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Tesla’s Shares Slip Over Fears of Increase in Model 3 Cancellations

July 19, 2018, 1:23 PM UTC

Tesla shares are slumping on Thursday after analysts at Needham & Co expressed fears that Model 3 cancellations could rise.

In a note to investors on Thursday, analyst Rajvindra Gill said that Tesla’s Model 3 “refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate,” according to CNBC, which obtained a copy of the note. Gill said that the cancellations are due to a variety of factors, including long wait times to get a car, Tesla’s expired $7,500 credit on the purchase, and the inability for shoppers to get the base model, which goes for $35,000.

Gill added that Tesla (TSLA) has a refund rate of 12% in August 2017. Gill now believes that the refund rate is now twice that.

Gill’s comments were enough to push Tesla’s shares down nearly 2.5% in pre-market trading on Thursday. The company’s share price is down 8% since last month.

A Tesla spokesperson contradicted Gill’s claims in a statement to Fortune, saying that cancellations are not in fact outpacing Model 3 orders. At the end of the second quarter, the spokesperson said, there were 420,000 net Model 3 reservations, a figure that includes cancellations. The spokesperson added that you can take deliveries of a new Model 3 within one to three months after you place an order.

Tesla’s Model 3 has been a major concern for the company’s shareholders. The vehicle is in some respects considered the critical element in bringing the Tesla brand to the masses, thanks in no small part to its affordable price. Some have also hoped that it would be the critical element in improving Tesla’s business, which continues to post massive losses.

Claims of increasing cancellations and other problems, however, have proven concerning. And Needham & Co’s analysts said the problems have become so troublesome that they’re downgrading the stock to a sell.

Update at 1:27 p.m. on 07/19/18 to include Tesla’s comments.