Tesla accused in consumer suit of monopolizing repairs, parts

Tesla Inc. was sued by customers who claim they’ve been forced to pay exorbitant prices and endure long waits to repair their cars due to the company’s monopolization of replacement parts and maintenance and repair services.

The antitrust class action was filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court on behalf of Virginia M. Lambrix, who lives in Sonoma County and owns a Tesla Model S. She says owners of traditional combustion engine cars have multiple options for maintenance and repairs, or do the work themselves. And those repairs can rely on parts from the original manufacturer or parts made by another company, according to the complaint.

Tesla owners, on the other hand, have just one option: getting their cars serviced at the company or a network of Tesla-approved service centers using only Tesla parts, according to the complaint, which cites federal antitrust laws. Lambrix argues the limitation is due to Tesla leveraging its market power to restrain services for repair and maintenance.

The practices have caused Tesla owners “to suffer lengthy delays in repairing or maintaining their electric vehicles, only to pay supracompetitive prices for those parts and repairs once they are finally provided,” according to the complaint.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The case is Lambrix v. Tesla, 23-cv-01145, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

___ ©2023 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This story was at first posted March 14, 2023, 10:03 PM.

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