Tesla faces new trial by New Jersey Dealers Association

Tim Stevens / Roadshow

Tesla’s direct selling approach has long sparked controversy among dealer organizations who claim the automaker is breaking the rules, and for New Jersey dealers it has reached a tipping point.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers filed a lawsuit against Tesla which mainly alleges that Tesla violates franchise laws. Automotive News first reported on the trial on Thursday.

Not only has the dealership association got Tesla in its sights, but it is also serving state regulators with a lawsuit for failing to enforce fair rules and regulations to which all automakers and dealer groups are. submitted. These include laws on consumer protection, advertising and franchising.

“NJ CAR has spent decades championing strong, level playing field that creates a level playing field and fosters a competitive market that benefits consumers and honest business owners,” said Jim Appleton, President of the Coalition of Automotive Retailer in a press release. “Neighborhood new car dealers don’t fear competition from Tesla – which accounts for less than 1% of New Jersey’s new car market – they simply oppose unfair competition that puts consumers and businesses at risk. local at a disadvantage. “

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The various complaints in the lawsuit allege that Tesla violated the laws after opening a fifth direct sales site in New Jersey. The state allowed it to open four sites four years ago, and it is currently planning to open a sixth. The complaint notes that the fifth location is classified as a “gallery,” but the coalition contends that the vehicle setup and other on-site tools lead to the sale of vehicles.

The complaints continue to include issues with advertising incentives and fuel savings without presenting how they are calculated (Tesla provides a breakdown on its website) and alleges “bait and a change” by offering the Tesla Model 3 the most affordable, $ 35,000 for a short period of time. Although it is more difficult to order the $ 35,000 Model 3, it can still be done.

Perhaps the most intriguing complaint is that Tesla is announcing its Autopilot system as an “autonomous driving” system, which can mislead buyers into over-promising its capabilities. Today, there are no Level 5 or Level 4 self-driving cars on sale, according to the SAE Range of Range. Tesla says on its website: “Current Autopilot Functions require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. “

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