Reflections on the Model S Fremont Factory pickup experience…


It has been two weeks since we first got our Model S.

So… would we do it again?

A resounding Yes.

Unfortunately, I as with other members of the public that have gone on the Tesla Factory tour, I have agreed to a non-disclosure. I can disclose that it was very interesting and quite impressive. The gentleman that led the tour, Anish, was very informative and engaging. He addressed fellow tour group members questions, pointed out interesting things in the factory and was lively.

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As for the Model S pickup experience. There are definitely things that can be improved. I lucked out in that Anish, our tour group leader, was actually the Delivery Specialist to hand over the keys to us. He was a good sport regarding the last $1 that I owed Tesla being paid in cash. He took some time with us throughout the process but it definitely felt like he was hurrying us along.

Wanting to learn from previous Model S owners, I printed out the very handy Delivery Checklist that was compiled by @NickJHowe. Anish saw the list and was dismissive of it and told us to just “get him at his desk” after we’re done doing the presentation “his way.” Though I appreciate his time (as well as mine), I had a few things on the list I wanted to cover and I felt that the guide was a good way to tackle this.

My wife had a question on the way the Panoramic Roof was installed and Anish brushed us off and said that this was a minor thing that should “settle”, if not, take it to the Tesla Service Center for repair. Guess what… That turns out to be a two day job that we now have to schedule and do when the Service Center can get to it.

[added these photos November 27, 2013]

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[The glass does not sit in place properly and the gasket is sunken in.]

Lastly… The downside to the “soft-sell” aspect of Tesla’s program is that I didn’t even realize that there is a 4 year or 4+4 year Service Plan (or 50,000 to 100,000 mile Service Plan) that Tesla offers. As well as an extension of the warranty for an additional 4 years. Apparently this option has to be exercised at up to thirty days after taking delivery of the car. I stumbled upon this when I logged into my account and now have to figure out what that means and whether or not it’s worth it for me.

Taking the long drive last weekend from Fremont to Santa Rosa and back down to Southern California is definitely a good way to “shake down” the car and get the feel for it at distance (as well as some traffic.) We encountered some “wind noise” from the front driver’s window that turned out to be a misaligned glass. After less than two weeks of driving the car, this is what the glass has done to the gasket around the window.

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We’re on waiting for parts and service tech mode, so it’s going to be another couple of weeks to resolve this as well.

I have a few nits that will probably continue to reiterate itself as I write about the Model S ownership experience, so please bear with me. (I will probably keep complaining about the missing coat hook.)

The entertainment system is very well integrated. However, it seems strange to me that it only handles one bluetooth input. The Active E and other vehicles can handle multiple bluetooth devices connected at a time and it is disappointing that the vehicle can only handle being connected to one device at a time. Now, I am not saying that the Active E can play two different bluetooth sources at the same time. What I am saying is that the Active E can connect and switch between two devices at a time. Whereas the Model S has to be manually connected and disconnected.

We took the 101 route back to Southern California as an overnight drive and we could have done this drive quicker had I pushed the car and hit only a couple of Superchargers along the way and not the five stops that we took.

The only real negative as for the pickup experience has been the “one on one” with Anish. We felt hurried and that he didn’t really adress concerns. I felt that my mother had a better experience with Jeb from Nissan of Duarte when she picked up her Leaf a few months ago.

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Dennis

rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model S S85 and a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let's him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb). Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums - teslamotorsclub.com, teslamotors.com, and model3ownersclub.com as AEdennis or on speakev.com as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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