Feud erupts between Tesla and rental company over poor quality control
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Most of the debate around the quality control of Tesla's vehicles has largely subsided by now. The Model 3, which formally lands in New Zealand this month, is considered to be the best of the bunch for things like tolerances and door gaps.
But, just because less people bring up the issue that doesn't mean that it's gone entirely.
Tesla and rental car company NextMove — the largest EV rental firm in Germany — are currently in a feud with each other over a huge €5.5m (approximately NZ$9.5m) order of Model 3s.
The latter placed an order last year for 100 Tesla Model 3s, with the goal of adding the fully electric sedans to its rental vehicle fleet. But, having taken delivery of the first 15 Model 3s earlier this year NextMove took issue with the quality of the vehicles — triggering a back and forth between the two companies.
NextMove claims that that first handful of Model 3s came with a myriad of issues; including faulty wiring, scratched dashboards, paint defects, moisture in the headlights, and more. The company also claimed that Tesla tried to send them vehicles that had been previously registered, meaning that they wouldn't be eligible for Germany's EV tax incentives.
According to NextMove, this set in motion a 24-hour ultimatum from Tesla's end. This resulted in the deal between the two companies being terminated.
In a brief statement, Tesla denied some of NextMove's claims.
“We believe the customer’s decision not to take delivery of its remaining Model 3 orders wasn’t entirely due to quality issues, but was largely influenced by their frustration with an unrelated dispute from earlier in the year,” Tesla said in a statement to Reuters.
Tesla reportedly went on to cite positive satisfaction survey data from German Model 3 owners, also noting that anyone unhappy with their car was welcome to a full refund within a week of purchase. Tesla didn't elaborate on what the 'unrelated dispute from earlier in the year' was.
“The Model 3 is a fantastic car. Some of our customers totally fell in love with it," Stefan Moeller, owner of NextMove, told Bloomberg. "But the organization behind it doesn't match that. It's really sobering."