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Tesla cancels its ‘no questions asked’ 7-day return policy (electrek.co)
204 points by jennyyang 11 days ago | hide | past | web | 217 comments | favorite

Not in EU they didnt https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/gua...

>14 day cooling off period

>In the EU you have the right to return purchases made online or through other types of distance selling, such as by phone, mail order or from a door-to-door salesperson, within 14 days for a full refund. You can do so for any reason – even if you simply changed your mind.

This is not valid anymore once you've used it, it has to be mint condition. Also customized orders are excluded, so that can exclude another big chunk of cars.

That's not correct. They still have to take it back but they can charge you for any wear and tear that was not necessary for you to determine if you wanted to keep the product.

How much wear and tear would that be on an expensive car like a Tesla? 100km of driving? More? Less?

None because Teslas do not depreciate. It was a trick question.

They only depreciate when Elon tweets it so.

Certainly not if you believe the TSLA stock :)

A case could be made for any usage as you are testing if it will withstand your life style.

Well then you can just get a new car from a different dealer every 2 weeks and drive a new car for free in perpetuity.

Whatever would be equivalent to how you would be able to examine were you to buy it in person. The equivalent of a test drive, then, which is not much.

The 14 days also extends to used cars, so not really sure how "mint condition" would even work there.

>The 14-day cooling off period does not apply to all purchases

>Please note that this list is not exhaustive

Certain exceptions from the right of withdrawal should exist, both for distance and off-premises contracts. A right of withdrawal could be inappropriate for example given the nature of particular goods or services.

That is the case for example with wine supplied a long time after the conclusion of a contract of a speculative nature where the value is dependent on fluctuations in the market (‘vin en primeur’).

The right of withdrawal should neither apply to goods made to the consumer’s specifications or which are clearly personalised such as tailor-made curtains, nor to the supply of fuel, for example, which is a good, by nature inseparably mixed with other items after delivery.

The granting of a right of withdrawal to the consumer could also be inappropriate in the case of certain services where the conclusion of the contract implies the setting aside of capacity which, if a right of withdrawal were exercised, the trader may find difficult to fill. This would for example be the case where reservations are made at hotels or concerning holiday cottages or cultural or sporting events.

Regarding how much you can test out an item, for example underwear or in ear headphones can't be sent back.

Some consumers exercise their right of withdrawal after having used the goods to an extent more than necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and the functioning of the goods. In this case the consumer should not lose the right to withdraw but should be liable for any diminished value of the goods.

In order to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods, the consumer should only handle and inspect them in the same manner as he would be allowed to do in a shop.

For example, the consumer should only try on a garment and should not be allowed to wear it. Consequently, the consumer should handle and inspect the goods with due care during the withdrawal period.

The obligations of the consumer in the event of withdrawal should not discourage the consumer from exercising his right of withdrawal.


Which is costed into every purchase, and is (only pay of) why we pay more for everything.

Is it? Using tech as an example, often I've found that the only difference is currency conversion and sales tax. Take the PS5 for example, it's advertised at $499 or £449. £449 is ~$580, but in the post-brexit years, it could be anywhere between $540 and $630. That number is also the actual price you pay, including sales taxes. If you're in the US, you would pay anywhere between 4% and 13.5% on top, so somewhere between $518 and $566.

When I first bought a Mac back in about 2008 I did a price comparison as everyone was saying they were more expensive in the UK than US. It turned out this wasn’t true as every model I looked at was almost exactly the same when sales tax / VAT was taken into consideration. I was comparing to California, as that’s where I might have decided to buy instead of the UK.

This is a common confusion for most countries with tax-inclusive pricing versus the US tax-exclusive system.

Depends on the seller and the brand. Apple does have the "almost same net price everywhere" policy, but other brands do not follow this strategy and actually do regional pricing.

The lower bound on a made-somewhere-in-the-US is 0% additional for states with no sales tax.

I wasn't aware of that, thanks, but I don't think it changes the point that the pricing difference is roughly in line with the sales tax difference?

You're acting like this isn't part of most companies business model already. Amazon's return policy? Costed into every purchase - nobody legislated that they had to do that, it just turns out a generous return policy encourages you to buy more.

Exactly. Underwear does not work under this system.

To note, some vendors deal with that rule by staling orders for 14 days.

Some will give an option to have it processed immediately, but only if you agree to a waiver clearing your 14 days cooling off window.

Never head that before, and sounds completely illegal.

Also... pointless? As the 14 days start from the day you receive the goods[1], not the day where you pass the order.

[1] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/gua...

As any rule, there seem to be a number of ways around it [0]. Not defending any of those, just that as a consumer I’ve hit those a few times already.

And we both know something sounding against the spirit of the law won’t stop many companies to do it, as long a s they have technicality to hang on to avoid straight losing in court.

[0] https://editioneo.com/blog/9-manieres-eviter-droit-retractat...

The 14 day period starts the day you receive the goods, not when the order is placed.

Tesla wanted to avoid having dealerships and sell cars mostly on the Internet. That requires a lenient return policy. Now Tesla will run into "lemon law" problems.[1]

Tesla has exhausted the supply of uncritical fanboys, and is past being the only good electric car manufacturer. Now they have to compete with BMW and Mercedes, who also sell good electric cars. The $50K-$100K "luxury" segment is overcrowded, and those companies are better at fit and finish.

[1] https://www.dmv.com/ca/california/lemon-law

Mercedes only has EQC which isn't even being sold in the USA and BMW has no good EVs (i3 is a niche product). I don't know about USA but i think that in Europe Tesla biggest competitors are actually "lower" tier manufacturers like Hyundai, KIA, Renault, Nissan, VW and the only premium competitor is Audi.

You missed Porsche's Taycan.

The already in production VW ID.4 is a direct competitor to the new Model Y, the ID.3 to the Model 3.

The VW ID3/4 are not remotely competitors, other than being compact electric cars. Very different size, performance and materials quality.

Sizes are comparable to M3 and MY.

Performance and range favor Tesla.

Build quality favors VW.

I was responding to a person who said they were direct competitors. I agree that they're competitors in certain respects, insofar as they're both electric vehicles and both have their price spread constrained by the cost of batteries. But they don't directly compete with the same audience. A more reasonable direct competitor to the ID.3 is the Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208. A more reasonable direct competitor to the Model 3 is the Polestar 2.

The Model 3 and ID.3 are a full size class apart and have wildly different driving character. In BMW parlance it's M340i vs 120i. In Mercedes parlance it's C43 vs A200.

It is too early to assess the relative build quality of the ID.3, though obviously VW do have strong form here and Tesla have weak form. But from a construction standpoint it's worth noting that the ID.3 is cheaply made, well below the standard of even the VW Golf. Despite the price tag, it's an economy car through and through.

Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan EVs outsell Tesla in Europe. Hyundai is also close to outselling Tesla in Europe.

All of that is false. Do you have an annual chart to back your claim?


2019 EV sales Europe

1. Tesla Model 3 - 95.168

2. Renault Zoe - 45.129

3. Nissan Leaf - 31.792

4. Hyundai Kona EV - 21.790

5. Audi e-tron - 18.382

Another chart as a data point...


Those are monthly metrics. Everyone knows that Tesla has to ship their cars by sea and there is a delay on the numbers, followed by a surge when the Glovis ships arrive and unload.

VW, Peugeot, Renault, Nissan and even Hyundai all have European plants.

This has been an ongoing cycle since they started selling in Europe. That is why I asked for annual charts. Maybe even quarterly charts would be more accurate.

The Jaguar ipace is competition to the model S. I see them a lot in NL.

You see them a lot. I've talked to some owners: very bad charging setup. This is a complete own goal by Jaguar, they could have easily fixed that, and I suspect they will fix it at some point because it really takes the shine of what would have been a pretty nice car otherwise.

What's bad about charging the car exactly?

What is the 2020 production volumes for BMW/Mercedes electric vehicles?

Not in the top 5. I can tell you that for sure.

Are there any car companies that have the auto-pilot capabilities of Tesla? I drove one the other weekend and was blown away, I’m not aware of any car companies that the same level of software integration as Tesla.

Most of them, but with less hype than Tesla.[1] All the big automakers have a Level 2 system - lane keeping and autobrake. Nobody is shipping level 3.

Cruise and Google have level 4 on the road, doing taxi service, in small scale tests.

[1] https://www.gmc.com/safety-features

I think every Subaru shipped comes with Level 2 now? So for $23k or something, you can have a properly made car with lane keeping, traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control, etc. etc. It won't turn at stop signs for you but feels much safer when considered with today's state of self-driving.

It's absolutely nothing like autopilot. Source: I've owned a Tesla for the past three years and I drove a friend's brand new Outback a couple months ago. Autopilot is smooth, easy to use, and lets you basically "monitor" instead of driving for any highway driving. Overtaking a slow car is just tapping the turn signal, and it handles waiting for a window, merging, and accelerating for you.

The Subaru version on the other hand is more of a "driver safety" tool that would sometimes stop you from drifting all the way out of lane, but was nowhere near reliable enough to be relied on to steer.

The Subaru version on the other hand is more of a "driver safety" tool that would sometimes stop you from drifting all the way out of lane, but was nowhere near reliable enough to be relied on to steer.

Subaru markets it as a driver assistance tool, not as a replacement for the driver.

Totally agree; many cars in the 20-30k range have plenty of “auto-pilot” features already. Sure, my Honda doesn’t stop at lights that are green[0], or ignore stop signs in parking lots[0], so I guess there’s still work to be done.

[0] https://www.consumerreports.org/autonomous-driving/tesla-ful...

No companies (including Tesla) have the capabilities Tesla claim to have.

It's cool but it's clearly not ready.

That and I'm completely lost about the software-in-my-car thing - music, sure, but what else actually matters while the car is a tool rather than a self driving service (if you will)

> Tesla has exhausted the supply of uncritical fanboys, and is past being the only good electric car manufacturer. Now they have to compete with BMW and Mercedes, who also sell good electric cars.

What an odd thing to say. The objective data does not agree with you however. Pulling up EV sales in the last 5 years would also say otherwise. BMW/ MBenz are not even in the top 5 in terms of sales. Renault (Zoe) BYD, BAIC, and SAIC are closer in terms of numbers:

YTD YoY Vehicle Delivery Growth: https://youtu.be/K9gk8TMXKQk?t=65

Quarterly Vehicle Deliveries: https://youtu.be/K9gk8TMXKQk?t=110

U.S. Electric Vehicles Sales by Model (2012-2019)


"Tesla was ranked as the best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer worldwide after selling between 367,000 and 368,000 units in 2019. Tesla's sales volume translates into a market share of just under 18 percent. Chinese manufacturers BYD, BAIC, and SAIC were among the runners-up."

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/541390/global-sales-of-p...

People like you have been saying that since 2008-2010 that "competition is coming" https://www.wired.com/2009/10/audi-etron/

Yet here we are in 2020 and the incumbents still don't offer (production wise) an efficient EV that can best the range of the Model S from 2012.

"Most experienced automakers race to put a car together in three years," said Angus MacKenzie, editor of Motor Trend magazine. "I can't see Tesla making more than a handful of these -- if any -- in 2012.

That's not good news, considering Tesla has competition coming to the stage quickly. Nissan will sell the electric Leaf and General Motors is ready to bring the hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt to market next year -- a year ahead of the Model S."


"Tesla Motors may have significant competition in the high-end electric vehicle space soon, if Fisker Automotive continues on its current path. "


>People like you have been saying that since 2008-2010 that "competition is coming" https://www.wired.com/2009/10/audi-etron/

Uh, in Europe the E-tron is selling very well, arguably much better than what those critics predicted, and is one of the reasons why the sales of Model S and X are essentially disappearing in countries like Norway https://i.redd.it/amrtc9yhl9851.png

As for the range, we all know that EPA sucks and the EPA official ranges for Tesla are fake as fuck https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EUsFLHBXQAAmENE?format=jpg&name=...

Real world testing shows that all major car manufacturers are just as competitive when it comes to battery efficiency as Tesla (it's not like Tesla's batteries are essentially different from the competition, after all)

> Model S and X are essentially disappearing in countries like Norway

You conveniently left out the Model 3. It also took Audi almost a decade to finally put it to market. Moreover, the chart from Reddit that you posted is from @fly4dat from Twitter. A known EU Tesla short seller. If you've been following anything Tesla related.

Ever noticed why he never post YTD or EOY numbers? There's a reason for that.

> As for the range, we all know that EPA sucks and the EPA official ranges for Tesla are fake as fuck https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EUsFLHBXQAAmENE?format=jpg&name=...

Your sources are hilarious. That image is from TeslaCharts. Another short seller. See Wikipedia link below. The EPA, though sometimes inefficient like other federal orgs is the governing body on range. I trust them more than anonymous short sellers on Twitter. Many people also did real world tests that proves that Tesla is still the efficiency king.






From: https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/cevc99/ev_core...

"TSLAQ is a loose, international collective of largely anonymous short-sellers.... The group was the subject of a Real Vision video which included interviews with prominent members @TESLACharts and @Paul91701736.[8]"


> all major car manufacturers are just as competitive when it comes to battery efficiency as Tesla

You clearly don't even understand the engineering aspect here. The efficiency is from the drivetrain, motors and software. Not "batteries". This is why Teslas can go further than their competitors. While still maintaining the performance specs. Even though they may sometimes have smaller batteries.

>You conveniently left out the Model 3.

No, I did not? See the links I attached again.

I do wonder if part of the reason is abuse by people who wanted to try a Tesla but had no intention of buying.

I never did it, because I just couldn't have lived with myself[0], but about a year ago a friend and I popped into the Tesla micro-showroom in Cambridge (UK) and I realised I could order the Tesla Model S P100D with self-driving add-on - and otherwise customised to my exact preferences - for what amounts to an extended test drive and then return it no questions asked. It struck me as pretty ludicrous but I won't say I wasn't tempted.

At the time the P100D was the top-end model S, and cost ~£100k. It's not a car I could realistically afford although I'm sure finance would have been approved[1], and they would simply have delivered it to my house. Then I could have driven it around for a week and just returned it: a car I had no intention of paying for in the first place.

It's really not OK, but I imagine quite a few people have done it, so I can see why that might push them to a policy change, especially if baseline returns for other reasons - such as QC issues - were also high.

(One day I'd still really like a Tesla but even if I could afford the one I'd most want, for that kind of money an Audi RS6 or one of the AMG estates are more practical propositions. And then for about the same money as the Model 3 there's the Volvo V60 hybrid, with 398bhp and plenty of load space. I do like Tesla so I really wish they did an estate/station wagon. Wagons are extremely handy, especially with AWD, and especially for people like me who often make use of that cargo capacity but hate SUVs and trucks due to their bulk, and overall poor economy and driving dynamics. Still, I can understand that isn't the way the market is going - shame though.)

[0] Honestly, I was also worried I might want to keep it, and would come up with all sorts of justifications as to why it obviously made sense for me to put myself in a hole for a car. I ride motorbikes. I know what it feels like to go from 0 to 60 in less than 2.5 seconds. I don't need a Tesla for that, and bikes are a lot cheaper. But I was concerned that in the heat of the moment I might lose that perspective.

[1] I also worry about residual values at the end of any finance deal due to the batteries and, in general, Tesla's reputation for dicey quality, high maintenance costs, and less than stellar reliability.

I never heard of anyone doing this. I did hear many people, myself included, who bought a Tesla and were delivered a brand new car with immediately noticeable quality issues. You are strongly pushed to “accept delivery” because a) you can always return it within 7 days, and b) Tesla will “fix everything”. Your car will not be fixed in the first seven days and will also not be able to return it. Most forums and blogs strongly encourage buyers to just refuse delivery if you find quality issues. Maybe the 7 day return policy was no longer working to get people to accept delivery.

Then you fix your quality issues, you don't get rid of the return policy.

Is that the right thing to do? Absolutely. But clearly one solution is much harder than the other.

Only one of these is a solution. The other is a cop-out.


yeah I know someone who works in transporting cars, and he said the paint job on the brand new teslas is often pretty atrocious, but the customers coming to pick them up never seem to complain

Isn't it a lot of work to order, wait, and take delivery of a car, and have £100k or whatever on your credit report, and then reversing of all of that... just to get a test drive? Do they not do test drives anyway?

£100k or whatever is a hell of a deposit for a test drive!

I just wish Tesla did a proper SUV. The Model X isn't any kind of SUV - it's just a big hatchback. Doesn't look like it'd really be capable off-road compared to something serious like a Land Rover.

Usually it's next day .. likely you can get the car faster than booking a test drive. Also, you are not failing to pay so it doesn't affect your credit. No consequences

Technically the act of requesting and obtaining a loan would involve a hard inquiry on your credit report. [0]

It isn't a huge ding and only lasts for about 2 years (and trails off in impact over that time period), but if you did so repeatedly, that would be a negative signal to future lenders.


But credit reports also report the actual money against your name, which in the case of buying a Tesla is going to show tens of thousands of dollars underwater against your name immediately.

And what about the refund on your insurance, your DVLA registration, your time... etc. What an admin nightmare!

I don't know about the UK, but where I live dealers can issue a cheap temporary 10-day registration document to let you drive it off the lot and deal with the registration authorities later, and if you already have auto insurance for another car, there's a grace period to cover newly purchased cars before you have to explicitly discuss it with the company. It doesn't have to be an admin nightmare, in other words. I assume the money reported on the credit report would get reversed or marked as paid if the loan is cancelled.

That said, my experience is with an all-cash/no-financing face-to-face purchase of a used car much cheaper than any Tesla, following a test drive and inspections both by the dealer and an independent inspector I chose, so mine was not all that similar of a situation.

Credit reports (in the US) only show the financing organization and the current balance, along with other details like loan length, payment history and current monthly payment amount.

They don't list what you actually bought. There's no way to know if you're underwater, and it doesn't matter because credit reports don't list your assets either.

> No consequences

You would need to do a lot of due diligence to make sure you really have no costs. Many car companies fully split their lending and you might end up with costs on not going through with lending even if you get your money back on the car.. Insurance companies, DMV registration taxes, etc, might try to hit you a little bit on rounding and can have some non-refundable charges but more significantly, will mess with you on paperwork which is all the hassle of work.

I doubt many people went through with that, though I can imagine people who started on impulse created weird situations for their sales teams and weren't worth the hassle.

A lot of these things aren't issues in the UK. You'd have to make sure you have insurance cover, and pay vehicle excise duty (low to non-existent on a Tesla because it's an electric vehicle), and that's it.

All finance has a 14-day cooling off period so no worries there either.

Still, it's not hassle free: you have to arrange insurance, then cancel it, register the vehicle, unregister it, pay the VED, cancel that. It's definitely a PITA.

Right - I can't believe people are doing this frivolously.

> Also, you are not failing to pay so it doesn't affect your credit. No consequences.

Yes not a failing to pay... but doesn't your credit report suddenly show £100k against your name? And they'll assume the car's deprecated so you'll be underwater. That's not as bad as failing to pay but I wouldn't want to be applying for a mortgage the next month.

That’s not really how credit reports work. At least in the U.S. a loan typically doesn’t report until the first statement period usually 30-60 days after loan issuance. Most likely it would just show as a paid loan after you returned the car.

You're correct. This is exactly what test drives are for. They usually also check your driver license and credit score when testing higher cost vehicles to make sure you're responsible and can even afford to buy it in the first place.

There are also dealerships that offer extended test drives for trusted customers where you can keep a car for a few days, however I'm not sure if Tesla does anything like this.

I stopped thinking of SUVs as off-road vehicles. Nowadays, they are usually just big cars, for people who would normally get a sedan, but want a bit more space. Luxury SUVs like the Tesla Model X almost all fit into this model.

If you want something more serious from Tesla, I guess you'll have to wait for the Cybertruck, which may have decent off-road capabilities.

Yes, that’s why they do offer test drives (without buying the car)

When I told them I was in the market they offered to just let me take one home for a few overnights, as an extended test drive. This used to be a common thing they offer, not sure if it still is.

I did buy a Volvo V60 hybrid (which is now called "recharge", which used to be called "twin engine") in July :)

Maybe they aren't having a lot of problems selling cars as I'm still waiting for it to be delivered - the current ETA is December :P

I had a wagon during the last 14 years and it was nice - I hope that the Volvo will be a good successor (first time I buy a Volvo). I never felt the need for more height (SUV) but the extra length of a wagon has been often useful , of course especially when carrying around long stuff (e.g. mattress, furniture, ...).

The on-demand AWD of the Volvo hybrid without having the maintenance costs for the mechanical transmission to the rear axle was one of the things that made me focus on that car.

The plug-in hybrid volvo models have an extremely long waiting time, the average for a new XC60 T8 is about 9 months.

Funnily enough I also bought a Volvo instead of a Tesla, I tried to arrange a test drive of one but was having a really hard time getting anyone to get back to me and actually arrange anything, went and test drove a new XC60 T8, ordered one the next day. Fortunately the dealership already had a few in the pipeline so I waited "only" 3 months instead of 9, but yeah, well worth the wait and I'm very glad I didn't go with the Tesla.

The XC60 is nice as well.

The only thing that I did not like much when I did the test drive with the V60 was the very light steering wheel. I then think that I read later in the manual that apparently it's possible to increase the resistance somewhere in the car's settings, but I'm not sure anymore => do you know by chance if yours has that setting?

Uhm as far as I know all Volvo cars have the exact same Sensus system, and I cannot alter the steering sensitivity on mine. The car does have "speed sensitive steering" though, which means that at low speeds there is almost zero resistance on the steering wheel, but quite a lot more at higher speeds.

Edit: Well, looking at the manual apparently it is possible, but only in the individual drive mode:


Which....is less than ideal, I frequently switch between Hybrid/Pure/Power, so having to stay in one of them just to have a tighter steering response is not acceptable.

Right, exactly that, thank you!

Yeah, looks like that it's not a global setting. Well, I'll see if I'll get used to that and in the worst case there is at least the possibility to create a custom driving mode :)

I'd imagine the credit hit you get when the financing arm of Tesla does a hard inquiry when running your credit and then dropping your credit score is a pretty good deterrent for most finance literate people (credit score is sacred to many).

This is an odd decision, wouldn't be surprised if we see them walk this back. I recently purchased a Model Y - and the 7-day return policy had critical influence on my choice to purchase. It makes it clear that they want you to be happy, and that they are confident you will be.

It is also a policy that I believe helps with word-of-mouth, I specifically told friends and family about the policy and I also put 900 miles on my Model Y within the first few days to be sure there were no major issues I was unhappy with.

Regardless, the Model Y is fantastic, I can't wait for there to be more options like it available from all auto manufacturers.

How was the build quality at pickup? Any major defects?

Two things- there was a rattle in the rear door on the drivers side, and there was a slight misalignment of the rear hatch. Both issues were solved without issue by Tesla Service (and they provided me with a loaner Model S).

The obvious reason is that there were too many returns. I hope Tesla gets its quality issues under control.

PR dept dissolved just ahead of the "no questions" return policy. No questions, no problem.

They have a de facto PR department. Go ask Elon on Twitter. You may or may not get an answer.

This might be the thing that sinks Tesla. The man is a lunatic. If I were on the board of Tesla, I’d want him the hell off Twitter entirely.

Every business wishes they had a lunatic half as talented as him.

There's a saying, I'm not sure as to the origin, 'If it looks crazy and it works, it's not crazy'.

Not sure whether you'd disagree in this instance, but if so I'd sure like to know why.

And how many years was Madoff a successful investor returning great ROI if you gave him your money?

It's possible. It could be random corporate restructuring too, since they now have an "External Relations" department.


My employer loves to move people around while creating and dissolving groups. I've had a few title/group changes where literally nothing about what I did changed.

I suspect they do that because it allows them to couch terminations as layoffs. Just move everyone you want gone into a new group and lay off that group. It's not personal when the whole group is being downsized.

Not really obvious. This policy applied only if you didn’t do a test-drive, and anyone I know who bought a Tesla did a test-drive.

I didn’t, but you don’t know me. Your original statement still holds.

How do you test drive a pre-order? Y just came out.

There are various showroom & service center locations around where you can schedule a test drive. Y came out in February.

I was talking about pre-orders. I never Tesla drove my 3 but was offered to take a model S for a weekend. My buddy never test drove his Y.

Or they realize they have a business model where people are willing to fork over serious money to test drive a Tesla for a week.

While I think we all know about Tesla's quality issues, I think there's also an issue of people not realizing exactly what they are buying, so they treated that first seven days like a long test drive.

Why shouldn't they?

Because if that's what you want, you should rent a rental vehicle for $300, not a brand new one.

If Tesla (or some other car company) says try our car for seven days and if you don't like it, bring it back, why would I pay $300 for a rental if I thought I was going to like it? Especially with a Tesla where there's a lot of fiddly details and mid year changes, a rental may be a lot different than one you can buy.

Some rental sales agencies do it the other way --- rent this car for a week, and if you like it, the rental cost goes towards the purchase price.

$300 would rent you a Corolla for a week, not a Tesla. A quick check shows that would be closer $1500 for a week.

Obviously, but the reason is unclear. Quality issues? Or people abusing it by taking a 5 day citytrip and bringing it back? etc

I think you can only do it once, so using it as a "rental" seems unlikely.

Given how excited I was for the Model 3, and how disillusioned I got after handling one for a few days when a client brought one in to have some equipment installed in it, I'd suspect it's some combination of quality issues and simply varying expectations. Tesla makes a LOT of decisions differently than other automakers, and there are plenty of people who love that, but also some who realize they're not comfortable with the car trying to outsmart them so often.

And that's the sort of thing that might not sink in on a 20-minute test drive, but which you'd definitely feel after a few days.

I got a new 2021 vehicle, not a Tesla, but with the latest assistive tech that they are putting on even low-end cars now, and while it is pretty neat, even from a "traditional" manufacturer it doesn't seem fully baked.

My first drive on a rainy, foggy night, everything went haywire, although given the limited ambitions of the systems, it wasn't serious.

The recognition of speed limits somehow failed so that it thought it was 70 mph everywhere. It couldn't recognize the lane markings, so it's jiggling the wheel and flashing warnings when I'm in the fast lane on the interstate, and for an instant I think I'm hydroplaning. Not helpful.

I think it has radar cruise control, which I haven't tried out yet, but I'm not sure if I trust it. And I sure hope the auto-braking doesn't do anything weird. It did warn me a couple days ago that someone stopped in front of me to turn left, but if I couldn't see that, I would still have had an accident.

Yeah, I work in advanced safety systems, and I'm pretty comfortable with most of those things. They have their limitations, and there are times when they should be turned off, but on the whole I appreciate them. Blind-spot warning in particular, but that's pretty old now. (Incidentally, the auto braking likely would've kicked in if you hadn't reacted on your own, but it's set to not touch anything until it's at the panic-stop point. This is partly to keep drivers from getting lazy and relying on it.)

What bugged me about the Tesla was the controls more than anything. There's no "off". There's no manual anything, and the overrides are buried so deep in the touchscreen, heaven help you if you forget where one is located. The car knows when it should be on, and when it should lock and unlock, and if you have different ideas about those things (heaven forbid you want to leave it unlocked while it's parked in a garage), you're going to have a bad time.

I gotta call those folks up and ask for my deposit back, I'm never gonna use it.

How many people do you think, realistically, would risk tying up $30k+ for more than 5 days dealing with return processing to take a car on a road trip? Do you really think that's more likely than excess returns due to quality issues?

My credit card has a limit of just shy of £30k (insanity, I know). In the UK (and I'd bet in Europe) there's a 14 day cooling off period on all financing. You could take out a £30k car loan, drive it for a week, and cancel the loan?

Most (all) dealerships are not going to let you pay for a 30K car on credit card without someone soaking up the 3% merchant fee.

Eh, rich people can be both high liquidity and fickle.

Maybe you get an annual bonus that puts $30K in checking, and you lend that to musk for a week.

Anyone thinking about buying a Tesla needs to follow r/RealTesla for a month before pulling the trigger (unless they're worth perhaps more than 10x-20x the cost of the car).

r/TeslaMotors has plenty of real criticism of the car - assuming you don't just go by Tesla's marketing material (which there isn't much of - Tesla's publicity can be attributed to word of mouth and national news chains covering Tesla news/Elon tweets) panel gaps are extremely well-known and almost always expected, and more critical issues are also a possibility for every delivery.

To be fair, I have noticed that r/teslamotors has transformed a little bit in the past year or so. Obvious quality control issues are no longer always systemetically downvoted. Like roofs flying off when driving home from the pickup place.

Maybe it's only recent but r/Apple is also very critical of Apple's anti-consumer moves[0].

0: https://redd.it/jaidc5

> r/TeslaMotors has plenty of real criticism of the car

Autopilot-barrier-lust posts are quietly removed, for example, My X Tried to Kill Me Today! A reminder for all you auto pilot drivers ... [1]

That issue was introduced in April 2018,

> Well, even AP2 didn't do this until a few weeks ago when they completely changed the algorithm. So what even counts as "AP1" or "AP2" if they can change everything on you overnight? [2]

Then there is "Phantom braking" which began happening in October 2016. A week ago Elon said it is "fixed" and when a user says it isn't, a mod jumps in to say,

> Sometimes I don’t think he really knows what is getting pushed to the fleet at that moment. [3]

The biggest forum for discussing something should not be moderated as if it were a fan club.

[1] https://new.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/hslr3z/my_x_tr...

[2] https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/8a0jfh/autopil...

[3] https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/j7jvms/elon_mu...

But it is a fan club. :)

Only because it is moderated to be that way. Also removed:

(489 comments) Hey Tesla, maybe stop building cars for a couple days to build up a repair part inventory.


Here's another removed one,

> PSA: FSD Beta is NOT FULL SELF-DRIVING. Be safe and drive smart. [1]

The user says they were permanently banned [2]. Even in a fan club it doesn't make sense to ban someone for reminding fans to drive safely with new features.

[1] https://www.removeddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/jfyrt1/psa...

[2] https://www.reddit.com/r/RealTesla/comments/jfywoe/i_was_jus...

I believe that was removed because those kinds of anecdotal reports belong in the "experience" threads. Those threads also tend to be mostly positive (as one would expect in a gathering of fans).

But keep in mind there is no analagous r/RealAudi or r/RealFord to form a baseline.

I've found other car manufacturer-specific subreddits to be significantly less crazy/religious/cultist than r/teslamotors. I don't think there's a real need for that.

I don't disagree. But I've also found them to have fewer influxes of non-owners that are there just to say negative things.

FWIW, I spend some time in both r/teslamotors and r/realtesla. There are pretty clear reasons that both exist, and pretty clear reasons for some frustrations on both sides.

Maybe that fact is telling in itself. No one is preventing anyone from making r/RealFord, I assume.

It is telling. The Tesla fan reddit has 824k subscribers. The BMW reddit? 163k. Audi? 91k.

Tesla attracts a vastly more active audience than most other automakers, and the results are interesting.

One should be REALLY cautious about drawing broad conclusions, positive or negative from the anecdotes from either (r/realtesla or r/teslamotors) group.

I view r/TeslaMotors as a fan club (boring), and r/RealTesla as a Tesla criticism/general EV discussion hub (interesting).

That's actually pretty fair at times, though I find the RealTesla crows to be needlessly acerbic at times. But then again that is often true of the r/TeslaMotors crowd too if someone accidentally "insults" the car in the "wrong" way.

I guess the roof flying off a Model Y on the way home from the dealership isn’t covered under this policy because I would consider that “damage to the vehicle” https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24708233

> The family returned to the Tesla service center in the new white Model Y, where the staff apologized, told them they hadn't seen anything like this before, offered to service the car, and gave the family a rental, Nathaniel Chien said. The Chiens declined to have the Model Y serviced, instead choosing to return it altogether.

Tesla also gave the owners the option of a repair or to just to get a different new one.

I’d want a completely different type of vehicle after such a scary incident.

They should've tied a bungee cord round the new one just as a joke the owners would definitely not find funny.

I am guessing that would be covered under new car lemon laws.

In most states the manufacturer must be given reasonable opportunity to fix the problem. For how drastic the roof falling off is, I don't think lemon laws grant consumers the ability to just turn in a defected car.

I think it should though. Clearly, the company selling those vehicles is not capable of delivering what the consumer expected. "Roof Fell Off" is not a checkbox on the consumer quality reports, and it never should be.

Clearly that particular vehicle should have been towed outside the environment.

Tesla doesn’t have a PR team and their Berlin factory was recently shutdown because they forgot to pay their water bill. And now this policy is apparently pulled with no notification? What is going on with the management there?

Tesla has its problems but these are mostly just click bait stories. The PR team is just under some "community outreach" team or such thing instead. Logistical problem at a construction site. So what?

Continued quality issues and pulling the return policy are the real stories.

What's going on:

- Tesla's stock is astronomically high, garnering mainstream attention, shorters, and momentum investors that want to manipulate the media

- Tesla headlines garner massive click rates and are essentially what keeps a large number of web sites' lights on, so web sites up the dramatics on any Tesla story

- Elon Musk is polarizing, generating a lot of drama

- very big entrenched interests are very very threatened by Tesla and EV/batteries/green power, so they have an incentive to astroturf and overdramatize negative stories

- Tesla has quality issues from pushing deliveries and production too far over the quality threshold, giving plenty of fodder to the astroturfers

Seriously, look at the brigade downvoting going on in the comments on this story. It is very unusual, where comments with outright cursing and expletives are untouched, but pro-Tesla responses with linked articles are being massively downvoted.

Tesla got a new water supply contract with a different company, and the Berlin factory construction was never stopped at any point. There's video evidence to prove it.

How is it FUD when the water supplier itself said that Tesla didn't pay its bills and thus turned off the water?


What's the name of the new water supply company? The agreement they signed a few days ago was with the same supplier that just turned off the water.

What most likely happened was that Tesla quickly paid their bills and got the water running again and are spinning this to hide their embarrassment. The "bigger line" they are talking about is the permanent underground line they got built and can finally use. Before that they used temporary overground lines.

It's possible that someone somewhere made a mistake and the bill never made it to where it should go. They were working on getting a larger water pipeline installed AFAIK. The factory construction wasn't stopped because of this though. People film the Berlin site with drones daily.

The water supplier said they sent multiple reminders and waited 14 days after the last reminder before turning it off. This is standard procedure in Germany.

Anyone who has sent a bill to a company knows it's very very very hard to get some companies to pay bills on time (or at all).

It's always been funny, not ha ha funny, how much society savages poor people for missing a payment. And no one talks about how large companies drag out payments and no one cares. Wealthy people often up and refuse to pay.

They are a 400 billion dollar corporation. Not a ma and pa bakery in town. Again, what’s going on with the management?

In retail, you know that the handful of garbage people who abuse the return policies ruin it for everybody else and eventually become why good companies ultimately go from having a very loose and customer friendly policy to a strict return policy.

I’d fault tesla for not replacing the first policy with something that protects them and the customer in some way though. If customers can’t test drive their actual car before the purchase that makes it really tough to not have some kind of customer friendly return policy, whether it’s conditional or unconditional I'm not sure. But I think with their business model they would need some way to assure people when they buy.

Just thinking out loud: but maybe tesla can expand some kind of rental program so curious people can try before they buy.

Or charge a daily rental fee if it’s returned within 7 days or something.

Probably people curious about the tesla are the issue.

They used to have a 24 hour rental program. Unfortunately, 4 got totalled in Manhattan (mostly because they are fragile) so they killed it

I don’t think $1000 matches the value loss of a car that is no longer zero-miles, let alone anything less than that.

Hypothetically they only eat that loss once,though. The subsequent rentals/loaners would have much, much lower depreciation.

It would have to come with the understanding that you aren't meant to purchase the exact car you rented, though. I'm not sure if that would reduce how invested people feel in it.

Don't you already have the statutory right in most countries to no-questions-asked return an item that you bought through distance selling? And it's normally 14 days isn't it?

Not in the US. There is no federal law that protects all (or even most) purchases. State law may very, but I'm not aware of any that have particularly consumer-friendly laws that include new car purchases.


> The FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule gives you a 3-day right to cancel a sale ...

Doesn't feel like it could cover Tesla sales, however, since "made entirely online" and "automobiles ... sold at temporary locations" both fall under exemptions.

Anachronistic exemptions, honestly.

Some other options:


I believe that the EU has it, although I'm not sure about exemptions (e.g. what happens with made-to-order cars)

If they're options listed in a standard brochure anyone can order then I think it's covered.

Do they offer a free test drive anywhere.

It I had to guess they're starting to lose too much money and this a cost cutting method.

They report their finances quarterly, so is there a need to guess? It appears as though TSLA will hit its 5th consecutive profitable quarter.

So this is what the hilarious price change to $69,420 was intended to cover. Clever work, Elon.

kind of Marketing 101 - generous policies is a must in the enthusiast luxury goods segment like $100K+ Teslas several years ago while it requires very different approach in the cheapscate mass market of $40K-50K (inflated dollars of today) cars what Tesla is in today.

My guess is it was abused.

Cannot have good things because too many people will not just take advantage of the return policy, but take advantage of it.

My guess, based on reading Tesla forums, is more that they have such poor QA that a lot of customers were 7-day returning vehicles that Tesla told them would take months just to get the parts/service for a brand-new vehicle (e.g. panel gaps, poor sealing, unknown rattling/noises, etc).

They're trying to "solve" their ongoing QA problems by removing a customer safety net rather than addressing the underlying cause. I'm sure their metrics could be used to show abuse, but really it is Tesla's own community creating things like their own QA checklists which people were encouraged to go through on the first 7 and return if an expedient fix wasn't available.

Those checklist are now even more critical, have to run through them or not accept delivery.

Item 13: Roof present [x]

Some problems like rattles can't be found until you drive the car. Which requires accepting delivery.

How does one take advantage of a "no questions asked" return policy? It's literally intended to give a customer confidence in the product they're buying as they can return it for _any_ reason. My assumption is that they overestimated their own product and saw far more returns than they had anticipated.

They take advantage of it by planning to return it regardless of reason. That’s abuse. The system works if the customer has the honest intention of buying the car.

Or Tesla is taking advantage of buyers by putting out shoddy cars.

Just a friendly reminder to any neutral readers: Hacker News is hilariously anti-Tesla and you should keep this in mind while reading.

Yesterday was a big day for Tesla - massive range increases across all models, including the brand-new Model Y, new interior and features for the Model 3, price drop for Model S. The top 500 posts on Hacker News contain the following unique Tesla stories:

* Tesla cancels it's no-questions return policy

* Tesla is against Right-To-Repair bill in MA

* How to fool Tesla's autopilot with images on the road

* Tesla has water cut off at Berlin factory construction site

Nor should you expect to find much positive sentiment in thread comments. This level of lopsided negativity forms a feedback loop - there's little incentive for someone with a positive sentiment to expose themselves to this sort of negativity, so they stay quiet or avoid the thread. This causes the thread to become more negative, and provides even less incentive for the next person to write something. This repeats until only people who wish to be trolls or contrarians remain.

There is no conspiracy against Tesla. People here pretty much universally love new great tech. Extremely few people here work at Tesla competitors.

I think most of us are just tired of the endless cycle of hype/lies/exaggerations.

> There is no conspiracy against Tesla

Anyone who thinks this didn't follow the whole (now largely extinct) tslaq mess. The websites coordinating things were in plain view. Even today there are public attacks on Tesla and others: https://antiadvertisingadvertising.club/

I don't think its the cause of negative comments on Hacker News, though, tbh.

People haven't stopped shorting Tesla. Its value is predicated on full autonomy and they're nowhere near that.

Also, shorting and sharing critical news is not a conspiracy, it's how a healthy market functions. If Elon or his fans were confident in the company's long term value they would simply buy more when people short it, not complain about the shorts.

I said nothing about "shorts". I really don't know the motivation of the people that I referenced, I only see their activities.

Obviously "shorts" still exist, with current valuations one would expect plenty of potential profits for them.

You mentioned TESLAQ, whose messaging was "funded by shorts" according to many Tesla fans. Are you arguing they're not connected or do you not know much about fans' criticisms?

An echo chamber is not a conspiracy. It's just an echo chamber.

For me HN isn't a Tesla echo chamber. I very rarely read about Tesla stuff here.

I follow r/RealTesla because I want to follow the company's progress. There's a much higher signal/noise ratio there than in the official subreddit, at least so far.

(I also follow r/spacex - pretty high SNR too.)

Real Tesla is an actual legit anti Tesla echo chamber though, just what parent imagines HN to be.

It's probably not a bad place to find varied news stories but you definitely run the risk of subconsciously absorbing the bias.

I don’t read the Tesla subreddit, but HN is so full of Musk sycophants that I’m sure a more pro-Tesla place exists.

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