$50,000 Gag contract for the Tesla Cybertruck: there is a risk of high fines if it is resold quickly
The wait of years is finally over: Tesla wants to deliver a Cybertruck to its first customers by the end of the year. But they have to make sure they really want to keep the car for now. Otherwise, Tesla threatens, among other things, an injunction.
Tesla’s legendary keynote, in which designer Franz von Holzhausen caused the Cybertruck’s supposedly indestructible armored glass to explode with just the launch of a bullet, took place four years ago. At the time it was said that Tesla wanted to start delivering the unusual vehicle at the end of 2021. However, those who ordered quickly had to wait much longer. Only now does Tesla want to introduce the stainless steel monster to its first customers. But only if they agree to the new, much stricter purchase contract.
Tesla wants to contractually prohibit resales
Before things even got started, Tesla updated the purchase contract for the Cybertruck. It contains strict rules that aim to prevent the resale of vehicles. It states: “You understand and acknowledge that the Cybertruck will initially be delivered in limited quantities. You agree that you will not sell or attempt to dispose of the vehicle within the first year from the date of delivery.”
A clause follows: If you cannot avoid monetizing your Cybertruck again, you are obliged to inform Tesla about this. You will then have to give the company enough time to buy the car back at the original price, minus miles driven, wear and tear, and all types of damage.
Only if Tesla refrains from buying it back and gives written permission will you be able to trade the Cybertruck as you wish. The new contract includes the possible penalty if Tesla learns of a sale and does not get involved. It states: “You agree that if you breach this provision, or if Tesla has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are about to breach this provision, Tesla may seek an injunction preventing the transfer of ownership of the vehicle or recover your liquidated damages in the amount of US$50,000 or the amount received in consideration for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater.”
Tesla also reserves the right to exclude customers who have not fulfilled their contract from purchasing additional vehicles.
As the specialized magazine “Electrek” writes, this is not the first time that new Tesla vehicles have been resold at a high profit shortly after publication. In 2017, an early Model 3 made headlines when it was listed on relevant sales platforms shortly after delivery for $150,000 – the list price at the time was $56,000.
Other car manufacturers also want to stop trade
The phenomenon of manufacturers wanting to decide on the resale of customers’ goods is not new: especially in the case of exotic vehicles, it is common practice that cars cannot be sold immediately. Some manufacturers go even further: Ferrari, for example, doesn’t like it when cars are handled carelessly or painted in an undesirable color. Even Justin Bieber should no longer be allowed to buy a new car from the manufacturer because of such violations.
Although it has now become common practice to ban trade-in rare supercars, the Cybertruck is breaking new ground, so to speak: the heavy SUV is not a limited edition, but is intended to be a conventional series vehicle. In this market, there are typically fewer contracts regulating resale.
“Electrek” has another suspicion about why Tesla included the clause so clearly in the contract: The long retention period could also be intended to prevent other manufacturers from purchasing a third-party car for research purposes, speculates author Jameson Dow . It is quite common in the industry for vehicles with new technologies to be quickly dismantled by other manufacturers in the research department.
Sources: Tesla, Electrek