Tesla owners sue the carmaker, claiming they've faced long waits and high prices at service centers
- Tesla owners are suing, claiming they've faced long wait times and high prices at service centers.
- On Tuesday, a Model S owner filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Tesla.
Tesla customers are suing the company, claiming they've been forced to deal with long wait times and high prices at the electric-car maker's service centers.
Model S owner Virginia Lambrix filed a proposed class-action lawsuit on Tuesday, claiming she's suffered from Tesla's "monopolization" of the repair market for its vehicles. She said Tesla has caused her to "suffer lengthy delays in repairing or maintaining" their electric vehicles, "only to pay supracompetitive prices for those parts and repairs once they are finally provided," according to the complaint.
"Once consumers have purchased a Tesla EV, they are locked into repair and maintenance services specific to their Tesla vehicles," said the complaint, which was filed in US District Court, Northern District of California. "It is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately forecast how much repair and maintenance services will be required and what they will cost prior to purchasing an EV."
In the lawsuit, Lambrix claimed that while traditional vehicle owners can pick from a wide variety of repair options and products, Tesla owners are only able to get their cars serviced at Tesla service centers with Tesla products because the electric-car maker "purposely designs its vehicles" to limit outside competition when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Furthermore, the complaint alleged that Tesla's warranty and policies "threaten" owners that they might lose coverage if they get the car serviced outside of Tesla.
In the lawsuit, Lambrix said Tesla's "unlawful monopoly" should be dismantled and the carmaker should be required to make its repair manuals and diagnostic tools available to customers and third-party companies. The complaint also is seeking reimbursement for Tesla customers who is claimed have "overpaid" for repairs.
An almost identical proposed lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed on Wednesday by another Model S owner, Robert Orendain.
A spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication. Last year, the company reported its services, which include customer repairs, charging, and insurance generated over $6 billion in revenue, Bloomberg reported.
The electric-car maker has faced criticism over its service centers in the past. Last year, Vox reported that Tesla owners have filed thousands of complaints related to issues with delays, service, and parts with the Federal Trade Commission and about 9,000 complaints to the Better Business Bureau over similar issues. One Tesla driver alleged they found a dead mouse and rat poison in the car's front trunk after a service visit, while other cited concerns about unresponsive service centers and difficulties finding available parts, Vox reported.
Last year, Elon Musk said the company is working on its service in North America. To date, Tesla has less than 200 service centers in the US. For comparison, GM or Ford owners can choose from thousands of independent repair and maintenance shops.
"Goal is 2/3 of cars receive same-day service, no wait," he tweeted.
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