Tesla once again threatens to sue Cybertruck scalpers for $50k
Tesla has re-added a clause to its Cybertruck purchase contract, threatening to sue owners who try to flip their Cybertrucks within the first year of ownership. But its also being unclear about its threat, because the language doesn’t seem to exist in Tesla’s pre-order documents.
Back in November, before the initial Cybertruck delivery event, Tesla modified its Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement with a section that said “For Cybertruck Only.” This section basically included clauses that told Cybertruck owners that they are not allowed to re-sell their vehicle within the first year of ownership, and if they did, that Tesla would sue them to recoup whatever amount they received from the sale or $50k, whichever is greater.
News spread quickly of the change. Some were happy because nobody really likes scalpers, but many were unhappy because they thought Tesla has no right to tell them what to do with their vehicle after they’ve purchased it.
Clauses like these are not unheard-of, though, particularly for low-production or high-cost vehicles. Similar clauses have been employed by Ferrari, Ford, Porsche and others.
However, after the response, Tesla quickly changed its contract, removing the clause three days later.
Neither the original change nor the reversal were accompanied by a statement from Tesla, and everyone was and still is in the dark over why the clause appeared and disappeared – whether it was simply something that Tesla released to the public too early or whether Tesla had actually reconsidered its position.
Then, when Cybertruck owners got a chance to order the early Foundation Series, the no resale provision seems to have returned. Now, for anyone who has confirmed their order, that section is back in the order agreement, which you can read below:
We also don’t know any limitations on how many Cybertrucks this will apply to. It might just be for the Foundation series, or might be for all Cybertrucks for a while – until it is available in more than “limited quantity.”
Some orderers have even expressed concern over whether or not the language existed in the pre-order agreement which they saw before putting down Tesla’s $250 non-refundable order fee (which is separate from the original $100 refundable reservation fee).
The version of this document on Tesla’s website does not seem to have the Cyebrtruck-specific anti-scalping language in it, but we haven’t been able to confirm whether that is the actual version linked on the pre-order page, after being invited to order and before plunking down $250. If any of our readers have been invited to configure a Cybertruck but haven’t yet confirmed your order, please reach out to let us know if the anti-reselling language is in the documents available before you submit your configuration.
Whether you like the existence of this provision or not, Tesla is acting more than a little ridiculous here.
Either have the clause or don’t, but it seems like the company not only can’t decide whether or not it wants to have this clause, it isn’t even being clear about whether orders placed today have it or not. And this is happening after deliveries have already started.
Of course, we’d be able to get a simple answer to this question if the company had a department responsible for communicating the company’s policies to the public. What could we possibly call such a thing…
But I guess that’s a brand new idea, never before thought of in corporate governance. Because who would ever think of a crazy thing like that, having people within the company who actually keep track of what the company is doing and saying to the public, making sure it’s consistent so customers can actually figure out what they’re ordering before committing $120,000 of their hard-earned money for something they’ve never seen in person.
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