Tesla, a pioneer in the electric car market, has revolutionized the automotive industry with its innovative and high-performing electric vehicles (EVs). However, this transformation has not been without its challenges, as Tesla cars are prone to massive production errors, shoddy manufacturing, and multiple defects.
In December 2023, Tesla recalled more than 2 million of its vehicles in the U.S., the largest recall in the history of the company. In a court filing, Tesla admitted that the software controls of their advanced driver-assistance system, Autopilot, “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse” and could increase the risk of a crash.
If you are a Tesla owner affected by this recall, particularly in the state of California, you might have questions about your rights and remedies. That’s why you should call an attorney for Tesla lemon law cases, like Brennan Law, who can get results. California Lemon Law provides protection to consumers who have purchased or leased a “lemon” vehicle. If you have a Tesla lemon law case, you could be entitled to a refund, replacement, or cash compensation.
The most problematic Tesla models
Owning a sleek and stylish Tesla is a dream for many. However, discovering your vehicle is defective can be a major disappointment. It’s important to note, though, that not all models have been affected by defects and recalls. Here are some of the models with the most recalls:
Model S. One of Tesla’s most popular sedans, the S has been recalled several times over the years for eMMc controller problems, defective airbags, issues with the steering racks, faulty brakes, and more.
Model X. The X is Tesla’s star midsize luxury crossover, known for its iconic falcon-wing doors and high performance. Since its launch in 2015, it has been recalled seven times for steering and parking brake issues, shoddy seats, and a faulty AEB system.
Model Y. One of Tesla’s latest vehicles, the Y is perfect for larger families with optional third-row seating. However, even this newest addition has been recalled for seat belt retractor problems, software errors, suspension issues, brake caliper problems, and more.
Model 3. As Tesla’s affordable sedan model, the Model 3 balances style with performance. But it has also been recalled six times for airbag malfunctions, seat belt problems, and problems with the AEB system.
If you are a California resident and own a defective Tesla, it’s important to understand the specifics of Tesla lemon law cases. For starters, in California, a vehicle isn’t automatically a lemon due to defects. To qualify, it must meet specific criteria:
- The defect must be reported to Tesla while the vehicle is still under warranty.
- The vehicle should have one or more substantial defects that impact its safety, functionality, or value.
- Tesla’s technicians must have attempted to repair these defects at least twice, or the vehicle must have been out of service for 30 or more days due to repairs.
- The defects must not result from driver neglect or abuse.
Tesla Lemon Law in California covers every Tesla model sold with a valid manufacturer or dealer warranty. To qualify for a buyback lemon or replacement, the vehicle’s defects must be reported within the warranty period. California consumers have a four-year window to seek compensation after the vehicle meets the qualifications for Lemon Law.
For used Teslas, Lemon Law claims can be pursued if the vehicle was sold with a dealership warranty, typically valid for 30 days or until 1,000 miles are added to the odometer. If the Tesla meets the state’s Lemon Law terms within these limits, the same buyback or replacement options apply as with new vehicles.
However, if you choose to seek compensation, a successful Tesla Lemon Law claim could cover the total cost of your Tesla, the down payment, monthly payments, loan balance, official costs, sales tax, registration, and any other costs due to the defective vehicle, including transportation and accommodation expenses.
The most common problems we see
If you have a lemon Tesla, you need to start the Lemon Law process as soon as possible. Not only can delays complicate your ability to seek compensation, but driving a defective vehicle with faulty brakes, shoddy airbags, malfunctioning steering, and defective seats and seatbelts, can be a danger to you, passengers, and others on the road.
Additionally, if you decide to file a claim, you have a short timeline to take legal action. Tesla includes a forced arbitration clause in their purchase agreements that states if a defect isn’t resolved within 60 days of purchase, consumers are prohibited from seeking a lemon law buyback or replacement through the courts. As a result, consumers must present their lemon law cases to an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators paid for by Tesla who commonly side with the manufacturer.
As of 2024, Tesla is valued at nearly a trillion dollars and has the highest quality legal defense. Going up against them without a Tesla lemon law lawyer could be detrimental to your case. But you can level the playing field with an experienced lemon law attorney, like Brennan Law, on your side. Hold Tesla accountable – contact us today!