- Tesla faced controversy over Cybertruck resale restrictions.
- Backlash led to the removal of resale penalties.
- Reservation holders sought to profit from high demand.
Tesla’s Cybertruck has gained worldwide attention for its unusual design, impressive features, and innovative stainless-steel “exoskeleton.” Due to limited availability and long wait times, the company is worried about scalpers reselling the Tesla Cybertruck for a profit. There has been confusion recently about the company’s adding a clause to its Cybertruck purchase contract, threatening to sue owners who sell their trucks during the first year of owning one. Clauses in sales contracts to limit the reselling low production vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck have been done before, notably by Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, and others.
The “For Cybertruck only” Section of Tesla’s Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement
In November 2023, Tesla modified its Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement with a section titled “For Cybertruck only.” This modification happened before the Cybertruck delivery event, where Tesla CEO Elon Musk handed keys to several excited new owners.
The “For Cybertruck only” section stated that owners would be sued by Tesla if they re-sold their Tesla Cybertrucks within the first year of ownership. If the owners were to sell, Tesla would sue them for $50,000, or the amount received from the sale, whichever is greater. It’s unclear if the lawsuit threat is still in effect, but it will be interesting to see if Tesla follows through with these lawsuits and if the company is successful at winning the cases. It appears Tesla is concerned about these profit-making activities surrounding the Tesla Cybertruck resale, and therefore published the “For Cybertruck only” section.
The Clause Was Removed Due to Online Backlash
When the threat was made, news spread quickly, and online backlash was harsh. Most commenters on social media seemed to think Tesla had no right to control what owners did with their vehicles after they purchased them. Responding to the backlash, Tesla removed the clause three days later.
Cybertruck Reservation Holders Making Profits on eBay
After the first ten or so trucks were delivered, that left a whole lot of reservation holders waiting for probably at least another year. It’s already been four years since the truck was first announced. Reservation holders have been trying to sell their early Tesla Cybertruck reservations on eBay, some with asking prices as high as $350,000. A slot for a Foundation Series truck sold for $21,100 on eBay recently. The cost of the truck would be added to the cost of the reservation slot when buying, making it a very hefty purchase.
Current Clause on Pre-Order Agreement
As of December 15, 2023, this language appears on the Tesla Pre-Order Agreement page for the Tesla Cybertruck.
“No Resellers; Discontinuation; Cancellation. Tesla and its affiliates sell cars directly to end-consumers, and we may unilaterally cancel any order that we believe has been made with a view toward resale of the Vehicle or that has otherwise been made in bad faith. We may also cancel your pre-order and refund your Pre-Order Payment if we discontinue a product, feature or option after the time you place your pre-order or if we determine that you are acting in bad faith.”
Flipping a truck may not be ethical, but it’s not illegal. Do you believe Tesla should sue or cancel orders if buyers intend to flip their Tesla Cybertrucks for a profit? The practice of buying and reselling in America goes back to our country’s founding and is a part of our capitalist society.
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