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Tesla Allegedly Sold a Used, Crashed Model 3 as a Nearly-New Car

Tesla might be under fire once again. A customer accuses the carmaker that his 2021 Model 3 wasn’t a nearly-new car but a crashed unit that was fixed and sold to him as a barely driven, almost factory-fresh EV. What’s even more interesting is that he claims he found out about this only because he wanted to replace the sedan with the Model Y crossover.
Crashed Tesla Model 3 6 photos
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A Tesla enthusiast owned a 2021 Model 3 SR+ for a little over a year. He recently decided it was time to get a more spacious vehicle, so he started asking around about the Model Y. He wanted to remain in the Tesla family.

Naturally, the man was looking to sell his current vehicle for a new downpayment. He saw his brother getting generous offers, and he tried popular car-buying platforms to see what his vehicle was worth. These companies surprised the Tesla owner. They were apparently offering him around $23,000, more than half of what his brother was getting for a similar car.

But a representative contacted the saddened owner and told him directly that they couldn’t make an offer on his Model 3 because it was involved in a crash where multiple airbags were deployed. The Carfax report included all these details, so nobody was trying to lowball him.

Tesla told this customer before accepting delivery that his Model 3 had less than 500 miles on the odometer, but they still considered it new. Moreover, they offered a $1,700 discount for the added miles which he gladly accepted for an EV that was barely driven around. He even points out on a Tesla dedicated forum that the loan was made for a new car.

Surprisingly, the owner says he still “loves the car” and “had no issues with it.” Still, according to his forum post, an email has been sent to Tesla Disputes to address this situation. For the time being, getting a Model Y is still in play for this person.

The Tesla customer says he lives in Texas and now awaits the expiration of a 60-day period in which a solution to this problem can be found.

But that’s not all of it. Another customer of Elon Musk’s company said they went through something similar with a Model 3 Long Range. He was allegedly waiting for his car to leave the factory when Tesla made contact and offered a similar vehicle with only 40 miles on the odometer that came with a discount. However, he found out at the DMV that the car couldn’t be registered in his state because it was already registered somewhere else. This case ended amicably after the automaker offered to buy the car back.

Other experienced forum members suspect service centers are allowed to repair cars damaged in transit and sell them as new to customers. But that wouldn’t explain how the Carfax system registered the damage and the fixes done to the EV.

It’s also important to refrain from accusing Tesla of misleading customers since the persons that have complained on the dedicated forum didn’t provide any proof of what they were talking about. Until documents and pictures surface, this should be treated as a simple post coming from an anonymous source. But given the number of details provided on the matter, it’s unlikely these buyers were lying about this fiasco.

However, Tesla has been caught doing similar things outside the U.S. The company has been previously sued in China for selling a car as new, even though it was rebuilt from the ground up after an accident. The unlucky customer took the carmaker to court and won. The parties did not settle.

On a completely unrelated note, Elon Musk sold 7.92 million Tesla shares which amount to almost $6.9 billion, according to SEC filings viewed by Reuters.

Editor's note: The story has been updated for better clarity.


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