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No. of Recommendations: 1
Both: Acceleration capability can result in a partial reversion to teenage driving impulses.... ;)

Sounds like it's a good thing you didn't get the Performance versions. :)


Probably so.

But for $2k, I can get an acceleration boost software update from Tesla that closes half the gap to the performance version. ;)

Rob
Rule Breaker Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Is there a way to buy a car for a great price without seeing a car salesman? - Smurfdogg

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I have a friend who bought through Carvana about six months ago. This was in the Fort Worth area if that matters and was a conventional car, not a Tesla. He was quite satisfied, more than happy, he was enthusiastic about the experience. I may check into Carvana, the next time I am in the market.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
All good questions. I own a Leaf and TSLA is my 3rd-biggest retirement stock holding. I'm also in the transportation engineering/planning industry and work very closely (as in, same-company closely) with the folks on the infrastructure side of making "self-driving cars" happen.

1) Is there a rule of thumb among the cheap but well-heeled on how much is OK to spend on a depreciating asset?
No! Everyone's comfort level is different. If you've been to the LBYM board, you know what I mean. Some buy as much car as they need, some as much as they want, some as much as they think they deserve, and there's always a way to justify it in one's own mind. You're the only one you really need to convince about what that right amount to spend on a car is.

2) What non-Tesla electrics have the ability to "turn on" self-driving capabilities when made legal?
None of them. Tesla has at least a 5-year head start in software and I can tell you that if you buy a car based on this potential future, you're overspending. We have tiny little pilot projects in only a few places, and in my professional opinion, we're at least 10 years away from even 25% of new cars sold having Level 5 self-driving capability, regardless of whether they're electric-drive and despite what windsock carmaker CEOs say. You can separate "self-driving" and "electric" in your purchase calculus and still be okay.

3) Are there electric cars that essentially do the driving for you, except you need to be present behind the wheel "just in case"?
Yes, but only Tesla is doing this (basically Level 4 automation, if I remember right) well across their product offerings. Many others offer an excellent range of well-known lower-level safety features (e.g., automatic forward collision avoidance) in their expensive new cars, but that's a different answer.

I'm hesitant with hybrids because I don't love the idea of running two systems.
Good on ya. Hybrids are the worst of both worlds, in my opinion. Get an efficient ICE car or go BEV.

I live in the Northeast. Hudson Valley, NY to be more specific. I see very few places to charge a vehicle here. Obviously, I'd do so in my own driveway.
It could depend on where you're looking, but yeah, they're mostly subsidized by large new developments and government centers. Dealers who sell EVs will have them, and if you have a major health food grocery chain, write a letter to the regional manager asking them to put in a pair.

4) Wondering when electric vehicles will be cheaper and more mainstream (aside from pledges and such).
As the charging infrastructure grows. Potential end to 100 years of oil-industry subsidies would be a good-sized hip-check toward equity between the dinosaurs and the zappers. But electrics already are mainstream in most cities in the west, and not just in California.

Is there a way to buy a car for a great price without seeing a car salesman?
Yep. Buy it from family, or maybe get to know all of the older folks around you who don't drive much, and let them know that you'd be willing to give them a fair price for their car when they decide to give up the keys. But in either case, it might not be the car you want. I go into every car deal with a private party just assuming they're trying to unload a lemon on me.

-n8 (hope that helps you)
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Is there a rule of thumb among the cheap but well-heeled on how much is OK to spend on a depreciating asset?

My rule is to not finance a depreciating asset. That provides a reality check on global cash requirements


D
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No. of Recommendations: 8
The cheapest used Tesla models would be the S or 3. The S because it has been around the longest, the 3 because it is is the least expensive model. Tesla offers a "certified pre-owned" program where you can buy used models directly from them. I threw in a Poughkeepsie zip code; the used S starts around $50k, 3 around $47k.

At those prices you would do better buying a new 3. The base model starts around $38k, the preferable long range around $47k. Adding the "self driving" feature, which is a promise of future capability rather than a current capability, provides driving assistance but adds a painful $10k to the price.

Typical is to plug it in when you get home, and have a full charge every time you leave. That covers most people unless they are traveling. The Tesla Supercharger network is exclusively for Teslas. The network lets you take a Tesla just about anywhere in the US. Good luck with any other brand, as the total of charging opportunities for everyone else is a small fraction of what Tesla has... and a Tesla can charge at most of them too!

Again using Poughkeepsie as a starting point, there are Tesla Superchargers in Fishkill, Newburgh, Clinton Corners, Kingston, Middletown. Two around Albany. North of Albany, Queensbury, Chestertown. That leaves out the more numerous but smaller destination chargers at places like hotels and other places people drive to as, well, as destinations.

The Tesla web site makes it easy to configure and order any model. They like to show prices after "potential savings"; I change that to show Purchase Price. Actual savings depend on what you pay for electricity, what you would pay for gas, and especially how much you drive.

Full disclosure: I own some TSLA, about 7% of my portfolio (with a much appreciated return of 2372% as of Thursday close). I plan on buying a new Model Y as soon as my old house sells. Long range, all wheel drive. I will be enriching them with the extra $10k for the self driving option as I am not getting younger and imagine this as my last car; if it can keep me out of trouble I'll appreciate that. That pushes it up around $60k without taxes and such. For comparison my 2011 Ford Fusion cost me $16k used eight years ago. But eight years ago my portfolio was about 20% of what it is today.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
My rule is to not finance a depreciating asset.

How to pay for a vehicle is a financial decision, and financing can certainly make sense. If you can get a 0% loan or something that is a lower interest rate than your investments are earning, it can certainly make sense to finance it. But you have to do the analysis for your particular situation to see what makes sense.

We've done 0% and something like 1 1/2% on vehicle purchases, and with money that cheap and where we already had the cash to purchase outright, it made financial sense for us to make use of the loan.

It's just another tool in the financial toolbox and can be appropriate.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm hesitant with hybrids because I don't love the idea of running two systems.

Hybrids have been mainstream for 15+ years now so I wouldn't be too concerned about running 2 systems. I considered a hybrid Highlander back in '04 but bought a ICE Pilot instead. Why? Cost analysis. Under my driving habits/situation, the extra $6k for the battery system (assuming a 10 year lifespan), gas would have to be above $4/gal to make it cost efficient. The numbers may or may not be different now.

When I replaced the Pilot a couple years ago, there was no hybrid option for a full size SUV. That is the one thing that never made sense to me, small compact cars with 30-35 mpg having more hybrid options as opposed to larger SUVs/trucks where an extra 2-3 mpg is a 20% boost. Maybe it has to do with more batteries required and weight.

JLC
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Own two hybrids, love them. That said I wouldn’t buy just any hybrid. Toyota has been selling hybrid cars since 1997 I think they’ve ironed out the bugs in 24 years....
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No. of Recommendations: 8
I'm really enamored with electric cars, specifically the Teslas I see on the road. I'm not likely to ever spend the kind of money it takes to buy one.

Teslas are great cars, by far the best available on almost any scale. And no, they aren't especially expensive at the low end. Wait a few months for the new EV incentives to kick in and they'll get even less expensive. I bet you'll be able to buy a new Model 3 for less than a mid-range Camry.

1) Is there a rule of thumb among the cheap but well-heeled on how much is OK to spend on a depreciating asset?

Beats me. My Teslas are the among the best purchases I've ever made, given the pleasure that driving them has been.

2) What non-Tesla electrics have the ability to "turn on" self-driving capabilities when made legal?

Self-driving is already legal in many states, but nobody yet has a vehicle on the road that they are ready to proclaim is capable of functioning without a human driver. Tesla is close, and says they will update the software on most of their cars currently on the road when it's ready. But we don't know whether "close" means five months or five years. I would not buy the full self driving option at this time and expect it to work everywhere right away. But the driver assist functions are really impressive, and pretty much do all the driving on long highway trips and in rush-hour highway traffic.

Oh, also Tesla says they will be starting a self-driving subscription service next month, so that should be interesting.

3) Are there electric cars that essentially do the driving for you, except you need to be present behind the wheel "just in case"?

Nobody other than Tesla is even close at this point.

I'm hesitant with hybrids because I don't love the idea of running two systems.

Smart! Gas cars and hybrids are obsolete technology. Overly complex and hugely wasteful.

I live in the Northeast. Hudson Valley, NY to be more specific. I see very few places to charge a vehicle here. Obviously, I'd do so in my own driveway.

Check out <abetterrouteplanner.com> and map out the routes you care about. Unless you are living somewhere where you can't plug in your car, it doesn't much matter what charging is available nearby. What matters is the general availability of charging on the routes you want to travel long distance.

4) Wondering when electric vehicles will be cheaper and more mainstream

Getting there rapidly. It's all about battery production. Traveling by electric vehicle is already cheaper and much safer than using a gas car. For most, the hurdle that remains is getting the purchase price down.

Is there a way to buy a car for a great price without seeing a car salesman?

Tesla doesn't even have salesmen. Order online at tesla.com. My formula for getting a Tesla at a great price is to put the money I want to spend into Tesla stock. By the time I'm ready to buy the car I can take it out of the profits (done that three times now).

-IGU-
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No. of Recommendations: 2
If you can get a 0% loan

A zero per cent offer can be an opportunity to negotiate a lower cash price. Just did this successfully last month.

D
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No. of Recommendations: 8
A zero per cent offer can be an opportunity to negotiate a lower cash price. Just did this successfully last month.

I don't find that to be the case. Often it is the manufacturer, not the dealer, that is offering 0%. This is called captive financing. Therefore, the dealer isn't tying up any of their cash. Also, the dealer earns a fee from the manufacturer for making the loan. It costs nothing by the dealer to offer the financing so there isn't an incentive to offer a lower cash price.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 9
2) What non-Tesla electrics have the ability to "turn on" self-driving capabilities when made legal?
None of them. Tesla has at least a 5-year head start in software and I can tell you that if you buy a car based on this potential future, you're overspending. We have tiny little pilot projects in only a few places, and in my professional opinion, we're at least 10 years away from even 25% of new cars sold having Level 5 self-driving capability,


Sorry but even Musk says Tesla's beta FSD is only level 2. Maybe for legal reasons.
TO the original poster: don't even think you are going to buy a car today where you are sitting at the wheel and paying attention.
I own a Model 3 and while good at some, even many things when auto pilot is on there are too many failures to trust it.


I'm hesitant with hybrids because I don't love the idea of running two systems.


I've owned 4 different Prius models going back to 2000. All were rock solid reliable. I never had a failure of any kind other than a warning that said there was a problem and to see the dealer. Once.
I still have the Prius plugin from 2012. Very low maintenance. But the Tesla is even less since there are no oil changes.

I live in the Northeast. Hudson Valley, NY to be more specific. I see very few places to charge a vehicle here.

That is probably due to the fact that most charging stations aren't located in prime real estate on busy street corners. Many are behind stores or inside parking garages. But every EV pretty much has a GPS map of where to charge. Go to google maps and look for nearby chargers or the Tesla Supercharger network.

4) Wondering when electric vehicles will be cheaper and more mainstream (aside from pledges and such).

They are mainstream in CA. I see dozens every day. Tesla just put in another Supercharger station on I5 between SF and LA with 56 chargers! And now they are putting in a 100-charger station down closer to LA. They wouldn't be putting in that many stations if they didn't expect them to get used.

Mike
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No. of Recommendations: 8
PSUEngineer writes,

<<A zero per cent offer can be an opportunity to negotiate a lower cash price. Just did this successfully last month.>>

I don't find that to be the case. Often it is the manufacturer, not the dealer, that is offering 0%. This is called captive financing. Therefore, the dealer isn't tying up any of their cash. Also, the dealer earns a fee from the manufacturer for making the loan. It costs nothing by the dealer to offer the financing so there isn't an incentive to offer a lower cash price.

</snip>


That's why you should never offer to pay cash for an automobile at a dealer. The fact that the dealer earns a commission for making the car loan means he has more room to negotiate on price. As long as there is no prepayment penalty on the loan, you can just call the finance company when you get home, ask for the payoff amount on the loan, and mail them the check.

intercst
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No. of Recommendations: 4
If this is true:
Teslas are great cars, by far the best available on almost any scale. And no, they aren't especially expensive at the low end. Wait a few months for the new EV incentives to kick in and they'll get even less expensive. I bet you'll be able to buy a new Model 3 for less than a mid-range Camry.

Why does Consumer Reports give them such a dismal reliability rating. And I don't think it is from testing, but comments from current Tesla owners.

Fore example, I have a Silverado. CR gives Silverados a pretty poor reliability rating. CR is correct.

V
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Why does Consumer Reports give [Teslas] such a dismal reliability rating. And I don't think it is from testing, but comments from current Tesla owners.

What you are illustrating all to well the the power of media FUD. No, CR does not give Teslas a dismal reliability rating, their ratings are all over the map over time and model. And no, comments from Tesla owners are hugely positive in CR's surveys.

Here's a piece written about Tesla's CR owner satisfaction survey on 8/22/20:
https://www.thestreet.com/tesla/news/tesla-tops-consumer-rep...
Headline: Tesla Tops Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey

For details about the reliability rating results, CR does ding Tesla for various reliability problems, but they're mostly artifacts of CR's methodology. Teslas tend to have a variety of minor issues that are easily fixed, many by over the air updates of the software. But CR pretty much just asks owners "how many times did you have any sort of problem?" They don't distinguish between "My Silverado has a rattle in the dash that's driving me crazy and the dealer hasn't been able to fix it even after half a dozen visits." and "My Tesla Model 3 subwoofer seems muffled. [real example!] Oh, yeah, known issue that gets fixed in the next update."

The thing is that there are very few "reliability" issues with Teslas that actually leave owners unhappy for very long. Even when it isn't a software thing, Tesla fixes most issues that require a human by sending a mobile technician to where you live or work, who fixes whatever it is without it taking any of your time or attention. The experience is simply so much better that the usual dealer service shop repair that it sometimes leaves people happy they had the problem in the first place. Having things get better with no effort on your part seems just magical.

This is not to say that Teslas have no problems. It just turns out that almost all the problems they do have are utterly insignificant compared to what what most people are used to. And while I blithely say "software" I have never seen a safety critical failure in my Tesla software.

It's also the case that Consumer Reports has been utterly useless at analyzing anything high tech for a long time. If you want some pedestrian consumer good that has been on the market forever with gradual improvements over decades (think refrigerators), then they do fine. But for anything high tech? Forget it.

-IGU-
(This, from 2/27/19, is Rob Maurer's podcast interview of Jake Fisher, CR's Director of Auto Testing mostly about their methodology: https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/8804990)
(Also Part 2, from 11/15/19: https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/12056072)
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No. of Recommendations: 2
This is not to say that Teslas have no problems. It just turns out that almost all the problems . . .

Thanks for the thoughtful answer. I do appreciate it.

V
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No. of Recommendations: 5
For what it's worth, we bought a 3 and a Y in February and love them both.

Exceptions:

3: Driver door takes excessive force to close, IMO. Haven't taken it in.

Y: Has a white interior and I find reflections from the passenger seat in the screen to be objectionable for viewing. Wife sees no issue.

Both: Acceleration capability can result in a partial reversion to teenage driving impulses.... ;)

Rob
Rule Breaker Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
3: Driver door takes excessive force to close, IMO. Haven't taken it in.

It is unlikely you would need to take it in. Just schedule a service using the Tesla app on your phone. They'll (probably) send somebody out in a mobile service unit to diagnose and adjust it. Worth it just for the experience! It is possibly overly airtight, so it's the last door to close that has an issue? There's an adjustment for that, I think.

A chat with the service technician might also yield advice on your issue with reflections.

Both: Acceleration capability can result in a partial reversion to teenage driving impulses.... ;)

Sounds like it's a good thing you didn't get the Performance versions. :)

-IGU-
(Note: this is the usual sort of Tesla "reliability issue" that CR is upset about.)
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Did you know that Tesla got a $465 million loan from the DOE in 2010 as part of an Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. The company, which has made some previous payments, had nine more years to pay off the loan.
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No. of Recommendations: 14
Note: this is the usual sort of Tesla "reliability issue" that CR is upset about.)

CR isn’t “upset” about anything. They take the results off around 330,000 surveys of actual owners, compile the results, and report on each model. Surveys cover the past 10 years, and typically each model gets between 200-300 responses. If it falls below a data threshold they don’t report on it.

So it would be fair to say “this is the usual sort of Tesla reliability issue that Tesla owners have reported and are upset about.

For those interested in methodology:

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisf...
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No. of Recommendations: 6
CR isn’t “upset” about anything.

Well, excuse me. What I really meant to say was that CR hasn't the slightest idea how to effectively survey EV owners about reliability. But I didn't want to be rude.

I recommend you listen to the interviews I mentioned upthread if you're actually interested. Perhaps you'll come to appreciate just how little thought CR has given to how to usefully evaluate EVs. For example, given their top trouble areas they should immediately put all EVs at the top of the reliability heap because they don't have an exhaust system and they don't have an engine so nothing can ever go wrong with these systems. Ever. Not possible. 100% perfect reliability.

And especially for Teslas, how should they treat model years and fixes done through software updates? They don't know. Their methodology just tries to make it fit in -- this is a problem with 2017 Model S vehicles. Except, of course, it was fixed by software updates a couple years back, and it really only affected a few vehicles built between March and May because by then Tesla had figured out the problem and changed how they build the cars -- but there are no model year boundaries.

You'll remember when CR had its gotcha moment back in 2018 with the Model 3 brake test (https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-model3-braking-software-up...). Wired says the well-respected, review-focused magazine reported “flaws—big flaws—such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls.” But, as Wired breathlessly reports, Tesla tweaked the braking parameters slightly and pushed out a software update.

Tesla owners will tell you this is no big deal. We get updates every few weeks, sometimes with invisible improvements, sometimes with obvious ones, and sometimes with huge new features -- it's like getting a newer better car a few times a year. But over at CR they gushed: “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars, and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update,” Jake Fisher, the director of auto testing at the publication, said in a statement. But Jake will tell you out of the other side of his mouth that they see no need to come up with a different way to measure quality and reliability given this new reality. The truth is that they just can't keep up and they'll continue to slide further into irrelevance.

-IGU-
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Perhaps you'll come to appreciate just how little thought CR has given to how to usefully evaluate EVs. For example, given their top trouble areas they should immediately put all EVs at the top of the reliability heap because they don't have an exhaust system and they don't have an engine so nothing can ever go wrong with these systems. Ever. Not possible. 100% perfect reliability.

Actually, they get a N/A in those areas. OWNERS can’t evaluate an exhaust system if one does’t exist, can they?

And especially for Teslas, how should they treat model years and fixes done through software updates? They don't know.

Nor do they care. Why should they? They’re surveying THE OWNERS. Do the owners not care? Are there problems that get corrected? Great. Apparently there are enough problems that it shows up in a survey bbb OF OWNERS. (Did you know that these questions are asked OF OWNERS? I just thought I would clarify that for you. There is no special sauce that Consumer Reports has to add, they are merely tabulating result from ACTUAL TESLA OWHNERS. If owners complain about, say, “Fit and Finish” (your example, not mine) then that is a complaint that will show up in the survey. And, FWIW, they have.)

There are 17 areas covered, including these three:

PAINT/TRIM: Paint (fading, chalking, peeling or cracking), loose interior or exterior trim or moldings, rust.

BODY INTEGRITY (Noises/leaks): Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, seals, and/or weather stripping, air and water leaks.

BODY HARDWARE: Windows, locks and latches, doors or sliding doors, tailgate, trunk or hatch, mirrors, seat controls (power or manual), seat belts, sunroof, convertible top, glass defect.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisf...

I am fairly sure that many and perhaps most of those issues can be commented on by ACTUAL TESLA OWNERS.

There are other areas, including “in car electronics”, “drive system”, and “climate system” which would seem to be germane. “Exhaust system”? No. “Batteries”? Yes, especially when they include batteries for hybrid/battery and EV’s alone. Again, I will refer you to Consumer Reports own instructions on using its methodology. If you are going to complain about it at least you should understand it, which you clearly don’t.

But I didn't want to be rude.

It’s not rude to point out serious mistakes, which you keep making. It wouldn’t be rude for you to point it out either, but you keep missing the point

You'll remember when CR had its gotcha moment back in 2018 with the Model 3 brake test (https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-model3-braking-software-up...).

It’s hardly a “gotcha” moment. CR reported that ACTUAL TESLA OWNERS were reporting a problem with the braking system. Tesla addressed it and pushed out a change in their algorithm. In other words, AN ACTUAL PROBLEM got fixed. Good for Tesla. Why is this somehow bad for Consumer Reports? Because Tesla did it quickly, and CR reported on it *in near real time* that the problem had been fixed? (As your own article points out.)

Tesla owners will tell you this is no big deal.

Some will. Apparently some won’t. A semi-stratified sample of owners in a 330,000 response survey, of which probably 1,000 are from TESLA OWNERS and they didn’t agree with you.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Tesla owners will tell you this is no big deal.

Some will. Apparently some won’t. A semi-stratified sample of owners in a 330,000 response survey, of which probably 1,000 are from TESLA OWNERS and they didn’t agree with you.


I wonder how the questions are structured. It makes all the difference. For a farcical example, since the question related to big deals:

Have you ever had a problem with the brakes. Yes No

or

Have you ever had a problem with the brakes that you believe was a big deal. Yes No

I rather doubt that CD asked if it was a big deal, which would mean they did not gather data about whether it was a big deal.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
FWIW, JD Power rated Tesla dead last in initial quality.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/25/21302804/tesla-ranks-last...
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No. of Recommendations: 4
I rather doubt that CD asked if it was a big deal, which would mean they did not gather data about whether it was a big deal.

Actually they do, at least in some areas.

How Are the Surveys Conducted?

Consumer Reports’ Survey Department conducts multiple Auto Surveys each year asking about reliability as well as satisfaction. For reliability, we ask members to note any problems with their vehicles that occurred in the past 12 months. They are asked to identify problems that they considered serious (because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime). We ask them to include problems covered by warranty, but not the ones resulting from accident damage or due solely to recall. Respondents check off problems from a list of trouble areas, ranging from the engine and transmission to climate system, brakes, electrical system, and power accessories. They also tell us in writing (verbatim) specifically what their experiences were to help us understand precisely what problems they are having. (See the full list of trouble spots below.)

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisf...

Some of the 17 categories are described:

ENGINE, MAJOR:
ENGINE, MINOR:
ENGINE COOLING:
TRANSMISSION, MAJOR:
TRANSMISSION, MINOR:
DRIVE SYSTEM:


Many of those are not relevant to Tesla, and presumably Tesla owners would be smart enough not to complain about an “antifreeze leak.” They do complain about other things, as demonstrated by the actual survey results. That doesn’t automatically make them bad cars, it makes them susceptible to criticism just like any other car from its owners.

The survey is incredibly lengthy, consisting both of check boxes for common problems and open spaces to report others., It asks only about the last 12 months of your own personal car’s experience. I’ve taken the survey; nobody asked about things I’d read or what my cousin said, It’s MY CAR. Period.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Many of those [categories] are not relevant to Tesla...

Right. And more important many of the things that are relevant to EVs and Teslas in particular aren't asked about because CR has no clue about them.

Most important, and something you know very well despite pretending over and over that asking THE OWNERS somehow atones for all sins, is that he who compiles the data determines what it says. And CR's report is pretty much unrecognizable to anybody who drives the cars as reflecting their reliability. The result is just nonsense.

Tesla's customer satisfaction is legendary at this point, approached by nobody other than Apple in mass market consumer goods. And owners don't say "I love it despite its being unreliable." What they say is "It's the best car I've ever owned and now that I've had one I'll never drive anything else." The only real question at this point how sorry those late to the party will be that they didn't get there sooner.

-IGU-
(and yes of course there are some exceptions)
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Right. And more important many of the things that are relevant to EVs and Teslas in particular aren't asked about because CR has no clue about them.

...

Tesla's customer satisfaction is legendary at this point,



Probably most non-Tesla owners don't realize what you are even talking about. Let me provide a couple of examples of how Tesla has broken the model of how the conventional auto-maker-dealer relationship with the customers works. Most people know that Tesla doesn't have "dealers." There are pros and cons to this, of course.

But in the ~2.5 years I've owned my Model 3 here are a few of the things Tesla has done to "upgrade" my car, for free, while it sits in my garage.

- dashcam feature (install a USB flash drive to get this after the update)
- sentry mode (~silent video recording car alarm...records on flash drive and alerts your phone)
- dog mode (displays a message that your dog is OK and keeps your car cool)
- various games and Netflix; (while you are waiting for someone or charging)
- faster Supercharging. Max rate went from 120kw to 250kw via software when faster chargers were introduced
- battery pre-conditioning (battery temp is heated/cooled to accept faster charging)
- Supercharger info available on screen updated to show more info about charger availability, number of units, etc.
- optional security PIN for unlocking the glove box (i.e. to prevent valet access)
- phone alerts if you leave doors or windows open for more than a few minutes after you walk away
- frequent GPS Nav map updates

Probably a lot more than this.
And of course, all the (beta) autonomous driving features.

I've never had a car dealer offer any "free" new features for a car...want something new you must buy next year's model. Oh, except GPS maps, they'll sell you that for a couple of hundred dollars every year.

Mike
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Right. And more important many of the things that are relevant to EVs and Teslas in particular aren't asked about because CR has no clue about them.

It’s a shame IGU is so down on Consumer Reports methodology and it’s inability to report on Tesla owner’s feelings about their cars. I say that because the most recent survey, 2020, Consumer Reports Tesla owners report greater satisfaction with their cars than any other brand.

Tesla is Number One In Consumer Reports
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&...

Having trashed Consumer Reports fully, I am sure that IGU will stand strong and continue to say the survey doesn’t mean anything, right?

Oh, JD Powers survey, also of owners, puts Tesla *last* in the same year.

Dodge, Kia have highest owner satisfaction; Tesla has the worst
https://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1128624_dodge-kia-have...

While I am suspect of any survey which puts “Dodge” on top, I would not trash it until I had at least read and understood how they surveyed came to that conclusion.

Unlike other automakers, Tesla received the most complaints for exterior build quality of doors, paint, and panels. "Tesla has some quality challenges, largely around the manufacture of the vehicle due to the exterior," Sargent said. He added that Tesla consumers were satisfied with the infotainment and all-electric powertrain.

YEah, I guess that’s the kind of thing that IGU said Consumer Reports complains about (It doesn’t, it’s THE OWNERS) and it appears JD Powers has found the same issue. Go figure.
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It’s a shame IGU is so down on Consumer Reports methodology and it’s inability to report on Tesla owner’s feelings about their cars. I say that because the most recent survey, 2020, Consumer Reports Tesla owners report greater satisfaction with their cars than any other brand.

CR, as I'm sure you know, is next to useless when evaluating pretty much any high tech product. They have no credibility with me regardless of whether they say good things or bad things. But they do have some influence in some demographics, which is why I'm bothering to correct the bad taste they leave behind.

And yes, J.D. Power isn't much good either. They collect a pile of data and then misinterpret it. Their survey was constructed such that the cars that do best are those that have changed the least year to year, so their owners are never confused or surprised by unfamiliar features. It's pretty much disconnected from whether said new features work, or are an improvement, or are even desirable. Plus, they lack access to Tesla owners in many states so I think much of what they report is even less statistically meaningful than it might appear.

We see similar foolishness with the vehicular autonomy reviews where your living room couch would come out ahead of a Tesla because 1)it's safer; 2) it never takes control away from you without your knowledge; and 3) it never changes lanes unexpectedly. Seriously, that's what you find when you look into the details of what makes for the "best" self-driving cars at present. Whether the car does anything is a minor detail.

Really, Goofy, you are trying to defend purveyors of nonsense because (so far as I can tell) you think it is pretty much straightforward reporting. From actual experience, it's easy for Tesla owners to see that what CR is saying is so detached from reality that there must be something fundamentally wrong with their understanding of their own collected data. You should really just get yourself a Tesla and drive it some. You'll have the best driving experience of your life and have a chance to then make an argument from better knowledge. The sound system is really good!

-IGU-
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Both: Acceleration capability can result in a partial reversion to teenage driving impulses.... ;)

Sounds like it's a good thing you didn't get the Performance versions. :)


Probably so.

But for $2k, I can get an acceleration boost software update from Tesla that closes half the gap to the performance version. ;)

Rob
Rule Breaker Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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Oh, except GPS maps, they'll sell you that for a couple of hundred dollars every year.

Why would anyone buy GPS MPS? I have current maps through my cell phone.

PSU
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Why would anyone buy GPS MPS? I have current maps through my cell phone.

PSU


Today I updated my Garmin for the first time. Took an hour and a half. But it was free (The update - not the original Garmin.)
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Today I updated my Garmin for the first time. Took an hour and a half. But it was free (The update - not the original Garmin.)

I have Maps and Google Maps on my iPhone.

PSU
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Today I updated my Garmin for the first time. Took an hour and a half. But it was free (The update - not the original Garmin.)

I have Maps and Google Maps on my iPhone.

PSU


We were in Palm Springs for a few days last week. (Saw over 100° a couple of days.) The Countess decided she wanted to see the Aldi store, so we took an adventure to find it. She asked the Garmin and also asked her i-Pad. The i-Pad has a better (softer) voice. Both successfully found the store.

CNC
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(Saw over 100° a couple of days.)

Nice balmy weather for PS, been there when the temperatures hit 125F, very unpleasant.
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We were in Palm Springs for a few days last week. (Saw over 100° a couple of days.)

That made me curious.

Tired of triple-digit heat? Palm Springs set to break record for most 100-degree days in a year
...
Thursday will be the city's 136th day with triple-digit temperatures in 2020...


https://www.desertsun.com/story/weather/2020/09/30/palm-spri...

Nice balmy weather for PS, been there when the temperatures hit 125F, very unpleasant.

And so did that.

Sep 5, 2020
The record-breaking heat is here! After tying the record high temperature yesterday, Palm Springs shattered it today with a high of 122°. The previous record of 116° was set back in 1955.


https://kesq.com/weather/2020/09/05/record-shattering-heat/
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I have Maps and Google Maps on my iPhone.

I use Waze a lot, but I prefer a bigger screen, so I have an aftermarket Nuvi/backup camera I prefer. But Waze is good on highways for alerting to police speed checking.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I use Waze a lot, but I prefer a bigger screen, so I have an aftermarket Nuvi/backup camera I prefer. But Waze is good on highways for alerting to police speed checking.

I have an 8" screen on my vehicle. I use Apple Carplay to connect my phone and display Google Maps on the screen. I can also use Waze if I want. 8" is plenty big.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 3
But Waze is good on highways for alerting to police speed checking.

Why would anyone need a "police speed checking" alert? Unless, of course, you're intentionally violating the law ... then you should be caught.

Rich (haywool) long on being legal
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I recall attending a family reunion in the mountainous area of western North Carolina. Everyone had reservations at the same motel, and most were relying on their cell phones for directions. Unfortunately cell phone service in the area was spotty to nonexistent, forcing them to stop and get directions. Those of us with true car GPS units had no problem as satellite communication is not effected by mountains.

tb2
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Unfortunately cell phone service in the area was spotty to nonexistent, forcing them to stop and get directions. Those of us with true car GPS units had no problem as satellite communication is not effected by mountains.

Agreed.
However, the car GPS and the phone GPS use the same identical satellite communications. This is a one-way receive-only set of signals transmitted by the GPS satellites. The phone or car then computes the current latitude, longitude and elevation.
The difference is that the phone uses maps and route calculations done in the cloud and sent back and forth through the cellular network while the in-car navigation system uses maps stored in the car and the routes are computed in the car and can fully function when there is no cell service at all. Thus the car maps become out of date over time if not "upgraded."
Many phone-based GPS apps do allow downloading map regions into the phone as well.

Mike
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Thus the car maps become out of date over time if not "upgraded."

The system in my Infiniti (2013) is verklempt. Occasionally it will announce “the route includes roads which are not available in this software” (paraphrase). I would say it happens once a year or so, usually when I’m going down some country road looking for the dump, or in a backwoods place where country cousins (euphemism) live or such.

Google et.a;. Are at least up the the minute or so, but even then there are the occasional blips. The county was changing an interchange to widen an exit and they moved it about 1/8 mile and Waze didn’t pick that up for months.

But my favorite was back at the dawn of GPS when people would come down our street which is named “Goofyhoofy Ferry Landing” (not really) and there’s an identical street on the other side of the river. For *years* people would drive all the way down and realize ‘you can’t get there from here” because: river. Eventually the GPS maps were taught that even though the streets have the same name, and even though they pointed right at each other, you couldn’t get across there without a ferry, which ceased operations back in the 40’s.

I used to joke about it with the civilians, but I felt bad for the 18 wheeler drivers who had to back down our residential street 1/4 mile to a junction.
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Those of us with true car GPS units had no problem as satellite communication is not effected by mountains.

I wouldn't be 100% sure of that. We live in equally mountainous area of East TN. Depending on which side of a ridge and how far down in the valley one is, you loose satellite communications. Not as frequent as cell tower loss though.

JLC, still carries a Rand McNally Atlas just in case
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Google et.a;. Are at least up the the minute or so, but even then there are the occasional blips. The county was changing an interchange to widen an exit and they moved it about 1/8 mile and Waze didn’t pick that up for months.

Google is pretty good about fixing their maps and directions when you point out an error. I have done it many times for directions with excellent results. There is just one spot where I gave up trying to convince them that you had to make a left turn but they persist in saying you are merging. UPDATE! I just took one more look at the problematic corner and they fixed it!!! I really had given up on that one.
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Thus the car maps become out of date over time if not "upgraded."

Yep, and updates are not always available.
In 2009, DH bought a 2006 Porsche with a dashboard navigation system. Dealer said Porsche issues updates every 3 years. Well, 3 years outdated isn't so bad, so DH didn't update. In 2012, as a birthday present, I had the dealer install "the latest upgrade."
Which turned out to be the 2009 upgrade. That was the last year they created an upgrade. So, now it's over 10 years out of date.

Still comes in handy sometimes on back roads, when our phones don't get a signal.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
n 2009, DH bought a 2006 Porsche with a dashboard navigation system. Dealer said Porsche issues updates every 3 years. Well, 3 years outdated isn't so bad, so DH didn't update. In 2012, as a birthday present, I had the dealer install "the latest upgrade."
Which turned out to be the 2009 upgrade. That was the last year they created an upgrade. So, now it's over 10 years out of date.


Another reason why many of the traditional car companies are going to lose out as cars become more like computers (besides the EV transition).
Tesla (with all their pros and cons) has the OTA (over the air) update model right.
Once or twice a month you get a notification that an update is available that you can install when you want to. It typically takes 20-30 minutes.

The fact that Porsche can't do better than every 3 years for their GPS maps is telling.
Either they don't think it is important or it would be too much hassle for the dealership model.

Mike
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Another reason why many of the traditional car companies are going to lose out as cars become more like computers (besides the EV transition).


Nothing keeps a traditional car company from offering OTA updates. In fact, many of them already do (mostly SOTA updates) and those that don't are adding such.

The fact that Porsche can't do better than every 3 years for their GPS maps is telling.

You are conflating two different things: The old OTA for just maps on ICE cars and the new OTA for their EVs. Porsche offers OTA for their EV Taycan. They rarely do it but they have the capability. They still want you to bring in your EV for any major software update.

Again, nothing requires that Porsche keep that current methodology and it is fair to assume that if they lose business over such, they will adapt.


https://corporate.ford.com/articles/products/over-the-air-so...

In 2020, Ford will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update capability for quick and easy wireless upgrades that can help enhance quality, capability and improve the ownership experience over time while reducing dealer trips

Ford becomes a leader in launching bumper-to-bumper, over-the-air updates for nearly all vehicle computer modules, including conventional gas-engine vehicles
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In 2020, Ford will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update capability for quick and easy wireless upgrades that can help enhance quality, capability and improve the ownership experience over time while reducing dealer trips.

My 2018 Navigator gets updated when connected to home WiFi. Most of the time I don't realize anything has changed. HOWEVER, like updates to my iPhone, why did they change that. Had my dashboard laid out like I wanted, then they go and change what things can be displayed and where. Haven't had time to talk the the Ford IT guy. Maybe one day.

JLC
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