Tesla Owners’ Class-Action Suit Gets Green Light from a California Judge


tesla owners class action suit gets green light from a california judge

Electric vehicles don’t require the same routine maintenance that gas models do, but they’re not completely repair-free. Tesla has made getting repairs a real headache for some owners, as the automaker hasn’t allowed them to get work done at third-party shops. That policy has led owners to seek class-action status against the company, and a California judge recently gave the group the green light to move forward with a suit.

Tesla generated $8.3 billion in service revenues last year, a significant chunk of its almost $97 billion in overall revenue, due to its requirements that owners service vehicles at one of its shops. The owners were under threat of having their warranties canceled if they chose to pursue third-party repairs.

tesla owners class action suit gets green light from a california judge

The judge heard arguments that Tesla vehicles contain proprietary components and software that only it can service, but they also learned that the automaker failed to open enough locations to handle the repair demand. Tesla also prohibits parts from reaching independent shops, making it impossible to repair one even if the ban on external service was lifted.

While most owners would head to a third-party shop, those issues mean that even out-of-warranty Teslas can’t be serviced independently. The judge initially rebuffed the group’s class-action efforts late last year, but newer developments in the case have convinced them to allow the case to move forward.

tesla owners class action suit gets green light from a california judge

Right-to-repair is a hot-button issue across several industries, with companies of all types pushing back hard against efforts to allow owners to either DIY a repair or have a product serviced by a third party. If you own a vehicle, you should be able to fix it yourself or have the repairs performed by the shop of your choice, so this lawsuit moving forward is a positive step toward fixing the situation for Tesla owners.

[Images: Tesla]

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