Consumer Reports: Why Your New Car Might Not Come How You Ordered It

The automotive industry has been hit hard by supply chain issues. Parts are hard to get or impossible to find. If you ordered a new car recently, there is a good chance the vehicle does not come as specified. Is it better to get an item faster without all of the features or wait it out? Consumer Reports says to be patient because even if you get the car you ordered, it might not be exactly as described.

How long does it take when you order a new car?

New cars on the way
A freight train with new cars crosses a river| Photo by Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

These days, it can take a while to take delivery of a new car. Much like the construction industry, it depends on when buyers placed the order. Some cars and homes were ordered before others might have better luck at having all of the pieces in a timely fashion.

Consumer Reports says that if you are anticipating delivery of a new vehicle, there’s a good chance some features might be missing. If you are looking for a car already on the lot, it still might not have all the features promised. Some automakers, like Tesla, have pivoted to remove certain features that were holding production back.

“There are problems right now within the industry related to a variety of parts and components,” Stephanie Brinley of IHS Markit told Consumer Reports. While demand for both used and new vehicles have spiked, automakers cannot complete the new vehicles. While used vehicles might be harder to find right now, automakers don’t have all of the necessary components to complete builds.

Tesla isn’t delivering new cars on schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted factories in multiple ways. Some factories do not have the workforce needed due to staff members being sick and out of work. Additionally, most places have a reduced workforce for a variety of reasons. Beyond all of that, raw materials have been hard to come by. This means loss options available on the lot and longer waits if you want a popular vehicle that needs to be ordered.

Tesla made the news recently for removing certain safety features from cars due for delivery. After that, the company also removed lumbar support from passenger seats. In the case of some features, buyers paid many of these ahead of time. Elon Musk tweeted that lumbar support was removed from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles because it was “almost never used.”

Musk also noted that the prices of vehicles were increasing due to “supply chain price pressure-industry-wide.” The brand was able to deliver some new cars this week, but then canceled the Model S Plaid+ vehicle entirely.

Be flexible, but use this to your advantage

There seems to be no automaker immune from the crunch between Tesla, Jeep, GM, and other brands. GM reported that the brand would no longer be making the 2021 C8 Corvette due to such issues. Instead, the automaker is skipping ahead to work on the 2022 version. Earlier this year, brands like Toyota, Honda, and GM shut down factories due to various issues. Some plants have been sitting idle because there are no parts to make cars with.

It doesn’t seem that these issues are improving anytime soon. Experts say the issues could last through the end of the year at least. Experts estimated that the semiconductor shortage could cost the industry $110 billion by the time it is over.

Jake Fisher, senior director at Consumer reports test center, says, “If you paid for something, but you’re getting something less, that is a negotiating opportunity.” Ask for a refund if the wait has gotten too long. Perhaps the dealership will allow you to get another vehicle with a discount. If you are set on the already ordered car, perhaps ask for something to make up for the wait. Ford was offering various accessories and driving school for those who had a delayed Bronco.

If all else fails, wait it out. Your vehicle will likely get delivered eventually. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, even if it means waiting a bit longer for your dream car.

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