Tesla has reached an agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought forth by Solar Roof customers who were faced with higher prices for installations in 2021. The settlement amounted to a bit over $6 million, as per a document from the United States District Court in San Francisco.
The Tesla Solar Roof was introduced by CEO Elon Musk in 2016 as an aesthetically pleasing roofing solution that not only generated energy but also blended seamlessly with the overall appearance of a home. This made the Solar Roof a preferable, albeit more expensive, alternative to traditional solar panels. However, since its unveiling, and despite updates to its design, the Solar Roof is yet to see a notable ramp in the United States.
As per the class action complaint, Solar Roof customers who had signed contracts with Tesla were taken aback by unexpected price increases in 2021. The price adjustments were substantial, with lead plaintiff Matthew Amans claiming that he saw an increase from approximately $72,000 in his original contract to around $146,000.
Tesla also raised prices for its solar installations on at least two occasions that year, as noted in a CNBC report. Apart from this, the electric vehicle maker made it mandatory for customers ordering solar panels or Solar Roof tiles to purchase a Powerwall home battery with their orders.
As per an amended settlement agreement for the class-action lawsuit, about 8,636 Tesla customers were affected by the Solar Roof price hikes. This effectively led to over 6,300 cancellations of their contracts. Filed documents also noted that Tesla managed to fulfill 1,656 Solar Roof contracts at the original quoted price, with an additional 57 customers scheduled for Solar Roof installations at the same price by the end of June.
As per the court document, Tesla has agreed to increase its settlement fund to $6,080,000.
Wood Mackenzie, an energy research firm, estimated that as of the beginning of 2023, Tesla had only installed 3,000 Solar Roof systems in the United States. This claim was directly called out by Tesla’s official Tesla Energy Twitter account, which noted that the firm’s estimates were “incorrect by a large margin.”
The settlement terms of the Tesla Solar Roof class-action lawsuit can be viewed below.
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