Just hours after Tesla launched the California Internal Car Insurance Product on August 28, the company stopped offering interest and suspended access to the insurance website. However, during that time Tesla's insurance site worked and gave owners offers, some were not happy with the results.
Tesla tells The Verge the two things are actually related; The company says it found "bugs" that affected some customers' price offers, but that they refused to offer any specifications beyond that. The company says it will get the site up and running as soon as it is resolved, without saying when that resolution might be.
Tesla's insurance site launched around 3pm ET on Wednesday, but users reported problems accessing the site in just a few hours. At 06:49 ET, the company tweeted that it was "making some updates to Tesla Insurance" and that the service would "be back online soon." Seventeen minutes later, the company tweeted again that it was an "Algorithm Update that is in progress." The same language also pops up if you try to click on the link that originally took people to the Tesla Insurance mini page.
Both Tesla Motors subreddit and the company's owner forum are littered with posts from people who claim they received offers that were higher than expected. It appears to have disappointed some owners since the company promised prices that were up to 20 percent lower than its competitors. (However, most of the irked owners did not provide evidence of the comparisons they complained about.)
The insurance offer can provide Tesla with a way to create larger margins with a product that does not require as much money to set up as the process of designing and producing cars. But the problem with starting a whole new part of your business is … you have to start a whole new part of your business. And sometimes new things break.