New reports show that Elon Musk’s Tesla is pushing back delivery times for Model 3 vehicles while simultaneously delaying vehicle servicing for customers that already own one of the company’s electric cars.
According to recent reports, Tesla has once again altered their Model 3 delivery dates. The company first altered their Model 3 delivery dates in February, stating that some customers would not receive their Model 3 until the end of 2018 while those that purchased cheaper models wouldn’t receive the car until 2019. Last month, the company updated the Model 3 option and pricing, opening orders up to anyone residing in North America. Customers were shown a delivery window of two to four months after confirming their order, but different models of the car varied in their delivery times.
The only Model 3 currently being produced by Tesla, with a long-range battery pack and a rear-wheel-drive motor, showed a delivery window of three to five months, as did the dual motor version without performance package. Two weeks ago, Tesla dropped the delivery windows for these vehicles down to one to three months, and until yesterday was advertising this as a selling point in emails to customers, stating: “You can design and order any Model 3 today for delivery in as soon as 1‑3 months.”
But today, the delivery time for all currently available Model 3 sedans is two to four months. The standard version of the car, which is still not available, shows a six to nine month waiting time. It would seem odd that the company is having trouble meeting deadlines given that they just reached their milestone of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars a week. To reach this milestone, Tesla was forced to construct a makeshift assembly line from spare parts in a tent outside their factory, workers were reportedly pushed to their limits and assembly lines were said to be breaking down. It was also recently reported that production line cars were sitting in a field near the companies California plant.
While the company is continuing to delay the delivery of new Model 3 cars, current Tesla owners are facing their own issues. The LA Times reports that existing Tesla owners are having an increasingly hard time getting their cars serviced. An excerpt from the Times reads:
At the entrance to the company’s Dublin, Calif., center recently, an agitated Model X owner was trying to drop his SUV off for repair. A Tesla service agent said he couldn’t leave the car there because the facility was too busy. He could make an appointment to bring it in another time, maybe in a couple of weeks.
But I don’t want to drive it!” said Kaushal Bhaskar, a software engineer from nearby San Ramon who complained he sometimes couldn’t get the passenger door to open, while other times the door would open up all by itself – including once on the Interstate at highway speeds. “This is a safety concern for me!”
Another service rep was assisting Mike, the owner of a red Model 3 with door-lock problems who declined to give his last name. He’d lock the car, walk away, and it would electronically unlock itself. That caused him to alter his vacation plans. “I couldn’t take it to Yosemite like that,” he said.
The agent said Mike would have to leave the car there awhile: “The amount of cases I’ve got right now is unbelievable.”
Bill Hampton, editor of industry trade publication Auto Beat Daily, told the Times that Tesla’s sudden servicing issues were unsurprising due to the companies production rate: “When you’re making dramatic efforts to manufacture 5,000 [Model 3s] in one week, you sure can’t say, ‘Hey, some guy in Topeka needs a new hood. Too bad,’” said Hampton. But while this may be the case, it begs the question – how long will Tesla drivers and fans put up with the companies consistent delays and wait times?
Tesla is facing global issues with service, recently facing extremely low ratings for service in electric car-loving Norway.