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Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/20/19 5:58 a.m.

My biggest concern with Tesla is build quality and after sale service availability.  Their parts and service side of the house is horrible.  The fast lane guys hit a garage door with a model three and had to wait for ~4 months for it to be repaired due to parts availability.  https://www.tflcar.com/2019/06/tesla-repair-hell-it-can-be-a-thing-as-we-find-out-from-this-model-3-owner/

 

 

 

I think the car is cool.  Just dont wreck it or need parts. 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
9/20/19 9:05 a.m.

I remember a certain member of the magazine staff who waited a similar amount of time for a windshield on a brand new dodge van. And he didn't even break it, the dealership did before they delivered the car to him (but they still were asking for payments). 

Yes, it's a problem. No, it's not only Tesla.

In a world of very high stakes manufacturing, you can't waste money by making (or storing) surplus parts. If you're going to make 400 cars this week you order 400 steering wheels. Not 500, not 450, ideally not even 401. When car 3421 is going through the assembly line and needs a mirror, you want the mirror to have been manufactured and arrive at the plant only minutes before you're ready to install it. You really don't want it there early hanging around in some corner of the plant taking up valuable assembly space and getting lost. The parts focus when cars are on the line is, guess what, cars on the line. The better the manufacturers get at this 'just in time' parts mentality, the worse parts availability becomes for brand new cars. But customers are buying the brand new car, and no one expects to need parts for a brand new car right away. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/19 9:15 a.m.

You don't want me to get into the story of the tie rod end recall on my Dodge 2500. Safety recall on a new truck and it took them a year. "Don't worry, it'll probably break at parking lot speeds", they said. I was this close to going out into their lot with a wrench and getting my own.

So yeah, this is not a Tesla problem.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/20/19 9:16 a.m.
cdeforrest said:

Buying out your car after lease is always a bad deal. With EV's it's doubly so. They depreciate like a rock and lease buy back doesn't take into account market price. Chrysler wanted 20k from me if I kept my 500e. They auction for 5. 
 

Used Teslas keep their value a lot better than used 500es. IMHO just looking at the buyout price isn't necessarily telling the full story either, especially if it's a manufacturer subsidised lease and the buyout is close to market value.

if you plan on only keeping the car for 5 years the Tesla is super cool. I worry about stuff that plague the S model like failed mcu's that brick the car and all the busted door handles. Sure it funny when under warranty but what about after that. 

Yeah, shenanigans like the MCU log that fills up and bricks the unit in the Model S would be a concern, but there are aftermarket solutions for that these days. Same goes for the Model S door handles.

My bigger concern - and we won't see that for a few years - is if there are potential drive unit issues. Again with the Model S, there are some early ones where Tesla replaced some drive units multiple times under warranty. Those aren't exactly cheap to replace when not under warranty and of course Tesla won't sell you one for DIY installation.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/20/19 10:01 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You don't want me to get into the story of the tie rod end recall on my Dodge 2500. Safety recall on a new truck and it took them a year. "Don't worry, it'll probably break at parking lot speeds", they said. I was this close to going out into their lot with a wrench and getting my own.

So yeah, this is not a Tesla problem.

It seems like FCA is the worst of the big three when it comes to this kind of thing.  But, just in time needs to take into account service parts, too.

Model 3 would be an ideal commuter car for my wife, who puts 18K miles a year on a car, but rarely would need to charge during the day.  However, she’s also afraid of the service experience after dealing with her VW for the last 4 years.  I may have to check the Bolt out.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
9/20/19 10:25 a.m.
Robbie said:

I remember a certain member of the magazine staff who waited a similar amount of time for a windshield on a brand new dodge van. And he didn't even break it, the dealership did before they delivered the car to him (but they still were asking for payments). 

Yes, it's a problem. No, it's not only Tesla.

In a world of very high stakes manufacturing, you can't waste money by making (or storing) surplus parts. If you're going to make 400 cars this week you order 400 steering wheels. Not 500, not 450, ideally not even 401. When car 3421 is going through the assembly line and needs a mirror, you want the mirror to have been manufactured and arrive at the plant only minutes before you're ready to install it. You really don't want it there early hanging around in some corner of the plant taking up valuable assembly space and getting lost. The parts focus when cars are on the line is, guess what, cars on the line. The better the manufacturers get at this 'just in time' parts mentality, the worse parts availability becomes for brand new cars. But customers are buying the brand new car, and no one expects to need parts for a brand new car right away. 

Tesla is much worse overall.  I’m surprised people are actually debating this.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
9/20/19 10:28 a.m.

For those who have spent time in a model 3 what are your thoughts of the interior ergonomics.  I don't mean people who have had a test drive, but those with some real miles and time behind the wheel.  Admittedly I only spent about 20 mins in one on a test track, in and out of autonomous mode, but personally I hated the complete lack of switchgear to the point I honestly think it's dangerous.  It's one thing to use a touch screen and menus for rarely used functions, but on the model 3 you need to use the touch screen to do absolutely everything excep accel, brake and steer.  In 'normal' cars with switches, your proprioception allows you to reach out and get your fingers close to a control without ever looking away from the road.  Then even if your off by 5-10-15mm your fingers can still find and identify the correct control without looking, or atworst a brief glance.  With a touch screen, you have to look to find it.  This also doesn't take into account the time taken to find functions when stationary.  Mirror controls are easy when you jump in a strange car, not so in the model 3, it took way too long to find.  I'd say those points would be a deal killer for me if I were in the market for this kind of vehicle.

What are other peoples experience?

The Model X I drove was better in this regard as many critical features still had actual controls.  BTW, after 30 mins basically doing 0-60-0 runs in Plaid speed in a model X as the driver, that was one of the very very few times I've ever felt motion sickness.  The performance is truly astonishing.

Ironically since I've specced and ordered 90% of the vehicles I"ve ever bought new, a Tesla is one vehicle I'd like to be able to pick out from the lot, just because the fit and finish seems so variable you could look for a 'good one'

To Keith, I'll echo the 'Do it' crowd.  I would consider a Model X if they were in the same price range as the 3.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/19 10:44 a.m.

The Model 3 does have two little multi-directional controls on the wheel. I don't know if they're used for anything while underway - cruise control speed or following distance? I agree that commonly used controls such as audio volume or track selection are not well suited to a touch screen. With auto HVAC, having to go to a screen to adjust HVAC is less of an issue.

Ah, here we go.

Left wheel controls audio volume and track selection. Good.
Right wheel does indeed control cruise speed and following distance. Push to activate voice commands.

That seems reasonable, those are the controls you're most likely to interact with while driving.  And it looks like that was an OTA update, the right wheel control functions were added after the car's release and pushed out to all Model 3s.

Those two controls were my biggest grip with the Model 3, they were not very satisfying from a tactile standpoint.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/19 10:47 a.m.

About being able to just jump in and understand the car...

On our test drive, we got in the car and the salesman talked Janel through how to adjust the seat and the mirrors and the wheel, then gave the nav system a destination that was their normal test drive route. He then basically said "okay, have fun!" and jumped out of the car. Janel and I looked at each other - we had no idea how to make it go. We were able to get the sale guy's attention and he imparted some useful information - one of the steering wheel stalks works as the "I want to go in this direction" selector. We had a good laugh at it. EVs don't really have a distinction between "awake" (ACC) and "running" (IGN). There are some fundamental concepts that we would have to change.

Ransom
Ransom UltimaDork
9/20/19 10:49 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I share Adrian's concerns about touchscreen everything. One thing I've heard is that the voice controls are quite good, but I have concerns about... getting myself to use them, or maybe about not having a choice but to use them.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
9/20/19 10:59 a.m.
Cotton said:
Robbie said:

I remember a certain member of the magazine staff who waited a similar amount of time for a windshield on a brand new dodge van. And he didn't even break it, the dealership did before they delivered the car to him (but they still were asking for payments). 

Yes, it's a problem. No, it's not only Tesla.

In a world of very high stakes manufacturing, you can't waste money by making (or storing) surplus parts. If you're going to make 400 cars this week you order 400 steering wheels. Not 500, not 450, ideally not even 401. When car 3421 is going through the assembly line and needs a mirror, you want the mirror to have been manufactured and arrive at the plant only minutes before you're ready to install it. You really don't want it there early hanging around in some corner of the plant taking up valuable assembly space and getting lost. The parts focus when cars are on the line is, guess what, cars on the line. The better the manufacturers get at this 'just in time' parts mentality, the worse parts availability becomes for brand new cars. But customers are buying the brand new car, and no one expects to need parts for a brand new car right away. 

Tesla is much worse overall.  I’m surprised people are actually debating this.

Are there metrics for this problem? I'm not really a new car guy so I don't know how to quantify this specific issue.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/20/19 11:07 a.m.
Robbie said:

I remember a certain member of the magazine staff who waited a similar amount of time for a windshield on a brand new dodge van. And he didn't even break it, the dealership did before they delivered the car to him (but they still were asking for payments). 

Yes, it's a problem. No, it's not only Tesla.

In a world of very high stakes manufacturing, you can't waste money by making (or storing) surplus parts. If you're going to make 400 cars this week you order 400 steering wheels. Not 500, not 450, ideally not even 401. When car 3421 is going through the assembly line and needs a mirror, you want the mirror to have been manufactured and arrive at the plant only minutes before you're ready to install it. You really don't want it there early hanging around in some corner of the plant taking up valuable assembly space and getting lost. The parts focus when cars are on the line is, guess what, cars on the line. The better the manufacturers get at this 'just in time' parts mentality, the worse parts availability becomes for brand new cars. But customers are buying the brand new car, and no one expects to need parts for a brand new car right away. 

Yes.. its a problem everywhere.... Tesla seems to have done no service or aftermarket planning...

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/tesla-parts-availability

 

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/parts-shortage

 

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/wow-teslano-parts-available-over-3-weeks-now

 

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/replacement-parts-why-are-they-impossible-get

 

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/rear-ended-today-3-4-month-wait-parts-not-available.155234/

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/30/tesla-service-update-q4-2018.html

 

Limited shops that can do repairs..  limited repair data available.. Really poor reliability.. tons of internal rework and poor first pass yield of the car on the assembly line... 

 

It's an awesome car, but Tesla has concentrated on the product so intently now, that they need to start thinking about the entire service ecosystem.  My thoughts are that they need to start pivoting to being a real car company.. but won't do it beofre they get gobbled up by another company.

 

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/19 11:37 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:
Robbie said:

I remember a certain member of the magazine staff who waited a similar amount of time for a windshield on a brand new dodge van. And he didn't even break it, the dealership did before they delivered the car to him (but they still were asking for payments). 

Yes, it's a problem. No, it's not only Tesla.

In a world of very high stakes manufacturing, you can't waste money by making (or storing) surplus parts. If you're going to make 400 cars this week you order 400 steering wheels. Not 500, not 450, ideally not even 401. When car 3421 is going through the assembly line and needs a mirror, you want the mirror to have been manufactured and arrive at the plant only minutes before you're ready to install it. You really don't want it there early hanging around in some corner of the plant taking up valuable assembly space and getting lost. The parts focus when cars are on the line is, guess what, cars on the line. The better the manufacturers get at this 'just in time' parts mentality, the worse parts availability becomes for brand new cars. But customers are buying the brand new car, and no one expects to need parts for a brand new car right away. 

It's an awesome car, but Tesla has concentrated on the product so intently now, that they need to start thinking about the entire service ecosystem.  My thoughts are that they need to start pivoting to being a real car company.. but won't do it beofre they get gobbled up by another company.

 

 

Didn't they lay off basically all of their old industry insiders right after the initial S's were sold?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
9/20/19 1:03 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

FYI, all the cars have the hardware for self-driving. It can be activated at a later date. It's not an option I'd be paying for, as it's not something I'm terribly interested in and resale is only a factor if you resell :) It's a hefty price tag.

Take that claim with a MASSIVE grain of salt.  Most industry insiders dont think the sensor package that it is currently equipped with would be sufficient for operation beyond SAE L2 autonomy (where it currently is).  I dont think hands free operation is coming anytime soon on them and without substantial hardware upgrades (radar improvements, likely installation of LIDAR) I dont think they will be driver-disengaged operational at any point. 

 

The thing is that Tesla is a hype machine. I wont say they dont do neat stuff, but their claims are known to not be realistic, especially in regards to a timeframe. They push limits and have a machine that permits you to rely on the system far more than its meant to be.

 

I think they are neat, but the support/parts/service issues would keep me from wanting to deal with owning one. Gladly take one as a rental that I can return. I have driven a Model S (sadly not ludacris equipped) and it was an interesting experience. Felt like lots of low end grunt that just didnt carry to higher speeds, but all in silence with only a minor whine and whoosh to go with the acceleration.   I have seen some autocrossers doing fairly well with 3's though. 

 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/19 1:18 p.m.

How about I put it this way: all cars are built with the same hardware whether you pay the $6000 surcharge for "self driving" or not. I'm not interested in the autonomy aspect personally, and you'll notice I've never used the term Autopilot in this discussion. It gets people a little too wound up and sidetracks the discussion.

Which is where we are now, about to devolve into TESLA SUCKS NO TESLA IS THE GREATEST THING EVER ELON MUSK ATE MY BABY. Thanks for the input and logical discussion, folks.  It's interesting that there are no Tesla owners on the GRM board from what I can tell, just relatives of them. Janel and I still haven't made up our minds on this. If we do decide to replace the WJ and it's not with a Model 3, I will be saddled with a damn FCA Grand Cherokee for the next 20 years...

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
9/20/19 1:22 p.m.

When my brother lived in Vail, he always said the cars that were in ditches on the side of the road were always lifted 4WD trucks. Subarus were the preferred way to make it over the pass safely.  His two-cents.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/19 1:27 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

How about I put it this way: all cars are built with the same hardware whether you pay the $6000 surcharge for "self driving" or not. I'm not interested in the autonomy aspect personally, and you'll notice I've never used the term Autopilot in this discussion. It gets people a little too wound up and sidetracks the discussion.

Which is where we are now, about to devolve into TESLA SUCKS NO TESLA IS THE GREATEST THING EVER ELON MUSK ATE MY BABY. Thanks for the input and logical discussion, folks.  It's interesting that there are no Tesla owners on the GRM board from what I can tell, just relatives of them. Janel and I still haven't made up our minds on this. If we do decide to replace the WJ and it's not with a Model 3, I will be saddled with a damn FCA Grand Cherokee for the next 20 years...

Well if it is a hard-line GC vs Tesla, that is a pretty easy decision to go with the Tesla. 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
9/20/19 1:32 p.m.

BTW, all the Tesla switchgear is from Mercedes Benz. 

The people that complain that you cant do nothing unless you use the screen, have not spent much time in one. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/20/19 1:34 p.m.

I think the advantage you have over other potential Tesla owners is if the car is sidelined, you have backup vehicles.  

There are also enough Model 3s out there now that I suspect if Tesla were to go under, someone would find it worthwhile to manufacture critical mechanical/electrical parts, and salvage companies could supply the rest of what’s needed.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/19 1:39 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I think the advantage you have over other potential Tesla owners is if the car is sidelined, you have backup vehicles.  

There are also enough Model 3s out there now that I suspect if Tesla were to go under, someone would find it worthwhile to manufacture critical mechanical/electrical parts, and salvage companies could supply the rest of what’s needed.

I don't think there is any real risk of Tesla the car company going under. They may be way overvalued, but I think they're big enough and trendy enough to make it or at very least be bought by someone. 

 

I'm just wary of their product for the next few years.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/20/19 1:47 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

I agree, they are more likely to get bought out vs disappearing, I was just thinking worst case scenario.  Either of those may end up allowing for better parts/service availability than there currently is.  Since Keith has backup vehicles, having the Tesla off the road for a bit would be more of an annoyance than a major problem.  So, it’s a matter of whether it’s worth that risk.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
9/20/19 2:36 p.m.
Slippery said:

BTW, all the Tesla switchgear is from Mercedes Benz. 

The people that complain that you cant do nothing unless you use the screen, have not spent much time in one. 

One what?  A Tesla in general?  Yup, an S or an X are OK for primary controls.  The 3 is what I'm complaining about and yes I've driven one, on a test track both directed by me and autonomously.  I stand by what I say that I think the S is dangerous for driver distraction due to its lack of real switchgear for most primary systems.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/19 3:01 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I think the advantage you have over other potential Tesla owners is if the car is sidelined, you have backup vehicles.  

There are also enough Model 3s out there now that I suspect if Tesla were to go under, someone would find it worthwhile to manufacture critical mechanical/electrical parts, and salvage companies could supply the rest of what’s needed.

According to Wikipedia, as of the end of Q2, there are about as many Model 3s out there as there are 1990-00 Miatas in the US. I think it's probably a good minimum production base to encourage at least some level of aftermarket support if Tesla were to vanish this afternoon, and I don't think that's going to happen.

I definitely would be looking at this differently if I didn't have other vehicles. Not so much for the "what if it's broken for a long period", as that's not really acceptable on a car that has payments. But I wouldn't be able to live with one as my only car without making lifestyle changes like not doing my own home renovation. Of course, that's true of almost any vehicle other than maybe my big Dodge truck.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
9/20/19 3:19 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:
Slippery said:

BTW, all the Tesla switchgear is from Mercedes Benz. 

The people that complain that you cant do nothing unless you use the screen, have not spent much time in one. 

One what?  A Tesla in general?  Yup, an S or an X are OK for primary controls.  The 3 is what I'm complaining about and yes I've driven one, on a test track both directed by me and autonomously.  I stand by what I say that I think the S is dangerous for driver distraction due to its lack of real switchgear for most primary systems.  

Tesla 3. 

Which one is the dangerous one? The 3 or the S. I think you meant the 3. 

Driving it on a test track or driving it for ain a test drive is not going to let you familiarize yourself with all the features as when you really spent time to go through all the options. I also drove a Cadillac CTS-V on a track and could tell you how to turn on the wipers, there was no need. 

Radio, HVAC, wipers, can all be accessed without using the touchscreen. Even the Navigation. What else would you need while driving that makes it so dangerous? Opening the glovebox?

There are quite a few of these on the road and I have not seen news of people getting in an accident due to them doing normal things you would do while driving. 

The only one I can think of is turning on the rear defroster? I usually turn that on before I start driving. 

I need to edit this as my phone is going bezerk. 

I personally have only been on an S and X for a limited amount of time at the Tesla store. The 3 I have spent more time in as my brother in law has one of the very first ones (March of 2018), he has zero complaints ... then again he owned a MINI Cooper S before it and a VW before that so he is used to problems. 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
9/20/19 3:28 p.m.

BTW, this Sunday my BIL is coming to my house. He has his Model 3 since March of 2018 as I mentioned above. His commute is 85 miles a day at minimum (I just checked on Google maps), so he has some miles on it. 

He has never, not once charged it at his house. Luckily work has a charging station and he charges it there. 

I will ask him what his thoughts are after all this time, but given what he told me last I saw him 4 weeks ago he will probably tell me he would buy it again. 

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