | 2018年8月17日

My husband and I are now a week past our delivery date. Still no answer as to what is wrong and no new delivery date given. Reps simply say that we should have a new date within a week. But, well...they have been saying that for a week already. :(

john.w.kirkwood | 2018年8月17日

Awesome perspective, @marinergreg.

Lower "expectations" (looking for faults), higher appreciation. This applies to just about everything in life BTW.

Thanks! This will temper my own obsessiveness.

Tesla_User | 2018年8月17日

Great posts. I am going to get my car tomorrow. Excited and will keep in mind the 'checklist paranoia'

TimbersThornsBlazers | 2019年4月24日

We're taking delivery of a new LR AWD on Friday, and I had previously read so many "horror stories" about panel gaps / refused deliveries / etc... that I just went searching through the forum to find posts that would teach me what to look for before we accept the car.

Mind you, I've never done that in any obsessive way with any other vehicle I've ever purchased in my life.

Instead, upon searching... I found this post... and even though it's old, wanted to thank @marinergreg for putting things back into perspective again. I figured bumping this back up to the top would potentially help other new owners who might be getting ready to take delivery, as well.