A Tesla car owner took Tesla to court after buying a second-hand Model S from its official website without knowing the car had suffered a major traffic accident previously. Tesla then was sentenced to refund 379,700 yuan ($58,802) to the owner and compensate 1,139,100 yuan according to the law – a total compensation of 1,518,800 yuan.
However, the car owner recently said that Tesla’s compensation has not been paid so far. Furthermore, he was sued by Tesla, which accused him of infringing the firm’s reputation rights and claimed 5.05 million yuan ($781,685) for its own compensation.
On Monday, Tesla responded via Weibo, saying that there are five lawsuits between Tesla and Mr. Han, the car owner, including the second-hand car, the courtesy cars (provided to the car owner by the company) and reputation infringement disputes.
In addition to the above two lawsuits – namely, Han sued Tesla for sales fraud claiming 1.52 million yuan and Tesla sued Han for infringing Tesla’s reputation – the third case refers to the car owner’s suing of Tesla for reputation infringement dispute in April this year. Tesla said that the case is currently under trial. The remaining two cases are Tesla’s lawsuits against Han over two courtesy cars.
For these two cases involving courtesy cars, Tesla accused Han of occupying the two courtesy cars for a long time and failing to return them according to the contract, which caused damage to the two vehicles. During the occupation of the second courtesy car, Han’s relatives caused damage to the vehicle, an issue in which Tesla also laid claims. The car company said the two cases are also under trial.
Tesla added in the Weibo post, “Since the establishment of this official account, Tesla has always hoped to handle related affairs without occupying public resources. Our company abides by laws and regulations, respects the independence of judicial trial, and always follows the principle of not disclosing the details of cases under trial at will and not interfering with handling cases through public opinion. We expect and trust that the court will eventually decide according to law.”
In response to Tesla, the car owner Han said on Weibo, “There are indeed five lawsuits with Tesla. The third and fourth cases, however, should be classified as one case. In fact, Tesla divided the case into two lawsuits in order to maximize my cost of rights protection. That is to say, I have to pay double the lawyer’s cost and time to rights protection, and the court session time and frequency will be doubled as well.”
In addition, the owner also explained the courtesy car accident via Weibo. The owner said that the two courtesy cars were not illegally occupied, as evidenced by the recording of the State Administration for Market Supervision. As for the accident of his relatives driving the courtesy car, the owner said he didn’t know about it, and expressed his willingness to bear the relevant maintenance costs. However, the car owner questioned Tesla’s fixed loss of 200,000 yuan for the accident courtesy car. “The total market value of this courtesy car is only just over 200,000,” he mentioned, concluding that he therefore thinks this claim is unreasonable.
There are many disputes between Tesla and its car owners. The Economic Observer inquired in China Judgments Online and found that Tesla had hundreds of litigation records in courts across China. The reporter searched with “Tesla” as the direct party (“plaintiff” or “defendant”), and there were more than 250 litigation judgments. Tesla has been sued for various reasons, including the firm’s frequent price reduction, which is suspected of price fraud, and false promotion of the car chip version.