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Cybertruck news: Tesla reinstates $50,000 fine to prevent reselling

Leaked: Tesla Cybertruck design and features revealed
Leaked: Tesla Cybertruck design and features revealed

Tesla’s controversial Cybertruck resellers clause resurfaced again. The company previously included a legal threat in the purchase order agreement, preventing ‘scalpers’ from purchasing the truck and reselling it immediately at a profit. It removed the clause a week later. 

Now, a member of the Cybertruck Owners Club forum said the order agreement had been updated once again, to discourage buyers from selling the electric pickup during the first year of ownership.

Tesla has been battling against unauthorized reselling for years. Previous measures implemented include a ‘Do Not Sell’ list. 

Cybertruck resellers clause

The purchase agreement, under the Cybertruck section, states Tesla may “seek injunctive relief to prevent the transfer of title of the vehicle or demand liquidated damages in the amount of $50,000 or the value received as consideration for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater.”

This update is presumably meant to discourage ‘flipping’ or ‘scalping’ – a trading technique where a person buys large quantities of in-demand items and resells it at a higher price when the items sell out during the first round. 

Tesla didn’t specify if there are any limitations on how many units of the electric pickup may be purchased. Several units of the ‘Foundation Series’ – the first batch of Cybertrucks – were  delivered during the November event. More units will be available in 2024. 

A sweet deal?

A forum member offered the following perspective: “Actually this is a pretty sweet deal. 

“You get to drive the Foundation Edition now, then sell it before the year is up, back to Tesla, and get yourself a normal retail version, without the decals (which you can get etched yourself), and they have to pay you back more than a new Beast CT is worth.

“Why not? A ‘free’ truck delivered now (for 1st year), and a bonus refund at the end if you don’t drive [too] many miles, and a new Retail truck without the bugs, at the end of the year. Can I take two please?”

While some buyers received this version of the agreement, the current document on the Tesla website – titled ‘Cybertruck Motor Vehicle Pre-Order Agreement (Version 3)’ – still omits the disputed clause.

What is vehicle scalping?

Scalping or flipping is a common practice, and one various vehicle manufacturers have invested heavily to prevent. Back in August, Porsche included a policy that would prevent a buyer from ‘owning’ the special edition Porsche 911 S/T for the first 12 months. It is essentially leased to the buyer for the first year, after which they may take ownership. 

In 2022, Toyota called on consumer authorities to introduce regulations that would “protect our customers from those types of behaviors.” 

Sean Hanley, head of sales and marketing Toyota Australia, tells Drive the situation has to change. “We want customers to pay a fair and reasonable price based on the manufacturer’s retail price. […] We don’t want customers paying over the odds.”

Cybertruck’s grand debut

CEO Elon Musk handed over the first batch of trucks at the Cybertruck Delivery event in Austin, Texas, on 30 November. The grand debut comes six years after Musk first tweeted about building the Cybertruck, and four years after debuting the first model. 

During the 2023 event, Musk told the crowd he wanted to create something that was “more truck than a truck while also being a better sports car than a sports car.” 

“We actually had to come up with a special ultra-strong Tesla-designed steel alloy. Part of the reason it has this angular shape is you can’t actually stamp these body panels. The panels would break the stamping machine.”

Musk is often asked why manufacture a bulletproof pickup truck. His response is simply, “Why not?” He adds: “If you’re ever in an argument with another car, you will win. How tough is your truck? […] Here at Tesla we have the finest in apocalypse technology.” 

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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