Tesla questions lemon law king's motivations

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Tesla Motors officials questioned Wisconsin's self-proclaimed lemon law king's motivations in suing over a Milwaukee-area doctor's electric car, saying the company did all it could to fix the car and suggesting someone may have tampered with it.

The Tesla blog post also notes that attorney Vince Megna filed a similar lemon claim against another carmaker on behalf of the same doctor last year.

"We never want someone to be unhappy in their ownership of a Model S," Tesla's blog said. "In this case, however, there are good reasons to be skeptical of the lawyer's motivations."

In a statement Wednesday, Megna said Tesla is legally required to fix defects.

"My client filed a lawsuit against Tesla. It remains obligated under the terms of the warranty to continue to repair defects with the Model S, not because of customer service, not because Tesla wants a happy customer, but because Tesla is required to by law," Magna said.

He filed a lawsuit Monday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court alleging Robert Montgomery of Franklin had a 2013 SP Sedan delivered in March 2013. The car cost $94,777, plus $4,738 in Wisconsin sales tax. The car, which was under warranty, was in the shop for more than 30 days to repair various problems, including failure to start, power up and charge at Montgomery's home, as well as inoperable door handles, fuse problems, malfunctioning defrost and paint defects, the lawsuit said.

Wisconsin's lemon law requires manufacturers to repair a warranty-covered defect after four tries in a year or provide a timely refund or replacement. The lawsuit claims Montgomery asked Tesla to refund his money in November but the company has done nothing. The version of the law that was in effect when Montgomery purchased the car would make him eligible for double damages.

Megna, who is fond of posting videos online lampooning Republican Gov. Scott Walker, posted a video on YouTube of himself inviting a cardboard cut-out of actor George Clooney to accompany him to the courthouse to file the lawsuit. Clooney was one of the first 100 people to purchase a Tesla in 2006; last year he complained his Tesla Roadster always left him stuck along the side of the road.

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