Several recipients of Tesla’s new certified pre-owned Model S program were pleasantly surprised when they received nicer vehicles than they had ordered.

  • One new owner reported receiving a car with the upgraded carbon fibre interior. The vehicle had been listed with the base interior trim.
  • Another said his P85 arrived with an upgraded headliner, lighting package, and parcel shelf, none of which were mentioned in his car’s listing.
  • A third owner discovered upon delivery that his Signature P85 had actually been upgraded to a P85+. His car was also listed with a spoiler, but the delivered car was not equipped with one. Tesla later added the spoiler at no cost.
  • A forth claims that while she ordered an S85, she actually received a P85, the faster performance version which originally listed new for $10,000 more.

It is unclear what is causing the discrepancies. The general suspicion is that, instead of verifying the features in person, Tesla is using outdated documentation of the cars’ features when listing vehicles. This documentation might possibly be the original order by the first owner, which can be changed before delivery. In the case of the Signature P85, Signature vehicles were delivered before the P85+ became an option. So while, the car left Tesla’s factory as a P85, the original owner at one point upgraded the vehicle to add the new P85+ features, a several thousand dollar suspension upgrade.

What is the new owners’ gain, however, is Tesla’s loss. Improperly listed vehicles could be costing Tesla thousands of dollars per sale. But, one other possibility is that Tesla is listing the price correctly, while listing the features incorrectly. Upon speaking with the owner who claimed to receive a P85 instead of an S85, she mentioned that her 2013 Model S P85 was purchased for $68,500 with 18,900 miles. According to the Tesla CPO Consolidator, at least seven well-equipped 2013 P85’s, with less than 20,000 miles, have sold for under $70,000.

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