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AUTO BILD: Tesla suspected subsidy fraud in Germany

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Spidy, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Spidy

    Spidy Active Member

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    Looks like this...
    Tesla unbundles a bunch of basic options in Model S to get access to EV incentives in Germany
    ... has now backfired.

    Tesla is now under investigation for consumer deception and unfair competition and the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) examines the case.

    As you can read in the articles the 4000€ subsidy had a 60000€ pre-tax limit and Tesla created a special option to get the base price below that. The issue is that the base car does not exist.

    AUTO BILD reveals: suspected subsidy fraud at Tesla

    Tesla is also not longer on the list of cars who are eligible for the subsidy:

    2017-11-30 21_29_45-Tesla Model S bestellen _ Tesla Deutschland-cut.png
     
    • Informative x 3
  2. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear.

    I remember thinking this was a bit crude, but I always thought they'd just disable the features in software like they did with the 60 kWh battery and offer a priced retrofit like on the 60 kWh battery.

    I am surprised to hear if it wasn't so?
     
  3. Spidy

    Spidy Active Member

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    Offering a priced retrofit would have been even worse in my opinion, especially since all the hardware is already in place.

    Another issue was probably also that you could not chose any option with the comfort package. So if you wanted AP or different seats it automatically added the comfort package. At least you could do that with the limited batteries. Honestly it was pretty obvious from the beginning what Tesla was doing and that this base Model S never existed.
     
  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Only if you were willing to believe malicious intent by Tesla. Of course it was clear they wanted to anti-sell the base option, and that it existed for the incentive, but I did assume the base option did exist as a software limited model. I would consider that still a genuine base model, assuming you can buy it at that price. That one could retrofit the features by paying the $13k would IMO make no difference...

    Still, I have to say, after all this time... Tesla really has my head spinning. I didn't see this one coming, but apparently it is so? All these unnecessary shenanigans like P85D HD and P90DL performance limiters and the premature EAP/FSD announcement etc etc... Why!?! They have a great product, they could have totally stayed within ethical limits...
     
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  5. croman

    croman Active Member

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    Tesla business practices are notoriously shady but it was equally shady of the Government of Germany to exclude only Tesla vehicles from the subsidy. That is a WTO case though and Tesla should have delivered base cars (with 80% less performance! and no nav or back up camera functionality, etc.) to the fools who wanted to pay Euro 60K.

    Then it wouldn't be fraud and would just be a scheme to allow owners to access the credit. 99% of cars would normal and 1% would require some special software mods (parking sensors and hardware can be included but disabled) or they could even remove or sever wiring harnesses intentionally and disable the resulting error codes. Those could be patched if the customer paid for the upgrade later.
     
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  6. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Active Member

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    I would be very surprised, even upset, if Tesla did not talk to the BAFA in advance to get their approval of this tactic.

    Actually I asked a Tesla salesperson and he/she acknowledged that Tesla had made sure that this would work with the model S (but not with the MX).

    So I felt certain, they had talked to the regulators beforehand. In that case Auto Bild is just spreading FUD.
     
  7. croman

    croman Active Member

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    Does anyone even know anyone who actually successfully ordered the base German S and got it at that sub 60k Euro price (crippled or not)?

    If yes, was it crippled or was it just a base S given away to those who had the stones to order a stripped down S?
     
  8. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Be that as it may, Tesla advertising a car and a price point that does not exist - even if somehow backroom approved - would be unethical as heck.

    I am really disappointed if it turns out Tesla really refused to sell that car to the buyer.
     
  9. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Giving the customer a better product at the 60k price would, of course, not be a problem ethically - or even legally I assume, since the required price would be honoured. But refusing to sell at all is quite another...
     
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  10. croman

    croman Active Member

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    I agree entirely. I doubt Tesla would be so generous but if they were it would refute this article (which says Tesla cancelled all orders that were "base" orders without the 5200 Euro package).

    If they did just hand out normal base S it would indicate they never seriously considered crippling an S (due to it being some work when they needed all hands on deck for AP2) but they did want ALL buyers to benefit regardless of how much they actually spent. That makes business sense to me (sell a bunch more cars to make up for the loss of 6k Euro) but only if a handful of people actually ordered the crippled base.

    If anyone got a crippled base unit, I doubt they'd be terribly impressed with the car...
     
  11. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    croman: What is noteworthy is that Tesla really is gone from that list. Why?
     
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  12. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    That's more than a little dramatic...

    Jeff
     
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  13. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Frankly I always considered Tesla's "Komfort-Paket" as pretty much trolling the German automotive industry. The list is... how should I put it... knowledgeably put together. :D

    I found humor in that.

    But such a disappointment if this turns out to be another one for the growing list of Tesla's ethics failures...
     
  14. Spidy

    Spidy Active Member

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    Endlich ist er da • TFF Forum - Tesla Fahrer & Freunde

    Sounds like everything was available.
     
  15. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Until it wasn't November 5th?

    Google Translate:

     
  16. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

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    Yes, very shady of Germany. Not at all Shady of Tesla to modify their pricing to comply, but Tesla should have delivered the cars as ordered and priced. Still not clear what exactly they were doing or not doing.
     
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  17. Spidy

    Spidy Active Member

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    I meant all the features were available in the car the guy actually got without the comfort package.

    But it seems like getting that kind of car was not actually intended to be available for purchase at all, which seems to confirm the findings by AUTO BILD.
     
  18. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, as the story told, there seems to be two buyers on that thread: one who got everything and another one who got his order canceleld.

    Whether or not Auto-Bild's buyer is a third example, I don't know.
     
  19. Cloxxki

    Cloxxki Active Member

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    They might get away with delivering a few cars as spec'd and then deciding to discontinue the no-options. Would that qualify the car for a while? Loopholes...
     
  20. Spidy

    Spidy Active Member

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    #20 Spidy, Nov 30, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
    I think the most serious issue for Tesla is really that they had people order online without the comfort package and later.cancelled those. Don't see how they could defend that.
    Also strange that they wrote a corrected version of the email where they removed the even without comfort package part from that he can still order in the design studio...
     

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