Monday, May 24, 2021

Open Letter to Elon Musk: Eliminate Hidden Fees on Teslas

Dear Elon,

I’m a new customer of yours and Tesla, having recently purchased a new 2021 “Model S Plaid”, and I’m anxiously looking forward to taking delivery this next month. I’m also a long-time fan and follower of your incredible technological and business accomplishments. You’ve never heard of me, but I’m a car dealer and a consumer advocate. You can Google me or check me out at, or read my book, Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer, available on Amazon (100% of all proceeds are donated I’d love to have you call my live radio talk show, Earl on Cars, some Saturday morning between 8 and 9 am EST. You can stream it live Or, please call or text me personally at 561 358-1474.

Regarding the headline of this article, please believe that I don’t believe that you are aware that your Teslas are beingadvertised and sold without clear and conspicuous disclosure of additional profits to Tesla. In the displayed attachment to this article of my Model S Plaid invoice, there are two items added to the advertised and quoted price of the Model S Plaid…$1,200 for “Destination and Documentation Fees” and a $100 “order fee”. As, I’m sure you’ll agree, these costs your recovering by adding it to the price, (after the ad price) should be included in the price your communicating to your buyers.

As a “recovering automobile dealer”, I’ve greatly admired how you’ve reinvented the auto retail business by making the buying experience of a Tesla an honest and transparent one…” almost”. Tesla doesn’t resort to bait and switch advertising or any other forms of high-pressure haggling and deceptive selling practices. Competing car dealers consider Tesla a threat to the current dealer franchise system which prohibits any entity other than a franchised car dealer sell a new vehicle in the USA. All other auto manufacturers are required by “ancient” state auto-franchise laws to sell only through their franchised dealers. This allows car dealers to get away with blatant unfair and deceptive sales practices.

Hopefully this letter and the revelation of Tesla’s $1,300 in hidden fees will come to your attention. If it does, I know that you will, not only eliminate this $1,300 in added profit to Tesla, but retroactively refund the hidden fees charged to Tesla customers in the past. My suggestion to you is that you simply raise the price of all Teslas by $1,300. This certainly wouldn’t have made a difference in my purchasing my new Model S Plaid, nor do I believe it will deter most Tesla buyers. Your buyers are like me and are drawn to buy a Tesla because it’s arguably the best, most exciting automobile ever built. You have no competition at the present time, but when the competition gets serious, you should preserve Tesla’s reputation of being, not only the best car made, but the only one sold with total honesty and transparency

- Earl

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