Outrage has erupted among a number of waiting Tesla customers in Australia who have received messages that their Performance Model 3 electric cars may not arrive until January, 2020.
The Tesla Model 3 finally became available to order online in August 2019 to the joy of many reservation holders, some of whom have been waiting over 3 years to buy, but it now appears a number will be waiting even longer to receive their vehicles.
In a Tesla Model 3 owners group on Facebook, one customer shared a message from Tesla, which was backed up by other customers who have received identical messages.
“Thank you for your time over the phone last week. As discussed, unfortunately we received a limited amount of Performance Model 3’s during the launch of Model 3 in the Australia,” the email reads.
“We don’t expect to receive the next batch until December/January and will be in touch if we can deliver your Model 3 sooner.”
It didn’t go down well with the waiting customers.
The Driven understands that several thousand of the Model 3 electric sedans – which has proven incredibly popular in US and European markets becoming a main driver to the transition to electric mobility – have so far arrived in Australia with as many more to come.
Tesla made huge efforts to get as many Model 3s delivered in the weeks before the end of the September quarter, delivering as many as 200 vehicles a day, and likely gaining itself a high ranking in new cars sold in that month.
But the patience of some customers waiting for the higher specced and priced Performance models – which accounts for around 25% of customers according to an informal poll we reported on Monday – is wearing very thin.
“So they’ve gone from production hell to delivery hell to logistics hell, now back to production hell again?” said one member of the group.
“Going to see what my rights are! this is completely insane and they think it is okay! I sold my car and have no car!” said another.
“We love what Tesla stand for but being a tech company their process is so bad. Even still now on the website it says October. We are giving them till November or will just wait for the Y,” was another response.
Another customer has been told that the delay only applies to new orders of Performance Model 3s.
“In terms of a December/January delivery that timeframe would apply if you were to order a car today,” the message says.
It is understood that Tesla makes its vehicles in production runs (that is, a run of one variant with either a black or white interior), with VINs being assigned to customers once each vehicle arrives in the country.
With an estimated 70% of VINs as yet unassigned, according to the informal poll mentioned above, that suggests a lot of vehicles are yet to arrive (and be delivered).
Delivery delays in the US
There have also been changes in US delivery dates for Model S and Model Xs, which some suspect may be to do with changes in Model S and Model X production lines.
$TSLA MS/MX estimated delivery (East Coast) went from staying at 2-3 weeks in Q3 to 4-8 weeks now.
Either demand is up, or there is a pause in output having to do with upcoming changes to MS/MX.
Increase in demand lines up with $TSLA indicating so in the P&D report (110k) pic.twitter.com/KcuKbXHsl3
— Vladimir Grinshpun (@VGrinshpun) October 17, 2019
With Model Ys now being spotted on the road in the US, others have suggested that the delay could be attributed to Tesla integrating the Model Y assembly ahead of a production start in early 2020.
Tesla’s Q3 earnings are due to be delivered Thursday next week (Australian time), so it will be interesting to see what can be learned about the rumoured delays and any production strategies.
We have contacted Tesla for comment but are yet to receive a response.
Tesla Model 3 to get range increase thanks to software update
Meanwhile, a slight range increase for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus has been updated on the EV maker’s US website, and according to a chat conversation with a customer the range increase will also be available to existing Model 3 owners via a software update.
The range increase, which has been accompanied by a slight price increase of $US500 in the US, was noted overnight (Australian time) up 10 miles (16 km) from the previous range of 240 miles (386km) to 250 miles (402km).
In the US electric vehicle ranges are issued according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating, but this change in range is not due to a change in how these ratings are recorded – the 2019 Model 3 SR+ still says 240 miles on its fuel economy website.
The change was first noted by Electrek, but it was unclear how this increase in range would be achieved.
Now, according to a chat with Tesla by Twitter use @dollarn9ne, the increase will not only be available to new Model 3s, but also to existing ones via an over-the-air update – another example of the vehicle’s specifications improving over time rather than being superceded.
ATTENTION! *like & retweet*
According to Tesla chat, us SR+ "should" be getting an update later that'll bring us up to 250 miles! pic.twitter.com/WlXemDGJDY
— T3SLA Life of Deenchik (@dollarn9ne) October 17, 2019
This increase is yet to be added to Tesla’s Australian website – and hopefully this confirmation from Tesla’s communications representative proves to be correct.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.