Tesla ‘right to repair’ hit with antitrust class action – Autoblog -Dlight News

Tesla 'right to repair' hit with antitrust class action - Autoblog

Tesla is being sued in a pair of proposed antitrust class actions that accuse the company of illegally stifling competition for maintenance and replacement parts for its electric vehicles, forcing owners to pay more and wait longer for repair services. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday and Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, alleges that Tesla designed its electric vehicle warranty and repair policies to discourage owners and lessees from using independent shops outside Tesla’s control. “Tesla needs to open up its ecosystem and allow competition for Tesla’s service [vehicles] and the sale of parts,” said Matthew Ruan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs of Freed Kanner London & Millen, who filed one of the proposed class actions. A representative for Austin, Texas-based Tesla did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Tesla defense counsel said that yet has attended the case. The proposed class in both cases would include anyone who paid Tesla for repairs or parts since March 2019. Each complaint was filed on behalf of a California resident, and neither lawsuit specified the amount of damages. Ruan said the potential class could be in the hundreds of thousands. Since Tesla owners and lessees are included, damages could total tens of millions of dollars. Attorneys for the McCune Law Group, which filed a similar class action complaint on Wednesday, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, Reported revenue of $24.32 billion in the fourth quarter.The company delivered 405,278 vehicles in the quarter.Tesla joins other companies under pressure from automakers over alleged exclusionary behavior. “Right to repair” facing antitrust lawsuits. A group of cases against Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Group LLC were recently consolidated in federal court in Wisconsin, and Deere & Co., the world’s largest farm equipment manufacturer, is defending against the charges in federal district court in Chicago. Both companies have denied the claims. The US Federal Trade Commission released a policy statement in 2021 saying the agency would make it a priority to address manufacturer restrictions on repairs and parts. Tesla’s alleged restrictions on service and repairs, according to the new lawsuit, cause “excessive wait times” for drivers who would otherwise have gone to an independent repair shop. The lawsuit calls for “dismantling” Tesla’s monopoly on repair services and parts and ordering the company to make its repair manuals and diagnostic tools “available to individuals and independent repair shops at a reasonable cost.” The case is Virginia Lambrix v Tesla Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-01145; and Robert Orandian Vs. Tesla, No. 3:23-cv-01157. FTC Votes to Make ‘Right to Repair’ Priority, Declining 1995 Merger Policy (Reporting by Mike Scarcella)

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