Court Battles

Tesla faces two class-action lawsuits for allegedly monopolizing repairs

FILE – A sign marks the entrance to the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nev., on Oct. 13, 2018. Tesla may receive over $300 million in tax abatements over the next two decades for a massive new expansion of its northern Nevada facility, the product of a 2014 deal for when the company first came to the area on the promise of new jobs and major investments in the area. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Tesla was hit with two antitrust class action lawsuits this week, alleging that the company curbed competition for repairs and replacement of vehicle parts.

The two suits filed this week in a federal court in San Francisco argue that the company designed its vehicles and warranty policies to discourage customers from seeking maintenance from outside entities, forcing them to wait longer and pay more for repairs.

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were forced to “pay supracompetitive prices and suffer exorbitant wait times to maintain and repair their Tesla vehicles as a result of Tesla’s monopolization, attempted monopolization, exclusionary conduct, and restraint of the markets for compatible replacement parts and maintenance and repair services.”

The suits were both filed by California residents, but the class in both suits would be anyone who bought Tesla parts or paid the company for repairs beginning in March 2019.

The lawsuits against Tesla come as it has dealt with scrutiny over the safety of its vehicles in recent months, including a federal investigation and a number of recalls.

The company found itself under a new federal investigation earlier this month after a number of reports of steering wheels falling off in one of their vehicles while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into the company, according to a filing, saying it was made aware of two instances of 2023 Model Y vehicle steering wheels suffering “complete detachment” while driving due to the absence of a retaining bolt. 

The company recalled more than 360,000 vehicles of the same model last month as federal regulators said its automated driving technology may increase risks of crashes.

The Hill has reached out to Tesla for comment.

Tags antitrust California Model Y monopolization National Highway Traffic Safety Administration San Francisco Tesla Tesla lawsuit

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