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Hi All,
I need some advice.

I had signed a purchase order for a AWD XLE bz4x in May, right before the recall. The PO entailed a non-refundable deposit of $1K (which is less than 5% of the purchase price of the car..around 46K). The price did not have a markup except for $1k for paint protection (aka cilajet) for which I had no option for removal.

Fast forward to now. The dealer told me the vehicle is finally available, almost 7 months after the PO. The main thing is that my state offers a $2250 rebate, but as a point of sale rebate (the money is taken off the purchase price, and the dealer is paid by the state). The program is optional for a dealer but is the only way for a customer to get the rebate. The dealer is refusing to do it (even though several other Toyota dealers in the state have processed 100s of these rebates). They say they are afraid that state will not pay them and they will be out of 2250.

I am a long term, loyal Toyota customer. My previous car was a Prius (drove 12 years, 220K miles). Before that, a Camry (drove 13 years, 250K miles). So I really want the bZ4x. The limiting factor was the low mileage but the federal and state rebates made it palatable - car became cheaper than alternatives despite the mileage shortcomings.

I am not sure if I will get the federal rebate, despite the PO with non-refundable deposit as it was less than 5%. If I walk away, I also lose my 1K deposit. However, if I do buy the car, it will leave a very bitter taste (long wait etc) and now this dealers refusal to do the state rebate. Instead of being happy, I will constantly feel bitter, I think, at how the dealer has treated me

What should I do? Should I go to another dealer, wait, and buy from them with the state rebate, or just hold my nose and buy it from this dealer. Will I even qualify for the federal rebate (as I said, PO was binding with non refundable 1K deposit which is less that 5% that IRS said is needed for a contract to be binding).

Thx in advance!!!
 

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Coming from Canada, I don't have a lot of helpful advice about the incredible hoops you guys have to jump through just to buy a car (how can there be a non-refundable deposit!).

Is there a ticking clock on the state rebate? I know the federal tax credit goes away in the new year for basically every EV, but especially the ones not made in America.

If the state rebate will still be around next year, it seems like the math works out that you'll be financially ahead to walk away from the current deal (and lose your deposit) and place a new order at a different dealer that will process the state rebate. Plus you get the satisfaction of a crappy dealer losing a loyal customer.

And maybe, just pointing that out to your current dealer will get them to budge.

But of course, that means you've got to restart the waiting period on a new order.
 

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Has your dealer unequivocally stated that they will not refund your deposit?

You made your deposit to take delivery of a vehicle 7 months ago, and now they are finally delivering it half a year later and at a higher price—and likely with weathering to the exterior, perhaps even damage, from sitting so long at the port.

These deposits were converted into non-refundable binding contracts in mid-August on Toyota’s advice to their dealers so as to preserve the tax rebates prior to the Inflation Reduction Act going into effect (8/16). Toyota still wasn’t able to deliver the vehicles before October 1st, when Toyota’s rebates were halved under the old rules, which means we’re risking losing at least $3,750 (and although my accountant recently advised me that he thinks otherwise, it’s still a risk we’d be taking).

In other words, Toyota and your dealership weren’t really able to fulfill their end of the contract, and converting the original agreement to a binding contract then only benefited them. Are they really going to try steal your deposit under those conditions? That would be incredibly scummy.

That said, on the IRS’s website discussing current EV rebate rules, the language around ‘binding contracts’—specifically deposits and down payments—is such that it sounds to me like either a non-refundable deposit or a 5% downpayment is sufficient. My “non-refundable deposit” comes to something like 4.2% percent, and my accountant is confident that this would not be an issue. And it sounds like yours was a "deposit," too.

As for the point of sale rebate concern…I also am set to receive one of these, and my dealer is willing to apply it to the downpayment. They don’t seem concerned that they won’t receive it. If your dealer is refusing to do this, it’s more ammunition that they are not abiding by their end of the deal, and more reason that you should get your deposit back if you refuse delivery of the vehicle. Hopefully you won’t have to contact an attorney—perhaps contacting Toyota corporate is an easier first step—but whatever happens, don’t let them get away with stealing your deposit.

In my mind, if dealers do end up trying to keep their customers “non-refundable deposits” when fed-up customers finally, invariably cancel—it’s only evidence that they are trying to cover their own butts, knowing that these cars aren’t exactly going to fly off the lots like they’d assumed they would (and as they likely would have prior to the bad press, recall, losing the tax credit, etc.), and they’ll soon need to lower the price.
 

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Update: Just as I was ready to bite the bullet and take delivery of the vehicle, my dealer called me at the last minute to inform me that they are now weary of the point of sale rebate I was set to receive; they aren't certain it wouldn't ultimately be rejected, and don't want to be left holding the bag with $$$ lost on their end if it didn't go through.

Looks like we're in a similar boat now.

Despite waiting 6 months for the car, paying a higher APR to finance it, and potentially also losing some or all of the federal tax credit, their response to my frustration was 'The car is just sitting on our lot at this point, we could have easily sold it to other customers by now...do you want the vehicle or not? The rebates are between you and outside entities, not us."

They also weren't too happy when I mentioned that certain package add-ons that I'd ostensibly paid for seemed to be missing.

That said, they did assure me that they would return my deposit if I chose to walk away from the deal.
 

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I find it simply beyond belief that dealerships entering the selling phase in the EV market don’t seem to know much about the rebate status/rules in their home states or federal law, yet they are the ones that should know the rules and regulations inside out at the expert level.

Dealerships that grab a hold of those issues early on are definitely going to have a leg up over dealerships trying to play catch-up as EV sales increase industry-wide.
 

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The way I looked at it: if I‘m not willing to purchase an EV without any eligible EV tax credit, then an EV is not the vehicle for me. I could not secure a “binding” agreement for my bZ4X order prior to the Inflation Reduction Act being signed. So I walked away.

YMMV, but EVs are just not worth the hassle right now. The “appeal” factor is not enough for me. Make them easy to purchase and easy to own, and I’m there.
 

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I'm a big proponent of the tax fed credit too. But even if it is cut in half or non-existent, the bz4x is still a good value for the MSRP for me. A BEV for under $50k US is better than paying $100k for a equivalent tesla (model Y). My second choice was a hyundai ioniq 5 but still does not match the simplicity of the bz4x. If I had the money i would go for the Lucid Air, but again not for over $200k. Currently, nothing on the market comes close in value than the bx4z. That will most likely change in the future. Sure, it doesn't have the best range or quickest charging time, but for back and forth to work and around town, it is fine. I'm eager to get mine since I have been waiting since early June. I was able to test drive the Limited and it was a great ride. The dealer wanted to sell it to me at a discount at $52k. I said no and wanted the XLE AWD with heated seats. I'm still waiting for my order to arrive.
 

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I'm a big proponent of the tax fed credit too. But even if it is cut in half or non-existent, the bz4x is still a good value for the MSRP for me. A BEV for under $50k US is better than paying $100k for a equivalent tesla (model Y). My second choice was a hyundai ioniq 5 but still does not match the simplicity of the bz4x.
I think that’s the main question we each have to ask ourselves, as the value prop is different for each one of us. There is no “right” or “wrong“ answer to whether the bZ4X (or any vehicle, regardless of how it’s powered) is a “good” value.

I just know the answer for me was: at MSRP less the $7,500 credit, I thought the bZ4X was a great value, so I ordered one. At MSRP and no credit, not so much that it makes sense for me to replace my ICE vehicle right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your reply. I thought long and hard and finally decided to walk away. For me, the value proposition was price (after rebates) vs the low real world driving range (my work is 78 miles one way). Once the dealer refused to even apply the state rebate, I just did not think it was worth it.The dealer refused to refund the deposit...not that I can do anything about it. I will probably not buy an EV right now...may again get a hybrid. Hopefully, the next one will be n EV.
 

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Thank you all for your reply. I thought long and hard and finally decided to walk away. For me, the value proposition was price (after rebates) vs the low real world driving range (my work is 78 miles one way). Once the dealer refused to even apply the state rebate, I just did not think it was worth it.The dealer refused to refund the deposit...not that I can do anything about it. I will probably not buy an EV right now...may again get a hybrid. Hopefully, the next one will be n EV.
First, that is very unfortunate!
Second, does it say anywhere in the documentation you signed, that the Deposit was NON-refundable? If not, then i'd be walking right back in there and say, if you aren't going to apply for the state rebates then I demand my refund back! Then state to them you never signed anything that said Non-refundable, and if they continue to fight, ask to speak to their "Customer Relations Manager". That person will get them to refund the money to you!

Lastly, we are now seeing a lot more of these pop-up on either Facebook or other places for sale, where people haven't taken their orders, and the dealerships are selling them at MSRP now... I'm betting one of your other Dealerships, doing the rebates, will help you out!
 

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Thank you all for your reply. I thought long and hard and finally decided to walk away. For me, the value proposition was price (after rebates) vs the low real world driving range (my work is 78 miles one way). Once the dealer refused to even apply the state rebate, I just did not think it was worth it.The dealer refused to refund the deposit...not that I can do anything about it. I will probably not buy an EV right now...may again get a hybrid. Hopefully, the next one will be n EV.
That’s too bad about the non-refundable deposit. I feel fortunate that the dealers I’ve dealt with don’t do non-refundable deposits, even if it meant that I couldn’t get any to do something resembling a “binding agreement” to qualify for the federal credit. :)

I'm assuming you've already reviewed the contract you signed to see if there's any potential "out" clause? It could be contained in a force majeure clause, which usually gives an out in the event of a situation beyond the parties' reasonable control. It's not black-and-white (unless it's called out explicitly so), but the change in the federal EV credit was beyond your control, the delay for 7 months was beyond either you or your dealer's control, etc.

The last couple of years of the car market have been interesting — which dealerships milked the markups and which ones seemed to work with customers through these difficult times. Hopefully those in the latter category are rewarded later with loyal customers vs. getting tossed into the “I’ll just pit them against each other until I get the cheapest deal.”
 

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Lastly, we are now seeing a lot more of these pop-up on either Facebook or other places for sale, where people haven't taken their orders, and the dealerships are selling them at MSRP now... I'm betting one of your other Dealerships, doing the rebates, will help you out!
That there is some great advice!

@mss , I'd also add that you may be able to dispute the charge if you put it on your credit card, as a last resort.
 

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Update: Just as I was ready to bite the bullet and take delivery of the vehicle, my dealer called me at the last minute to inform me that they are now weary of the point of sale rebate I was set to receive; they aren't certain it wouldn't ultimately be rejected, and don't want to be left holding the bag with $$$ lost on their end if it didn't go through.

Looks like we're in a similar boat now.

Despite waiting 6 months for the car, paying a higher APR to finance it, and potentially also losing some or all of the federal tax credit, their response to my frustration was 'The car is just sitting on our lot at this point, we could have easily sold it to other customers by now...do you want the vehicle or not? The rebates are between you and outside entities, not us."

They also weren't too happy when I mentioned that certain package add-ons that I'd ostensibly paid for seemed to be missing.

That said, they did assure me that they would return my deposit if I chose to walk away from the deal.

OK. Seriously? Unless you have very short drives to work and such ... walk away. I have been driving Toyotas for 25 years. Researched EVs for nearly a year after we couldn't get the hybrid we wanted specific from Toyota a year ago. couldn't get a BZ4X in Southwestern PA... so I went out of state to NY to a dealership 6.5 hr away. End of June. Gave them my credit card to use for $500 for a Limited BZ4X with all that we wanted on the car. The card was to put $$ down to hold the car. They never really charged. my card. Up front and honest, they said they were charging me 5,000 ABOVE the MSRP which many dealerships were charging over. we signed up figuring we should have it by the end of August. In August, we were emailed a sales agreement to sign dated 8/1/22 to receive the Federal rebate of up to $7500. We were also told that the car is in customs at the NY Harbor. Now here is the thing about the 'up to' $7500 rebate. That is if you OWE a good bit in taxes. So if you owe say $8,000 in taxes.. you will get the full $7500 rebate. But say you only owe the government like a thousand dollars... you aren't getting that full amount at all. Plus the fine print on the rebate states that the vehicles need to be the final stages of build in North America. And if you think about it... if all of us are paying ABOVE MSRP.... are you really seeing any kind of a rebate that was not already ate up by over paying at any dealership... that sort of puts it ll in perspective. Also, the first week of July, we were hearing reports that many BZ4X were having the tires fall off while driving... something to do with the lug bolts not taking. I had the VIN# of the vehicle we were to buy, I checked for re-calls every 2 weeks... not on the list.
We were told we would get the car any week... then soon... then around 10/28/22 we were told Toyota made a BIG announcement to the dealerships that the cars would be released in November. I told our sales rep that you do know November starts the following Tues? then 2nd week of November, I will 100% promise that you would have the car by the end of the year. Saturday before Thanksgiving, we watched a YouTube of a test group in Norway who was testing every EV out there. They drove the BZ4X multiple times with no air/no heat/ no radio nor anything else to take from the battery. Multiple times and they made the statement that Toyota over inflated the range by 40%. Now we had ordered an AWD which everyone knows will be less range than if FWD... Toyota gave a range of only 228 miles. so.. as we all know... Range for any EV, is a combination of in town/then highway and combined. So I figured, now we are into Winter... you will have lower range versus spring/summer warmer climate. BUT if Toyota was over-inflating.... I drive 30 miles one way to work... and if I need to go for groceries, stop to visit, go to the store..... I really did not want to run out of battery. So I contacted the Dealer and we backed out of the purchase. Though the dealership paid for the vehicle up front, they will NOT have a hard time selling it. I checked their website after Thanksgiving, the car is mentioned as coming soon.
I researched other EVs.... most bang for the buck. We ended up deciding on the Kia EV6 Wind. I contacted dealerships from Erie, down into WV, just over into the OH. border over to Harrisburg. Next morning (Monday before Thanksgiving), and heard 8 AM that a local Kia dealership about 35 min away, got 2 EV6 vehicles in over the weekend. We made an appointment same day, and left the dealership with the one that had what they call Wind Technology ... mainly had the 360 degree camera systems.... will drive the car on highways (not that I want hands free) had the Snow mode for driving, the only thing they didn't have was a panoramic nor moon roof. We had a moon roof on our vehicle we traded in, we very rarely used it so that did not matter to us. We got a 2022 over a 2023 saving $8,000. and it was about a thousand under the Bz4X in price. So far, we LOVE it... been driving it a month now. still learning a few of the buttons left to go but it is so smooth the range is great... will be higher in the warmer months... and we have no complaints... still am a Toyota fan BUT I truly feel that Toyota put so much into their hybrids (all excellent vehicles) that they underestimated people wanting EVs... all the other competitors were bringing them out though ALL are short in supply .... so I feel the BZ4X was rushed.... some of the issues would normally never happen but it is what it is.....
Finally (sorry for being so wordy) .... I can't see how ANY dealership can threaten to keep the down payment. ever. Please look into it again and push back.... they don't want the bad word of mouth if anything else... asked to talk to the General Manager... and if need be, file a complaint with Toyota Corporate. Good luck getting your money back. and go on YouTube and check out the Kia Wind.... they have a GT Line and GT versions (like over 500 HP) but they will cost about $15,000 more for those.... and we get 320 HP which is good enough for us. Best of luck to you.
 

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The way I looked at it: if I‘m not willing to purchase an EV without any eligible EV tax credit, then an EV is not the vehicle for me. I could not secure a “binding” agreement for my bZ4X order prior to the Inflation Reduction Act being signed. So I walked away.

YMMV, but EVs are just not worth the hassle right now. The “appeal” factor is not enough for me. Make them easy to purchase and easy to own, and I’m there.
I do understand your frustration again... but even if you got one and applied for the $7500 tax credit... you are not going to get the full amount unless you owe the government that amount or MORE. That plus the marked up MSRP will suck up part of that amount. I wanted to wait 2 more years before getting an EV but our 4Runner was 10 years old, 260,000 miles... and some of the original parts needed replaced... like. domino effect. If you can afford to wait a year or two, I bet the supply of EVs will make it easily available and hopefully stick to the MSRP price. OH by the way, you can Get a separate rebate for the cost of adding a level 2 charger and the labor for installing up to $1,000. That will be the only rebate I can get but I will take it.
 

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I'm a big proponent of the tax fed credit too. But even if it is cut in half or non-existent, the bz4x is still a good value for the MSRP for me. A BEV for under $50k US is better than paying $100k for a equivalent tesla (model Y). My second choice was a hyundai ioniq 5 but still does not match the simplicity of the bz4x. If I had the money i would go for the Lucid Air, but again not for over $200k. Currently, nothing on the market comes close in value than the bx4z. That will most likely change in the future. Sure, it doesn't have the best range or quickest charging time, but for back and forth to work and around town, it is fine. I'm eager to get mine since I have been waiting since early June. I was able to test drive the Limited and it was a great ride. The dealer wanted to sell it to me at a discount at $52k. I said no and wanted the XLE AWD with heated seats. I'm still waiting for my order to arrive.
We were quoted $58,000 for the BZ4X Limited. I checked out the Ioniq5 as well... but liked the Kia Wind better. no complaints! rides so smooth and great range.
 

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I do understand your frustration again... but even if you got one and applied for the $7500 tax credit... you are not going to get the full amount unless you owe the government that amount or MORE. That plus the marked up MSRP will suck up part of that amount. I wanted to wait 2 more years before getting an EV but our 4Runner was 10 years old, 260,000 miles... and some of the original parts needed replaced... like. domino effect. If you can afford to wait a year or two, I bet the supply of EVs will make it easily available and hopefully stick to the MSRP price. OH by the way, you can Get a separate rebate for the cost of adding a level 2 charger and the labor for installing up to $1,000. That will be the only rebate I can get but I will take it.
I would have qualified to take the $7,500 tax credit against my federal taxes. Not an issue. My Toyota dealer does not mark up above MSRP, so also not an issue. At MSRP less the $7,500 tax credit, the bZ4X checked the rest of the boxes for me to get into my first EV. Without the $7,500? The value proposition, at least for me, just isn't there. A hybrid Venza or Highlander are better values, for me. At this point, I may wait until the 2025 4Runner, which will likely have some sort of hybrid option.

Earlier on, before deciding on the bZ4X, I looked at the EV6 and came to a similar conclusion. At MSRP less the $7,500 tax credit, it was a good value, comparable with some puts and takes with the bZ4X. Without the tax credit and with the $5k+ markup above MSRP that my local Kia dealer is charging, not so much. I like the EV6 more than the Ioniq5 or ID.4, though.

With Tesla's desperation $7,500 discount, I even looked at the Model Y again. But the removal of the ultrasonic sensors as a cost-cutting move doesn't bode well for what other short-cuts they may have taken (and with Elon's public display of how he manages companies, I wouldn't be too surprised if there are others under the skin of those Teslas coming off the assembly line). Plus, even with the discount, the Y is a $60k+ vehicle.
 
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