Tesla Quietly Settles Model X Lemon Law Suit

Just a month ago, Barrett Lyon, who lives in California, filed suit under his state’s Lemon Law claiming his Tesla Model X had defects that could not be adequately repaired. He says he decided taking legal action was the only recourse open to him after getting what he called “the runaround” from his local Tesla service center.

Tesla Model X


His suit claimed the car’s doors opened and closed unpredictably, smashing into his wife and other cars. He also alleged the Model X Autopilot feature made the car dangerous to drive in the rain. Included in the legal filing was a video showing that the car’s self parking feature failed to operate correctly. He told the court that Tesla had “rushed” the Model X into production before it was ready.

Lyon now says Tesla has agreed to take his Model X back but declines to have anything further to say about the matter. He is not a Tesla hater by any means. He owns a Roadster and a Model S, both of which he says he is happy with. Tesla confirms that it has agreed to take the car back.

Elon Musk has admitted that perhaps Tesla did pack too much new technology into the Model X. He thinks in retrospect the car should have been released sooner and that many of the new items — things like a BioWeapons Defense air filtration system and self presenting front doors — could have been added later as updates. Tesla’s ability to modify the software in its cars over the air gives it an advantage that other manufacturers have been slow to copy.

But wireless updates can’t alter the structure of a car. The signature feature of the Model X — its falcon wing doors — are responsible for many of the complaints customers have with their cars. Tesla has just rolled out a new update to the operating system for those doors that Musk says will finally make them better than conventional doors instead of worse.


A spokesperson for Tesla told The Verge in an e-mail yesterday, “We are committed to providing an outstanding customer experience throughout ownership. As a principle, we are always willing to buy back a car in the rare event that a customer isn’t completely happy. Today, the majority of Model X owners are loving their cars.”

Barrett Lyon is not the only person seeking to return a Model X to the company. While researching its story, The Verge contacted one other owner who complained that the company insisted on “an onerous NDA/release” and “information lockdown” as a condition of taking his car back.

Tesla faced similar allegations earlier this month with regard to a Model S owner who complained his Model S had suffered a total suspension failure. He said Tesla tried to make him sign an agreement that he would not contact NHTSA, an allegation Tesla strenuously denies.

Tesla needs to be careful how it treats its customers. There is reason to believe that those who do not sing the praises of the company may suffer somewhat in their relations with the company. Tesla is very tight lipped about any issues affecting the company and prefers to keep any negative publicity safely looked away in a dark closet.

Source: The Verge


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.