Fun with Tesla service

Cmaier

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Back in late January I got notice from tesla that the parts they needed for a recall were in, and I should make a service appointment. This is for the flash memory issue, where the write-cycle wear kills the flash and then everything dies. I’ve also had two other issues that I wanted them to take care of. First, my center screen is turning yellow again. I had this repaired a couple years ago under warranty - they told me back then that all they could do was use a UV lamp to re-cure the adhesive. It worked, but now the screen edges are again yellow. It’s another well known manufacturing defect, and even my buddy’s much newer Model S (2019) ran into the issue. Second issue is the left screen - where the speedometer is - has rebooted several times while I’m driving, and the steering wheel controls freeze up. Both seemed to coincide with the software update I recently had that changed the center screen user interface.

Anyway, I had to postpone my appointment, originally in February, a couple of times, and each time it’s like a month wait before I can get an appointment, so my appointment was today at a tesla service center around 7 miles from my house, instead of the one I normally go to a mile from my office. This one is open on saturday, which seemed convenient, whereas the other is not.

I take my car in, and the service advisor tells me the new flash should solve the reboot issue (seems doubtful), and then offers to fix the yellow screen for “real” instead of the UV light bandaid - since they will have the console taken apart anyway, he’s willing to sell me a new touch screen for around $400, no labor cost. I pointed out that I first reported this issue 2 or 3 years back when the car was under warranty, and they told me there was nothing they could do other than UV - how come suddenly when it’s me that has to pay the bill they have another solution? He was a bit flummoxed - he hemmed and hawed and aww shucksed something about it being a cosmetic issue. I told him no thanks, just do the UV light. (I have to go back and read the terms of the warranty that was in effect when I bought the car - I think I have a case here).

Anyway, next came the recall thing. He says, essentially “don’t worry, easy fix, same day. We have the part ready to go. Just one thing - an engineer from Tesla has to sign off on the replacement, even though it is a recall, even though we told you it was ready to go months ago, and even though we knew you had an appointment today, it turns out that the engineers don’t work on weekends, so we’ll need to keep your car for a few days. Oh, and we don’t have any loaners.”

I took my car and left. I rescheduled for the service center near my office in a few weeks.

But I get home and couldn’t remember the exact time, so I go to the Tesla app - it turns out it is locked in “in service” mode, insisting my car is currently being repaired. And not being repaired at the service center I took it to. Nope, Tesla insisted my car was at the service center near my office, which isn’t even open today. Since the app was stuck in “in service” mode, most of its functionality didn’t work, and I couldn’t manage or see my appointments.

So I figure I need to call Tesla to deal with it. I call them, and the robot says “we see the car is currently being serviced. Use the app to communicate with the service center.” The robot then hangs up, leaving me no option.

I finally figured out a magic path through the phone tree - I think I had to choose the “i need help with a home charger” option - to get, eventually, to a human, who was at least able to sort the app thing out, though even he couldn’t figure out why the system thought my car was in that particular service center.

Elon Musk is reason number 1 I won’t buy another Tesla. But the inability to direct dial a local service center is a close number 2.
 

AG_PhamD

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It’s stories like these that would make me never buy a Tesla despite at the moment being the most practical choice. Most Tesla owners I know have nightmares with getting service within a reasonable time period (or price for out of warranty cars). It’s one thing if a car is unreliable but you otherwise love it. It’s another when the service leaves much to be desired.

Hopefully one of these days Tesla will get themselves together.
 

Apple fanboy

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Back in late January I got notice from tesla that the parts they needed for a recall were in, and I should make a service appointment. This is for the flash memory issue, where the write-cycle wear kills the flash and then everything dies. I’ve also had two other issues that I wanted them to take care of. First, my center screen is turning yellow again. I had this repaired a couple years ago under warranty - they told me back then that all they could do was use a UV lamp to re-cure the adhesive. It worked, but now the screen edges are again yellow. It’s another well known manufacturing defect, and even my buddy’s much newer Model S (2019) ran into the issue. Second issue is the left screen - where the speedometer is - has rebooted several times while I’m driving, and the steering wheel controls freeze up. Both seemed to coincide with the software update I recently had that changed the center screen user interface.

Anyway, I had to postpone my appointment, originally in February, a couple of times, and each time it’s like a month wait before I can get an appointment, so my appointment was today at a tesla service center around 7 miles from my house, instead of the one I normally go to a mile from my office. This one is open on saturday, which seemed convenient, whereas the other is not.

I take my car in, and the service advisor tells me the new flash should solve the reboot issue (seems doubtful), and then offers to fix the yellow screen for “real” instead of the UV light bandaid - since they will have the console taken apart anyway, he’s willing to sell me a new touch screen for around $400, no labor cost. I pointed out that I first reported this issue 2 or 3 years back when the car was under warranty, and they told me there was nothing they could do other than UV - how come suddenly when it’s me that has to pay the bill they have another solution? He was a bit flummoxed - he hemmed and hawed and aww shucksed something about it being a cosmetic issue. I told him no thanks, just do the UV light. (I have to go back and read the terms of the warranty that was in effect when I bought the car - I think I have a case here).

Anyway, next came the recall thing. He says, essentially “don’t worry, easy fix, same day. We have the part ready to go. Just one thing - an engineer from Tesla has to sign off on the replacement, even though it is a recall, even though we told you it was ready to go months ago, and even though we knew you had an appointment today, it turns out that the engineers don’t work on weekends, so we’ll need to keep your car for a few days. Oh, and we don’t have any loaners.”

I took my car and left. I rescheduled for the service center near my office in a few weeks.

But I get home and couldn’t remember the exact time, so I go to the Tesla app - it turns out it is locked in “in service” mode, insisting my car is currently being repaired. And not being repaired at the service center I took it to. Nope, Tesla insisted my car was at the service center near my office, which isn’t even open today. Since the app was stuck in “in service” mode, most of its functionality didn’t work, and I couldn’t manage or see my appointments.

So I figure I need to call Tesla to deal with it. I call them, and the robot says “we see the car is currently being serviced. Use the app to communicate with the service center.” The robot then hangs up, leaving me no option.

I finally figured out a magic path through the phone tree - I think I had to choose the “i need help with a home charger” option - to get, eventually, to a human, who was at least able to sort the app thing out, though even he couldn’t figure out why the system thought my car was in that particular service center.

Elon Musk is reason number 1 I won’t buy another Tesla. But the inability to direct dial a local service center is a close number 2.
Sounds like a nightmare. My BMW service is due in October. Hopefully things are a bit more smooth for me.
 

Cmaier

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Sounds like a nightmare. My BMW service is due in October. Hopefully things are a bit more smooth for me.
My bmw service has always been smooth. Tesla used to be, too. Last few years has gotten bad.
 

DT

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My BMW service is due in October.

For your EV? I don't plan on any service visits for the entire 3 years (now under 2 ...) we'll own the TM3, what exactly are you getting serviced?
 

Apple fanboy

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For your EV? I don't plan on any service visits for the entire 3 years (now under 2 ...) we'll own the TM3, what exactly are you getting serviced?
It’s just a safety check. Should be in and out pretty quick. But it’s mandatory for the warranty.
 

DT

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It’s stories like these that would make me never buy a Tesla despite at the moment being the most practical choice. Most Tesla owners I know have nightmares with getting service within a reasonable time period (or price for out of warranty cars). It’s one thing if a car is unreliable but you otherwise love it. It’s another when the service leaves much to be desired.

Hopefully one of these days Tesla will get themselves together.

Yeah, I went in knowing the service might be an issue, we drive very little and have two cars, so I have a touch more flexibility if we were to have a more extended service situation.

There's also plenty of reports (and as reported directly from a close friend of mine) where it went just fine, and even by most measures, excellent.

If this car ever becomes problematic, it's gone. If in < 2 years when we return it, another company, for example, BMW has a good option for me (something not build on an ICE platform with the same performance specs), I'll seriously consider one, or a VW, Audi, etc., etc., you know, I'll assess the situation at the time. That also assumes what I'm pretty confident will happen in terms of charging networks (i.e., Tesla opens their SuCs, non-Tesla DCFC has decent footprint improvements).
 
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