Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

AUTO BILD: Tesla suspected subsidy fraud in Germany

Spidy

Active Member
Feb 7, 2015
1,364
1,106
EU
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.

To check that, an Auto Bild test buyer anonymously ordered the basic model without comfort package online. Then a Tesla customer service representative calls him by phone, explaining that the Model S 75D is not available without extras. The basic model is all about "taking the environmental bonus". The editors also report on customers who have experienced similar things. Either Tesla canceled the orders of the Model S 75D without extras or the car was delivered at the base price - but with comfort features.
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
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
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?
 

Spidy

Active Member
Feb 7, 2015
1,364
1,106
EU
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.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
Honestly it was pretty obvious from the beginning what Tesla was doing and that this base Model S never existed.

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...
 
  • Like
Reactions: GSP and croman

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,939
7,552
Chicago, IL
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.

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.
 

Johann Koeber

Active Member
May 1, 2012
1,196
3,931
Hersbruck, Germany
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.
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,939
7,552
Chicago, IL
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?
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
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.

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.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
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?

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...
 
  • Like
Reactions: GSP

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,939
7,552
Chicago, IL
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...

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...
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
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...
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU

Until it wasn't November 5th?

Google Translate:

Order naked you can forget!

Did exactly that on 16.10.17 done online. A black ModelS75D without comfort package for 69019 and recommendation link. 4000 € were deducted directly from the credit card and e-mail confirmation. Shortly after, I was called! I should book the comfort package! I refused. Three days later again call and message that the purchase contract of Tesla is canceled. That's what happened.
Have pointed to ferrarihubi whose recommendation link I have used. The case was known there and somehow the Tesla has probably slipped through. Any chance. If you can do it, please contact me, then I will try again.
 

bhzmark

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
3,660
6,184
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.

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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johann Koeber

Spidy

Active Member
Feb 7, 2015
1,364
1,106
EU
Until it wasn't November 5th?

Google Translate:
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.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
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.

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.
 

Cloxxki

Active Member
Aug 20, 2016
1,362
706
Rotterdam
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...
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top