More than 300,000 people have paid $1,000 each to get on the waiting list to acquire the Tesla Model 3, which isn’t available until late 2017. An article in Bloomberg discusses what happens if you pass away before the delivery date in “What Happens When You Die Waiting for a Tesla?”
The actuarial reality that people on the waiting list will pass away means they should be aware of what might happen to the right to purchase the vehicle in the event of death.
Everyone on the waiting list signed a contract with Tesla that explicitly states that the right to purchase a Tesla Model 3 is not transferable to another person without the prior approval of Tesla. This is included as Tesla was concerned that spots on the waiting list would be hoarded and sold at higher than retail value when the car starts shipping. Even estate permission from the company must be sought to transfer the right to purchase to an heir or beneficiary.
Should someone on the waiting list pass away, Tesla would be accommodating, said a spokesperson for the company. They plan to either allow a transfer of the place on the waiting list to an heir or refund the $1,000 deposit.
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Reference: Bloomberg (July 13, 2016) “What Happens When You Die Waiting for a Tesla?”