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Tesla reneges on order agreement car/price

MrTT

Member
Jan 22, 2021
12
23
UK
Hello all, I hope someone can give me some advice on how (or if) to progress with this:

In December 2020 I pay a deposit on an inventory Model 3 long range. It was a chrome trim model with VIN 772***. Tesla post the order agreement on my account. It's a nice discount @£3.5k. Over the next few days I get the 'prepare for delivery' emails etc...

I hear nothing for a few days so in early January I call them. I'm told they have sold the car. No apology, but they will source me a similar car between January and March for the same deal.

Mid Jan I'm told they have found a car VIN 688***; so, an older car but hey no worries. A week ago, I get an invoice to pay for the FULL list price for a current LR model 3 (£46990). Lots of phone calls and promises of invoice correction but they keep resending me the full list price invoice.

On Friday, they have removed the original order agreement (showing the discounted agreed price) from my account and replaced it with an order agreement for full list price. I also get another call from Tesla to state that an amended discounted invoice will be arranged and I should go and inspect the car at the compound.

Call from Tesla today to say they will now NOT sell the year old demo car to me for the original agreed discount price. I will have to pay full list price if I want it.

I really do want a Model 3 but don’t know how to proceed. Any thoughts? Thank you.
 

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Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
359
245
Surrey, UK
I’d certainly not be paying full list price for a year old car.
Sadly, Tesla are likely to have the right to change the deal, however you will also have the right to walk away and get your £100 back. It’s not the best customer service, but hey, it’s Tesla. :rolleyes:
 

OfficialMark_H

VLOGGER
Jan 1, 2020
186
124
Somerset UK
Hello all, I hope someone can give me some advice on how (or if) to progress with this:

In December 2020 I pay a deposit on an inventory Model 3 long range. It was a chrome trim model with VIN 772***. Tesla post the order agreement on my account. It's a nice discount @£3.5k. Over the next few days I get the 'prepare for delivery' emails etc...

I hear nothing for a few days so in early January I call them. I'm told they have sold the car. No apology, but they will source me a similar car between January and March for the same deal.

Mid Jan I'm told they have found a car VIN 688***; so, an older car but hey no worries. A week ago, I get an invoice to pay for the FULL list price for a current LR model 3 (£46990). Lots of phone calls and promises of invoice correction but they keep resending me the full list price invoice.

On Friday, they have removed the original order agreement (showing the discounted agreed price) from my account and replaced it with an order agreement for full list price. I also get another call from Tesla to state that an amended discounted invoice will be arranged and I should go and inspect the car at the compound.

Call from Tesla today to say they will now NOT sell the year old demo car to me for the original agreed discount price. I will have to pay full list price if I want it.

I really do want a Model 3 but don’t know how to proceed. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Did you not pay the remainder of the deposit? If they’ve accepted your order and then put the documents in your account I think they would be waiting for you to pay the rest of the deposit, if that wasn’t forthcoming then I can see why they would have sold it.
I think the prepare for delivery means pay your deposit, it’s really unfortunate for you but Tesla seem to run different to any other car sales.

Having said that, I had no issues at all when buying mine, top marks from Tesla but I’ve heard others have issues.
 

Alistairuk

Member
Jun 25, 2020
400
261
Scotland
Echoing the above, sadly I think you’re out of luck - given the original car isn’t “available” and your original agreement was relating to that you’ll struggle to get them to honor it. If you’d already paid the full amount you might have better luck getting them to honor it on another car as it was there mistake. But if it was just a deposit there’s probably some terms in the agreement that allow them to back out.

Sadly they get away with charging same for a used car as the delivery time for new means people are still willing to pay it. I certainly wouldn’t pay anywhere near new price for a demo or other used Tesla but others will.

Good luck, but I think you’ll find Tesla are “legally” in the right even if it’s not the best customer service experience.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK
Legally, I believe that the payment of a deposit provides no guarantee that the deal should conclude as agreed. To be binding, a contract must have an offer, the acceptance of that offer, and the exchange of a consideration.

In this case the offer is the advert Tesla placed showing that particular car. The acceptance of that offer was the agreement to buy it at the advertised price. However, there was no exchange of a consideration, as a deposit is not normally counted as such, as it's just one-way, from the purchaser to the seller, and the seller in this case has provided nothing material in exchange.

Morally, Tesla may well be seen as wrong, or at the very least behaving unreasonably, but that seems pretty normal with Tesla. Their back office functionality seems far from perfect, for example there are several invoices for my car on my account, every single one of them wrong. In the end I gave up trying to get an invoice that was correct, as it seemed all any request did was generate another erroneous one.
 

M3noob

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2019
554
401
Beyond the pale
Legally, I believe that the payment of a deposit provides no guarantee that the deal should conclude as agreed. To be binding, a contract must have an offer, the acceptance of that offer, and the exchange of a consideration.

In this case the offer is the advert Tesla placed showing that particular car. The acceptance of that offer was the agreement to buy it at the advertised price. However, there was no exchange of a consideration, as a deposit is not normally counted as such, as it's just one-way, from the purchaser to the seller, and the seller in this case has provided nothing material in exchange.

Morally, Tesla may well be seen as wrong, or at the very least behaving unreasonably, but that seems pretty normal with Tesla. Their back office functionality seems far from perfect, for example there are several invoices for my car on my account, every single one of them wrong. In the end I gave up trying to get an invoice that was correct, as it seemed all any request did was generate another erroneous one.

In common law, a peppercorn is sufficient consideration. Other aspects of the contract or statuary law my support Tesla's conduct.

Poor form on their part but probably not worth getting litigious about.
 

Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,520
527
UK
Hello all, I hope someone can give me some advice on how (or if) to progress with this:

In December 2020 I pay a deposit on an inventory Model 3 long range. It was a chrome trim model with VIN 772***. Tesla post the order agreement on my account. It's a nice discount @£3.5k. Over the next few days I get the 'prepare for delivery' emails etc...

I hear nothing for a few days so in early January I call them. I'm told they have sold the car. No apology, but they will source me a similar car between January and March for the same deal.

Mid Jan I'm told they have found a car VIN 688***; so, an older car but hey no worries. A week ago, I get an invoice to pay for the FULL list price for a current LR model 3 (£46990). Lots of phone calls and promises of invoice correction but they keep resending me the full list price invoice.

On Friday, they have removed the original order agreement (showing the discounted agreed price) from my account and replaced it with an order agreement for full list price. I also get another call from Tesla to state that an amended discounted invoice will be arranged and I should go and inspect the car at the compound.

Call from Tesla today to say they will now NOT sell the year old demo car to me for the original agreed discount price. I will have to pay full list price if I want it.

I really do want a Model 3 but don’t know how to proceed. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Continue to phone and speak to people, you may find a sane person there one day and get lucky!
 
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MrTT

Member
Jan 22, 2021
12
23
UK
Many thanks for all the useful comments.

I paid the £100 and received the order agreement in my account. I then completed the next steps and awaited the delivery instructions. It's interesting how the order agreement terms mention how the customer will be penalized for withdrawing from the contract but nothing on Tesla's part.

What's annoying me here is not so much that they sold the original car but the fact they found a replacement (year old stock) but won't honour the original agreed price. They've event removed the original order agreement from my account documents and replaced it with one that makes it look like I agreed to pay full list price.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,559
7,364
Visalia, CA
...order agreement terms mention how the customer will be penalized for withdrawing from the contract but nothing on Tesla's part...

Indeed, that contract says the worst punishment for Tesla is to pay you back your own £100.

That's one among other disadvantages of buying used.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,913
1,952
Bath, UK
I’m still a bit confused. You had a final invoice for the first car I presume, with the £3.5k discount. Why didn’t you pay the full balance for the car at that point?

When I had the final invoice for my car I was asked to pay the balance, and presumably until I did that and they only had my £100 then there was no obligation for them to honour it?

The above said it does seem strange that they aren’t budging when trying to sell a car even older than the one you were buying, with the discount. I can only put it down to the fact that Tesla’s attitude changes dramatically at quarter end. They discounted inventory cars by similar amounts at the end of December.
 

MrTT

Member
Jan 22, 2021
12
23
UK
The first invoice I received was in mid Jan. This was after I was told about the original car being sold and that Tesla had found this replacement vehicle. I have never received an invoice for the discounted numbers shown in the order agreement.

I agree with your comments on their end of quarter attitude. It seems this quarterly rush is resulting in unprepared vehicles being released.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,913
1,952
Bath, UK
It’s more a case that they will move heaven and earth to meet targets at the end of each quarter. They will deliver cars to you, give discounts, etc, as you’ve experienced.

Unfortunately this also seems to mean that they adopt a “first guy who puts cash on the bonnet wins” attitude with selling the cars they have in their inventory. Hence why they sold “your” car to someone else. That’s why I asked about whether you had been asked to pay the balance or not, as evidently this other person was faster.

In January they’re about as unmotivated as it gets to give any kind of concession. They sell the cars hand over fist as it is. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and leads to inconsistent or disappointing customer service experiences like yours, but it is sadly predictable.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
974
576
UK
Indeed, that contract says the worst punishment for Tesla is to pay you back your own £100.

That's one among other disadvantages of buying used.

When the public buy from a company, if the contract is stacked in the companies favour such as this you can argue over unfair terms which could mean those clause would be struck from the contract. If you feel you got past the point where it’s not a offer but it’s an actual contract to sell (and the final invoice in my opinion would be that) then you also have the right to find an equivalent car and Tesla would need to reimburse you the difference for breach of contract. Of course the issue is having the means to take them to court and the risk, however small, that you might not win.

But at the end of the day, why would you want to persevere with a company that treats you like this? I’d ask for my money back, however good the cars can be when they work, they don’t always work, service can be intermittent, and you’re already being messed about, I just wish it wasn’t like that.
 
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MrTT

Member
Jan 22, 2021
12
23
UK
You make a good point in the last paragraph. Thanks. I guess I could opt for a 2021 inventory model that has just appeared on the Tesla site and try and claim the cost difference. Like you state, do I really want to pass any funds to Tesla right now?
 

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