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A while back I wrote about the Evannex CCI and how it was a better choice for Model S owners that wanted a center console. Well, now its the only choice for many.

 Tesla Console Order issues

Shortly after ordering my Model S, on March 10, 215 I reserved a Tesla Premium Center Console matching my interior — Obeche Wood Matte Décor with Tan Nappa Leather Seats. From that point on the communications and timelines for around this reservation were shameful:

March 10, 2014:

We estimate that the console will be available to those recently added to the list in August.

May 2, 2014:

Consistent with that mission, we have added improved parts to the center console. The updated estimate for resuming the shipping of the consoles is currently slated for early June.

August 1, 2015:

Center consoles in other décor finishes will be available in limited quantities starting early 2015.

January 2, 2015:

We do not anticipate the console with your décor to become available until spring 2015.

May 19, 2015:

We have made the difficult decision to offer only the Piano Black Front Center Consoles on Model S.

Tesla Cancels ConsoleAfter the timeline and thread above, why would anyone click that purchase link? I’m not sure why it was a difficult decision since they were unable to execute on it anyway. I sincerely hope whoever was in charge of this particular project was kicked out of Tesla — they don’t belong there.

While all this was going on, Tesla meanwhile offered a Premium Rear Console (in all finishes) which it seems to have delivered on with no quality or availability problems.

How is it possible for such an advanced company to screw up such a simple project like a console?

From the forums, they evidently used one supplier/source for the front console (perhaps with an exclusivity agreement since they didn’t rectify the problems) and after the disaster that happened, they switched suppliers for the rear console. Meanwhile, Tesla disappointed a lot of owners.

What is more frightening about this experience as a shareholder and Model X reservation holder are all the “orders” for the Powerwall and Model X are not orders, but reservations.

Can Tesla deliver on other reservation types or will we have another Console-gate on our hands?

I sincerely hope that by sticking to their wheelhouse they’ll deliver on these other new products. The Model X has had at least 3 major slippages in initial delivery dates since I started tracking it…

Tesla Console Quality issues

Tesla Center ConsoleDuring my long wait for the Telsa Console I did a bunch of research and reading. During my travels I finally found a Tesla Center Console installed in a Model S.

As I expected I liked the design of the cupholders in the Tesla console and the fact that both can be hidden. I didn’t get a chance to “test” the cupholders with my beloved Dunkin’ Donuts cup, but they looked like they would be up to the task.

Also the console seemed to have a lot more storage in the area near the cupholders than the Evannex CCI.

Thats where what I liked about it stops. I didn’t like the phone holder area. I’d never use it, favoring the pocket on the front of my driver’s seat over that and the space is not useful for much else either open or closed — it has an odd shape, grooves etc. When closed you get the full piano black glare:

Piano Black ConsoleWhich is exactly what I didn’t want in my Model S. So this whole part of the Console (the piece closest to the driver) was all but useless to me.

In addition I had a chance to check the install of this console. Keep in mind this was a console installed by Tesla Service (only way to have a Tesla Console installed) on a Model S on the showroom floor (Paramus, NJ, April 11, 2015) — this is Tesla showing their wares at their best and asking top dollars. Below is my video showing the quality of the install:

From the video you’ll see the console visibly shakes (not a lot of force applied). I can tell you for a fact that the Evannex CCI doesnt budge at all — and its easily installed by the customer with no tools.

Summary

It’s clear that Tesla was unprepared for the demand and challenges in offering a Premium Center Console and ran into delivery and quality problems. What is disappointing is how they handled that failure.

Rather than fixing the issues by working a deal with Evannex or getting a new firm to build the console correctly, Tesla decided to drop much of the offering. This was a bad call and sends the wrong message to reservation holders of other products and leaves owners with a poor experience.

Tesla, you can do better.