To add insult to injury, Tesla offered no apologies or restitution.
Earlier in 2021 I wrote a blog post how Tesla can use the car’s features against you if you fail to make payments. In that post, Tesla allegedly helped a tow truck driver repo a Tesla after the owner fell behind on their payments.Embed from Getty Images
It seems that nightmare’s come true for one unlucky owner, except Tesla had no right to repo his vehicle as he’d paid for his Tesla in full a few weeks prior.
They repo’d his vehicle…on accident!
Tesla owner /u/hmelon212 posted his harrowing experience to the /r/Tesla subreddit sharing how Tesla Financial allegedly failed to cash his cashier’s check and, when they thought he was being delinquent on his payments on purpose, repo’d his Tesla at work right in front of his boss.
OP explains how, earlier this summer, he and his father purchased a Tesla.
“My family purchased our new car a couple months ago and was enjoying it up until a few days ago….”Embed from Getty Images
OP clarifies that they paid for it in full using a combination of cashier’s check and bank card so, when they drove off from the Tesla store, they thought the Tesla was 100% theirs.
OP’s father goes out of the country for a few months, and he (the son) uses the Tesla as a daily and to get to and from work.
One day after work, he noticed that his car’s been deleted from the Tesla app, he can no longer sign into his Tesla app, and, when he put his Tesla into gear, he was password locked from going into drive.
“… tried to get the car into gear, and it demanded that I input the password. Having not set up a password previously, I contacted Tesla about the issue.”
After calling Tesla, they inform him there’s a problem, and he needs to call Tesla Financial.
He leaves his Tesla at work, gets a ride home and back to work the next day, and gets some disturbing news from his boss.
“While I’m working the next day, my boss informs me that there is a tow truck outside to tow my car. Confused, I went out to the parking lot and was told by the towing company that Tesla is repossessing my vehicle.”
I’m sure OP explained to his boss the gist of what was going on, but can you imagine the humiliation of the thought that your superiors and co-workers think you don’t make payments on your car?
OP’s father gets a call from Tesla that they’d tried to reach him multiple times via phone and e-mail about payments but, as I mentioned, he was out of the country.
“My father had been out of the country for the past couple months so any phone calls would not have reached him. He did not receive a single voicemail about this issue either. “
They did successfully e-mail him twice but the way the subject and message was worded, it sounded like a phishing scam which, when you think about it, they already paid for their Tesla, so it’s understandable how getting a message to reconcile payments would look as such.
“These emails went ignored as he believed them to be a phishing attempt because we had already PAID IN FULL at the dealership. He also believed that Tesla could not have made such a huge mistake like this.”
After a back and forth with a Tesla rep, they finally e-mailed them with a statement saying,
“I am having the team fully post the funds of the cashier’s check. I am redrafting the documents and title/lien to your name instead of [BANK]. I have attached documents. Once funds post, I can then restore access to the vehicle and release title/lien to your name.”
OP takes this as another way of saying they had the check this whole time and, due do to internal oversight, did not cash it.
OP then explains how Tesla added his father and his name back to the account, gave them access back to their own vehicle, and informed them they could pick up from their Tesla from the tow yard.
“My father emailed them back saying he was glad the issue was resolved, but was disappointed that there was no restitution offered, not even an apology.“
“They then emailed back the equivalent of saying, “well, we did try to contact you about this.”
This issue is resolved but, because of what Tesla did, they were without a car for several days and had the humiliation of going through a wrongful repossession at his work.
“We have been talking about getting an attorney or at least taking this to small claims court, but in the end the decision comes down to what my dad wants to do as he owns the car.”
How Tesla managed to bungle not cashing their cashier’s check was a huge mistake and how that wasn’t caught earlier, they need to rework their purchasing process.
Regardless, mistakes happen but to not own up to their mistake, apologize, and compensate the owners for their hardship, is just plain wrong.
It also doesn’t sit well with me how Tesla can remotely restrict the use of your own property if they so choose. What safeguards are in place, so this capability is not exploited?