Tesla Sued in Small Claims Court for False Advertising

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
tesla sued in small claims court for false advertising

Many, including the federal government, are concerned that Tesla’s claims of working with Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology aren’t entirely accurate. The automaker’s semi-autonomous feature is still in the beta testing stage, but it uses customers as test subjects, which doesn’t sit well with regulators. Customers are beginning to lose interest, too, especially when they’re told to pay more for features they thought already came with their car. One man sued Tesla in small claims court and won, but the most interesting part of the story is the precedent this could set for other owners. 

Electrek reported that Tesla owner Ian Jordan sued the automaker in Washington state small claims court over additional costs involved with activating FSD. His Model 3 already had the version 2.5 computer, but Tesla quoted $1,000 to upgrade to a newer unit for FSD. Jordan’s small claims court challenge was successful because Tesla didn’t show, but the judge’s ruling accused the company of false advertising, saying the “plaintiff purchased a second Tesla Model 3, relying on advertisement from the company that all Tesla 3 models come with all the necessary hardware for self-driving. Defendant learned that, in fact, installing the self-driving function would cost $1,106 in further hardware upgrades in violation of Tesla’s false advertising.”

Jordan sued Tesla again for the loss of functionality in a vehicle equipped with the MCU1 media unit. The automaker claimed it could not fix the problem and stated that Jordan would need to cough up an additional $1,657.50 for the upgrades. Tesla quickly paid both amounts, but these court cases could encourage other frustrated owners to pursue legal action as they face steep charges to get FSD. 

[Image: Tesla]

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5 of 9 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Dec 13, 2022

    I suspect this won’t be the last lawsuit over this. Tesla needs to make the technology work or make the people who bought it whole again. But unfortunately, Elon Musk is busy with his Free Speech Extremism vision quest, which explains why Tesla stock is in the crapper despite strong sales.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Dec 15, 2022

      @jk: I don't hold any Tesla stock, but my concern is that the automotive industry needs more players, not fewer, so Musk's Twitter ego trip does have an impact. The company really is an extension of him. It performs best when his eyes are on the ball, and that's not what's happening right now.

      Far as the "hate" towards Musk over free speech is concerned, as it turns out he's mainly absolutist about his own speech, not the speech of others (surprise, surprise!), but whatever.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Dec 13, 2022

    Unfortunately you cannot make fools "whole".

  • FreedMike Good looking vehicle. Expensive, though...
  • FreedMike The world should rebel against this by buying nothing but the sedan version. (They won't, because crossover...)
  • Lou_BC " GMC Canyon sales during the second quarter of 2023 kept Big Red’s midsize pickup last in its segment when ranked by sales volume. The Toyota Tacoma continued to command the top spot, while also being the only model to be in the green with a 14 percent bump to 63,262 units year-over-year, representing nearly half of all segment deliveries. The  Chevy Colorado (see running  Chevy Colorado sales), the Canyon’s corporate cousin, placed second with a 12 percent dip to 19,909 units. The Nissan Frontier took third with a 17 percent slide to 17,213 units, followed by the Jeep Gladiator in fourth with a 34 percent drop to 13,751 units. The  Ford Ranger (see running  Ford Ranger sales) took fifth with a 22 percent decline to 12,618 units. The GMC Canyon (see running  GMC Canyon sales) finished out the short list with an 11 percent slip to 6,708 units"
  • 2ACL If you weren't throwing away your Mercedes after the warranty expired, this will fix that. This is an overly complex answer to the AMG question I don't think will endure the test of time.
  • Kwik_Shift Looks like what a redesigned Nissan Murano would be. I believe Murano is done.