Tesla Settles For $6 Million In Solar Roof Price Hike Class Action Suit

A home with a Tesla Solar Roof on Weems Street in Boca Chica Village, Texas, U.S., on Monday, June 21, 2021.
A home with a Tesla Solar Roof on Weems Street in Boca Chica Village, Texas, U.S., on Monday, June 21, 2021.

Tesla’s Solar Roof was intended to be the aesthetically appealing alternative to conventional roof-mounted solar panels. However, the glassy tiles have seemingly been more trouble than they’re worth for homeowners. The product was at the center of an SEC probe over its potential fire risk. Now, Tesla has settled for $6 million in a class-action lawsuit over price hikes impacting Solar Roof customers.

In 2021, around 8,600 Tesla Solar Roof customers faced steep price hikes after they had signed contracts with the company. CNBC reported that Matthew Amans, the class action’s lead plaintiff, had his roof’s price more than double from $72,000 to $146,000.

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There were similar stories across the country. Customers were free to back out of the deal but had to agree to the hike to get their roofs installed. Over 6,300 customers canceled their orders.

Tesla claimed that it underestimated the installation costs. During the company’s 2021 first-quarter earning call, CEO Elon Musk said:

“We did find that we basically made some significant mistakes in assessing the difficulty of certain roofs, but the complexity of roofs varies dramatically. Some roofs are literally two or three times easier than other roofs. So you just can’t have a one-size-fits-all situation. If a roof has letter protuberances or if the core structure of the roof is rotted out or is not strong enough to hold the solar roof, then the cost can be double, sometimes three times what our initial quotes were.”

Tesla has since added a field for roof complexity on Solar Roof orders and now offers complementary Powerwall batteries to customers, but the damage has already been done. Tesla has only installed an estimated 3,000 Solar Roof systems across the country over the past seven years.

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