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Thread: Happy with the way Tesla has handled my request for a color change from blue to red

  1. #1
    Sponsor artsci's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Timonium, Maryland

    Happy with the way Tesla has handled my request for a color change from blue to red

    Note: All this has now changed. After PMing and emailing George B as well as the delivery folks I got a phone call late this afternoon that Tesla is doing everything in its power with the production unit to change the color of my car from blue to multicolor red. They'll let me know on Monday. What more can I ask? Even if they can't make the change I have to be very happy that they tried to help.

    I called Tesla today to day to ask if I could change the color of my order from blue to red. I finalized on November 21, two weeks ago. The rep I spoke to told me it would take a few hours to check and called me back as promised late this afternoon.

    He told me that the car is now in production and the change could not be made. My option, as I understood it, was to cancel my order, lose my $5,000 deposit, and start all over again. So Tesla has me by the short hairs, they know it, and as I see it, are taking advantage. I was very much on Tesla's side until now. But I'm pissed. This is not the way to win friends among those of us who have been strongly committed to this company.

    Could production of my car be that far along that Tesla can't change the paint color or sell my car to someone behind me in line and move me back in order so the change could be made? Do they have so little flexibility? That's very hard to believe. I made it very clear to the Tesla rep I spoke to that I was perfectly happy to be bumped back in line so the color changes could be made. I could understand if I made this request a month or two before the delivery window I was given. But only two weeks after I finalized?

    This sounds like corporate bureaucracy at its worst, not something I expected of Tesla. Any suggestions about what I should do?

  2. #2
    Electron Pilot Todd Burch's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Smithfield, VA

    What to do? Just enjoy your blue. It's a great color. Be happy with it. You finalized--signed on the dotted line, so to speak, with the understanding that you were finalizing your order--so getting upset with Tesla is a bit unfair.

    You could be right--that it's just corporate bureaucracy. But it could also be due to a myriad of production-related complications that you will likely never hear of. Manufacturing is complicated. Manufacturing cars is very complicated. Tesla said they'd check and call you back, and they did as promised. That's good in my book.

    I'm sure there was a reason--if it was simple they probably would have allowed it. I occasionally get pangs of "shoulda" syndrome here and there (should've gone for the 21s, should've gone for the black, the lacewood, the's all been in my head).

    Just trust that Tesla probably has a good reason for not letting you finalize, and that the person that returned your call probably really did ask and was told no for a good reason.

    And enjoy your blue. The Model S looks great in any color!
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  3. #3
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
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    You signed an agreement locking you into a particular configuration. They are perfectly within their rights to say no. If they have already started the build process then it is unreasonable to expect anything else.

    Any leeway Tesla gives after you signed off but before they start the build is, well, just being nice. They are under no obligation to do it.
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  4. #4
    P85 & 40kw
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Irvine, CA
    I think you're getting a boiler plate response to limit changes. Production schedules seem very fluid and who knows what cars are queued up in the BIW process. If you really want the red, I would further call up the chain of command in ownership to get it changed.

    I dont think you're request is overreaching at all, especially if you're willing (you'll have to anyways since it's scheduled to start in March).

  5. #5
    Model S5,651, Model X109
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Frankly I agree with the first couple of responses. However, if you want to continue to try and switch, my advise would be to write them an email requesting that they send it a little higher up the chain of command. I would be certain to tell them that you will accept any delay this may cause with production.

    They may very well say no, and they're within their rights to do so, but I imagine that they can probably find someone farther down the line with an identical configuration that would be more than happy to get their car earlier. You could point out how that would create two happy customers. (you and the lucky person who gets bumped up the list).

    While I know that Tesla really wants everyone to be really happy, they're trying to move from being a boutique car maker to mainstream one. This means that they've got to institute production systems and then stick to those systems.
    Model S Performance, VIN 02595. Blue, Tan, Matte Obeche. Best car I've ever driven.

  6. #6
    Senior Member steve841's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Add me to the list .... You've had plenty of time to make up your mind before finalizing. Just like firing a weapon: Once you pull the trigger, you cant stop the bullet.

    But look at it like this ... they say your first choice is usually the right one. So, go with it.
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  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2012
    Plymouth, MA
    I want blue, too bad Tesla won't let you switch with someone else. I still have yet to finalize.

  8. #8
    Sponsor artsci's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Timonium, Maryland
    I understand that I signed an agreement, and I'm happy to abide by it and will if nothing can be changed.

    That's not the point. The red was made available about a week after I finalized. My issue is about the lack of flexibility at a stage so early in the production schedule and so soon after I finalized. There must be hundreds of orders behind me that have exactly the same configuration. So just make one of them very happy by giving them my car and moving me further back in the line until the red goes into production. This can't be more complicated than redoing some paperwork.

    If I try to up the line, where should I go?

  9. #9
    SSL #180
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Red isn't even available until March, is it?
    And considering your production number, you are probably jumping in front of a lot of smaller pack sizes. If you delay until March to get the Red, all three battery pack sizes will also be in production so you would probably be looking at May or June.

    As for you being upset, I don't quite get that. You finalized your order, and now you want to change it. Sure, I can see a little disappointment if you changed your mind. But I certainly wouldn't blame Tesla for it.

  10. #10
    Sponsor artsci's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Timonium, Maryland
    Quote Originally Posted by beck.christopher View Post
    I want blue, too bad Tesla won't let you switch with someone else. I still have yet to finalize.
    Exactly. They could make two of us very happy

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