Tesla is using some questionable practices during its latest end-of-quarter push as the automaker is undergoing an intense effort to deliver as many vehicles as possible by Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked employees to go “all out” for the end-of-quarter delivery push in a leaked email.
Tesla has been known to have intense end-of-quarter delivery pushes due to its distribution system, which is very different from other automakers who use third-party dealerships.
We expected this quarter to be particularly intense due to a backlog of Model S deliveries as the new version has been delayed.
On top of it, over 10,000 vehicles were put on a containment hold last month, which delayed many deliveries until Tesla was able to push its new computer vision system.
Musk also mentioned major supply chain issues putting pressure on the company since the beginning of the year.
Tesla has been known to sometimes lower its standards during those end-of-quarter pushes, and it looks like that is the case this quarter.
Several Tesla buyers are reporting that the automaker has removed the VIN from their purchasing documents.
This has been something that the automaker has been known to do when giving a custom-ordered car to another customer who was able to take delivery faster, which is Tesla’s goal right now to the detriment of some buyers.
Several Tesla buyers who are currently scheduled to take delivery by the end of the quarter are reporting that Tesla delivery workers have been told to stop vehicle orientation upon delivery.
That’s something that Tesla has been moving away from over the last few years. The automaker has been replacing in-person orientation with videos sent to buyers pre-delivery, but Tesla salespeople have been happy to offer short orientation.
The more problematic practice is to try to avoid a walkaround the vehicle to identify potential defects, which can lead to delayed deliveries (aka Tesla’s nightmare right now).
Some new buyers have told Electrek that Tesla rushed them through the process, and when defects were pointed out, they were strongly encouraged to take delivery anyway and schedule a service appointment later (aka after the end of the quarter) to fix the issue.
I get where Tesla is coming from. The company has a lot of pressure to keep the momentum going with quarterly delivery records, which is what the market is looking at.
However, buyers should not accept a delivery of a vehicle with any defect.
Tesla has been doing a lot better with its quality control, and some paint chips and other small defects are very normal for any automaker, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept delivery.
You should ask Tesla to fix those issues before taking delivery. That should go without saying.
As for the lack of orientation, I don’t think that is as big of a deal. If you feel like you could use one, and they have time, that’s great, but an inspection is definitely the priority.