Join The Community

How well is Tesla dealing with the 'issues'?

Although it is highly unlikely I will ever own a MS (I did buy some shares though!), I have Tesla psychosis and read the forum topics daily!

Awesome car and I already consider my ice-age car bizarre..........

The fiendish activity recently on the forum re the new pricing/Tesla 'attitude'/sales experience made me wonder how well Tesla has addressed the concerns that have routinely been raised on the forums. Obviously Tesla will want to increase prices till demand and supply match - there is no real direct comparison with any other car so pricing is, to a large extent, 'arbitrary'.

But Tesla need to stay aware that the overall car experience has to be excellent to keep everyone happy. How many of the recurring issues with the Model S during its first year of production have been adequately resolved in the latest cars?

Over the months the main topics seemed to be:-

1) Unsatisfactory purchase experience with conflicting/inadequate info
2) Incomplete pre-delivery checks with faults not flagged up
3) Poor paintwork or damage on delivery
4) Pano roof issues - operation and noise
5) Door/window seal problems resulting in noise
6) Software/hardware glitches
7) Road noise - (has insulation been improved?)
8) Variable motor/transmission noise/whine
9) Water ingress (during washing - common?)
10)Unpredictable delivery dates
11)'Missing' high-end/luxury features - cameras; parking sensors; tramlines in rear view screen; etc
12)Below 'expected' seating comfort ("Too firm" - have the seats been altered since introduction?)

Most of the other comments are picky or subjective but these directly relate to build quality (any others?) and are initially excusable as Tesla start and then ramp up production but will harm the image of the marque if they are not quickly addressed.

Have earlier cars with these issues been sorted by Tesla to the owners' satisfaction by now?

We all want Tesla to succeed and produce not only an awesome, but an awesomely perfect car!


You only hear about issues. Eveyone does not write in every day about the thousands of features and devices that work flawlessly every drive.

I think these items fall into three categories: car, service, and experience with TM corporate.

I've had several issues and have read about many others. In summary:

Car is awesome!

Service is excellent most of the time, and continues to improve.

Experience with TM corporate needs major improvements. Many concerns are ignored or go unresolved. Customers are not consistently treated fairly. TM holds all the power, knows it, and abuses it. Many issues require Forum members to apply excessive public pressure and persistence rather than receiving appropriate responses quickly. For the price of a Model S, I expect a Nordstrom-level experience.

@ eAdopter - I've been reading your negative experiences in other threads. I notice, as in the above post, your hyperbole gets quite prominent when you start discussing Tesla. It sounds like you had a bad experience? Would you mind relating your own experience and what happened, so we can make up our own minds, rather than saying negative things in a vacuum?

You've labeled Tesla as a company that ignores consumers, has no concern to resolve issues, treats customers unfairly and abuses its "power". Wow! You would think buying a Tesla vehicle is like visiting Iran... can you please support some of your statements with actual examples or incidents? Given your vehement, surely your language is resulting from a personal experience? I'd love to hear it, as I'm taking delivery on 8/15 and sharing is caring! :)

I have had some issues (mostly related to 3,4 and 5). I am fortunate that my problems are all minor issues with the "old" technology. Tesla didn't reinvent every single thing in a car. If I have a problem with the paint, for instance, I know it can be fixed because the car industry solved that problem long ago. I would be much more worried about a problem with the battery/motor/touchscreen. Any malfunctions in those items could be more indicative of a design flaw that Tesla can't easily remedy or an ongoing problem.

My communication with the company has been great. I have nothing but praise in this area. I have been caught bragging to others about the excellent communication I have experienced

My experience with the service has been overall very positive, but I have had some issues. Basically, they seem very eager to fix problems and they go to great lengths to make the service painless. However, several of my issues that required service were related to or even caused by a previous service attempt. So, I applaud their efforts, but their results need some work. I am confident this will improve as the service technicians get more experience.

I've had 2 great service experiences. During both they addressed @GuyDormehl's #5 on the passenger front window/seal. No problems in the last 1k miles.

I've had none of the other problems listed.

@ GuyDormehl
On #6, software glitches? Hmm...all those can be corrected with an over the air update to your car. I've gotten a number of updates since December, all improving the car (aside from Sleep mode which we've been told is coming soon).

If any other non-Tesla car out there had a software issue there would be a recall. In fact, the way Tesla rolls out software updates slowly and respond to feedback so well, shows me that they are doing things the right way.

I have had the car for 2+ weeks > 1,200 miles on it and I have not experienced one thing that the forums talk about. I am generally viewed by others as "picky", while I think that assessment is arguable, I would agree that I do not take things with a grain of salt as often as I probably should. That said, my experience thus far has been stellar. Communication, build quality, etc. Maybe more miles / time will tell a more complete story, or perhaps Tesla has dealt with some of these issues successfully.

Unfortunately, I think some of the comms issues are going to be around for a while. Like any startup, Tesla needs to think hard about how it grows head count and where it goes. If you add a new HC, where will it do the most good. I would guess, for a while to come engineering, manufacturing and service are going to continue to get priority over HQ functions, which I would argue is me right call.


Nice try @Guy

After 5 month and 5000 miles
1) no
2) no
3) no
4) n/a
5) no
6) no
7) no
8) no
9) no
10) no
11) no
12) no


No way! Tesla has done backflips to make things happen.
As soon as they validate feedback, they act. It doesn't take the forums to make this happen. Some folks are just inclined to use the forums as a sounding board or, as a resource or, to find out if their situation is an anomoly or not.

They do have growing pains as they add staff and systems. It is mindblowing how far they have come and how quickly they adapt. It is a young and agile company that wants to succeed.

Oops... missed the "p" in eAdopter. Sorry.

I am very happy with my T. I've had issues though:

- DRL led light out - fixed recently
- car out of alignment after picking up from factory - fixed recently
- Drive unit to be replaced because of whine

I think service is good and responsive, they just need to open more service centers and that happening now. I think Tesla hurried a little bit to get my car finished by the end of the quarter, but we are all early adopters and a certain amount of patience has to go along with that fact (I know, I own a 2011 Leaf also).

I think Mr. Musk has done a better job rolling out the S than Carlos Ghosn has done with the Leaf. My experience is that nobody at the Nissan service centers knows how to fix anything on the Leaf.

TM will raise prices till demand drops to meet supply? I doubt it. They will avoid stoking demand to avoid overwhelming production capacity, for the time being, but will expand production as fast as consistent with QC to make it possible to "test the real level of demand", as Elon once put it.

My father's P85 had some significant damage that was over looked on delivery. The rear spoiler had a chunk taken out and the rear bumper had a hole in it. We drove over an hour and a half to pick up the car so it was quite disappointing to arrive and see that.

We did take delivery and Tesla towed the car back to New York to replace the bumper a week later. I chalk it up to startup glitches and hurrying to meet demand. Beyond that the car has been great so far.

Have had a few glitches, the responsiveness has been excellent. The ENTIRE PROCESS has been awesome. I've only purchased Porsches and a Jaguar over the past 15 years, and it has easily topped those experiences...

Every time I turn around, the car and the company amazes me with excellence and dedication. They will never please everyone and those few are the ones that post the most. Tesla has no major problems, they get it. All of it.

1250 miles in 2 1/2 weeks. Issues:

  • Slacker and the iPhone app inactive at delivery, went live the next morning
  • Charge cable failure, replacement delivered to me on Saturday 14 hours after I reported the problem to Tesla
  • Have to give a demo ride or talk to average of one carful of co-workers each day
  • Seat belt cuts into my neck, unless I use a $3 after market clip
  • Not getting cash back on my credit card from buying gasoline
  • Sore smile muscles
  • No good place to put my morning donut, have to use the floor tray and a napkin
  • Listening to too many UK, German, and Indian radio stations
  • Beginning to forget how to use a starter, parking brake, gas pump, oil filter, and smog inspection station
  • Because I back into my driveway, I done directly see my garage door. So I drove off one morning with garage door still open
  • Have to restrain myself from jumping directly to cruising speed from stop signs and stop lights

Dcp9142 enjoyed your post-the good and the humorous parts!

@Dcp9142 you are so funny. Love those later issues. Already lined up folks at work for test drive (and the car is not here until September). Got the news this morning that the campus will have solar plugs installed by the end of this year.

I'm going through crisis of personality dissonance right now. On one hand, I don't like to attract attention. On the other hand, Model S is making a sales person out of me, to the point of thinking about putting a note on the car at work: "If you have questions about this car, feel free to e-mail me at". I'm so ashamed and happy at the same time, a big issue that Tesla will not be able to solve.

Funny? These are serious issues! Gets hard to get from the parking lot to my office without interruption. And I don't know how I'll ever use all that frank space. The footwell space in trunk holds all the stuff I used to keep in my trunk, except that reusable shopping bags are left to bounce around in there.

Then there is the problem of remembering to plug it in. I never had to do that with my Jeep.

Also, I have to wait to get my HOV stickers, so I can't drive in the carpool lane yet. And the free parking pass for the city garages can't be gotten until my registration shows up.

And there's no place to hang my suit coat.

Then there's the problem of figuring out how to engage the cloaking device.

Lots of serious issues, you know.

Sorry, cloaking device was abandoned in favor of rear seat cup holders.

You don't need a cloaking device in Silicon Valley... you are invisible in the heard.


actually not true, you are visible to others in the herd, invisible to those not in the herd because of all that instant torque

I think the number of issues is remarkably small for a new company who've put 13,000 new cars on the road and covered 60 million miles (per the Q2 Shareholder letter)

A little off topic.....I have a question.......I assume 13,000 is how many cars delivered from June 2012 to end of June 2013. If current VIN's are 19,500.....where are those 6,000 cars?

I realize some are loaners, and store models, and Europe not yet delivered, and cars delivered during July & Aug 2013, and some still in production but not delivered.......but 6,000 still seems high?? Am I missing something?

Just to add to topic thread......My issue with Model S is still the same since date of delivery! Hubby is not good with sharing, but I don't think TM can help me with custody. :-((

Still Grinning from the passenger seat.
J. :-))

Ops.....6,500 cars........


@AmpedRealtor (and a few others)
Here's the most recent example

I posted my opinion in the thread. This case of TM behavior is consistent with experiences many have had with TM corporate. Again, I think the car is awesome! The service is excellent and improving! I think the corporate penny pinching is ridiculous. I don't think customers should suffer financially when TM mishandles a pricing transition.

And yes, I think the pricing transition was mishandled. A minimum of 6-8 weeks notice would have been appropriate given the circumstances of ordering the car online and waiting 6-8 weeks for production.

@ eAdopter,

You link to a thread about someone who was able to get a "concession" from Tesla because they were willing to move up his delivery date. This person had a prior order with a confirmed delivery date, but the addition of a few options under the new normal initially pushed his delivery date back. Tesla showed excellent customer service by accommodating this buyer with a date closer to his original delivery date.

This whole time you have been complaining about how Tesla "doesn't give a damn" and how it "abuses its power" and "doesn't value early customers" because of its supposed inflexibility. Now you point to a thread where Tesla gave a very reasonable accommodation to a customer - and Tesla should be applauded for this - yet in your mind this accommodation is further proof of some evildoing by Tesla.

All I can say is that you are one very bitter individual who will never be satisfied.

Dang! Wrong link. I'll find the correct one...