Tesla disputes report that says 23% of Model 3 orders were refunded

Tesla is dishing out refunds for deposits on Model 3 sedans faster than deposits are coming in, a new report claims, but Tesla is refuting the report.

According to data compiled by Second Measure, a business analytics platform that looks at billions of anonymized purchases from credit and debit cards, in April, the automaker refunded the $ 1,000 deposits twice as fast as it has garnered them.

Since Tesla began taking reservations — more than two years ago — 23 percent of Model 3 depositors had their money refunded, the Second Measure report said.

The report “does not match our data,” a Tesla spokesman wrote in an email to Automotive News, referencing a first-quarter shareholder letter that states that Model 3 net reservations surpassed 450,000 at the end of the first quarter. The spokesman declined to disclose the percentage of Model 3 deposits that have been refunded.

In a vehicle production and delivery release, the company stated that net Model 3 reservations “remained stable” through the first quarter, and indicated that the cancellations were triggered by production and availability delays.

“I think it’s important to make clear that regardless of what the rate of cancellations is, we’ve continued to add new Model 3 reservations over time,” the spokesman said.

Second Measure contends that configurations are also growing, which tripled in April from the year-earlier period, according to the data analysis.

The report says that 8 percent of depositors had configured a Tesla for production in April, which deems the purchase nonrefundable.

The data might not include customers who used a different form of payment for the deposit and the configuration, Second Measure notes.

For those expecting a refund, the Tesla spokesman said “if a customer requests their refund via check, rather than to their debit card or via bank transfer, it takes longer to process.”

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