Tesla delivery day is the culmination of months, if not years, of anticipation and excitement. With Tesla customer service playing catch up to demand, for some, Tesla delivery day can be a letdown. This was certainly my experience picking up my first Tesla Model Y in 2020.
With my 2022 Model Y delivery, I was lucky to get a do-over. Has the experience improved? What about build quality? Let’s find out.
Recapping My First Tesla Delivery Experience
My 2020 Tesla delivery experience was pretty unique. A mix of pandemic boredom and looking for a challenge, I decided to fly across the country and pick up my Model Y in Quebec city, some 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) from my home in Vancouver. Although the experience driving around the Gaspé Peninsula before heading west for home was amazing, the Tesla delivery day experience was not.
The car had more than a few issues and the team in Quebec had zero interest in doing anything about it. In the end, I got some of the issues resolved through the Vancouver team, although it took a lot of effort on my part. I eventually looked past the “within spec“ panel gaps and alignment issues. Still, the whole experience left me a bit sour on Tesla.
That said, not sour enough to never buy one again 😉
The cars are amazing and not having to ever visit a gas station again certainly got me past my bad experience and into another Model Y. I was a little more cautious this time around and, as such, more prepared. Still, there were some issues.
Picking Up Out of Province
The issues clearly weren’t big enough for me to avoid picking up in a different location again. Aside from liking the option to do a one-way trip, I had other motives this time around.
Hoping for a 4860 Battery Pack
Back when I submitted my order in November 2021, the yet-to-be-completed Austin Gigafactory was rumoured (and later confirmed) to be producing Model Ys with the new 4860 battery packs. Although largely for Tesla’s own cost savings, the new battery pack was to be lighter so in theory, offer better performance. Also, the theory at the time was that the Fremont factory in California would continue to deliver 2170 cell battery pack vehicles to the west and Austin woud deliver the new battery pack to the east. With that in mind, I selected the Ottawa, Ontario delivery centre as my destination.
As time went by, this theory was disproven. To date, the Austin factory only offers a standard range 4860 Model Y and has been slow to roll them out. On top of that, early productions, similar to the 2020 Model Y’s out of Fremont, had their share of issues.
Hoping for a One-Way Trip
Despite a debunked battery pack theory, I still kept the delivery location as Ottawa simply for the drive and to visit family in the area.
I was initially expecting delivery in August/September 2022 however, to my surprise, I started getting notifications in March. Since I was out of the country for the first time since the pandemic started, I pushed back the Tesla delivery twice.
I still had the matter of selling my 2020 Model Y to deal with so I pushed the delivery back again after getting home. My date slipped into June when I finally made my way east to pick up the car. Turns out I pushed it a little too close to Tesla’s fiscal quarter end.
Where’s My Car?
I initially had a date set for the end of June but as it drew close I couldn’t get confirmation it was actually happening. One of my biggest gripes with Tesla customer service is how hard it is to speak to someone. Emails are often replied to by whoever seems to grab them that day which confuses things. The delivery manager finally replied and explained that the car wasn’t coming across the border. He confessed he had never seen anything like this and was trying to get answers. Meanwhile, I flew just flown across the country to pick up a car that wasn’t coming. 🤦
After radio silence for a couple of days, I went down to the delivery centre to try and speak to someone face-to-face. The delivery manager wasn’t in however another advisor helped me. He speculated that, due to quarter end, Tesla wanted to ensure the car was delivered so it stayed in Chicago. I’m not sure if this is because of my history of passing on the previous deliveries or if it would’ve happened anyways. Regardless, I essentially missed my delivery so Tesla could pad their stats.
Since I hadn’t sold my 2020 Model Y I was preparing for the possibility of owning two. As such, I relisted the car on Turo to secure some income. Renters quickly booked up until September…then the offers for my car started coming in.
This now meant that I needed the new one by the end of June to cover the rentals should I sell my 2020. The delivery manager in Ottawa said that he had the ability to prioritize my build and, after several back-and-forth emails with random people replying along the way, I got my new date bumped up from mid-August to mid-July. I didn’t want to risk any further delays so opted for delivery home in Vancouver.
When the car arrived, I was informed it failed inspection as it had a large rock chip in the front fender. I appreciated them identifying and addressing this rather than me pointing it out on delivery day. Finally, five days later after the repair, I went to pick it up my new Model Y.
Tesla Delivery Day
Again, based on my first Tesla delivery day experience, I came prepared.
For my first Tesla delivery, I used the Inspect T app. Although OK, I relied on it too much. It is quite buggy and crashes a lot. As such, I created my own delivery day checklist based on my experience.
I printed this out and brought some sticky notes to clearly mark any areas with issues. I numbered the notes so that I could easily reference them in photos later which worked very well.
I happen to take delivery in the middle of a heat wave and there is zero shade at the Vancouver delivery centre. Still, I took my time and thoroughly checked over the car.
Overall, it is in much better shape than my 2020 was. For one, the car was actually detailed. Second, panel gaps and alignment issues are virtually nonexistent.
They were only a couple of concerns:
- The spot where the rock chip was repaired still had a small nick. There was also some excess paint in between the panels from the repainting. This was cleaned up on site.
- The passenger rear door was slightly out but deemed “within spec.“
- The front doors were not level with the mirrors, the one area my 2020 is better at when it comes to alignment. I was told this was designed this way. 🤔
- The steering wheel sounded like crunching celery when it moved in and out. Again not something present in my 2020 but, again, told it was designed this way?
- Inside the trunk, the liner had come away from the wall. You could hear it sticking when pushing it. Once again I was told it was designed this way.
In the end, I accepted delivery with the hope that some of these very minor issues would be addressed through mobile service. With that, I handed over my bank draft, paid for insurance, and was on my way.
All in all, it took me roughly 1.5 hours to complete my inspection and take delivery of the car.
Mobile Service Follow Up
I put a ticket in with mobile service shortly after delivery and was able to address the trunk liner (the tech added double-sided tape) and the steering wheel crunch.
The other items were again deemed within spec and I wasn’t fussed about it. Again, this car is far better built than my 2020 Model Y.
Second Time a Charm?
In the end, this delivery experience had its share of issues although largely self-imposed. If I had taken delivery in Vancouver from the start instead of attempting another out-of-province delivery I wouldn’t have had to deal with the communication issues or confusion when it came to getting my car across the border. Still, Tesla clearly needs to tighten up their comms with clients.
That said, this Tesla delivery day was exceedingly better than my first experience and the car is much better built as well. Still, there are some things I surprisingly prefer on my 2020. More on that in the next post. Also, time to think about new accessories!