Tesla To Apply “Brute Force” To Solve Body Shop Wait Issues, 300 Additional Body Shops Added Soon

11 months ago by Eric Loveday 26

Tesla Store/Service Center In Dublin, California

“Tesla owners will get the service they expect from us — period.”

States Tesla’s Jon McNeil, president of global sales and service.

There’s been numerous reports of slow service from Tesla and with one recent such report making headlines news, Tesla is now responding to service issues in the form of a post from McNeil on Tesla Motors Club Forum.

Tesla Service Center

In brief, McNeil states that Tesla is seeking to approve some 300 additional body shops in the coming weeks to add to its network. McNeil says that Tesla will assign individuals to oversee each car that goes in for work at a third party body shop.

Additional details are laid out in McNeil’s post below:

Hi everyone –

This week, the service team hit a global customer service satisfaction record. The team has done a fantastic job on what we control currently: our own service centers. We’re now turning our efforts on the centers we don’t control: accident repairs in body shops.

The body shop in the OP article did not begin repairs on the car for three months and then ordered more than 90 parts and took over seven months to repair the car. Neither of those are indicators of competence. To top it off, they blamed their performance on Tesla. We know from complaints that the body shop experience needs to get a lot better – and fast.

What the service team has done so far is a roadmap of how we’re going to fix the autobody experience. Wait times for appointments measured in hours and a handful of days currently. We’re providing same-day service from the Bay Area to Oslo and everywhere in between. In fact, almost 20% of jobs in our flagship center in Palo Alto are handled before the customer can finish their cup of coffee (yes, you read that correctly).

Thankfully, only a handful of our owners experience accidents each year. Since customers schedule and interface with the body shops on their own, we’re largely blind to the service pace.

Most of the customer complaints about body shops mentioned parts, so we focused on this issue. To date, we’ve reduced backlog by over 80%.

Even though we reduced part wait times, we continued to dig into the body shop complaints. What we found was astounding – cars sat at body shops for weeks and sometimes months before the body shops took action and, more often than not, the body shops blaming Tesla for parts delays were the very shops that hadn’t even ordered parts or started the repair.

We are applying brute force to this immediately. We will have individuals on our team personally manage each car on behalf of our customers that are in 3rd party body shops.

We’re also going to increase our approved shop count by 300 over the next few weeks as well as eliminating poor performing shops.

If you have an issue with a shop, please PM me directly and our team will advocate and manage your repair.

Tesla owners will get the service they expect from us – period.

Thanks to the entire service team for their commitment to setting the highest standard for service in the industry,


Source: CNBC,  Tesla Motors Club Forum

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26 responses to "Tesla To Apply “Brute Force” To Solve Body Shop Wait Issues, 300 Additional Body Shops Added Soon"

  1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    lol………growing pans.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      As opposed to growing pots? lol

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        That’s totally legal here in CA now, no joke…..

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  2. Taser54 says:

    Should it have even gotten to this point?

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      How is Tesla going to approve 300 new body shops in just a couple of weeks? ?

      I was under the impression that to get approved by Tesla, a body shop must send their employees to the Tesla factory for intense training courses on properly repairing a Tesla. Are 300 body shops sending their employees for training in the next couple of weeks?

      Also, I thought a big part of the problem with delays at body shops was the sometimes months long delay in Tesla sending the body shops the replacement parts that they ordered. Did Tesla somehow figure out how to remove this bottleneck?

      1. jelloslug says:

        Did you read the article?

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Yes, I did. Nowhere did it say how or if they will train the employees of 300 body shops in just a few weeks.

          I’m also not buying Tesla’s excuse that body shops were letting cars sit for weeks before ordering parts and starting repairs. That’s a load of B.S.. There are countless reports by Tesla owners of waiting weeks even months for Tesla service centers to receive backlogged parts from Tesla to repair non-collision damage.

          1. jelloslug says:

            Why did you assume that they just started the training today?

          2. Brian says:

            “The body shops blaming Tesla for parts delays were the very shops that hadn’t even ordered parts or started the repair.”

            Sometimes the delay was a body shop just not bothering with the car… THAT is a pretty big issue.

            Tesla, Chevy or Ford… If I bring my car into a shop and they just let it sit in a lot for 3 weeks and give me “we need parts” excuse I’m not going to be happy with the person not doing what they should.

            1. Michael says:

              Come on, Tesla is still a small manufacturer and can’t send tons of parts in commission to every gross Trader for mechanics, like big ones do. You can’t yet compare them to GM, Ford or VW.

              1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                Small manufacturer? Can’t compare them? Just today Tesla was compared to Ford, something about Tesla having a larger market cap than Ford. Just sayin’.


                1. SJC says:

                  People will make excuses and let it slide for Tesla a bit longer, the Model 3 will be different.

      2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        “How is Tesla going to approve 300 new body shops in just a couple of weeks?”

        EM will sign an ‘Executive Order’…….lol

        OK, I’ll stop now. 😛

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          I just hope Putin and Russia don’t try to influence Tesla’s body shop approval process. 😉

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Should it have even gotten to this point?”

      IMHO you have put your finger on the truly important question here.

      Okay, I read both the original complaint in full (at the Motley Fool investor site) and also the official response from a Tesla rep, posted to the Tesla Motors Club forum. So my response here is to the full situation, not just the partial report given in the article above.

      What really bothers me about this isn’t the delay itself, which Tesla is portraying as a body shop that let the car sit around literally for months before they ever got around to working on it enough to figure out what parts it needed, and order them. That is of course completely unacceptable, but given enough customers, and with Tesla’s “growing pains”, there are always going to be outliers like this. Hopefully not many, but those who get screwed over the hardest are of course going to tend to scream the loudest… i.e., are most likely to be the ones to post complaints online.

      No, what really bothers me about this is the customer’s complaint that nobody at Tesla was willing to “take ownership” of the problem for literally months. According to the complaint, he kept getting the runaround from different Tesla customer service reps, and nobody would agree to give personal attention to the situation, until the complaint had been escalated multiple times.

      However, there is one caveat here: This car was bought as a used car through Tesla’s CPO program. Now certainly Tesla tries to make sure that its used cars are carefully inspected, replacing parts and upgrading systems where needed. But I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Tesla to give the same customer care attention to the buyer of a used car that they’d give to the buyer of a new car. No auto maker does, nor does it seem reasonable to me to expect them to do so.

      So what kind of warranty did this used car come with? If Tesla provided it with a full warranty, even if it was for a more limited time than they give a new car, then IMHO they should have given the service issue just as much attention as if this was the first owner. However, perhaps that’s an unrealistic expectation on my part.

      As I see it, the most important thing Tesla needs to do, to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again, isn’t to start licensing a lot more body shops nationwide to handle repairs. Sure, they need to do that. But the most important thing they need to do is to either hire more service reps or to change their customer service policy so that customers don’t have to have their problem escalated multiple times before the case is assigned to one specific person to handle until it’s actually resolved.

      Tesla has, or at least had, a reputation for superior customer service. To read a case where it sounds like dealing with the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) is something that, as a strong advocate for Tesla Inc., I find quite shocking.

      And unfortunately, this is far from the first time I’ve read complaints about Tesla’s customer service not giving satisfactory care to its customers. Some of the complaints about customer care reps (the kind you deal with on the phone, not in person) seen on the Tesla Motors Club forum seem every bit as shocking, and unacceptable to me, as this one. Of course, it being the Internet, one can never be too sure whether or not to believe what you read. Anti-Tesla trolls do post to the TMC forum, an that seems to be happening with increasing frequency.

      But from the official response from Tesla rep on the TMC forum, there seems little doubt that this report was, unfortunately, entirely true.

  3. Kdawg says:

    That’s great to fix a fender-bender, but what if I need a new traction motor, or some other component not related to sheet metal?

    Doesn’t that type of repair still have to be done at a Tesla service center?

    1. MikeG says:

      Yes those repairs will need to be performed at the service center. We waited for about 2 months for our drive unit to be replaced, but the car was drive-able during that time.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        If the car was at a Tesla service center, then Tesla would have provided a loaner Tesla car for the customer to use while it was in the shop.

        One issue this customer had is that Tesla doesn’t provide loaners to customers whose cars are getting serviced (or not!) at a body shop. Now, there may be very good business reasons for that. Perhaps it’s the case that cars which need body work tend to sit in the shop considerably longer than most cars given service at a Tesla service shop. But at the risk of sounding like a Tesla basher, which I’m definitely not, I can’t help but think that if Tesla had to provide a service loaner to the customer in question, they would have made sure his car got fixed a lot faster than it has.

        Again, I should note that this customer isn’t the first buyer of the car; he bought it thru Tesla’s CPO program. So it makes sense if he’s being treated as a “second class citizen” here. On the other hand, one reason Tesla can justify the high prices for its CPO cars is that they are given Tesla warranties. I presume that’s a more limited warranty than new Tesla cars get, but still the customer is paying to “buy into” Tesla’s service network. That being the case, I think he should have been given better treatment than being treated as a red-headed stepchild.

        I realize this is an outlier case, but even still, this isn’t the only case I’ve read about shockingly poor customer service from Tesla’s customers. Perhaps it’s not realistic of me to expect Tesla to be able to fundamentally change the situation, given the realities of business. But if Tesla wants to keep its reputation for superior customer service, then they need to change their policy for customer care, so that cases like this are assigned to someone with the authority to actually fix the situation in a reasonable time frame. And that needs to happen much, much faster than it did for this customer.

        Reports like this aren’t going to make me stop being a fan of Tesla Inc. But they might very well cause me to stop claiming that Tesla has a well-deserved reputation for superior customer service.

        1. Nix says:

          The body shop was a third party (not owned by Tesla). The accident was the fault of yet another (uninsured) third party, who was liable for incidental costs due to the collision, such as a rental car. The car owner’s uninsured motorist insurance ended up being yet another third party contractually obligated for covering costs (such as a rental car) through the insurance policy terms.

          Why exactly would Tesla provide a loaner car??? That makes zero sense. They are trice removed from this transaction.

          Every major car maker offers certification for third-party collision repair facilities. No car maker offers free loaner cars to people who are in collisions. That’s just silly.

          If the car’s owner wants compensated for loss of use, he can and should seek loss of use compensation to whatever extend he is insured under his own uninsured motorist policy. Then whatever loss of use not covered, the owner should go after the uninsured motorist personally in a lawsuit to recoup. That is how collision liability works.

          Nobody gets compensated from the car maker when somebody runs into their car.


          When I look at the Motley Fool story, the first thing that is a huge red flag is this picture:

          This was taken at the body shop in a section of the article titled “8 months later”. What strikes me here is that the car STILL hasn’t had a proper tear-down done yet!! The teardown is where every part damaged by the accident is removed one-by-one and inventoried, until ALL the damaged parts have been removed.

          Then and only then can a full parts order be put in. It isn’t surprising that they kept having to wait for more parts. Because the shop would have had to keep ordering more parts as they went, since they didn’t do a proper teardown until long enough into the process that the owner was frustrated enough to take pictures at the shop.

  4. wavelet says:

    I’m sure there are incompetent body shops, and there may be a few where “cars sat at body shops for weeks and sometimes months before the body shops took action”, but it’s _not_ credible that that’s a major part of the problem: In my neck of the woods, body shops don’t have the extra space to keep a car that long… Let alone, under the conditions the owner of a $100K car would expect, and they certainly wouldn’t want to be liable for any further damage the cars could suffer while being stored.

    1. SteveSeattle says:

      The body shop up the road from me often has cars sitting outside for weeks and months before repair.

  5. RM says:

    Not to be *that* guy, but this news is almost 3 weeks old. C’mon guys.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I hadn’t read about it, so it was news for me, and I appreciate InsideEVs bringing it to our attention. IMHO this is an important issue regarding Tesla’s business. Important not because of this one case, but because of multiple reported similar cases, altho I think the nearly 8 months’ wait (!) is an outlier even within the category of these hopefully rare cases.

  6. ffbj says:

    Looking down the road apiece, this video points to rather dire circumstances for those that are now purchasing ice vehicles.
    Not a good idea. Due to effect of even much depreciation, than has be seen heretofore.

  7. ffbj says:

    And a touch of hudage, after market:

  8. Didier says:

    In 2017, with a car able to drive itself, the car should be able to diagnostic itself, and even to repair itself with the help of a technician or even of the owner (if he wills to do so).

    All sensors are in place, a big screen is here to give directions, the car is even connected, so the only requirement is software.

    This can be even more easy if the car is designed with this in mind, with modular elements that can be plugged and removed by the end user. To make a comparison with the PC world, a usb sound card is easier to change that a PCI one, that is easier to change that a sound card on the motherboard, then the faulty card can be sent to be repaired or to be recycled. The point is that the owner of the car just had to do what the car asked him to do, the car can even order the new parts needed for a delivery at home.