Tesla Ends Its Controversial 7-day Return Policy

Oct 19, 2020   

Tesla is no longer offering a return policy on its vehicles.

Previously, Tesla had offered buyers of a new Tesla 7 days or 1,000 miles to receive a “no questions asked” refund if they were unhappy with their vehicle for any reason.

Musk himself seemed proud of the policy, mentioning on Twitter multiple times how it was possible to order a Tesla “in 2 mins for home delivery & return in 7 days for full refund.”

The purpose of the policy was to instill confidence in consumers as Tesla made it easier than ever to purchase a Tesla online within minutes. It was introduced to circumvent a more traditional test drive at a time when Tesla was considering closing all of its stores.

Tesla has completely removed any verbiage referring to the refund policy from its site.

Real Talk

There were a number of vehicles listed under Tesla’s used inventory that had a few hundred miles, which seems to imply that some customers were using the return policy. However, there weren’t a significant amount of returned vehicles for sale and at this time it appears Tesla has sold through most if not all of them despite only offering a modest discount of ~ $1,000.

We found that a lot of the vehicles being returned were lower-tier configurations such as Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Those customers may have been using the return policy to upgrade to a Long Range All-Wheel Drive model, so in that case it comes at the benefit of all parties.

Services like Carvana continue to offer a generous return policy. Tesla is different in that customers in most states can take a test drive beforehand if they decide to.

Regardless, in these times where consumers are opting for contact-free deliveries it may not have been the best decision to end a policy that allows them to purchase and safely test a Tesla from the comfort of their home.

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