According to a survey conducted by the Vox site, dozens of Tesla owners have filed complaints against the manufacturer with the Federal Trade Commission. They denounce the way in which Tesla manages maintenance and after-sales service, between sloppy or non-carried out repairs, interminable delays, limited stocks of spare parts and an insufficient number of authorized centers.
When it comes to customer service and repairs, Tesla doesn’t have an outstanding reputation. A previous study published by JD. Power in early July 2022 also revealed that the quality was not always there on the manufacturer’s vehicleswith a significant increase in reported technical issues: 266 reported concerns for only 100 vehicles. As a result, Tesla ranks 26th out of 33 brands analyzed by JD. Power.
However, a new report from the site Vox highlights customer issues with Tesla after-sales service. Indeed, the media was able to consult no less than 1000 complaints filed by users against the brand with the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission. These multiple complaints reflect growing frustration with the company over its approach to maintenance and repairs.
Disastrous Tesla customer service
We can easily see this latent dissatisfaction on the Reddit pages dedicated to Tesla users, or by consulting the 9,000 reports filed by clients with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), an American association that works to improve relations between consumers and businesses.
Some testimonials reported by Vox are chilling, such as the case of this user who found a dead mouse and rat poison in the trunk of in Model 3 after a trip to the local repair center. Or this Tesla returned from repair in a catastrophic state, with unexplained scratches on the bodywork.
Overall, complaints point to an insufficient number of authorized repair centers, a limited stock of spare parts, a lack of communication from the brand, and poor quality of repairs not to mention incredibly long waiting times. In other words, we are a long way from the brand’s slogan, namely that Tesla “designs every Tesla vehicle with the goal of eliminating the need for maintenance”.
On the contrary and as confirmed by JD. Power to Vox, Tesla owners tend to visit repair centers at the same frequency than owners of top-of-the-range thermal vehicles, such as Lexus, Porsche or Audi.
The lack of approved centres, the main problem
One of the main problems pointed out by users remains the lack of centers approved by the manufacturer. A real problem, since if Tesla drastically increased the production of vehicles (+68% in the first quarter of 2022), the number of dealerships and service centers only increased by 20% over the same period. In other words, Tesla would not be able to take care of the current fleet in circulation, without imposing delays that may exceed several months on injured users. Note also that shareholders of the manufacturer have recently expressed their concerns on this subject.
“Service was an issue, but it didn’t affect sales in the least. So Tesla won’t focus on this service issue until they see a drop in sales. So it’s really not a problem for them.” says Rich Benoit, head of a YouTube channel specializing in Tesla repairs. In 2019, remember thata study published by Bloomberg revealed that 20% of Model 3 owners surveyed were unhappy with the speed of Tesla customer service.
Vox has attempted to contact Tesla for an official response regarding these complaints filed with the FTC. The company, which axed its PR hub in 2020, has yet to respond to media inquiries.