"We don't do Teslas."

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Bigriver

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#1
Stopped by a Firestone in Monroeville, PA to make an appointment for a state inspection on my Model 3. An employee came out to greet me -- I had seen him noticing the car as I drove into the parking lot. He asked what I need. I told him. He said, "We don't do Teslas." I showed my surprise, as I have been to that location with my other Tesla, and I told him so. We had a ridiculous conversation that went nowhere and ended with him telling me I'd need to contact the manager tomorrow if I want to discuss further. He was firm that that was the direction he had been given, and even said he once made an appointment for a Tesla, and was told he had to call them back and cancel it.

I will not ever take my car there, not my Teslas or my non-Teslas. I've already made the state inspection appointment at another Firestone, in Cranberry, PA (with absolutely no problem). I've gone there more often, but this week, it would have been more convenient to go to the Monroeville location.

The Firestone website has a section on Tesla tires (https://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/tires/vehicle/tesla/) and Firestone has sold me lifetime alignments on my Teslas, so this is clearly not a corporate policy. I haven't decided if I will contact the manager or not, or report him to someone at Firestone, or report this to state of PA (can a state inspection location refuse to inspect your car?) I don't see any particular good coming from pursuing this, but I am pretty annoyed about it, so will need to find a positive way to vent. Perhaps writing this post will do it.

Any thoughts or opinions? Anyone else run into something like this?

BTW, maybe it's just me. I also didn't get anchovies on my pizza this week-end. I had ordered online and clicked "anchovies" for one of the toppings. My daughter really wanted anchovies, so when we noticed the mistake, I went back to the pizza joint. They said, "No mistake, we don't do anchovies." But it's in your online menu! AND I've ordered and received anchovies on the pizza from here before!! I'm taking my dog to the vet later this week, and half-expecting to hear "We don't do that type of dog here....." :oops:
 

Jay79

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#3
Just an FYI, not all stores are required to participate in everything corporate advertises. Ever hear a commercial say "at participating locations"? If they made a policy change at that location to not work on a Tesla because their staff has zero training on them that their prerogative. No offense but not supporting your local Firestone store after other many good experiences because of this is not the right move in my opinion.
 

JasonF

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#4
It's absolutely not corporate policy. The Firestone stores, I believe, are franchises (as well as Tires Plus), so the owners are free to be complete a-holes. And some of them certainly are. Search around until you find a well-mannered and friendly Firestone store, and they'll take care of you.

The response you got at some of those stores isn't unique to Teslas. I've actually been banned from one particular Tires Plus. When I had my Mitsubishi, they insisted on messing with the air filter box every time I visited even though their mechanics could never handle the task of putting it back together properly - until one day, a mechanic tried to force it closed, and broke it. I ended up in a literal screaming match about it with the owner, and I threatened to hire a lawyer in front of several customers in the store. Which is probably the only reason he paid for half of a new air filter box. Then told me if I ever come back again he'll call the police.

Since then I've found 2 other Firestone stores that are nicer and well mannered. One used to be close to where I lived, and the other closer to work, which is convenient if I stop there on the way to work for a tire rotation or alignment.
 

Achooo

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#7
I would rather have a shop be honest and tell me that they don’t do Teslas or not comfortable doing Teslas than to have them be cavalier and damage the battery or something by jacking improperly.

Perhaps the manager felt that his staff is not competent enough to know how to put the car in drive or reverse without causing damage.
 

garsh

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#8
I would rather have a shop be honest and tell me that they don’t do Teslas or not comfortable doing Teslas than to have them be cavalier and damage the battery or something by jacking improperly.

Perhaps the manager felt that his staff is not competent enough to know how to put the car in drive or reverse without causing damage.
Teslas aren't that complicated. If a tire shop doesn't believe that their workers are competent enough to work on a Tesla, then I don't think I want them working on any of my other vehicles either.
 

Achooo

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#9
Teslas aren't that complicated. If a tire shop doesn't believe that their workers are competent enough to work on a Tesla, then I don't think I want them working on any of my other vehicles either.
Agreed that Tesla's are not that complicated, but they are different enough that the average tire shop employee getting into his first Tesla might be thoroughly confused as to how to operate it and jack it up.
 

garsh

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#11
What exactly is the point of this "inspection" or is just another dumb state tax in the veil of an inspection?
It's a safety inspection. It's not that expensive (~$20). They check some very basic safety-related items. Lights all work, brake pads aren't worn down too low, tire tread isn't too low, suspension is not broken, etc.

Car Inspection Requirements By State: A Compendium

The exhaustive list of what should be checked in a PA safety inspection:
PA: Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations
 

Griff

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#12
At Sam's club today the tire center told me that he wasn't sure if they could work on a tesla. I informed him that if they kept the lift arms in the right spots they would have no problem. I also told him that I could get the pucks for extra protection and he told me that he already has them. I'll probably be getting my tires there. I hope they don't screw it up.
 

Dr. J

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#13
Agreed that Tesla's are not that complicated, but they are different enough that the average tire shop employee getting into his first Tesla might be thoroughly confused as to how to operate it and jack it up.
That's no excuse. It's their job to understand how cars work.
 

Klaus-rf

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#14
That's no excuse. It's their job to understand how cars work.
I beg to differ.

It's their job to understand how to remove & replace items such as [12v] batteries, wiper blades, brakes, shocks, do oil / filter changes, and, of course change / balance / repair tires. To do that they need to know (understand?) how to use a lift, a tire machine,. and other assorted hand tools. They're not so good at cleaning fuel injection systems (leaving aside pouring a can of cleaner stuff into the fuel cell), valve lash adjustments, etc.

They don't need to have clue how electricity flows, or what a fuse does, etc. Many folks working at Firestone centers are still on their first job - still learning "cars". I doubt many of them could give an accurate description of how an alternator works.

Most Firestone centers are privately-owned franchises. They set their own rules.
 

Gatornail

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#15
My Costco refused to do a tire rotation on my 3, so I asked to speak with the department manager and explained (very nicely) that it might be in their best interest to work on Teslas because so many are being sold in the US. I also pointed out that I would hate to have to buy any future tires I might need somewhere else. They now are happy to work on my 3 and were very happy with me providing the jack pads.
 

JasonF

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#16
In all honesty, I always ask places if they are willing to work on a Tesla - including car washes, detailers, window tinters, etc. I don’t apply any pressure at all, because I don’t want my car to either be the experiment someone is willing to screw up on, or the example to be set with an “I told you so”. I know they have to learn sometime, but if they are not confident, it means they either don't have enough insurance, or they don't have any mechanic with the experience and confidence to safely try it.