Published on October 4th, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen0
Judge Rules Tesla Owners Can’t Sue Tesla In Class Action Lawsuit
Does this spell certain doom for Malaysian Tesla owners with problematic cars?
A group of Tesla owners in the U.S. who were looking to form a class action lawsuit against the American electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer over allegations that it misled the public about the capabilities of Autopilot will have to pursue claims in individual arbitration, not in court, a California judge has ruled.
The decision is an important one for Tesla, because it means that the owners cannot come together to form a class. As a result, they won’t be able to pool their resources against the automaker, giving it a big advantage. It is also a rare win as Tesla lost so many lawsuits in the past. Here is why this is actually worse than it seems.
Moreover, U.S. district Judge Haywood Gilliam said in his decision that the Tesla owners who filed the proposed class action case last year had agreed to arbitrate any legal claims when they signed Tesla’s terms and conditions document while purchasing Autopilot through the automaker’s website, Reuters reports.
Although one plaintiff did not sign an arbitration agreement, the judge ruled that they had waited too long to sue. Yeah, the statute of limitations is an unforgiving pain in the rear end. Now consider this happening in Malaysia? With no Lemon Law in effect yet and business practices here, owners are in deep, *DEEP* trouble.
In their complaint, the owners alleged that Tesla had repeatedly made false statements about the abilities of its advanced driver assistance systems. They were particularly concerned that Tesla had repeatedly indicated that it was on the verge of delivering vehicles that were fully capable of driving on their own.
On top of that, they all said that these promises helped convince them to shell out thousands of dollars to purchase additional features upon purchase. However, the plaintiffs allege that instead of delivering on those promises, Tesla’s technology has been involved in accidents, injuries, and deaths, due to its unreliable nature.
Although the owners were aware that they had signed agreements requiring arbitration, they claimed that this was unenforceable. In his decision, Judge Gilliam rejected this argument. Who is right or wrong here is up to you but we know Tesla is famous for charging monthly subscriptions for features so this stings even more.
Now that Tesla is fully established in Malaysia and also has 2 models for sale as it is, what happens when Malaysian owners experience similar problems? We all know that even the average EV owner in Malaysia does not have the resources to compete with a global brand so what is to become of their complaints?