It’s hard to think of a vehicle in recent history that has been as hyped as Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck. Even now, with first deliveries scheduled for later this month, specifications are still being gradually “leaked” onto the internet, final fit and finish quality remains for discussionand Elon Musk continues to make waves on social channels by unloading automatic weapons into the side of his not-actually-bulletproof-because-the-glass-is-not-bulletproof electric pickup.
More fuel has recently been added to the incendiary hype machine, with reports surfacing of changes to Tesla’s Motor Vehicle Order Agreement, with a section added in recent weeks headlined: “For Cybertruck Only.”
The revised agreement now states: “you agree that you will not sell or otherwise attempt to sell the Vehicle within the first year after the date of delivery of your Vehicle,” as first reported by Business insider.
If owners choose to ignore the document, Tesla will do so says further that it “may seek injunctive relief to prevent the transfer of ownership of the Vehicle or seek damages from you in the amount of $50,000 or the value received in consideration for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater” . Not only could you be sued, but Tesla reserves the right to put you on a naughty list and refuse to sell you future vehicles.
The amendment was likely introduced to prevent customers from “flipping” their trucks, or essentially selling one of the hottest new vehicles in a long time for a significant percentage above retail price to desperate buyers.
If a customer really wants to sell their vehicle in the first year because he or she may decide it’s a steaming pile of overhyped junk, they should notify Tesla in writing and “give Tesla a reasonable time to dispose of the vehicle as it sees fit.” from you and at the purchase price shown on your final price statement, less $0.25 per mile driven, reasonable wear and tear, and the cost to repair the vehicle to Tesla’s cosmetic and mechanical standards for used vehicles.
In other words, Tesla will buy it back, but at a hefty chunk of the list price. If Tesla then decides that it does not actually want to purchase your old Cybertruck, you may only resell your Vehicle to a third party “after written permission from Tesla.”
Struggling with the issue
While Tesla’s contractual amendment may seem overly aggressive, this isn’t the first time an automaker has contractually prohibited an owner from selling their vehicle for a predetermined amount of time.
Just ask professional wrestling icon John Cena, who ran into trouble with Ford Motor Company when he sold his limited edition, second-generation Ford GT. The car, which cost half a million dollars when it first hit the market in 2017, came with a strict contract that prohibited owners from reselling the cars within the first two years of ownership. Cena ultimately settled out of court.
Similarly, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, which is essentially an F1 road car, came with a clause in the purchase contract that prohibited its profligate owners from selling their examples of the 275 hypercars, while Aston’s then CEO Martin, Dr. Andy Palmer, suggested the company would be just as hard for any potential Valkyrie owner thinking of flipping their vehicle.
However, all the vehicles we mentioned were limited to a few hundred units, apart from the Ford GT, which was planned for 1,350 units. Musk recently declared that he planned to produce more than 125,000 Cybertrucks every yearwith that figure potentially rising to 250,000 units by 2025.
This means that the Cybertruck will hardly see a limited-run release – unless, of course, production of the notoriously difficult-to-produce steel-bodied truck goes horribly wrong and Musk decides to go full production on it.