I received delivery of my new Tesla X 100D on Monday September 25th, 2017. It had no cruise control, lane departure warning, emergency stopping, self driving etc. I had read that there was a calibration period which took about 50 miles of driving. I drove 35 miles home and still had nothing.
Today I turned 900 miles and still had none of the above features. In addition, in our 90+ degree south Florida weather and after our start of our 500 mile day to Ocala, the air conditioning stopped working. As I write this blog, we are heading south on the FL turnpike in the rain with 2 windows down after a long hard day of sweating outside. We work with horses in barns. There are 3 very hot and tired people in the X on a 3 ½ hour trip.
Now let’s not go crazy. People would say I paid a lot of money for a technologically sophisticated car that should be a lot more than a golf cart, but do you see why I only see the similarity and not the difference? A call several days earlier to John in the service department said he verified that my car was “calibrated” and that the information was there, but the car wasn’t recognizing it. I suggested he fix this.
After 24 hours and no over-the-air update solution was made, I placed another call to John. He said their engineer was busy plus he had left for the day. I suggested that I understood he was subject to the efficiencies of others but that he was part of my business team now. We would work this out together. He was VERY grateful for my understanding.
This morning as sweat formed on my brow I called John and got an associate who suggested that the air conditioning problem could be solved by parking the car for an hour completely turned off. No problem because I would be working for 4 hours at the barn we were heading to. In addition, the other computer issue had been sent to California and they were waiting for them to wake up. There was a chance that when we returned to the car at 3 pm all would be repaired.
It was not and I was hot in more than one way. Keeping my cool, I called John who had never heard about my air conditioning problem. But he was confirming that the California engineers said the car needed to be see. The first available appointment was October 10th.
WHAT!?!?!? 12 days from now? A brand new car not working in multiple platforms and they want me to do what for 12 days, shut my business down? Did I mention the charging door is no longer recognizing me and won’t open?
This is when what you say makes all the difference in the world. I said I would need a vehicle to use. No problem because they have a loaner. Did they know that in the next 20 days I would travel about 4000 miles all over the northeast? No, but that would be OK. Wait, let me clear this with the manager. Yes OK.
Did John know that I bought this Tesla for business use and that when I get this car to him for service I would have 1300 miles on it at only 4 days old? This knocked his socks off. Asking me what I did, I told him I am a veterinarian visiting barns all over the US. I then reminded him how he was part of MY business team and that I might take him up on the offer of the loaner or I just might drive my diesel pick up and he could reimburse me for a month of non-use of the X.
We hung up and I just sputtered but held onto the belief that if you want to lead, you need to inspire others around you to do more. But I was stunned that after a sum of money spent beyond any I had ever spent for a car I was being treated like a pansy who drives their expensive car around 10 miles a month as a status symbol. I had actually said something like this to John.
About 10 minutes later John called me. “Can you bring it in tomorrow at 8 am? We have two technicians willing to come in on Saturday to diagnose and fix your car.”
My faith in people and Tesla restored, we continue to travel south on slick rainy roads in the black of night in a sweltering car with windows down and rain coming in. But the music is good and the computer is working. It is too noisy to talk but I think I’m happy with John and his group of people who are rising to the occasion to help me get back on the road.
I honestly have no problem now with Tesla, their car or their service department. I realize I am an enigma not fitting their normal customer, but while off to a slow start, I predict my future Tesla blogs will be filled with good and honest reviews. I will help other understand this vehicle as a work vehicle to help them make a decision. Tesla needs this too and I am very happy for their decision to see me tomorrow – even if they can’t fix it. But they want to and this is good. Plus they have until Wednesday to do it before I leave.
More later with reviews of the X and my experiences of traveling thousands of miles visiting multiple farms a day. Off to the showers soon.