Setting the cars aside, one of the most appealing parts of buying a brand-new Tesla is the fact that you can complete your transaction entirely online. Avoiding dealerships and the nasty situations often associated with them is genuinely a significant plus. However, switching to this online platform has created an unusual problem for this EV automaker.
According to CNBC, several owners in Southern California have come forth stating that they’ve been charged twice for their brand-new vehicle. With overdraft fees looming over the horizon and no official response from the carmaker, these owners are left sitting with more questions than answers.
Did Tesla charge customers twice for a brand-new EV?
In short, yes. One Tesla Model Y buyer in Southern California allegedly went through the buying process online, hoping to receive a touchless delivery. The EV in question was a long-range model costing around $53,000. According to CNBC, this Tesla buyer noticed the next morning that his bank account was missing an additional $53,000.
Since the buyer had given the carmaker his bank details, the carmaker wired the money out. Since this is much like a cashier’s check, the bank can’t easily cancel it. As a result, the carmaker would have to reverse the second charge.
CBS LA covered another similar story involving another Tesla Model Y buyer. However, this time, the EV carried an out-the-door price of around $70,000. Once this second buyer noticed something was wrong, his account was missing over $140,000 in total.
The main difference between these two stories is that the carmaker actually noticed the extra charge on the second owner’s account. However, the proposed solution was less than ideal.
One of the affected owners got an unusual response
In both cases, Tesla told these buyers to contact their respective banks to stop the payment and retrieve the funds. However, as CBS LA points out, once the carmaker wired the money out of the account, there is no way to stop that payment.
After several days of unanswered phone calls, one of these buyers went to a local Tesla store. However, the carmaker’s response was the same as with every other affected customer, to contact the bank.
These cars are far from cheap, so making the affected customer do the legwork to recover their funds is totally unacceptable. Inconvenience aside, this could have massive ramifications for affected customers.
These could come in the form of massive overdraft fees. As CNBC reports, not all of the affected customers had double the price of the EV sitting in their account.
This could be a larger problem than expected
While this situation is already far from ideal, CNBC reports that it could be significantly worse than expected. That’s because an employee at the carmaker’s Burbank store reportedly told an affected customer that they were one out of hundreds affected in total.
To make matters worse, CNBC reports that one of the buyers received a notice from their bank stating it could take up to 45 business days to retrieve the funds. As of writing, the automaker hasn’t made an official statement regarding this issue.