By Mike Davey
Palo Alto, California -- March 13, 2017 -- Tesla has vowed to add 300 shops to its repair network over the next few weeks and to remove “poor performing shops” from the network, according to a statement by Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, Jon McNeill.
McNeill made the statement in response to the story of a Tesla owner who had to wait eight months for repairs to their vehicle damaged in a relatively minor accident. The story originally appeared on the Motley Fool was widely circulated by various media outlets. Collision Repair magazine carried the story in our most recent Friday Fun report.
The body shop handling the repair had claimed that long waits for parts were largely responsible for the long repair time. Tesla, for its part, has said that the long wait was mostly due to the body shop and not Tesla.
“The body shop … 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,” wrote McNeill in a post on the Tesla Motors Club forum. “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.”
McNeill also said that they had found similar issues at other collision repair facilities in the Tesla network. “We are applying brute force to this immediately,” wrote McNeill, adding that Tesla would, “… personally manage each car on behalf of our customers that are in 3rd party body shops.” McNeill also stated the company would add 300 shops to the network over the next few weeks and dump shops from the network that weren’t performing.
Collision Repair magazine reached out to Tesla to determine the current size of the Canadian repair network and to see if the company plans to add any of those 300 shops in this country. Tesla had not responded at the time of publication.
“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 percent,” wrote McNeill. “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.”