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Tesla Challenges Lemon Law King's Model S Reliability Claims: Video


Tesla Motors is disputing a lemon-law claim filed against it by Wisconsin's self-proclaimed "King of Lemon Laws," saying the lawyer misrepresented the facts of the case, and implying that the Model S electric car in question may have been tampered with. A company blog post emphasized Tesla Motors's [NSDQ:TSLA] commitment to both lemon-law compliance and customer service, but said "there are good reasons to be skeptical of the lawyer's motivations."

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Attorney Vince Megna claims his client--Milwaukee-area doctor Robert Montgomery--asked Tesla for a lemon-law buy-back three times beginning in November 2013, after his 2013 Model S Signature Performance developed numerous faults including malfunctioning door handles and fuses, and a battery pack that wouldn't hold a charge. The Model S reportedly spent more than 30 days at a service center for repairs, and Megna posted a video on Youtube--co-starring a cardboard cutout of George Clooney--highlighting the car's alleged faults.

Tesla claims Montgomery did not make three demands for a buy-back, and that the company was actually working with him to resolve the issues until nearly the point that the lawsuit was filed. The company said it received a letter in November 2013 as a prerequisite to filing the suit, but that a buy-back was never mentioned in any discussions with the customer before or after it was sent.

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As far as the problems with the Model S, Tesla says many of them have "elusive origins." Mechanics couldn't replicate the problem with the door handles, but replaced them anyway. After Montgomery said they still weren't working properly, Tesla said it offered to inspect the handles again.

Tesla also implied that problems with the car's fuses were the result of tampering. When a fuse kept blowing after the installation of new parts, Tesla engineers determined that the car's front trunk--where the fuses are located--had been opened before each of the three incidents. After applying non-tamper tape to the fuse switch, "the fuse performed flawlessly," Tesla said.

Finally, Tesla finds it suspicious that Megna filed a lemon-law suit against Volvo last year on behalf of the same client...

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