Tesla just missed out on a significant - for the cash incinerating company - $5 million order of 85 Model 3 vehicles due to disappointing service and the subpar quality of previously delivered cars, according to the pro-Tesla blog electrek. Tesla was also accused of selling pre-registered vehicles as new.
German all-electric car rental company, nextmove, ordered 100 Model 3 vehicles last year to expand its fleet. It took delivery of the first 15 cars earlier this year, but experienced so many quality issues that it quickly went back to Tesla asking for a "guarantee of quality and service" for the remaining 85 cars in the order.
Specifically, nextmove asked Tesla to guarantee they would deliver the vehicles in good condition and would offer on-time service.
Unfortunately, Tesla was unable to comply with these relatively simple requests, and so the German buyer "decided to cancel the order".
nextmove commented about the Model 3 issues in an email, claiming the cars had "serious defects", including defective tires, paint and body damages:
“Tesla Model 3 vehicles, which nextmove was supposed to take over after payment and only a short examination, sometimes had serious defects: defective tires, paint and body damages, defective charge controllers, wrong wiring harnesses or missing emergency call buttons. Such quality defects would have endangered the safety of the customers and the profitability of nextmove.”
“We had to insist on compliance with general quality standards and processes in order to protect our renters and our business model.”
The rental company's managing director, Stefan Moeller, was perplexed: "we know that Tesla had to overcome the biggest challenges because deliveries started at the same time in Europe and China. But by now processes must be in place that allow more than one in four vehicles to be delivered without defects."
He continued: "Although we consider the Model 3 to be the best electric car in the world today, we are now banking heavily on other manufacturers coming onto the market with competitive vehicles next year – and who also know customer service. But, of course, we will also keep testing to see if Tesla can get out of service hell."
Adding what could be illegal insult to injury, nextmove also claimed that when they tried to continue to buy some Model 3's from the company online, Tesla tried to sell them cars already registered to other buyers. They feared that this would have prevented them from taking advantage of government subsidies in Germany.
nextmove documented the issue in this video: