Monday, January 17, 2022
News Is Tesla Selling cars built in 2017 as 2021 Models?

Is Tesla Selling cars built in 2017 as 2021 Models?

Serious questions have been raised by a disclaimer on Tesla's website

  • A Twitter User recently discovered a disclaimer attached to some Demo Model 3s that raises questions

  • The disclaimer states that the batteries could have been built as early as 2017

  • These cars have low mileage and are not significantly cheaper than other similar Teslas

Could Tesla be selling 2017 model year vehicles as 2021 models? Or is the company selling brand new vehicles with four-year-old batteries in them? A Twitter user recently made a discovery that raises these questions.

Seth Horwitz, a Twitter user, found many units of the Tesla Model 3 being sold as 2021 Demo models around the United States that featured a disclaimer saying that their battery capacity could be up to 12% lower than the official quoted figure.

A Demo 2021 Tesla Model 3 | Photo: Seth Horwitz (

Upon clicking on learn more, a pop up explains that these cars are built with a battery that could have been made as early as 2017.

The more confusing part is that the disclaimer reads: “While this pack was brand new when the vehicle was built, the cells have reduced capacity due to their age […]”

The Disclaimer on Tesla’s website | Photo: Seth Horwitz

What does this mean? This line makes it sound as if Tesla was trying to pass unsold 2017 models as 2021 vehicles.

The only other explanation is that Tesla is using batteries that are close to five years old in new vehicles, but it doesn’t explain how the pack could have been new when the car was built.

This is a serious issue, since batteries degrade over time, even if they haven’t been used, meaning that these cars could have up to 12% lower capacity, as the disclaimer says.

Why are these vehicles sold for only about $1,500 less than other 2021 Model 3 units with about the same mileage (around 1,000 miles or 1,600 kilometers) if they will have a significantly lower range and a reduced lifetime?

The other big question mark brought by this situation is related to warranties. Tesla warranties its batteries for 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) with a minimum 70% retention of capacity. If the battery used in a new car is five years old and show 12% of degradation will the warranty only be half of what it should be, or will the automaker cover them as if they were new, so until the pack is 13 years old?

Since Tesla doesn’t have a PR department, these questions are likely to remain unanswered, so be careful if you are looking to buy a new Tesla product, especially a 2021 Model 3 advertised as a Demo vehicle.

Source: Seth Horwitz (

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