August 9, 2019- Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C. is currently investigating Tesla, Inc. for allegedly making misleading claims about the safety of their Model 3 vehicles. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a cease and desist letter asking Tesla to stop making these claims about the vehicle’s safety rating.
Tesla Making False Safety Claims
NHTSA’s cease and desist was in response to an October 7, 2018 blog post in which Tesla claimed the agency’s tests showed that the company’s Model 3 had “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested” and was “the safest car ever built.” However, NHTSA said that its crash tests simply measure an overall safety rating out of five stars, and it doesn’t rank vehicles that score the same ratings. Additionally, Tesla’s posts were misleading because they were comparing the ratings of the Model 3 with other vehicles with up to a 250-pound difference in relative weight. NHTSA’s guidelines for the use of its test results in advertising warn that using terms such as “safest” and “perfect” are misleading because of this variation.
The NHTSA has also asked the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to investigate whether Tesla’s statements constitute unfair or deceptive acts, as this is not the first time Tesla has disregarded NHTSA guidelines in order to gain unfair market advantage. NHTSA issued Tesla a similar warning in 2013 when Tesla claimed its Model S achieved a vehicle safety rating of 5.4 stars on a scale that only went up to 5 stars. Since releasing the Model 3 in 2017, Tesla has delivered 375,720 of the vehicles to date.
If you are a current or former owner or lessee of a Tesla Model 3, your vehicle’s safety rating may have been misrepresented to you. If you would like to discuss your legal options, please contact us at 215-238-1700.
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