Yet again, Tesla has been forced to settle a class action lawsuit over unexpected price hikes. The most recent suit involved the electric car company’s Solar Roof product, which allows customers to replace their roofs with solar panel shingles that can be used to power their homes.
The outlet said the settlement class included 8,636 customers, 6,307 of which ended up canceling their orders when they were hit with sudden upcharges right before the installation of the Solar Roofs was supposed to occur.
One lead plaintiff in the class action saw his Solar Roof price increase from $72,000 to $146,000, according to CNBC, who reported the story.
Tesla founder Elon Musk said in 2021, after the price hikes emerged, that the company made “significant mistakes” with the Solar Roofs as it had not anticipated that it would have a problem “assessing the difficulty of certain roofs” and that the “complexity of roofs varies dramatically.”
According to the filing, out of around 11,000 original customers, around 1,700 had the type of roof that was not so complex that Tesla was forced to raise the price of the product after the contract was signed.
The lawsuit was settled for $6 million.
As of the beginning of 2023, Tesla had installed only 3,000 Solar Roofs, far below its original projections, reported CNBC.
This lawsuit points toward a pattern for Tesla — the company has settled two similar class action lawsuits in the past, in which plaintiffs claimed that automatic software updates to their cars decreased battery ranges dramatically, forcing them to shell out big bucks to replace them. A new Tesla battery would cost customers $15,000, almost half the price of a brand-new car.
Making electric vehicles and solar panels that power people’s homes with clean energy is undoubtedly an excellent thing to do, but attempting to trick customers into paying way more than they agreed to is not.
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