December 5, 2023

After backlash over the weekend to Tesla’s plan to sue early Cybertruck owners for $50,000 if they try to flip their vehicles, the company updated its purchase agreement to remove the Cybertruck-specific no-reselling clause.

This weekend, we reported that Tesla would sue you if you tried to flip your low-VIN Cybertruck. At issue was a clause in Tesla’s standard Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement – which you can read on its website – that specifically forbids Cybertruck owners from reselling their vehicle within the first year of ownership.

Tesla said it would sue owners for $50,000 – or more if the profit was greater – if they did try to scalp vehicles. There was an exception for those who really needed to sell their car, but Tesla reserved the first right of refusal. Further, the agreement did not detail how long this clause would exist.

However, since we reported on the changes, Tesla may have changed its mind. The “For Cybertruck Only” section no longer exists in the agreement on Tesla’s website. The general language on resellers is still there, but that mainly applies to dealerships and has existed in many versions of the agreement in the past.

There was a reasonable amount of discussion over the clause in response to our reporting over the weekend. On the one hand, nobody likes scalpers, and a clause like this can help to stop them in their tracks. But on the other hand, nobody likes being told what to do with their vehicle – once you’ve purchased it, it’s yours, and you should get to do what you want with it.

Regardless, it was kind of a strange vehicle to apply a clause like this. Clauses like these aren’t common but have been used by other companies, especially with rare or expensive cars. Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche have all had no-reselling clauses, among others.

But for a car that’s meant to be mass-produced, with a base price that was originally claimed to be $40,000, where Tesla already says it has the capacity to build 125,000 of them per year, it seems like an odd application of one of these clauses.

There’s still a possibility that the section will resurface in a future version of the agreement or perhaps in a Cybertruck-specific agreement that is signed by early Cybertruck purchasers. We don’t have access to that agreement, and Tesla doesn’t have a communications department, so we can’t ask them. We’ll have to see what happens when the actual agreements get sent out at the end of this month.

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