Consumer Catch-up: Southwest ticket sales, Tesla refunds, computer car parts

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Southwest says its ticket sales dropped more than expected, plus many drivers want a refund on their Tesla Model 3 pre-orders. The consumer news you need to know for Monday, June 4, 2018.

Southwest ticket sales drop

The horrific fatal accident on a Southwest Airlines flight in April is taking a toll on sales.

You may remember a passenger was killed when a fan blade broke off of an engine and shrapnel shattered the window where she was sitting. The woman died after being partly sucked out of the plane.

The company says it pulled advertising after the incident, as is standard practice, and customers started buying fewer tickets. The airline knew as early as April that the accident was affecting sales, but now says it's worse than originally thought:

Southwest now expects revenue per mile to drop roughly three percent.

Customers want Model 3 refunds

When Tesla announced its lower priced Model 3, hundreds of thousands of pre-orders flooded in. Now many consumers are asking for their money back.

A third party look at the pre-orders shows 23 percent have been refunded. The company told the website Recode that number is incorrect, but doesn't say by how much.

Telsa has experienced many delays in rolling out the Model 3, but still has more than 400,000 pre-orders at $1,000 each.

Computer prices car parts

How do car makers price their car parts? With help from a computer program.

Reuters reports carmakers including Renault, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Peugeot have made more than $1 billion with the help of pricing software.

Paperwork field in a European court case suggests costs are, in part, based on consumer perception of what the items should cost.

The software company told Reuters the practice is legal and keeps costs under control and parts available.

The French government looked at the issue and says it did not find reason to open an investigation.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Web copy written and produced by Miranda Dotson
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