Stock Groups

Tesla customer has been waiting more than 2 years for a Model X refund


Danny Roman owns a business that provides sustainable and enjoyable outdoor adventure tours for biking and hiking in Southern California.

Danny Roman

Danny Roman has a brand new vehicle TeslaModel X was delivered to the customer on February 28, 2020.

The company was informed by him three days later that the electric vehicle was being returned under the no-questions asked policy Tesla CEO Elon Musk was promoting at the time.

Roman is still without his refund and access to Tesla’s vehicle after more than 2 years. It cost around $116,000 total, with various options and fees.

His Model X was picked up by Tesla on March 8th, 2020. After that, he expected that his refund would arrive quickly. According to him, his bank recommended that he contact the EV manufacturer to request a stop sale. He then recalls that his Tesla sales rep informed him that his reimbursement would be processed quickly.

Roman got a service notice from Tesla several weeks later while he was still communicating with Tesla regarding the status of his return. He was told to pick up the electric vehicle. It was explained by the alert that it had been fixed and was at a Burbank service center, California. He had purchased the vehicle originally in Century City, which is about a forty-minute drive from him.

Roman said to CNBC that he was shocked by the service notification. CNBC was told by Roman that he didn’t request or authorize repairs. He also stated that Tesla had previously confirmed that he intended to return the vehicle. His account is confirmed by CNBC’s correspondence between Roman and Tesla.

Roman decided to stop making car payments for one month, believing that everything was going well. He was told by the bank that he hadn’t paid a single payment, and that his credit score had been affected by a 30% drop. He called the bank to inquire about the matter and was informed that Tesla hadn’t issued the stop sale.

Roman, the small-business owner who offers hiking and biking tours throughout Southern California, said he had to keep a high credit rating. Given Tesla’s stubborn stance regarding the Model X, Roman decided he could not make any other choice than to continue making payments to his bank and paying to keep the car insure.

Roman wanted to prevent his bank from repossessing his vehicle. He also knew that the financial institution could take his credit score down if Roman did not pay the monthly payment. Roman continued his insurance payments to cover any damage that might have occurred while the Tesla was in his possession.

You will be bankrupt if you don’t pay your bank! Roman replied.

Roman made payments for a car he doesn’t own over the past two years.

Tesla has not responded to requests for comment regarding the predicament of their customer.

He returned the car because he was angry

Roman said he purchased this car as a Tesla fan, because he read the Model X was very safe and that he believed that a vehicle powered by a battery would be more environmentally friendly than his current personal vehicle.

Being the father to a newborn at the time, he cared deeply about safety. He felt that purchasing a car powered by a battery was the best way to show his commitment as the founder of an outdoor adventure business.

It was advertised with a car battery capable of driving more than 400 miles, which is essential to drive from Southern California up to San Francisco Bay Area. He also frequents stops along the route where he leads cycling tours and often travels.

Roman was able to take the Tesla ModelX out for the first time after driving less than one-half mile.

When he tried to recharge the vehicle’s high-voltage battery on the first day that he had the car, traveling to a Tesla Supercharging station in Culver City, Roman said it took far longer than sales reps had promised it would — hours, not 45 minutes — to charge to or past 80% of the battery’s full range.

Roman shared images with CNBC showing the car’s status, including its charging status. Roman shared photos with CNBC of the vehicle’s display and charging status from that trip, even before he plugged it in to a charging station. There was an enormous line of cars ahead of him.

This is L.A. Everyone has a Tesla.

Southern California Tesla owners wait to charge their batteries.

Danny Roman

Danny Roman returned his Tesla Model X to Tesla because of battery issues and other problems.

Danny Roman

Roman Tesla received messages from Tesla trying to persuade him to accept a 7-day return policy for his purchase of the vehicle.

Tesla however had a return policy posted on its website until Oct. 2020 — months after he bought and returned the Model X. His sales contract also included the return policy. Roman sued the company after three months of back-and-forth with the company. He was told that his refund would arrive soon and then told that he could take it to be repaired.

Surprised, his case was not allowed to go before a court. Instead, it would be sent to an alternate dispute resolution process.

Roman agreed to an arbitration clause when he signed papers to receive his Model X.

No day in court

Roman’s situation regarding Tesla Model X highlights American consumers vulnerability who are forced to enter into arbitration agreements to buy services or products as a routine.

Paul Bland is the executive director of Public Justice, an advocacy group for consumers. Mandatory arbitration is an issue in both new and used car sales.

He says that consumers do not get anything by agreeing to arbitrate for all practical purposes. Bland explained that the motivation of companies is to reduce liability and make it difficult for consumers who have done something illegal to be awarded a case. Because it is so opaque, it is difficult for consumers to discover what has happened in similar cases before them. This makes it even harder to start a class action.

Roman said that if he understood the Company was lying to him upfront about the return and car process, he might not have purchased the Model X. He is currently awaiting arbitration.

Roman was forced to lease another car in order to take the Model X’s place. CNBC reported that he was leasing an electric hybrid Toyota Prius.

Roman stated, “Everytime the money is withdrawn from my account, each month, I just cringe.” Roman added, “Besides that I spent more than a hundred hours trying to fix it, and just worrying.”

In February of this year, Tesla — still refusing to acknowledge they’d accepted his vehicle as a return — sent Roman a message telling him his car, which he hadn’t seen in about two years, was ready to be picked up at a service center.

Roman sent them an email, confused and stated that he would pick it up. Tesla didn’t schedule an appointment to pick it up. Instead, they told him to call the bank. He didn’t go anywhere with that.

Danny Roman used Tesla’s app to locate a Model X he had returned to Tesla in 2020.

Roman, who was irritated by the loss of his Model X, logged into the Tesla App to learn more. He found out that the car he paid for was in an abandoned yard only 11 miles from his house.

Roman stated that, “After all I have been through, I remain a big believer” in Tesla, Elon Musk, and electric cars. Roman spoke to CNBC. “I wish my story reached the Tesla powers and that they implement necessary changes to ensure this doesn’t happen to their future clients,” Roman said.