Tesla Owner Is Suing Tesla Over False Supercharger Claims

Illustration for article titled Tesla Owner Sued Tesla Over False Supercharger Claims

Photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP (Getty Images)

One Tesla owner is suing the company for what he posits as a false claim: he was promised free charging of his EV at Superchargers for life, but he was charged for leaving his car at the station for too long, Bloomberg reports.

Free charging was one of Tesla’s biggest and most attractive promises when it came to adopting electric cars. It was a great way to encourage people to try out the whole EV thing, since they would not only avoid gas costs, but they could avoid charging costs as well.

There was just one problem: if you didn’t return to your Tesla immediately after it had completed charging, you’d be charged a “Supercharger fee,” Kevin Shenkman, the disgruntled Tesla owner, claimed. Here’s a little more from the story:

“To compound the matter, when a customer, such as plaintiff, who has been promised free Supercharging for life, refuses to pay such ‘Supercharger fees,’ Tesla cuts off Supercharging access entirely, thus disabling a feature for which customers paid thousands of dollars extra to obtain,” Shenkman said.

Tesla started charging for the use of its Supercharger network in 2017, but those who had bought vehicles from 2012 to 2016 were exempt.

Shenkman wants compensation, not just for himself but for every other Tesla owner who was charged for the predatory practice. The suit also asks Tesla to stop charging the so-called Supercharger fees altogether.

Tesla didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment.

Interestingly, this suit takes place in California state court in Alameda County, which has jurisdiction over Tesla’s Fremont plant. If you’re familiar with that name, it’s because Tesla sued Alameda County in May of 2020 under the claim that the state was lifting social distancing protocols but would’t let Tesla resume production of its vehicles.

The details of the case are otherwise sparse right now, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the legal system.

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