Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) has been sued in two proposed antitrust class actions for unfairly restricting competition for electric car maintenance and replacement components, causing owners to pay more and wait longer for repairs.
The claims, filed Tuesday and Wednesday in San Francisco federal court, say that Tesla constructed its electric vehicles, warranties, and maintenance rules to dissuade owners and lessees from utilizing independent shops.
“Tesla has to open up its ecosystem and enable competition for servicing Tesla [vehicles] and sales of components,” said plaintiffs lawyer Matthew Ruan of Freed Kanner London & Millen, who filed one of the proposed class actions.
Tesla, located in Austin, Texas, did not reply to queries. Tesla’s lawyers haven’t appeared yet.
Both cases involve everyone who has paid Tesla for repairs or components since March 2019.
California residents brought both lawsuits without a damages sum. However, Ruan said the possible class comprises hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners and lessees. Therefore damages might be hundreds of millions.
On Wednesday, McCune Law Firm filed a similar class action case.
Tesla’s fourth-quarter revenue was $24.32 billion. In the quarter, I had 405,278 car deliveries.
Tesla joins other automakers in “right to repair” antitrust action for exclusionary behavior.
Harley-Davidson Motor Co Group LLC (HOG.N) claims were combined in Wisconsin federal court. Deere & Co (DE.N), the world’s largest agricultural equipment producer, is fighting against charges in Chicago federal district court. Both firms deny accusations.
In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission pledged to address manufacturer limits on repairs and components.
The latest claims claim Tesla’s service and repair restrictions prompted “exorbitant wait times” for drivers who would have gone to an independent repair shop.
The lawsuits demand that Tesla “dismantle” its repair services and parts monopoly and make its repair manuals and diagnostic tools “available to people and independent repair businesses at a fair cost.”
Virginia Lambrix v. Tesla Inc. and Robert Orendian v. Tesla are the cases.