Imagine taking your car to a shop, and not getting it back for days and weeks.
That happens sometimes with cars, right?
Now imagine not getting your vehicle back for months, and months, and months.
Tesla owners across the country are dealing with this very issue, right now.
Tesla has become well known thanks to the speed at which it went from a start-up to a preeminent manufacturer. The wait to get your Tesla has almost added to the prestige of ownership, pre-order lines are long especially for the upcoming Model 3 show. But current Tesla owners are warning that the wait doesn’t stop once you get your car.
$92,000 spent on the car, and then 5 months in the shop after a crash. Seems pretty ridiculous, right? The problem lies in how Tesla does repairs. Unlike many other manufacturers, The Economist reports that Tesla makes many of the vehicle parts in house. That means that their manufacturing plant has to keep up with demand, and the over 80,000 cars that Tesla produced in 2016.
Tesla responded to Mashable saying they had some supply chain issues last year, but also said those issues were mostly resolved. With a more affordable Tesla rolling out soon, just $35,000 for the Model 3, the problem could skyrocket as more Tesla’s get on the road.
Tesla has announced they are building up to three new Gigafactories, which produces their battery cells and will soon produce electric motors.
There is story after story from Tesla owners detailing their love for their car, until it was in an accident and then they waited months for parts to be shipped to the supply center, and more time still for the vehicle to actually be fixed.
Tesla owners are heading to Reddit and Tesla Forums to voice their frustration for these extended wait times, but they can only do so much. They have come to the conclusion that this will only get worse with the Model 3 release. Tim Dorr, a Tesla owner, told Mashable, “I am not a Model 3 reservation holder for a variety of reasons, and this parts issue is the biggest one.”
Mashable also reports that if Tesla owners crash their car, it will likely need body work. It’s important to note that the Model S and Model X have aluminum bodies, and aluminum tends to crumple easier than steel in a collision. Aluminum bodies actually absorb more shock and safer for the car occupants, but does translate to vehicles needing more body work.
Tesla assured Mashable that it is working to eliminate any shops that are underperforming, while expanding their total number of repair shops as well. While this is good for Tesla owners, it doesn’t address the problem of the number of replacement parts, and the cars that are being kept off the road.
It’s important to evaluate the type of dealer model and the issues associated with all of them. For a larger manufacturer that is more well known, and doesn’t make parts in house, this isn’t an issue. But those larger manufacturers come with their own set of issues, such as working with individual dealerships, different design, and of course the electric vehicle issue.
How do you think the Tesla model and the issues that accompany it is affecting the auto industry as a whole?