Tesla is banking on 350 vans to help tackle one of its biggest problems before its Model 3 hits the road in the US

Tesla repair van
A Tesla repair van changes a wheel on a Model S. Tesla

Tesla has struggled to deliver timely repairs as it’s scaled production — but the company plans to address the issue with the release of hundreds of repair vans.

Tesla said Tuesday it will roll out 350 additional service vans to offer convenient repairs at a customer’s work or home, or on the side of the road by the end of the year. The electric carmaker said it will also add 100 new service centres and 1,400 new service technicians.

Tesla used to have only 30 repair vans, but began ramping up the number of service vehicles in the second quarter. It currently has 130 vans on the road.

The move will address a longstanding issue for Tesla as it enters the mass-market space.

Tesla customers have complained about long wait times for service — an issue that has intensified in recent years. 

Evan Niu, a tech writer for the Motley Fool and a former Tesla employee, shed light on Tesla’s service issues in a blog post in March in which he described the repair process for his Model S as a “nightmare.”

But Niu is far from the only one to complain of long wait times. 

In November, several Tesla owners told Automotive News that wait times for repairs stretched to weeks following the release of the Model X. Recent posts on Tesla forums relay similar scenarios.

Tesla is looking to address the issue as it enters the mass market space with the release of its Model 3 sedan. The electric car maker will begin delivering the Model 3 at the end of July and says it will ramp up production to 20,000 cars a month in December.

With the addition of 100 facilities, Tesla will have just over 250 service centres globally.

But that may not mark the end of Tesla’s service issues.

Although expanding the network will help Tesla address problems faster, many customers have been told the wait time is due to delays in getting the parts needed to make repairs, rather than a lack of center availability.

Still, Tesla does have an advantage over some legacy automakers with its ability to diagnose issues remotely. Because Tesla has advanced its connected car model, the automaker said 90% of issues can be diagnosed before a car even reaches a service center.

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