Tesla Wins Legal Battle In New York, As Texas Conflict Continues

APR 12 2013 BY JAY COLE 11

Tesla has pushed its courtroom record as a defendant to a flawless 4-0 (previous wins here, here, and here), as the company can put a recent legal conflict in New York behind them.

teslalogoUnlike in Texas, where Tesla is lobbying to change existing laws that prevent them from selling and servicing the all electric Model S, in New York, the state’s franchised dealers took Tesla to court because they alleged the EV maker violated some ‘not-so-cut-and-dry’ state franchise laws, as well consumer protection laws.

That effort came to an end on Thursday, as New York Supreme Court Justice Raymond J.  Elliott III said that the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association “cannot utilize the Franchised Dealer Act as a means to sue their competitors,” nor could the dealers prove injury from the 3 Tesla stores currently in the state, or the 2 service depots.

“An increase in business competition is insufficient to confer standing,”  the judge said.

The dealers had sought a ruling to force Tesla to use independent dealers over company-run stores, and shut the stores currently in operation.

Neither the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, or their attorney, offered comment on the matter at time of press.

Thankfully, Twitter is still online and operating as normal today, so that means Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has already commented out his opinion on the ruling:

Elon Musk Utilizes His Social Media Weopon Of Choice

Elon Musk Utilizes His Social Media Weapon Of Choice

…let the high automotive margins for Tesla continue in New York!

Categories: Tesla


Leave a Reply

11 Comments on "Tesla Wins Legal Battle In New York, As Texas Conflict Continues"

newest oldest most voted

What size cup-holders does the Tesla have? 🙂

Tesla Motors busting the dealership oligopoly may be their most significant accomplishment to date. Of course once a Tesla owner, one is really stuck with Tesla servicing their vehicle. It is an all or nothing proposition and that does seem like a monopoly.

It can’t be a monopoly if you can still choose to buy a different brand of vehicle.

Once you buy the car, what options do you have for routine maintenance, parts, and repairs?


Well realistically why in the world would you trust anybody over the dealer to work on a Tesla, minus new tire installation?? That seems just down right crazy with a vehicle that no one else knows.

This is no different than when Toyota came out with the Prius. No one but the dealer could service them for years. Now any certified mechanic can replace an inverter or a battery pack in a Prius. Tesla will be no different in 8-10 years when the battery pack warranty is up. I can see a whole aftermarket battery pack retrofitter market popping up as well as tuner/programmers etc. Imagine a shop who could take a 60KW 10 year old Tesla Model S and turn it into a 120KW Performance pushing 450+ HP. 300HP Leaf with 250+ mile range? We will see that in 10 years from the aftermarket. The sky is the limit here. Once these EVs are sold in large enough quantity it makes sense for the mechanics and aftermarket makers to cater to them.

Agree, Well done for Tesla!
Wouldn’t we a the public all wish to deal direct with manufacturer with whom the buck stops?
This would be a dream come true for many including myself.

The monopoly is that in many US states car manufacturers are prohibited by law from selling directly to the public; you HAVE to buy from a dealer. The dealers have (so far) fought off any competition from the internet. If Tesla manages to break the monopoly then you can order a car on-line and have it delivered to your door, like 99.9999% of everything else in the world.

Dealers don’t have a monopoly, Jscott1. There are thousands of Chevy dealers in the US who compete with each other, not to mention thousands of other Buick/Caddy/GMC dealers who sell nearly-identical cars and tens of thousands of dealers for other carmakers.

Direct sales might be a good idea, but it’s grossly unfair to let a small businessman invest millions of dollars under a set of laws that’s been in place for a century, then wipe him out by arbitrarily changing the law one day.

This is going to become interesting in the Netherlands, where car brands are required by law to provide independent mechanics the know-how and tools to service their cars. A few more months and they start delivering here let’s wait and see.

same in the US, but the independent mechanics still have to pay for the manuals, training and special tools (mostly software).. and they pay a lot!