Tesla Accused of Monopolizing Repairs, Parts in Consumer Lawsuit
Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Published March 15, 2023
Tesla is facing a lawsuit from customers who allege the company’s monopoly in maintenance, repair services and replacement parts has led to high prices and long waiting times.
On March 14, 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 said owners of conventional cars have several options for maintenance and repairs. They can even perform repairs and maintenance themselves. The complaint said traditional car repairs can also use OEM parts or those made by other companies.
The complaint argued Tesla owners do not have these options. When it comes to service and repair, Tesla owners can only use 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 this limitation is due to Tesla using its market power to restrict services for maintenance and repair, as reported by Bloomberg News.
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 said owners “pay supracompetitive prices for those parts and repairs once they are finally provided.” Tesla has not issued a comment as of writing.
Tesla’s areas for improvement when it comes to its vehicles’ repairs have been known for some time. And while the company has initiated a number of strategies that could help address repair needs quicker, the growth of Tesla’s fleet means there is also an ever-growing number of vehicles to repair.
This has paved the way for opportunities for other automakers. General Motors, for example, said late last year it has a growing Tesla repair business, thanks in part to its vast dealer network.