Tesla buyers face deadline to qualify for federal tax credit

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Consumers looking to purchase a Tesla have only a few hours left to qualify for a big federal tax credit.

The credit expires on Jan. 1 and frantic shoppers are having a tough time even finding a car to buy.

A few unhappy customers counting on the nearly $2,000 tax credit are frustrated.

Dave Meyer and his wife fought for hours to get a Tesla Model 3.

"This was an unpleasant experience purchasing this car," Meyer said. "The car is great, the service was terrible."

Like other Model 3 customers, they were looking forward to getting a new electric vehicle before the end of the year, so they would qualify for a $1,800 federal tax credit.

But after they sold their second car to make room for a new Tesla, they were told Sunday their order was cancelled.

It's a problem other Tesla buyers are facing with just hours until the tax credit deadline for electric vehicles.

Not enough Model 3s are currently available for delivery by midnight Tuesday, resulting in last minute cancellations for people who've been waiting for their car.

Car analysts say there's not much customers can do and it's unlikely to affect long term sales.

"After the decline of federal tax credits, there is usually a bit of a slowdown in sales as the people that were counting on those federal tax rebates kind of bow out of the market," said Jeremy Acevedo, Senior Analyst of Insights at Edmunds. "It does recover pretty quickly, but it is something that we've seen."

Tesla hasn't responded to a request for comment or made a public statement about the issue.

Meyer says he's just happy to have his car before the new year.

"The car seems to be just fine, but their customer service has gone to hell," Meyer said. "That's something I observed in real time."
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