Energy

Tesla Solar Roof lawsuit proceeds but gets trimmed by District Judge

(Credit: Tesla)

Back in May 2021, homeowners Matthew Amans and Babak Malek filed a Tesla Solar Roof lawsuit over what they argued was a “bait and switch” strategy from the electric vehicle maker. Both homeowners had ordered Solar Roofs for their homes but were eventually hit by the company’s price increases in April 2021. 

Amans had signed his Solar Roof contract in June 2020, and he was provided a job cost estimate of $30,872, a price that reportedly jumped to $99,241 after the price increase in April 2021. Malek, on the other hand, had an original Solar Roof contract with a stated price of $27,601.20 in January 2021, but this was increased to over $50,500 after the April 2021 price adjustments. 

While Tesla later reverted the homeowners’ Solar Roof costs to their original price, Amans and Malek opted to file a class action lawsuit against the company. The homeowners alleged that Tesla had committed fraud and a contract breach. They also alleged claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, the California Legal Remedies Act, California Business & Professions Code Section 7160, and the Truth in Lending Act. 

Tesla had sought to dismiss the case, providing oral arguments earlier this month. In a recent order, US District Judge Vince Chhabria noted that he is granting — in part — and denying — in part — Tesla’s motion to dismiss the Solar Roof lawsuit, according to a Law360 report. The Judge did this by allowing the homeowners’ breach of contract claim to proceed, but nixing Amans and Malek’s claims under the UCL, CLRA, and California Business & Professions Code Section 7160. 

“Tesla similarly argues that the claims by Amans are moot because it has offered to install his roof at the original price. Voluntary cessation of a defendant’s challenged conduct does not moot a case unless it is absolutely clear the allegedly wrongful behavior could not reasonably be expected to recur. 

“Tesla cannot bear that ‘heavy burden’ here. In particular, Tesla stands by its purported contractual right to increase the price of the roof, and Malek has plausibly alleged he was overcharged despite Tesla’s promises,” Judge Chhabria wrote. 

The Judge, however, gave the homeowners a chance to amend their complaints, though he previously noted that he found Amans and Malek’s fraud allegations to be “pretty sparse.” Malek’s Truth in Lending Act claim was also dismissed with prejudice. 

Tesla’s legal team and representatives from the homeowners have not issued a comment about Judge Chhabria’s order as of writing. 

Judge Chhabria’s order can be viewed below. 

Https Ecf Cand Uscourts Gov Doc1 035122162848 by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Tesla Solar Roof lawsuit proceeds but gets trimmed by District Judge
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