Gary Davis and his husband Jim had decided to buy a Model Y SUV from Tesla by March of this year.
But in December Chief Executive Elon Musk announced An unprecedented discount of $7,500 plus 10,000 miles complimentary top-up for anyone who ordered and received a Model 3 sedan or Model Y SUV before January 1st.
Gary, 65, a retired IBM employee, and Jim thought they got a great offer. After doing the math, they believed the rebate offered by the electric vehicle leader was more attractive than the federal tax credit that was due to take effect on January 1. And not all Model Y variants were eligible for the federal tax credit.
“We live in New York, we looked in New York, but we happen to be vacationing in Indiana with family,” said Davis, who lives in Hudson, NY. “So we broadened our search to look for what was available outside of our Indiana location in about an hour.”
“We found (and) ordered a car online on the 30th to buy the 2023 model Y in the gray color. It was the car we wanted to buy; we didn’t think we were ready to buy one.
“But because of this promotion, we were like, ‘Well, you know what, if we buy it in the first quarter of next year, let’s just buy it now.’ So we did. We placed the order and we literally picked it up the next day.”
Final Purchase Price: Under $60,000. And then…
Pursuant to their motor vehicle purchase agreement, on December 30, Davis and his husband purchased a Model Y Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive from a Tesla store in Westmont, Illinois. The starting price was $67,440, but after the discount, the final cost was $59,940.
But on January 12 on the sites dedicated to the 3 and Y models, Tesla announced Price reductions from 7% to 20%. The move allowed buyers of those vehicles — Tesla’s most popular cars — to claim the $7,500 federal tax credit.
Davis and his husband are furious.
“We were like, ‘Well wait, what’s going to happen to those of us who bought a car about 15 days ago? That doesn’t seem fair,'” Davis says.
“But when you buy certain things in a lot of retail environments — I understand that car dealerships aren’t necessarily typical retail environments — (there’s) a window where people realize you just bought it and you should get some compensation.”
The new base price of the Model Y Long Range – valid until 31 Tesla website. Davis therefore estimates that they paid at least $5,000 more than they would have paid if they had waited just a few days.
They contacted all of the Tesla employees they spoke to during the purchase process, including the person who delivered the car.
But this last employee’s reaction only added to her disappointment.
“No Refund” for cars delivered before January 12th
“For deliveries made before 12.01. removed, no refund will be given,” employee Sofy Aguilera told them via email on Jan. 14. (TheStreet saw the email.)
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Davis and Jim aren’t the only ones angry at Tesla. A petition on Change.org was started by other customers who, like you, bought their Teslas and had them delivered before January 12th and feel like they were overcharged.
“Tesla’s decision to adopt an incremental rebate approach ($3,750 > $7,500 > $13,000) over 6 weeks rather than a direct $13,000 rebate from start…brings near-term profit gains…but long-term customer pain,” commented a customer who signed the petition.
“It leaves a bland taste because we’re all too familiar with the experience we’ve had with traditional dealerships,” added the client.
The petition had 3,737 signatures when last checked – three-quarters of its target of 5,000 signatures. It claims to represent customers who bought Teslas in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The petitioner claims that Tesla should give affected customers who have purchased the driver assistance system “a free 1-year full self-driving trial” or a discount. The automaker could also offer free supercharging miles, the petition suggests.
Davis says he and his husband would appreciate it if Tesla made any of the goodwill gestures the petition suggests or if there were credits that owners could use when replacing air filters or changing tires, for example.
“There could be things we could be happy with,” he said. “I think we would go a long way right now to improve our feelings about Tesla. We still like the car. We don’t hate the car. We’re just not happy with how Tesla handled it.
“This is unacceptable. That is totally unacceptable.”