Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla Owners Are Suing Over . . . Paint?

When automakers encounter a manufacturing defect on the line, they typically issue a recall to assist consumers with making necessary repairs. These concerns typically come at the expense of the automaker as well. Unfortunately, some vehicles present with problems that the manufacturer doesn’t take responsibility for, and the burden then falls on the consumer for resolution. In these instances, vehicle owners sometimes band together and file a class-action lawsuit. Tesla is already feeling the sting of such a lawsuit, and you might be surprised to learn it’s about paint.

How the class-action suit started

The plaintiff, Jean-Francois Bellerose, is the owner of a black, 2019 Tesla Model 3. According to Car Complaints, he began experiencing peeling and chipping of the exterior body paint on his newly purchased Tesla. Believing the paint degradation was premature in his ownership, he contacted Tesla for help, only to be told the paint peeling from the doors and body of his Model 3 would not be covered under warranty.

The failing paint not only detracted from the look of the vehicle but also increased potential exposure to future corrosion and damage. Dissatisfied with the outcome, Bellerose filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court for the District of Montreal in Quebec.

Sometimes, deficiencies in production don’t show themselves until several years after the introductory year. Even then, automakers will usually pony up to issue necessary recalls and cover repairs. In the case of this lawsuit, the prematurely degrading paint problem on the Tesla Model 3 was occurring within six months of purchase.

Tesla paint problems that warrant warranty coverage

RELATED: Tesla Autopilot Technology Killed a Man in Japan, According to This Lawsuit

Jean-Francois Bellerose additionally alleges that these body paint problems are not at all associated with typical wear and tear on a vehicle, and at the very least, should be covered under warranty. The plaintiff faced almost $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses to fix the problems.

He cites in his lawsuit that most Canadian vehicle owners keep their vehicles for upwards of eight years. He also points out that most paint warranty protections are in place for up to three years by manufacturers, a time frame that should be applied in his case with appropriate warranty coverage approvals.

Tesla’s production line problem

Whether the paint problem is due to poor paint quality or a result of the application process thereof, the lawsuit claims several Tesla Model 3 owners have complaints. Tesla has been made well-aware of the concerns, and not only declines warranty coverage for repairs, but it also has yet to issue a recall.

The EV giant has also received a host of bad publicity, including stories featured on television with the TVA in Canada. According to the report, Tesla, at one point, tried to fix the problem by offering rocker panel paint guards to prevent stone chips to the paint.

If you or someone within your circle is a Tesla Model 3 owner with a problematic paint job, consider contacting the officials in this lawsuit. The plaintiff is looking for others to join his class-action movement, with an emphasis on Model 3 owners who weren’t informed prior to purchase about the common complaint.

They are seeking monetary settlements that include either the cost of paint repair or reimbursement of cost differential of the new Model 3 cost and increased depreciation. They are even asking for an extra $500 award for each vehicle owner involved in the suit. It’s unknown yet how things will shake out for Tesla. But some might guess they’re probably wishing they had extended the warranty in the first place.