Build quality issues, unfinished software, and more.
After numerous delays, the headline-grabbing 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid began deliveries, with a few lucky customers taking home their cars from a live Tesla event at the company's Freemont plant. After the big reveal, many Tesla enthusiasts are anxious to take delivery of their Model S Plaid with 1,020 horsepower, a 396-mile range, and an estimated 1.99-second 0-60 mph time (with a rollout). Sadly, more than one month after the reveal, Model S Plaid examples are sitting undelivered at dealerships.
An unnamed source tells CarBuzz that Tesla has put Model S Plaid deliveries on hold, with several reservation holders confirming the situation. The Plaid debuts many new features, including new touchscreens powered by a gaming computer, but these details aren't quite ready to reach the customer's hands.
Our source reports dozens of undeliverable Plaids, all sitting at service centers with various build quality issues. Fit and finish issues aren't uncommon with Tesla, but the issue goes deeper here; the firmware is reportedly unfinished and not ready for production. Only a few Tesla insiders have taken deliveries of the car, which is why there hasn't been a flood of reviews online. The customers who have received a Plaid are essentially beta testing the car at this point in time.
Tesla is telling customers their cars are "currently going through inspection standards," and their deliveries are being pushed back without a specified date. CarBuzz reached out to a dealer to "purchase a Model S Plaid," we were told August would be the earliest possible delivery. The dealer said that the cars do need to pass more stringent tests than previous models, "because Tesla wants to deliver a perfect vehicle." Though CarBuzz would like to reach out to Tesla for comment, the company no longer operates a PR department to field media inquiries. We've tweeted at Elon Musk directly, and will report back with any updates.
With so many delays leading up to the reveal, it's not inconceivable that Tesla rushed deliveries and later realized that the car is not ready for a widespread release. After all, Musk did claim that the car needed "one more week of tweak" prior to the reveal. As a general rule, automakers don't make final adjustments to a vehicle one week before they go on sale.