Tesla Model 3 Reservation Holders Say They’ve Had Radio Silence From Tesla

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Many Tesla Model 3 reservation holders are looking for guidance on when they can expect the car to be delivered, as a Bloomberg report today showed. More info is expected at a Tesla event on Friday, but several who’ve paid a $1,000 deposit for the car offered Jalopnik varied opinions about the car’s delivery date. What’s clear is that Tesla has been virtually radio silent since reservations first became available in 2016.


Some owners said this has led them to cancel their reservation entirely, while others might reconsider depending on what’s disclosed on Friday.

And, expectedly, there’s enthusiasts who still don’t mind the wait.

Ky Wagner, 23, said he spent the night at Tesla’s store in Santa Barbara to make a reservation on day one. He’s hoping for some answers on Friday. (Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the event.)


“I’m lucky that I have a little piece of mind in knowing I’m towards the front of the pack or the lack of communications would have me frustrated,” Wagner said. “If I were towards the back of the reservation queue I probably would have canceled my deposit and just waited to pick the car up off of a store lot in a year or two.”

“I do wish Tesla would be a little more forthcoming at this stage about when they expect us to pay for our cars, so I could start looking into financing so I could be prepared,” he added. “I’m concerned that because I don’t have 30-40K$ cash on me I may loose my space in line if they just open up the order portal on Friday with out warning.”


He’s not expecting to purchase a fully-optioned car, part of the reason why he thinks Tesla has delayed the rollout of higher trim levels for the Model 3.

“Besides keeping choke points low on the production floor, I think they want to help as many people who wouldn’t be able to afford a $50k+ car, but have been loyal Tesla fans get the tax credit to make things easier,” he said. “People who are fully loading their cars don’t need the help, and will probably buy the car anyways.”


But he’s heard little from Tesla since the reservation was made.

“We just wish there was a little more communication about the financials because its a lot of money for us, and I won’t be able to get mine with out the tax credit (but I’m confident my place in line will ensure that),” he said.


Living in California helps Wagner. Tesla’s expected to deliver the Model 3 in staggered fashion: first, to employees; next to current Model S and X owners; then, to reservation holders who live on the west coast and on east.

That’s probably why Troy Holmes isn’t feeling too good about his chances of getting the car soon. He hasn’t heard anything since placing a deposit in May. (Musk has said newcomers shouldn’t expect the car to be delivered until at least May 2018)

I am up in Canada and have no real concrete news as to when we will see our model 3's....annoying quite frankly!


Isaac Fortner isn’t worried, however. He also reserved on day 1, booking online as soon as reservations went active. Living in Oregon, he feels fairly confident about getting the car by spring 2018, thanks to being the early deposit and estimates from fan generated sites that use aggregate date for an approximate delivery.


“Who knows if that’s accurate, but it’s certainly better than if someone placed a reservation today,” he said.

I wish I was one of the lucky 30, but I believe all of the first cars are going to Tesla employees who paid full price for the car. I am not attending Friday’s even, and I’m as in the dark as the rest of the world on what options will be available, but hopefully Friday’s event will reveal all that.


Andrew, an attorney from Chicago who didn’t want his last name published, echoed Fortner about the reservation worries. He said the Model 3 will be his wife’s daily driver, and that the lack of communication isn’t a terrible surprise for him.

I reserved in store on day 1, without knowing what the Tesla would even look like. ...

Yes, reservation holders don’t know a lot but (i) we expect to finally find out much more on Friday and (ii) it’s understandable that too much excitement about the Model 3 might curb Model S / X sales.

Also, well informed enthusiasts that follow the Tesla subreddit and the TMC forum see spyshots and get small tidbits of information from earnings calls and executive public appearances.

Yes, the federal tax credit will cross the 200k threshold, but the phase out is more complicated than just crossing the threshold. There are tiered credits available after the threshold is crossed and the full $7500 will still be available for a set number of quarters. Sure a number of people have cancelled their reservation, some upset, some ran into trouble, but others pulled the trigger on a Model S / X, and Elon has repeatedly said that the reservations keep coming in and increase week after week (most recent earnings call).


James McBride said he’s received “limited communication” since placing a reservation on day one. He said he was drawn to the Model 3 since testing his aunt’s Model S back in 2013.

I placed my reservation at 7.31 PT, the moment Tesla started taking online reservations for the Model 3. Toward the end of Elon’s presentation before they actually unveiled the cars on stage he said that they already had around 115,000 reservations, I’m one of those people. I’ve heard rumors that I’ll be offered my car sooner rather than later as I live in Seattle on the west coast where they want to keep the initial cars close to home.

I obviously want the $7,500 incentive but will weigh that against the features that I wast. Similar to the gentleman you profiled I too want the wait for an all wheel drive car and more options. I wonder if more people that Tesla wants to sell cars to, like me on the west coast, wait to order their cars if that will pressure them to add more features sooner.

Yes, limited communication. I did receive an initial email thanking me for my reservation. A few months later I received a package in the mail that contained a graphic of a Model 3 and a thank you from Elon for placing my order. Other than that I don’t recall receiving anything else. I can go to the My Tesla page to look at my reservation but nothing has changed there since day-one.


One reader, who declined to have to his name published, said that he also reserved on day one with the expectation of receiving the car in late 2017.

But he has since canceled the deposit, a move bolstered by communication from a friend who works at Tesla’s Fremont factory. Last month, the friend opined that he shouldn’t expect to receive the vehicle for “at least another 1-1.5 years, minimum.”

Again, this is for a reservation made on the MORNING OF MARCH 31 2016! I already cancelled my reservation and purchased a Scat Pack. I am enjoying my burnout machine and don’t regret my decision.


He added:

They are having numerous quality issues on the pre-production models that have yet to be solved as well as high employee turnover...to go along with the acknowledged shortage of batteries.


Musk has since validated this by saying only 20k will be produced this year....when nearly 200k were reserved in the first day of open registration.


Paul, who declined to give his last name, said he was a day one reservation holder.

This is my first Tesla... I can’t afford a Model S but have always liked the idea of an electric car that looks decent. I am definitely a little nervous, especially due to the lack of communication or information about it.

I’m not a big fan of not knowing how much it will really be (especially with whatever options are going to be available to me). I need time to save money, and eventually I’ll need figure out financing options/monthly costs to see if it’s worth it since I won’t be able to buy it outright.

I knew it was a bit of a crapshoot when I signed up, and at least the deposit is refundable (assuming Tesla doesn’t go bankrupt) so although I am nervous I’m not as worried as I could be if I thought I was definitely out my 1000 dollars.

Right now my 2006 Honda Civic is still going strong lol, so as long as that isn’t costing me a lot of money to maintain or making me think I need a new car asap I have some wiggle room.

I guess the silver-lining is that the longer it takes, the more money I can save... and theoretically more kinks will be worked out in the car. (although losing out on the tax refund is a bummer).


The silver-lining, Paul said, is that the longer it takes for the car to arrive, “the more money I can save ... and theoretically more kinks will be worked out in the car.

“Although,” he added, “losing out on the tax refund is a bummer.”

If you’re a Tesla employee or Model 3 reservation holder and want to chat, you can reach me at ryan.felton@jalopnik.com or find my contact info here.