Tesla agrees to $6 million settlement in class-action lawsuit over Solar Roof price hikes

Tesla has settled a class-action lawsuit brought by customers who were subject to unexpected price increases for the Solar Roof in 2021, agreeing to pay just over $6 million to resolve the claims of customers who faced higher costs after signing contracts for the installation of the solar roofing system.

Tesla Solar Roof customers were taken by surprise when the company implemented sudden price increases in 2021. What made the price hikes difficult to handle where that they came after the customers had signed contracts, making it necessary for them to pay more to proceed with their installations.

The magnitude of the price increases were not insignificant, with some customers seeing their solar roof prices almost double from the original contract amount. Matthew Amans, the lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, saw his contract increase from around $72,000 to approximately $146,000.

According to the settlement agreement filed with a U.S. District Court in San Francisco and first reported by CNBC, about 8,636 Tesla customers were affected by the price hikes. As a result, over 6,300 customers chose to cancel their Solar Roof contracts with Tesla Energy.

The company did fulfill 1,656 contracts at the original quoted price, and an additional 57 customers were scheduled for installations at the original price as of June 2023. Around 616 customers have not yet canceled or booked installations at the original price.

The original complaint highlighted that a significant portion of the price increases stemmed from a redesign of the solar roof tiles. During Tesla’s Q1 2021 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk acknowledged the company had made “significant mistakes” in assessing the difficulty of installing the solar tiles on certain types of roofs. Musk pointed out that some installations turned out to be 2-3 times more challenging than anticipated, leading to increased labor time and subsequently higher prices for customers.

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