It’s not uncommon for an automaker to rent another OEM’s car on a car-sharing platform. Instead, they just buy a car. However, Hyundai appears to have done just that, as it rented out a Tesla Model 3 to benchmark its Ioniq 6 EV using a car-sharing marketplace called Turo. It’s not official, but a Model 3 owner spotted unusual activity through the official Tesla app, leading to this interesting discovery.
It’s an unbelievable fact that a major car brand like Hyundai with nearly unlimited resources would lease a Tesla Model 3. However, the owner claims he has proof that this is the case. Teslarati came across a series of tweets from a user about his strange rental experience driving a Tesla Model 3 LR with FSD.
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The user said a client rented his car for a week to drive locally. Everything seemed to be working fine until Tesla Model 3 owners started getting notifications from their car through the app that all the doors had been left open for days. This piqued the owner’s curiosity, so he accessed the Model 3’s live camera to see what was going on. Photos show the car parked in an interior office with Hyundai posters on the walls. After checking all of the vehicle’s cameras, the Tesla owner contacted the person who owned the car and learned he was a Hyundai employee.
The man who rented the electric car allegedly admitted the Tesla Model 3 was being used for benchmarking purposes. More specifically, when the car was returned in the same condition as it was when it was leased, the owner asked him why the EV was sitting with the doors and trunk open for so long, and his answer was “training” in Hyundai. The Tesla owner insisted on asking these questions, and was allegedly told by a Hyundai employee that the Model 3 was being used for research and training purposes to benchmark against the Ioniq 6 before launch.
The South Korean automaker acknowledged that it does ongoing benchmarks, suggesting the automaker sees no problem renting out a Tesla Model 3 on Turo and benchmarking it against the Ioniq 6. Interestingly, the Hyundai actually saved a lot of money by leasing the car when benchmarking rather than buying it outright, but that seems interesting given the amount of resources it has at its disposal.
First published date: March 26, 2023 at 09:56 AM CST