Tesla to absent after-sales subscribers

On the other side of the Atlantic, JD Power’s quality surveys are authoritative in the automotive sector. The organization had to face the facts on the occasion of the publication, at the end of June, of its 36th annual study: the Covid disrupted everything, never had the scores obtained by all the brands been so poor… However , the 84,165 buyers of new vehicles contacted for the so-called initial quality study gave some interesting opinions: in their view, the brand that does best is Buick, with 139 problems reported for 100 cars in use , knowing that the average for 2022 is 180 problems per 100 vehicles. At the very bottom of the ranking are a few unexpected brands: Audi, Volvo or Tesla, which has a ratio of 226 reported concerns per 100 cars. A very passable score, which echoes that obtained during a similar operation carried out in Europe a few months ago.

Consumer organizations from Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal conducted a satisfaction survey of 52,430 motorists on the Old Continent. With a satisfaction rate of 60%, “Elon Musk’s electric car has the lowest score of all brands”, concluded the study, a few weeks before that of JD Power… What is happening with these electric cars so popular with buyers in 2021, to the point that orders have been interrupted for months in France? Shortage of components? But also a maintenance that leaves something to be desired: “My Tesla Model 3 received on March 5, 2022 has been broken down since April 21, 2022 with 3,234 kilometers on the odometer”, says an owner, whose only interlocutor is an application. supposed to give him news of the spare part intended to solve his problems. As of June 15, “still no news of the part. The deadline has just passed to July 31. It gets boring…”, he explains then. But, surprise! On June 28, the part arrives, and the man leaves at the wheel of his Tesla after… two months of immobilization.

To absent subscribers…

And this message received by another Model 3 owner: “Our parts department informs us that there is a very high volume of orders pending for the fan needed to repair your car and could not give us more precise date for the moment.” This famous element will finally arrive after three months! But the worst is undoubtedly for damaged vehicles: “Given the wait, I would have preferred that the insurance declares my vehicle economically irreparable, I could have ordered a new one”, complains one, while another explains having seen his car immobilized for eight months, the time that all the spare parts necessary for the repair are gathered. For this owner of a pockmarked Tesla, it’s a cold shower: no brand-approved repairer around his home, so he has to go to Île-de-France with a car that loses pieces of windshield while driving. “New large-capacity structures will open their doors soon”, we promise from the side of the French management of Tesla, questioned by us on the problems of bodywork. In the meantime, exasperated, some French owners would directly challenge Elon Musk on Twitter, since it is his favorite mode of communication. But the CEO of the brand would not have followed up on the messages of the disappointed after-sales. Tesla France advances a “current international context which is not favorable to production and delivery, in particular with regard to spare parts”, to explain the tension of several owners.

Violation of the law

Tesla therefore appears to be in dire need of spare parts to maintain its rolling stock. But no question of tapping into the rare used parts available: “Some repair shops and insurance companies may suggest the use of non-original equipment or salvaged parts to save money. However, these parts do not satisfy Tesla’s exacting standards for quality, fitment, and corrosion resistance,” the owner’s manual for a Tesla Model S clearly states. No used bumpers or body parts, so. A Tesla only suffers from being coated with new! A position which is however in contradiction with French law: beyond the warranty period of the vehicle, the mechanic is required to offer a repair estimate with used parts.

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Legal actions

These recurring problems have finally convinced some to move up a gear, all over the world. In the Netherlands, Tesla Claim was created, a foundation that decided to take the brand’s alleged failings to justice: “Tesla sold cars promising that they were practically maintenance-free and that they were “a service-oriented brand. However, our experience contradicts these promises. We find that Tesla does not want to cooperate in finding solutions that will make the customer happy, which is what you would expect from a company that sells high-end cars,” says the foundation. In South Korea, the association Citizens united for consumer sovereignty has also decided to file a complaint against the brand because of the recurring defects linked to the door handles. In Norway, the country’s consumer council has also chosen to take legal action: it accuses the manufacturer of untimely updates on cars that would have reduced their power by 30%: 129 complaints have thus been filed. . According to Carnewschina, “Tesla is first in the ranking of dissatisfaction with the protection of Chinese consumer rights”: the brand did not have an appropriate attitude in relation to an alleged braking defect of one of its models in China. Admittedly, information in this country remains subject to caution, but most of the Model 3s delivered in France are manufactured there.

Low end service

Tesla’s attitude issues are becoming a real topic all on their own. This is precisely what drives many owners to swear that it will be their first and last Tesla, but also to take the iron to court: “Tesla needs to train in French service,” says one of the animators of the Tesla Mag’ site, “because it’s not correct vis-à-vis their customers and the image they want to give. After a while, people turn their backs.” Especially since Tesla is a brand whose selling prices have recently risen sharply – more than 16% for a basic Model 3 in less than a year – and where repair prices are near peaks. According to the SRA association, which works on behalf of insurers in France, only the Porsche brand is even more expensive to repair. An observation that will undoubtedly deteriorate further with the generalization of the Tesla Model Y and its molded aluminum panels at the front and rear: “Tesla does this because it costs them less, observes François Brodier, bodywork engineer in the service of Cesvi (Centre for training and technical research applied to the field of automobile insurance) but the problem with cast aluminum is that when it is cast, there are about 3% bubbles left. air inside. At the slightest impact on it, it breaks, unlike steels that are stretched and flattened to increase their resistance.” However, each panel alone replaces dozens of parts…

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