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(I apologise up front, this is very long, but its cheaper than therapy!)

We are experienced EV owners, having owned an early Nissan Leaf, A Hyundai Ioniq electric, a Vauxhall Ampera (which we still have), Hybrids, a Tesla Model 3 Performance….. and now a Polestar 2. We are early adopters, and know and understand the pitfalls and problems that come with that ideology. We believe in the concept of EV’s and the benefits they bring to the driving experience and also the potential ‘green’ advantages.

Our experiences of the Tesla M3 sales, marketing and support had already put us on our guard, and the reported poor build quality of the 3 and total lack of local service and support were a concern. We could see Polestar following the Tesla sales and marketing model to the letter, and now on through the delivery and ownership experience, to the point that they repeated the same very obvious errors. Clearly they failed to learn from the mistakes of Tesla, with misinformation around delivery dates, unexplained delays in delivery, and missing functionality. This has not improved in the UK.

We took delivery of our P2 on 9 September. Our handover was little more than ‘here’s the key’s’, this is the boot, this is the frunk, off you go. Not a good start. Obviously we had watched the online video reviews and ‘how to’ guides, looked at the manual, and gleaned as much information as we could. We are far from EV newbies, and knew that our knowledge and history would be relevant to the P2 too. We were pleased with the build quality and looks of the car. Initial impressions were extremely positive, and the P2 has the look and feel of a well designed, well spec’ed, and well build proper (EV) car.

We drove the car, and the EV experience was there is bucketfuls. A ‘grown up’ EV. We were, and are, slightly disappointed about the economy, or should I say efficiency, and have achieved just over 3 miles per kWh. This is to be expected in a large heavy car, but will inevitably decrease in the colder weather. As we charge at home for 99% of the time, and will not be using public charging, that is not too much of an issue as we will still be paying around 4p per mile for ‘fuel’.

Around the time we took delivery rumours started to circulate that some software listed in the P2 spec was not installed, and updates that were going to be available late 2020 were being delayed until Christmas and as far out as mid 2021. For a car to be launched in multiple countries with software being so significantly delayed raises further concerns. A price paid by early adopters, some might say, and that would be reasonable if the delayed functionality were merely ‘nice to haves’. Sadly, some of the missing features are much more fundamental. For example, the car does not have, and for some time will continue not to have ‘over the air’ updates. This means that every software update will necessitate a trip to the local service centre. Examples include the lack of pre-conditioning, timed charging, the promised phone app, to name only a few. These are all established elements of EV ownership offered by other manufacturers, yet Polestar have failed to include them in their launch cars, and now owners are faced with significant delays until they do become available. The reasons for the failure to provide have not been adequately explained or justified by Polestar. Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms of Polestar has to be the total lack of honest and open communication with their customers. Whether that is a sign of contempt for their first customers, or simply bad management, remains unclear. However, with the well established and respected Volvo brand behind them, one would expect Polestar to do better. They are not a new player or start up company caught unawares by their sudden level of success. Several weeks ago Polestar asked its customers and prospects to sign up to receive a newsletter, but since then nothing of note has been forthcoming from Polestar. The silence is deafening.

It is worth noting that the P2 was launched a year ago in the UK, so the car had been in design for probably 2-3 years before that. Now, another year further on, software is still not in place 4+ years from concept, and will not for several more months. Why?

This lack of communication does more to engender doubt and dissatisfaction among both new and potential customers than any honest admission of human failing, ‘we are sorry’ would have been nice, and 'this is what we are doing to fix it' would be even better.

Now that some cars have been delivered in Europe and the UK a number of other issues are surfacing, such as lights being incorrectly configured, cars rumoured to be shutting down for safety reasons, and problems charging. Not entirely unexpected for a new car launch. Some of these issues will require visits to a local service centre, but many could be resolved more easily if the cars had OTA functionality.

We are fortunate in Europe in that we contend with relatively short distances in order to get to a well established Volvo dealership for support. That network may or may not be available in North America, but in any event the distances involved may be far greater. That would be a serious concern for me in my decision making process, as it was with our decision to buy a Tesla with very limited UK support. However, the ability and willingness of Volvo to support the Polestar brand in the UK is in its very early stages of implementation. It seems clear that larger Volvo dealerships have been ‘told’ they will provide support at a very senior level. However from my experiences of using that service, they are neither familiar with the product, nor fully trained.

Which leads me on to my specific ownership story:

As I said we took delivery on 9 September. From day one we had problems getting the software working properly; experiencing problems with inability to connect to WiFi, voice commands, charging, sat nav, phone connectivity and use, radio and media. In addition we had a few problems including lose rear windows, water seeming to collect in the tailgate, condensation in the headlights. We assumed the majority would be fixed by software updates, and some of the other ‘Volvo’ issues could be assessed and fixed by the dealership.

I accept that some of the problems we have encountered may be ‘user error’, we’re not perfect, but we do know EV’s. However the lack of any meaningful user manual (in the true meaning of the word), Getting Started guides or videos, or indeed any technical support customers can actually speak to; meant that if we are at fault for some issues, we have been unable to overcome them. I do not however believe that our problems are of our making.

We contacted Polestar with our concerns and on 22 September sent a summary of the problems, who suggested we speak to the local Volvo dealership. They in turn said they were unable to help and referred us back to Polestar. Polestar then ‘spoke’ to the dealership who then booked the car in for the earliest date they had available – the 7 October. In that same email we also gave a notice of intention to reject the car, as we were just within the 2 week period. Polestar extended that option window to 30 days, which gave us until 9 October (significant).

In the run up to 7 October we reset the car several times and spent a lot of time trying, without success, to get the car working properly. In that time we had various error messages appear in the car, including the dreaded “propulsion system service required’ message.

The dealership duly collected the car on the 7th, left us with a loan car for the day, with a view to performing 2 recalls for software updates and check/adjust the headlights which was another recall. They contacted us late on the 7th to say they needed the car overnight. On the 8th they returned the car at 7pm saying they had done “what they can”. They also said that it was lucky because a revision to one of the updates came through on the morning of the 8th which they had applied. In conversation they told me that this was the first Polestar they had seen and therefore the car attracted great interest among both sales and service staff. They also said that they had had some training pre-covid (March) but that this was a learning curve for them.

At this point I should say that the Volvo dealership clearly did their best, their communication was good, and I was happy with the outcome. They have sent a report to Polestar of what they found, which includes videos. I have asked for a copy, but sadly nothing has been provided to me, not even a job sheet.

On the morning of the 9th, I tried the car. My intention was to go through the set up from scratch, create my profile, link my key and phone, set up my accounts, and go for a drive! Up until this point we have driven the car for about 7 hours, and spent about 70 hours trying to get it working!

The car would not make an internet connection; it will not connect to my WiFi. I cannot set up a profile. It will drive, but obviously there are no maps or sat nav, and the ‘hey Google’ and voice button do not work at all. In a nutshell, it is worse now than when it was sent to the dealership.

I again described the problems and asserted my right to reject in emails to Polestar, which only resulted yet again in standard waffle straight out of the customer placation chapter of the sales support manual. The last one suggesting “the best thing for this would indeed to bring the car back to the service centre for them to re-assess why this issue has not been resolved, and have this further work completed.” [sic].

My last email to them asking “Please advise by return - what specifically do Polestar intend to do to resolve this, and when??” has received no response.

At no time have Polestar been proactive, offered any assurances, felt my pain – or even acknowledged it - in any meaningful way. Early adopters take a gamble, we all know that, but people who put their faith (and money) in a new product need a degree of comfort when things go wrong. If I, and maybe a hundred other people, all reject our cars it will not make a scrap of difference to the Polestar balance sheet, which at the end of the is all that they worry about.

So how do we feel about Polestar and the P2? Very Disappointed. I do not believe our expectations were, or are, unreasonable. I am paying nearly £50,000 for something that does not perform as it should or as Polestar told me it would. They have not supported me to get issues resolved or made me feel a valued customer. They have let me down. The P2 is a lovely car, it could be a great car, and we love driving it. But now we also hate everything else about it.
But do we want to reject it? No, we want it to work, but Polestar are pushing us to the point where we may have to walk away,

So, what now? Drop it off at the Dealership with the keys and walk away? Given them another opportunity to put it right and see what materialises? Wait for the next thing to go wrong?

Quite simply, I don’t know, the step step depends on Polestar. Maybe that’s part II….
Ah – I feel the sharp pain of a love affair gone wrong!

To be honest I don’t really understand why the excellent app and preconditioning system from the Volvo XC 90 hybrid – which was working just fine back in 2016 – was not simply ported over to the polestar. This would have gone a long way to addressing our concerns.

You’ve had some really bad luck – including the issue with the Internet, which I’m sure they can fix.

Overall though it’s a brilliantly designed, very fast very grippy EV that’s incredibly fun to drive – just have to keep hanging on to that.
 

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This will be my 4th Brand new car on a brand new model release.
Mini Cooper S (although the Mini had been out for 6months, the S engine was new)
Jaguar F-Pace
Kia Stinger GTS

With the Mini I was in your current shoes. (see later (much later need to pop out for a bit))

The Jag was perfect for me, but so many other people were in your shoes due to ECU issues and glitches and/or body panel misalignment's. Lots of rejections on the UK forums.

The Stinger was generally perfect for most buyers. There was an early issue with the boot and sunroof rattle early on - I had the boot, but after 1 month the dealership got the replacement rubber feet for the boot from Korea and it was fixed. The sunroof was just new rubber squeaking so some lub fixed that for the people that suffered from it. Anyway, the point is that it was almost a perfect car (from a forum point of view) and yet still there are always some that suffer major issue and a bad dealership and rejected the car's.

Polestar are really just one point of contact but it is odd that while most of us have had good communication with them, some like yourself have had below par responses.

I think the problem here is most people didn't expect Early Adopter issues with Polestar themselves, as we all expected it just to be Volvo. In addition we all expect OTA updates would fix many of the early niggles that Early Adopters normally get with their cars.

So we have a situation where a lot of us had high expectations, then got let down by no OTA updates until early 2021, also it seems Polestar as a brand is a new spin of from Volvo and not just movement of personal, so we are suffering from "new company" syndrome ... where we really shouldn't be. Then add delays in the App and lower than expected ranges (none of us expected 300miles ... but 240-250 on most journeys). So it's now a triple wham bam.

From my perspective the car is drivable so that's a far cry from my Mini issues or the ECU issues Jag owners had. At the end of the day it will be your decision.
 

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Up until this point we have driven the car for about 7 hours, and spent about 70 hours trying to get it working!
That doesn't sound typical? Maybe something genuinely wrong with your tech/infotainment. I found mine easy and straightforward to set up without any instruction. Set up profile, logged in to google, paired phone, logged in to YT music, connected to wifi at home and mobile hotspot, accessed my google maps saved favourites etc. all fine.
 

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Sorry to hear about your experience and I hope you get resolution soon

I have had a very similar experience to yours. I have had serious issues with technical support, in that it simply does not exist. Nobody at Polestar support is actually versed with the car. Volvo are extremely helpful but do not know much about the car

I have had issues with noise/pressure ( self diagnosed by me eventually as being due to the regen braking), SIM not working for 5 days and the boot not opening in the rain. The range has been around 230- 240 miles on full charge based on my driving style. My expectation for technical support are now zero, so less likely to be disappointed .

Having said that, the drive is just awesome, seating comfortable, feels secure on the motorway, night driving a pleasure with the pixel light technology, safer on the whole as do not have to interact with the touchscreen unless absolutely necessary...the second display helps to monitor speed, navigation,etc. I use my phone as hot spot when the SIM does not work. I do not mind the lower mileage as I am unlikely to ever make a single non-stop journey of more than 150 miles. Never done it in all my driving life ( 24 years of driving) and have no issues with stopping for a charge after 150 to 200 miles.

I do not see myself driving any other car (except for my current BMW i3 range extender) as this car ticks more boxes than not for me

I am driving this as much as possible until my 30 days are up, so that I can learn what I can live with . If more issues develop over the next 10 days then I might re-think
 

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Please remember that the sales contract only allows 14 days to reject. Anything outside of that will only be by agreement from Polestar.
Yes, of course. I got the car direct from Polestar, so no middlemen ...they have emailed me to extend my "change of mind" period to 30 days ( till 21 October) . I can not fault their customer service, it is only the technical side that has let them down in my books...
 

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Can't say the owner experience in China (where the cars are made) are any better. In our Polestar 2 owner group chat, people are constantly reporting problems and issues. And people has basically given up on their customer service specialist and wrote directly to management. Our newest finding is about the glass.When some people complained about the level of noise when driving on highways, people checked their windows and found out they are only single tempered glass although in the driver's manuals it clearly stated that "The windshield, panoramic roof and door side windows have laminated glasses. Laminated glass is reinforced,..." Even the sales were saying the windows would be laminated glass -- I specifically remembered that because I asked that during a test driving session. Wonder if the cars shipped outside of the country has the same issue?Our glass were manufactured by Fuyue, with a product code 43R000055 meaning its a single tempered glass. Is it the same situatiion in Sweden, UK or the US?

if its true, they are practically lying to us not only about software,which I could tolerate, but also hardwar!
 

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AFAIK, at least in Germany, laminated glas is mandatory for the front window so it doesn't break when hit by a stone. The other windows must not be laminated, instead they have to be pre-tensioned (tempered) so they break into small crumbles instead of shards. Not sure about the glass roof, though.

[Edit: This is not correct. Side windows may be laminated in Germany as well.]
 

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I doubt the difference in glass would have much effect on noise coming into the cabin. I could be wrong...
 

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Double paned windows actually do make a difference. In fact Tesla, responding to complaints about noise in the cabin of the Model 3, is now adding double-paned side glass as part of a refresh for the M3. Quieter, upscale cars, often do have double-paned side glass windows. Here's the relevant part of Electrek's story about the Model 3 refresh:

"Finally, Tesla has changed the windows with a new double-paned glass, which should help with noise and weather isolation."
 

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I've had laminated glass on the side windows before on a Volvo and it makes a big difference in noise level. Of course it's also harder to break if they need to get you out of the car :oops:
 

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I've had laminated glass on the side windows before on a Volvo and it makes a big difference in noise level. Of course it's also harder to break if they need to get you out of the car :oops:
Not sure that's possible in the EU.

Edit: You can also tint your side front windows, which we can't. Not that I wanted to...
 

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Well whaddaya know?

"This paper presents sound pressure loss data for laminated glass compared to the tempered glass typically used for side, rear and roof glazing today. The sound pressure loss results show a significant opportunity for improvement in the 2000 to 6000 Hz region, a key range for human conversation and the key range for wind noise. Along with this acoustic improvement is a reduction in mass of the glazing."

 

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Discussion Starter #36
My (UK) car has tempered glass to all 4 side windows. I think that's a legal requirement as @krheinwald says, so that the window is easy to break for emergency extraction.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
And people has basically given up on their customer service specialist and wrote directly to management.
Sorry to hear that, I think that the small number (?) of people in Europe who have problems have come to that conclusion as well.
 

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The Dutch user manuel says this about the glass (you can let Google translate it 😊):

Ruiten, lampglazen en spiegels

De auto heeft meerdere verschillende ruiten, lampglazen en spiegels. Hiervan is een aantal gelaagd, getint en/of elektrisch verwarmd.
De voorruit, het panoramadak en de zijruiten in de portieren zijn voorzien van gelaagd glas. Gelaagd glas is verstevigd, voor een verbeterde inbraakbeveiliging en geluidsisolatie van het interieur.
PS-1926-Laminated glass symbol

Dit symbool staat op beglazing bestaande uit gelaagd glas.
 

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The Dutch user manuel says this about the glass (you can let Google translate it 😊):

Ruiten, lampglazen en spiegels

De auto heeft meerdere verschillende ruiten, lampglazen en spiegels. Hiervan is een aantal gelaagd, getint en/of elektrisch verwarmd.
De voorruit, het panoramadak en de zijruiten in de portieren zijn voorzien van gelaagd glas. Gelaagd glas is verstevigd, voor een verbeterde inbraakbeveiliging en geluidsisolatie van het interieur.
PS-1926-Laminated glass symbol

Dit symbool staat op beglazing bestaande uit gelaagd glas.
Indeed, in the US manual as well:
1211
 
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