Well, this should soften Elon Musk's opinions about journalism: According to Engadget, Musk's electric car-making baby, Tesla Motors, has had to return almost one quarter of the pre-order money it received from its American customers for the company's delayed Tesla Model 3.
Tesla raked in hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for its Model 3 after it unveiled the vehicle in 2016, but a report from analytics firm Second Measure shows that a good chunk of US pre-orders have since been refunded. As of April, the company's analysis shows that 23 percent of those who placed a pre-order in the US have had their $1,000 deposit refunded. A Tesla spokesperson told Recode that Second Measure's findings didn't match the automaker's own numbers, but declined to say by how much they were off. However, last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that 12 percent of reservations had been cancelled at the time – data that aligned with Second Measure's analysis.
Engadget's Mallory Locklear reckons that the rampant production delays associated with the Model 3's production are a viable culprit for the refund requests. That said, buying any new car, let alone a premium ride like the ones that Tesla offers, is an expensive undertaking. A person's fortunes can turn pretty quickly within the space of a few months. Having the money to be able plunk down a grand to reserve the right to purchase a new car back then doesn't translate into being flush enough to seal the deal now.