The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Strategic CSR - Tesla

The article in the url below poses an ethical challenge for Tesla that stems directly from the company's growing economic success:
 
"What Happens When You Die Waiting for a Tesla?"
 
According to actuary statistics, this is much more than an artificial thought exercise:
 
"There were 821.5 deaths in the U.S. per 100,000 people as of 2013, the most recent data available, and the newest car from Tesla Motors Inc. isn't scheduled to begin shipping until late 2017. That leaves at least 18 months during which one among the hundreds of thousands of Model 3 hopefuls could be found at the supercharger station in the sky. What's more, owners of Tesla's pricier Model S sedans have tended to be overwhelmingly male and over the age of 45, according to data from Edmunds.com, so we aren't exactly speculating about an actuarially invincible cohort here."
 
The lease governing the refundable deposits for the new Model 3 suggests the company did not think of this in advance – another indication that the success of the Model 3's launch vastly exceeded expectations:
 
"A deceased Model 3 buyer will have plopped down a refundable $1,000 deposit to hold a place on Tesla's waitlist, agreeing to a one-page contract that explicitly blocks transfers to another buyer. A particularly forward-looking person on the Model 3 waitlist might list the reservation in his or her will, but death doesn't invalidate the terms."
 
It seems that the deposit, in itself, does not provide the right to purchase a car – a clause in the contract designed to prevent a different problem:
 
"The contract warns that a 'reservation is not transferrable or assignable to another party without the prior written approval of Tesla,' and a Tesla representative said these terms are designed to prevent line squatters from hoarding reservations with plans to sell them off to the highest bidder as shipping day approaches."
 
Reassuringly:
 
"So far there have been no known deaths on the Model 3 waitlist."
 
Take care
David
 
 
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What Happens When You Die Waiting for a Tesla?
By Polly Mosendez
July 13, 2016
Bloomberg Businessweek