Tesla is a different kind of car company. For better or worse...

Brokedoc

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#1
We have a small family here at M3OC compared to some of the other Tesla user groups. A few of our members are already blessed to own a Tesla but I get the feeling from the posts that most members are getting the M3 as their first Tesla.

I wanted to point out that your experience with your first Tesla will be very much like being a newlywed. It starts really nice and we're really happy until we discover little, annoying things but learn to live with them because we're REALLY impressed with the whole package. Tesla owners are the most likely to buy another car of the same brand/model than any other car manufacturer. Over 90%. The next closest car is the Corvette.

Tesla is truly a different kind of car company. They don't think like an old fashioned car company. Their cars don't look like regular cars, don't drive like regular cars, and aren't manufactured like regular cars. We are seeing different things like the gorgeous panoramic glass and think "why didn't cars ALWAYS have THAT?" Why don't ALL cars have apps where you can remotely unlock the car or turn on the climate control or check to see if the trunk is locked? There will be a fleet of service technicians that will come to you and fix 80% of any problems that you may have with your car instead of taking it to their shop to get it fixed.

If you find a software bug, you can click on the voice command button and say "Bug Report...There's a glitch when I try to stream Bloomberg Radio" and it supposedly sends the report back to the powers that be (who have yet to fix my glitch).

I point this out because MANY people will be buying their M3 and stretching their budgets and expecting their cars to be perfected by the genius that is Elon Musk. WITHOUT A DOUBT, the M3 will be amazing and a pleasure to own. Perfect, it will not be.

The most irritating thing that Tesla does is that their cars always seem to be in some version of Beta Test mode. The good thing is that they are constantly adding newer features but they don't seem to always be perfect and may need several revisions. IF what I'm saying bothers you then Tesla's philosophy as a car company may not be right for you. Old fashioned car companies evaluate every new feature for years and try to get all the bugs out before releasing that feature in a new model year with no future hope of ever upgrading it or fixing quirks. That's doesn't seem very progressive to me.

Yes, a $60k car may be stretching peoples' budgets and you may expect perfection but based on the MS and the MX releases, flaws will occur, even in those $100k+ cars. Just so that you know, when I picked up my MX, the guy showing me the features had to do a soft reboot. I've also had to do that myself in the past 2 months when my center screen locked up.

I apologize if you read this in my post on another thread but aside from my inability to stream Bloomberg Radio, a few quirks that I'm waiting to be fixed in a future update:
  • being able to select alternate routes in the navigation system (c'mon! The nav system is based on Google Maps and my Android phone version allows me to choose alternate routes!)
  • enabling the rain sensing wipers in the MX (that currently work in the MS)
  • creating a quick, easy button to put the car in mode for automatic car wash (currently it requires several steps to put the car in neutral "tow mode" with several button presses and more button presses to put the screen in cleaning mode so the car wash guys don't mess up any settings)
And by the way, did you realize that the M3 doesn't have AM radio? My MX doesn't have AM either. Only the MS has AM. Something about the electrical interference....Tesla says you can stream AM stations instead but I'm still waiting for them to fix my Bloomberg bug....

So keep in mind that Tesla is a very new car company with a completely different way of doing things. Teslas are more comfortable for those that like tapping screens instead of pushing buttons. If you get giddy waiting to get the new features in your next smartphone update, Tesla is your kind of car company. If you still have a flip phone, you may want to consider cancelling your reservation. For me, I love my Tesla more than any car I've ever had and I can't wait to be a newlywed to a Model 3.
 

Akilae

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#2
Hello,

Thank you for your report. I for my part am not expecting perfection. I rather see Tesla like a software company than a typical car manufacturer. I expect to have some bugs in the beginning and that there will be bugs coming up with new features. The point why I like Tesla is their behavior regarding their current fleet the customer has already bought. My ownership experience with my Opel Astra is actually like yours with the Tesla. The connection to my iPhone via bluetooth does not always work, sometimes it disconnects and you have to restart the bluetooth module in the car some things where ratteling in the beginning, water in the taillights etc etc.

But where mechanics took care of my mechanical problems (which of course can happen). Nobody and I mean really nobody cares about the bluetooth issue. I have been at 3 dealerships and of course can't reach Opel directly. And also I haven't got a single software update since I've taken ownership of the car 5 years ago. I think this experience will definatly be different with Tesla even if it takes some time for them to fix things. But at least you have a chance with them.
 

Gary Moore

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#3
We won't be in the news as if we were the first people on Mars. We will be driving the first Model 3's and experiencing what that means.

Tesla is now making history. Eventually, every form of organization must be redesigned, because knowledge and what is possible transforms. Developing roots works well for trees, but we do not live in the magic forest where old trees go out taking strolls.

Taking the first steps into the future means first facing new hurdles and missteps. However, not taking the first steps into the future means extinction.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#4
Love the post!

I'm all in on being an early adopter.

I work in software development, so I appreciate the lifecycle and love the fact that the car we buy today is not the car we end up with when it's time to part ways. So cool! Why wasn't it always like that?

I will call blasphemy in your post though... the setting for automatic car wash should be very hard to find because you shouldn't go through an automatic car wash ;)

Bring on the fun (and quirks)!!

Side note on my dad's Model S the driver side mirror sometimes doesn't fold in on its own and sometimes doesn't unfold on its own. My dad still has the Tesla grin 8 months later though. This car has made me see what my dad must have been like as a kid and that's priceless!
 
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JWardell

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#5
We have a small family here at M3OC compared to some of the other Tesla user groups. A few of our members are already blessed to own a Tesla but I get the feeling from the posts that most members are getting the M3 as their first Tesla.
Your opening statement is a big part of why I'm an active member here at M3OC and not in other Tesla forums. The others are filled with people with a...different perspective on life, who can afford $100,000 cars, who expect things to be a certain way, and will react differently than those who by $35,000 cars.

As for the Beta Test mode comments, this is a huge reason why I want one. I am always an early adopter, I want to always be on the cutting edge, bugs be damned! I'm usually running beta versions of anything I can get my hands on. I love being part of new ideas and features, as well as the chance for feedback and bug reports to mold them and their improvements. It's not for everyone.
 

Brokedoc

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#6
I'm adding this post to this thread because I feel that this is a perfect example of how Tesla is a different car company for better or worse.

Yesterday, Trev tweeted a screenshot from a TMC thread about a father whose son was recently hired/interning at Tesla. Hopefully the dad or the new hire doesn't get into trouble for NDA issues but it gives us a glimpse into the end of quarter push for Elon to ramp GA3 and GA4 and its highly likely 5k/week will be hit this week.

Screenshot_20180623-101540_Gallery.jpg

Of course, the first thing that strikes you is that Elon is on the line torquing bolts. How awesome is that but this goes to show that even though his time is valuable, he believes that being involved in the tedious process sometimes is the best way to find out how to improve the process. I can promise you he's not torquing bolts for a whole shift. He's there for a specific purpose and to solve a particular problem.

Conversely, there are a few alarming things from this post are things such as the morale booster sayings like "robots don't get sore shoulders". Factory line workers aren't supposed to get sore either. That would be an ergonomics or an overwork problem. This would lead to worker injury or burnout and needs to be fixed quickly.

Also, this kid with a quant degree working for Tesla as a summer job or interning has zero manufacturing experience and is thrown into a line to assemble @garsh 's P3D?!?! Just kidding @garsh. They're making test drive P3D vehicles for the stores now. But my point is that these kids are learning a great life lesson about hard work and doing things outside of your comfort zone to help the team but they're inexperienced and assembling a precision machine. That's a little scary.

Of course, Elons recent response to @TrevP 's tweet suggesting adding hands on assembly tasks to the Factory tour suggests that there are lots of GA steps that don't require precision or expertise. Put the screw in the driver, align it in the hole, push the button and the computer torques it appropriately. Hopefully the inexperienced people on GA4 are doing these idiot proof steps.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#7
I'm adding this post to this thread because I feel that this is a perfect example of how Tesla is a different car company for better or worse.

Yesterday, Trev tweeted a screenshot from a TMC thread about a father whose son was recently hired/interning at Tesla. Hopefully the dad or the new hire doesn't get into trouble for NDA issues but it gives us a glimpse into the end of quarter push for Elon to ramp GA3 and GA4 and its highly likely 5k/week will be hit this week.

View attachment 10600

Of course, the first thing that strikes you is that Elon is on the line torquing bolts. How awesome is that but this goes to show that even though his time is valuable, he believes that being involved in the tedious process sometimes is the best way to find out how to improve the process. I can promise you he's not torquing bolts for a whole shift. He's there for a specific purpose and to solve a particular problem.

Conversely, there are a few alarming things from this post are things such as the morale booster sayings like "robots don't get sore shoulders". Factory line workers aren't supposed to get sore either. That would be an ergonomics or an overwork problem. This would lead to worker injury or burnout and needs to be fixed quickly.

Also, this kid with a quant degree working for Tesla as a summer job or interning has zero manufacturing experience and is thrown into a line to assemble @garsh 's P3D?!?! Just kidding @garsh. They're making test drive P3D vehicles for the stores now. But my point is that these kids are learning a great life lesson about hard work and doing things outside of your comfort zone to help the team but they're inexperienced and assembling a precision machine. That's a little scary.

Of course, Elons recent response to @TrevP 's tweet suggesting adding hands on assembly tasks to the Factory tour suggests that there are lots of GA steps that don't require precision or expertise. Put the screw in the driver, align it in the hole, push the button and the computer torques it appropriately. Hopefully the inexperienced people on GA4 are doing these idiot proof steps.
I think this is awesome! If you watch Undercover Boss and you see CEOs that can’t do the most basic functions of their company (of course it’s dramatized for TV I’m sure), but it is neat to see that Elon is clearly not one of those CEOs!
 

Brokedoc

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#8
Delivery of my Tesla Model 3 was scheduled for today 5 pm in Westmont, IL.
This morning I was informed that my vehicle was dead on arrival.
They talked about replacing a 12V battery they did not have in stock and therefore delivery was cancelled and they would contact me with an update around lunchtime. That did not happen.
I called them a couple of times during the day but got no answer, I left a message both times but nobody got back to me.
Looking at my Tesla web page I see that the delivery date is gone and the vehicle VIN is gone and now it shows a projected delivery of Aug 18-Oct 18.
Any advice anybody?
I was in a very similar situation, after a stressful and frustrating week pre-delivery (and original delivery date already pushed back), I also got the dreaded phone call the afternoon before that something was wrong and delivery pushed back 10 days.

First the advice: Beer. Lots of it. (Worked for me!)

After some sleep, I realized my plans for Saturday were to visit Tesla anyway. So I went. I searched the lots for my car. When I couldn't find it, I very nicely talked to service. Unlike the pre-delivery folks, the service department was awesome. They took me to my car, which happened to be unlocked. I couldn't take it home, but I could give it a big hug, sit in it, and smile. A LOT of stress was lifted. Especially when I looked it over and saw NO damage at all.

12v battery issues are very common and there's a big chance that's all it is. It's insane to me they don't have a new battery there to drop in but I bet they get it quickly and they are ready much sooner than they told you today. Visit or call the service department in a day or two and check their status and ETA.

In my case after two days I called, and they just happened to be finishing up fixing my trunk. I was able to go and take delivery that night!
It was explained to me that because there are so many folks coming in with detailed checklists from the internet that they really are making sure everything is PERFECT before delivery. It's tough to do when delivery is scheduled before the car even gets there.
Reserverd: Jan 23rd 2017 online
Invitation to configure: June 27th 2018
Configured: June 29th 2018
Deliver scheduled: July 10th 2018 but rescheduled to July 16th, again rescheduled to July 21. They said they have logistics issue and struggling to get car from Chicago to NJ
Pickup: Again rescheduled and finally picked car on July 28th from Springfiled, NJ.
Configuration: Deep Blue metallic, LR, premium

They promised me rental car while delivery kept getting rescheduled. I did not opt and they said they can offer 1st annual service as free but I asked for a free wall connector and they oblized. I drove 150 miles so far and absolutely loving it
It struck me that everyone's different delivery experiences and how the delivery center is handling it is another function of how Tesla is a different kind of car company. Most car makers have a VERY rigid corporate structure and a strong corporate culture. Tesla is not like this and Elon has flattened the corporate structure so there is less of a "top down" directive. Of course, there are pros and cons with this.

On the manufacturing line, he's instructed anyone to go straight to the top to report ways to improve or problems that need to be fixed.

With the sales, customer service, and delivery, the lack of a company wide directive and structure leads to inconsistent customer experiences and varied policies. Some SvCs will happily push updates. Some say "We don't do that unless there's a service ticket". Some delivery centers will deliver a new car with a due bill, some say "We can't deliver less than perfect cars". Some will offer compensation or loaners for multiple delays of delivery, some are less than sympathetic.

With the sales people, they staff try to get the best info possible to answer questions of customers but I've found that their facts are simply not accurate and vary depending on their location. Perhaps the regional managers are passing their own inaccurate info to their stores? I had spoken to one employee at the store who was absolutely convinced that Tesla would cross 200k sales in June and he even bought his personal car early with this anticipation.

As much as Tesla designs their stores with a similar theme, I think there would be benefit in having a standard delivery experience, standard staff knowledge base, and standard customer interaction/dispute resolution processes in place. That would truly elevate the ownership experience to the level of a Luxury brand instead of people thinking "that's what I should expect from a startup company"
 

Quicksilver

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#9
I've mentioned on different occasions that we Tesla owners can be a bunch of whiners and complainers. I don't think I've ever taken delivery of a perfect car with no issues in years past. We expect a lot from Tesla - for the dollars we paid - and credit to them for keeping the customer base fairly happy with service, etc... My expectation is for them to continuously improve over time (hardware and software) and we will reap the benefits of those improvements. I bought a Tesla knowing there are certain risks but I'd do it again in a heart beat because their overarching mission is very different from the rest of the automotive world...this is my number one reason for owning a Tesla; number two is, it's such a fun car to drive!