Originally published on EV Obsession.
In order to qualify as an “official” owners’ club, Tesla is requiring all interested groups to agree to a set of rules that carry a number of interesting stipulations.
Amongst which, is the agreement that official owners’ clubs will participate in lobbying efforts if requested, and also that they will help protect the company’s intellectual property.
The agreement states that “reasonable assistance” is to be expected in local pro-Tesla legislative efforts (the right for direct sales, etc). Not that coercion would be required on that count — Tesla owners are generally a very enthusiastic and loyal bunch — but it is interesting that the agreement uses the wording that it does.
Green Car Reports provides more:
While owners’ clubs can vary from small, informal groups to large organizations with their own management hierarchies, Tesla seeks to impose some parameters on club structure. The agreement for “official” clubs stipulates that a group must maintain membership “in excess of 25 Tesla owners.”
Groups must also have a point of contact who communicates with Tesla, and must inform the carmaker of any changes in leadership. In exchange, Tesla agrees to license its brand name and “features” to clubs, pending approval for each individual use.
…Any clubs with “official” status are also expected to defend Tesla and its interests. The agreement states that clubs must “assist Tesla in curbing IP infringement and unauthorized or illegal data breaches.”
This may be meant to stop owners from making modifications to a car or trying to perform repairs on their own. Tesla uses proprietary software to control virtually everything in its cars, and like other automakers, it’s very protective of that software.
While I doubt any (or many) members are complaining about the terms, the language used is interesting…. Seemingly, much more involved than official owners’ clubs for most manufacturers are. Which is, I guess, in fitting with Tesla’s image as being a company that demands much of employees, partners, suppliers, and apparently owners’ club members as well.