New Zealanders share regrets over buying Teslas

  • 07/09/2023

Kiwi Tesla owners are expressing second thoughts after buying their electric vehicle, with many complaining about the paintwork and the lack of easy-to-use functions.  

Teslas are becoming more of a common sight on Aotearoa's roads as New Zealanders slowly move away from petrol vehicles.  

But while many owners seem happy with their electric cars, others have complained on Reddit this week.  

The complaints were prompted by one user who shared on the New Zealand forum that they are "regretting" their purchase. 

The person said they own a 2022 July Model Y and while it's a "good car", they feel the "new car euphoria" has worn off - and it's "kind of overrated".  

"The paint is really thin, and I get stone chips on the bonnet and microscratches on the body no matter how carefully I do it," the user wrote.  

"Panel beaters all send me back to Tesla since only three panel beaters are 'authorised' to work on the car and they can't get parts. Also seems to attract dirt like no tomorrow."  

The user also complained about the touchscreen, issues with installing a towbar, and the financial pain of charging up his Telsa - claiming the cost is about the same as owning a petrol vehicle.  

"The touchscreen is kind of a pain, when you just want to turn on or off the aircon, or want Apple Play, it just doesn't work," they went on.

"I was happier with my 20k 2010 Hyundai Tucson in many ways." 

The post quickly racked up over 580 comments in just over a day, drawing mixed reactions. 

"Driven a few Teslas, I agree the touchscreen is awful at best, downright dangerous at worst. Give me a knob for the A/C and a knob for the radio, and no bloody touchscreens," one wrote. 

Another wrote: "Teslas are overpriced junk. There are lots of higher quality EV options now."

A third also said they regretted buying a Tesla.  

"Tesla never learned from past mistakes or improved the build quality of the car at all. Panels don't fit together well, the tolerances which are accepted at Tesla are shocking. Literally 3cm gap between panels, door handles misaligned and constant software issues." 

A few said they wanted regular functions, like a standard door handle and buttons for air conditioning. 

But not everyone was unhappy with their Telsa experience, with one saying it only cost them $33 to charge their electric vehicle during a trip from Wellington to Auckland.  

"People always ask me how I'm enjoying the Tesla, and honestly, I'm saving so much money. It's like having the instant torque of a race car, the running cost of a Swift, and the safety of some of the best European cars," they wrote.  

Another said: "I've had a Model 3 since 2019 and love it, to the extent I wouldn't buy another brand of car now. It seems like it's become fashionable to hate on Tesla lately, but I still think they're the best value for money EV."