The Way In Which Tesla Fixes Minor Issues Actually Enhances Owner Confidence

AUG 29 2016 BY TESLAMONDO 33

Strategic Vision Winners

Strategic Vision Winners

YOU’VE HAD SOME PROBLEMS? NO PROBLEM.

Model S is the most-loved automotive product on the road, says Strategic Vision. Just another touchy-feely survey? Maybe, but look at the comment from the SV marketing director:

“The Tesla Model S was again rated as the highest quality vehicle in the entire industry.  The electric performance car consistently reinforces the fact that according to consumers, quality is far more than simply a lack of problems.  The Model S does have its share of minor issues, but the innovation and excitement of the product overpowers any lasting negative feelings regarding those issues.”

 “According to Karl Miller, Director of Marketing at Strategic Vision, “Even the way Tesla fixes problems often turns a product drawback into a benefit.  To be able to fix problems and add features through a software download overnight instead of a trip to the dealer is a powerful tool.  In many cases, it actually enhances their confidence in the product more than if the problem had never existed in the first place.”

TeslaMondo has long opined that Tesla enjoys a forgiveness factor that’s totally unfair to rivals. When you buy an unprecedented product from a young company, you know you’re flying Uncharted Airlines. All part of early adopting. That’s why a Consumer Reports blessing, while optimal, is also optional in Tesla’s case.

The Strategic Vision winners’ roster (above) is odd indeed. The thoroughbred Model S rubs shoulders with the Fiat 500, a quivering, tinkling automotive chihuahua. So even a s****box can win a Strategic Vision award if it’s a cute n’ cuddly s***box. Yay Sergio!

Sergio

Sergio

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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33 Comments on "The Way In Which Tesla Fixes Minor Issues Actually Enhances Owner Confidence"

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The way that Tesla continuously improves their cars, and simple model dating – is the best thing to reverse planned obsolescence.

Eh, no. The best way to reverse planned obsolescence is to not plan for products to become obsolete and do the reverse: plan for longevity of the product.

Of course software updates is an important plan of making a modern car long-lasting. But someone offering software updates wouldn’t magically reverse planned obsolescence; if they plan for the product to become obsolete they’ll obviously not offer updates that effectively prevent that from happening.

This is not a merely academical point. Just wait and see. My prediction: Car makers will all begin to offer software updates over the air instead of requiring you to visit a garage and have a technician transfer it by wired connection. But several of them will be using it only to correct issues that could lead to a warranty claim. They are still reluctant to the Silicon Valley ways, and few if any will be pushing frequent updates that generally improve the car little by little.

If he had simply removed the word planned and left it as obsolescence, it would have been fine. Also the word is academic.

Still I think when reading a post we should attempt to dicern what the writer was trying to relate. I think in this case the writer was referring to ‘planned obsolescence’ as part of the design of the car integrated into the vehicle. Since Tesla, by design, does not rely on planned obsolescence, they make their vehicles too last, and as you suggest, that is the way to reduce planned obsolescence.

So, taken, in that sense the original comment makes more sense due to the fact that ota updates maintain the efforts counter to the view of planned obsolescence, since things will remain current longer, become obsolete less quickly.

Yes, it seems to be the case that another way in which Tesla differentiates itself from legacy car companies is that it responds to owners problems in a positive way.

@ffbj

Tesla service is top notch. They are always helpful on the phone. When I was shopping for my used Model S I wanted to verify some of the old owners claims about things that were done to the car and they looked it all up and verified the new “D” battery and drive unit at 22K miles.

Also my A/C went out in Sacramento on a 2000 mile super charger trip and they fixed it first thing the next morning and then did not charge me for it even though the car was out of warranty. No GM dealer would have done that.

So of you want one of these cars be aware that they are going to have to go to the service center more often than, for example, my nice reliable Chevy Volt.

I knew these things going into this project though so I have no regrets so far. The car is so nice Tesla owners overlook a lot of these issues.

We will see how I feel in 2 years.

Thanks for taking the time to write this. It is always good to hear from actual owners.

So Tesla willing gave information about what had been done to the car to a third party who simply called and asked for it? Without permission from the owner? Highly unprofessional!

I see why it was useful for you, but I believe this is illegal (it is “personally identifiable information” and violates the then-owner’s rights to privacy).

On the other hand, perhaps when it comes to car repairs and servicing there ought to be a publicly-accessible register. Even so, this isn’t the way to go about it.

What on Earth are you wittering on about? How can telling someone a car had a new transmission (or whatever) be ‘personally identifiable information’?

@Terrawatt

It’s the cars history not the previous owners history so I don’t see why it is confidential.

@Terawatt
It’s the cars history not the previous owners history so I don’t see why it is confidential.

“The thoroughbred Model S rubs shoulders with the Fiat 500, a quivering, tinkling automotive chihuahua”
Funniest thing I’ve read in months! Thank you, I needed a hearty laugh.

I test drove a Fiat 500 two years ago and it was a tin can POS. My Mini feels like a tank compared to it.

The Mini has about 250-500 pounds more weight in it, so it certainly should feel more substantial.

Fiat 500 ICE: 2,366 to 2,512 lbs
Mini Cooper: 2,605 to 3,035 lbs

Yes, you are right. Specifically, mine weighs 2855 lbs. I test drove both when making the buying decision.

The hating on the 500 is ridiculous and unfounded. It’s a great little car. Certainly a lot more fun than the “mini” (a car less true to its roots or its name is hard to think of!) – precisely because it is light and thus less reluctant to change direction.

The current 500 is much closer in concept to the original Mini than BMWs thing. Especially if you look at the most horrific versions – the Clubman and Countryman.

TeslaMondo has obvious gripes with Marchionne, and that’s sort of understandable even if the criticism isn’t very intelligent. But going from there to generic Fiat 500 phobia is just hopelessly silly.

I can tell you have not driven the new generation Mini, have you? Hard to beat handling and driving dynamics of such car. If you are a “driver” kind of a person. If you drive because you must and prefer all kinds of auto-gizmos in a car, you would not understand. Mini is a very fine car, trust me.

DevOps is the new thinking. Plan for failures and embrace them is the new customer service born of this thinking.

Failures inevitably will happen. Make them part of the process not an exception.

Tesla is ahead of this curve by a huge silicon-valley margin over the incumbents.

Of course, this is much easier with 50k cars vs 500M.

There is zero logic in this. Unlike the “update firmware at the garage” model, the “update automatically over the air” model is nearly infinitely scalable. It is certainly no harder with 500k cars than with a single car. To the contrary, the larger scale means that the expenditure per car on software development drops like a stone.

Even across many different car models the software can largely be shared. Note “can” and not “must”. It is possible to create a nightmare of different versions all of which must be maintained and tested separately – leading to poorer results for the same dev efforts.

But in software more than anything else, scale is a gigantic advantage. The speed with which you can create copies and the near zero cost of doing it creates much stronger economy of scale than for hardware.

Hard to put much stock into this survey when they classify the CMax as a “small” and the Volt as a “mid-size”. But Kuddos to both!

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=36932&id=36863

Click on “specs” in the above link to see the EPA classifications.

You would think they must have transposed those two. However, they don’t seem to be using EPA numbers, since the Maxima is a EPA midsize and they are claiming fullsize. Also a Subaru WRX is the same size as the Volt (109cf) and it is also marked as midsize.

I will never forget the first time I saw a Volt in real life. I was shocked at how tiny the passenger cabin is.

Definitely a compact.

90 cu ft cabin isn’t that small.

EPA classify by passenger volume+ luggage.

Prius only has 91 cu ft.

MOdel S is only 94 cu ft.

Honda Accord has 103 cu ft.

Impala has 105 cuf ft.

Those are passenger volume only that doesn’t include luggage volume which is often inflated to bump the vehicle one size up.

If Volt has 30 cu ft of luggage space, then it would have been classified as midsize despite the cramped interior.

The problem with the Volt’s interior space and I have a 2012 is that the backseat legroom and headroom are sparse, especially with the front seats back all the way.

This is why GM is absolutely squandering their shrinking opportunity to moe their class-leading voltec system into larger vehicles like CUVs/SUVs and legitimate midsize cars like the Malibu, instead of making a non PEV hybrid.

Are you suggesting my own eyes lied to me? You only need to see someone standing next to the car to see that it’s most definitely a compact. In fact, it’s hardly bigger than a subcompact.

That’s interesting about the Impala – which is by today’s standards a Large Car, but one in which has been signicantly downsized as have all GM products, but even in its diminutive current form has what today is, a huge amount of space.

When I Test drove an “S” I think part of the disappointment was I was expecting a much larger car. But the Honda Accord is larger?

If the CT6 is GM’s “Largest” Sedan, that would mean it would have to ‘best’ the Impala, and therefore, the PHEV version would be by definition the Largest Electric Sedan you could buy. Intersting.

You are definitely wrong by the average guys sort of dims.

Are you +6 and +220? Must be, otherwise you could never call Volt a subcompact.

“Air Conditioner repaired out of warranty”

I don’t think any S is old enough to have it out of warranty, simply because it is needed for the battery system.

My battery cooling in the volt is still covered for 8 years, and its not 2019 yet.

But they did change a voltec ‘charging cord’ even though it wasn’t covered under the ‘voltec warranty’. A rare mistake in my favor.

@Bill
Hmmm good point. I definitely remember him saying that but I can’t prove it. Could be my mind is playing a trick on me. I’ll have to look into it some more. The battery is covered 8years unlimited miles and you are right the A/C compressor also cools the battery so one would think it would be covered also.

My model S is soon 3 years and 60,000 miles no service or warranty problem yet.

Just a smooth ride.

I hope that ride will be as nice after 200.000 miles and 8 years when I plan to upgrade to a new 100kW or larger battery. And drive another 200.000 miles with this great car. ( I have made a reservation for a model3 for my wife).

Agree with this characterization entirely. We’ve had a few small repairs and the service is always excellent. Part of the reason we are in line for the Model 3.

I’m just checking InsideEV policy here, not bashing:
Does a regurgitated online chart and a personal reaction to the chart with a pair of expletives and a tangentially related defamatory online graphic satisfy editorial requirements for an article posting?
With all the recent comments lately about what constitutes content that readers expect to be made available here, perhaps some further editorial policy clarification or a division of content delivered into different categories is warranted.
For my part, I don’t particularly care for Marchionne’s stance on EVs nor the 500 in any form, but I certainly didn’t click on a posting here to read an unintelligent bit of name calling nor essentially a repost by a blogger of their own culled content.