Tesla is facing a lawsuit from customers who alleged that the company’s monopoly in maintenance, repair services, and replacement parts has led to high prices and long waiting times. The customers claim that they have been forced to endure these issues when their vehicles need repairs.
On Tuesday, a class-action antitrust lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court on behalf of Virginia M. Lambrix, the owner of a Tesla Model S. In the lawsuit, Lambrix stated that owners of conventional cars have several options for maintenance and repairs. They can even perform repairs and maintenance themselves. The complaint noted that traditional car repairs could also utilize OEM parts or those made by other companies.
The complaint argued that Tesla owners do not have these options. When it comes to service and repair, Tesla owners must only utilize the company’s parts. The vehicles must also be serviced only through the company or its lineup of Tesla-approved service centers. The suit alleged that this limitation is due to Tesla using its market power to restrict services for maintenance and repair, as noted in a Bloomberg News report.
As noted in the complaint, Tesla’s practices when it comes to repairs and maintenance have resulted in Tesla owners suffering from “lengthy delays in repairing or maintaining their electric vehicles.” The complaint also noted that owners “pay supracompetitive prices for those parts and repairs once they are finally provided.” Tesla, for its part, has not issued a comment on the matter as of writing.
Tesla’s areas for improvement when it comes to its vehicles’ repairs have been known for some time now. And while the company has initiated a number of strategies that could help address repair needs quicker, the growth of Tesla’s fleet means that there is also an ever-growing number of vehicles to repair. Interestingly enough, this has paved the way for opportunities for other automakers. General Motors, for example, noted late last year that it has a growing Tesla repair business, thanks in part to its vast dealer network.
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