Tesla has now released the Model 3 Reservation Agreement, allowing us to take a look at what’s actually being offered to those that place a $1000 deposit. And… it’s pretty much what most of us were expecting, with nothing binding on Tesla’s end, but fully refundable.
Interestingly, but also unsurprisingly, the reservations are apparently non-transferable — meaning those looking to make a lot of early reservations come Thursday, and then sell them on to others at a profit, are out of luck.
The contract also has a clause in it noting that the company retains the right to not “maintain you as a reservation holder” — something that was expected considering the previous drama concerning the journalist with a cancelled Model X reservation. (Author’s note: there seems to have been an earlier more in-depth version of the contract that was replaced with a much simpler, more concise one. Some of the information in this article is in reference to the earlier document.)
There’s also a lot in the agreement making it clear that nothing concerning the Model 3 (look, delivery dates, etc) is binding for the company — meaning: no matter what, you can’t sue the company.
Teslarati provides further details:
The Model 3 Reservation Agreement makes it clear that it is not a sales contract. It is nothing more than an opportunity to enter into a sales contract at some point in the future. It says the reservation fee, which is $1,000 in the United States, is fully refundable if the prospective purchaser decides to cancel or abandon the reservation.
…Either way, just being first in line at your local Tesla store on March 31 won’t necessarily determine your place in the Model 3 reservation queue. The Reservation Agreement makes that crystal clear. “We will establish your reservation sequence position in our sole discretion. We may decline reservations to avoid over-subscription or as we deem appropriate in our sole discretion. If your reservation is declined or we decide to cancel your reservation, you will be notified and your Reservation Payment will be refunded.”
…In other words, when you sign on the dotted line on March 31 or any later date, you should be aware that the Model 3 is still a work in process. What you see at the official reveal may or may not be the car that will be built for you in the future. It could have more or less doors. It could look substantially different. What you see may not be what you get.
The reservation agreement is written in plain language, rather than the deliberately cloudy language of many contracts, so there’s no need to take my word on any of this. Here’s the link.