A class action lawsuit was filed against Tesla in a Pennsylvania court last week alleging the company used bait-and-switch tactics to get customers to sign Solar Roof tile contracts.
In the lawsuit, Philip Dahlin and Mary Arndtsen claim they agreed to a price of $46,919 in September 2020 to install Powerwall batteries and solar roof tiles on their home in New Hope, Pennsylvania. A deposit of $100 was paid, and to come up with the remaining funds the couple allegedly refinanced their mortgage.
Fast forward six months and the lawsuit alleges Tesla said their original contract would now cost $78,532, an increase of 67%.
According to the complaint, the majority of the price increase was due to a redesign of the solar roof tiles. This resulted in a price increase from about $30,000 to more than $61,000. The price for the Powerwall units increased from $16,000 to $17,000.
News of solar roof tile price increases has been making headlines recently, with some customers reporting their contracts have more than doubled in price. The complaints led to CEO Elon Musk addressing the issue on the Q1 2021 earnings call last month.
During the call, Musk said the company made “significant mistakes” in judging how difficult it would be to install the solar tiles on certain roofs. He noted some installations can be 2-3 times more difficult than others, increasing the amount of time required and the price.
Musk said the new prices reflect this added installation complexity.
Tesla has not responded to the complaint, which is case number 2:21-cv-02020 and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on April 30.