A proposed class action alleges that certain Tesla models have defective door handles.
Proposed class representative John Urban seeks to represent a nationwide class of purchasers and lessees of 2014-2016 Model S Tesla vehicles. He contends they are defective because they have door handles that “routinely fail after or within only a few years of normal use.”
As alleged in the complaint, the door handles in the subject vehicles are unlike most other vehicles in that they are flush with the doors when they are not in use, and they are designed to automatically detect an approaching individual and present themselves so the individual can open them via a motorized mechanism. Within years of normal usage, such detection and/or motorized mechanisms have a high likelihood of no longer working.
When the door handles fail, Urban claims, the inability to enter through that door “creates a significant safety risk in emergency situations.” He contends Tesla knew or should have known of the alleged defect through avenues including vehicle testing.
The lawsuit raises claims under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and breach of warranty under California law. It seeks remedies including damages and attorney fees.
Currently, the case is set for an initial case management conference on March 16, 2023 and is still in the early stages of a class action lawsuit.
The case is John L. Urban v. Tesla Inc., d/b/a Tesla Motors, Inc., case number 5:22-cv-07703, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.