A class-action lawsuit strikes Tesla once more after another of their solar roof customers reports them over hiking prices. According to the complainants, the newly filed suit represents everyone affected by the hike in costs against the original agreement. Even though the actual number is not known, the US District Court in the Northern District of California received eight more filed complaints this week, indicating that the number of those distressed on this issue continues to increase significantly.
Allegedly, the company went against California law by altering the agreed prices stated in the contract their clients signed. Most customers described Tesla's changes as a 'classic bait-and-switch.' Furthermore, Homeowners speak out in one voice around the country. The complaints involve access to customer service support, which they claim is even more difficult after the solar roof prices got altered. Notably, the company communicated about raising these prices via emails but failed to engage with their customers' concerns which got emailed back to them.
In a California court, a lawsuit filed by Amans indicates that he prearranged a solar roof for his home, and the agreement shows the expected original amount of $71,662.06. After prices hiked, he got emailed by Tesla that the price quoted for the project has gone up. His account being evidence, the updated amount was $146,462.22. When a representative phoned him later, he claimed that it was due to a business decision.
Therefore, Amans filing this Lawsuit is to push Tesla to honor the original price in the agreement. He also emphasizes that traditional solar panels are different because they sit on top of a cover. Tesla's Solar Roof changes the entire top and comprises tiles that act as solar cells, which means the project was already under construction when they signed the contract. He had already used up money on making modifications to his home in preparation, including clearing trees to limit shade. Hence to call off this project at this point may bear him a loss.
The recent files against Tesla mark the second California lawsuit that seeks class-action status, and Judge Lucy H. Koh is still weighing the option to use the approach that combines the new case with the previous ones. Brian Fitzpatrick, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School and author of "The Conservative Case for Class Actions." He says that combining the cases should be expected as the issues are similar, including that judges may reinvent. He also looks forward to the problems getting merge to form a precise breakthrough process that will enable the judge to determine if the case qualifies for class-action status. However, reviewing the most recent filings, Fitzpatrick doubts that combining the issues will reach recognition in at least a year.
The two cases follow a similar one from a couple in New Hope, Pennsylvania, requiring a class-action status. They state that Service and energy-storage batteries, called Powerwalls, got priced at $78,352.66 from the initial $46,084.80 quoted in the agreement.
Accordingly, Tesla attended to some concerns over this issue, claiming that they made mistakes in the assessment stage of some roofs whose difficulty was over the original quoted price.