Tesla threatened to sue buyers who resell Cybertruck without written permission

Tesla threatened to sue buyers who resell Cybertruck without written permission

Enlarge / The Tesla Cybertruck.


With Tesla’s first Cybertruck deliveries expected later this month, a now-deleted update to the electric carmaker’s terms of service said the firm could sue customers for $50,000 or more if they resell during the first year of ownership without first getting written permission from Tesla. The provision seemed designed to deter scalping for a car expected to be available only in limited quantities after CEO Elon Musk’s statement that Tesla “dug our own grave with the Cybertruck.”

But the clause was deleted from Tesla’s terms just days after people noticed its appearance. It was still in the Tesla Motor Vehicle Order Agreement Terms & Conditions earlier today, but was removed from the document while we worked on this article. The document still has a more general rule against quick resales but without the lawsuit threat.

Tesla may have decided to remove the clause after several news reports spread word of the change over the weekend. It’s not clear whether the company will bring the clause back in a modified form. We contacted Tesla and will update this article if we get a response.

Before the deletion, the document said Cybertruck buyers had to offer the car back to Tesla before any attempt to resell the vehicle within one year of delivery. If Tesla declines to buy the Cybertruck back, the owner could resell it only if Tesla provides “written consent.” Tesla said it would seek an injunction and financial damages if you violate the provision, or if “Tesla has reasonable belief that you are about to breach this provision.”

“Tesla may seek injunctive relief”

The now-deleted clause read as follows:

You understand and acknowledge that the Cybertruck will first be released in limited quantity. You agree that you will not sell or otherwise attempt to sell the Vehicle within the first year following your Vehicle’s delivery date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if you must sell the Vehicle within the first year following its delivery date for any unforeseen reason, and Tesla agrees that your reason warrants an exception to its no reseller policy, you agree to notify Tesla in writing and give Tesla reasonable time to purchase the Vehicle from you at its sole discretion and at the purchase price listed on your Final Price Sheet less $0.25/mile driven, reasonable wear and tear, and the cost to repair the Vehicle to Tesla’s Used Vehicle Cosmetic and Mechanical Standards.

If Tesla declines to purchase your Vehicle, you may then resell your Vehicle to a third party only after receiving written consent from Tesla. You agree that in the event you breach this provision, or Tesla has reasonable belief that you are about to breach this provision, Tesla may seek injunctive relief to prevent the transfer of title of the Vehicle or demand liquidated damages from you in the amount of $50,000 or the value received as consideration for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater. Tesla may also refuse to sell you any future vehicles.

Here’s a screenshot of the clause that we took earlier today:

The Cybertruck was first revealed in 2019. According to Car and Driver, it is expected to cost about $70,000 for a dual-motor version and $80,000 for a three-motor version. “While a starting price of about $40,000 was touted at the Cybertruck’s reveal back in 2019, that price was attached to a single-motor rear-wheel drive model,” Can and Driver wrote. “For the Cybertruck’s first year on the market though, governmental documents indicate that Tesla will only offer dual- and tri-motor all-wheel drive models which will carry higher starting prices.”

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