It’s amazing what qualifies as news these days. Just put “Tesla” in the title and people will read your story (present company included). A noted Tesla short seller from the investment site Seeking Alpha recently discovered that he was able to put down a paid (but refundable) reservation for not just two Model 3s, but twenty of them. Although the reservation form itself limits you to a maximum of two deposits, there’s nothing to stop people from hitting the form multiple times in order to put down deposits on more than two Model 3s. The author’s speculation was that this system glitch undermines the credibility of the 400,000 (or so) reservations on the books already for the Model 3. He even went so far as to say that there was intentional manipulation going on, in order to pump up the numbers.
But before you head over there and start stockpiling your Model 3 orders, we’ve got some bad news for you: advanced Model 3 reservations are limited to two per person, and the loophole that allows folks to order more than two is most likely a simple bug in the online reservation system.
In a recent dialog with Elon Musk on Twitter, we confirmed that orders for Model 3, whether done in the store or online, are indeed still limited to two per person. And furthermore, it appears that most of the folks ordering a Model 3 are actually only ordering one, suggesting that the vast majority of Model 3 reservations are from actual people who want to buy the car for themselves or for a family member, not from speculators who want to re-sell the car, nor from employees or investors who want to pump up the hype.
Per Mr. Musk, “Duplicates will be cancelled. Max of 2 will be delivered to any one person. Only ~5% of orders are 2, so speculation unlikely.” Elon went on to elaborate: “System scan detected only 0.2% of orders with same email and physical address. Those have been purged.” So the Seeking Alpha short’s 20 reservations have been cancelled (at least 18 of them have) and the other 780 (or so) fraudulent/duplicate orders are being cancelled as well. Sorry, folks, but Tesla Model 3 rationing will be in effect, at least until the company can ramp up production and start catching up with the order backlog.
View the twitter conversation here:
@MrBoylan System scan detected only 0.2% of orders with same email and physical address. Those have been purged.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2016
We suspect that this is simply a bug in the online reservation system. We also suspect that Tesla’s web development team won’t be getting much sleep for the next couple of days. Lucky for them, they still get first dibs on actual Model 3 deliveries.
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