My Tesla Delivery Day Experience – The Good, the Bad, and the Greasy

Tesla delivery day should be a very exciting day. For many, it’s the culmination of months of checking your inbox for updates and waiting patiently for word that your brand-new Tesla is ready for pickup. For me, I felt like I was a kid again waiting for Christmas day to arrive.

Sadly, my Tesla delivery day experience felt like I received a lump of coal in my stocking. Here’s why.

Change in Plans

As mentioned in my post on my Tesla customer service experience so far, things have not gone particularly smoothly for me. Now granted I am going out of Tesla’s normal process by picking up a vehicle in a completely different province, I am still buying a brand new Tesla from Tesla. I would think I would still be treated like anyone else picking up their new ride, but no.

My original plan was to pick up in Nova Scotia and drive home, coast-to-coast. Due to the pandemic and the uncertainty on delivery dates to Halifax (cars are sent from Quebec via 3rd party carrier with no guaranteed timeline), I needed to rethink things.

When I spoke with a Quebec City delivery representative about this on the phone, he told me picking up in Quebec City, the farthest east Tesla is located in Canada, would be best as I would get the full “Tesla delivery day experience.”

His words.

With that, I agreed and modified my plans.

Hold My Model Y Please

Tesla Delivery day experience
Old, Meet New – My Model Y in Quebec City

About a month out from my flight to get Quebec City I got a notice that a new VIN has been assigned and paperwork was on its way. Since I still had time, I asked if another vehicle would be available closer to my arrival. Aside from aligning with my plans, this would also allow for more time to iron out manufacturing issues. Earlier adopters to Tesla are subject to some quality issues. The Model Y is no exception.

The delivery team couldn’t guarantee another VIN would be ready in time so I asked if the current one could be held for pick up in a month. They advised this was an option but came with some caveats of paying upfront and voiding the 7-day return option. This was understandable.

I was told this would be the best option for my request. This was followed with “You took the decision to book a flight on this date, do not blame us if you don’t have another car during this period.”

Not the response or service I was accepting.

Acknowledging Deficiencies

I should point out that I was only trying to align with my original time off work and was looking to work as close to this as possible. This was not demanding or rude. All I wanted was some assistance to help make this work which I don’t think is a tough ask.

I also didn’t think it was a tough ask to confirm the shape of the car I was buying sight unseen. As the weeks ticked away I kept reaching out to see if they could address any deficiencies before I arrived. I wasn’t necessarily expecting them to do this, despite paying in advance and technically owning the car, but I was expecting them to respond to me.


So as my Tesla delivery day grew near, so did my anxiety. I finally replied saying it was concerning they were avoiding deficiency questions to which I received a reply stating:

Each vehicle is inspected before delivery. Corrections are made to make sure the vehicles fit Tesla Standards.

Telsa Delivery Team

No specifics but at least they acknowledged the vehicle received a one-over. Still, based on the lack of dialogue, I was not expecting much once I was on site. Turns out, I was still setting the bar too high.

Tesla Delivery Day

After a redeye flight and a long layover in Toronto, I was in a taxi and on my way to the service centre. Even though I was not expecting the full “Tesla delivery day experience,“ I was excited. I’ve been waiting for the Model Y since it was announced and the day had finally come to pick mine up.

I arrived, luggage in hand, at an empty service centre. I noticed an employee chatting with a couple at a vehicle outside so I waited. After five minutes and not seeing anyone, I left my bags behind the counter and went looking for my new ride.

After circling the lot I found her, all alone, in the back. Although she was a little dusty and certainly had not been detailed anytime soon, she was glorious.

Little Help?

I was told that everything I needed was in the vehicle so really, touchless delivery would’ve been fine. Just, I had no direction on what that was.

Inside, I found a service rep who said I should’ve gotten an email with instructions on how to access the car. I didn’t. To his credit, he was able to sort this out within minutes. After receiving my delivery email, I was ready to head back outside. Before doing so, unpromoted, the young service rep advised me that his manager told him he couldn’t help me beyond sorting out my access. This was incredibly weird. Again I just purchased a brand-new vehicle from you. Why would you say something like this?

Exhausted and fed up with the situation and the delivery experience so far, I said OK. I let him know that I was going to be thorough on my inspection as I wanted to check over everything before leaving. It was super confusing on how the warranty was going to work with deficiencies as I was not getting clear answers from the Quebec Delivery team or my assigned advisor. I was finally told to submit everything in the Tesla App and book an appointment when back in Vancouver. With that, I wanted to ensure I documented everything before I left the lot. This way there would be no discrepancies when trying to get them sorted later. Again, I was off on my expectations but more on that later.

Going Over Deficiencies

At first glance, the panel gaps and alignments looked good, even around the charging port which was a known issue spot. But as I went around the car I could tell there were more than a few issues. Then I got inside.

The first thing I noticed was oil stains on the backseat. How this is up to Tesla standards, I have no idea. Then I found smudges throughout and paint residue from peeling back protection film used during shipment. Again this was supposed to be detailed? How do you miss these details??

Looking in the back I found a rubber stopper of some sort just sitting there. I went inside with this in hand and the rep “helping me“ looked puzzled. He then came outside and asked where I found it. Then he realized it came off of the truck door.

Again? How is this not under the final inspection?

He was able to fix this but again, why was it just sitting there? To his credit, he came outside a little later as his manager said he could now answer questions.

By then I was wrapping up my thorough inspection and was keen to get some rest so politely declined this bonus service. I did let him know about my plans to go around the Gaspe Peninsula and he was kind enough to give me a tip about ensuring I had charging network physical cards as cell coverage isn’t always great for app use. This tip came in handy so not a complete loss of a day I suppose.


In the end, my Tesla delivery day experience was pretty shitty. I totally get that I went out of the norm for this team but to be treated like that is head-scratching. I have noticed that in the bill break down there is a final inspection fee of $1,280. This includes detailing and a look-over to ensure the car is up to Tesla’s standards. I’m not sure what I paid for but it certainly did not cover that. As such, I’m going to reach out to Tesla to see if they will waive this fee. I will be sure to follow up on that with a post here. Stay tuned.

On the positive, the car is absolutely amazing despite the cosmetic flaws. Sadly, I think this is part of Tesla’s problem. Because they have a great product, and because demand is so high, customer service suffers. Hopefully, Tesla will acknowledge an address this soon.

Till then, I am left sorting out the lump of coal that was my Tesla day delivery experience.

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