Tesla faces class action lawsuit over Model 3 paint issues in cold weather

Tesla is facing a new class-action lawsuit over paint issues on Model 3 vehicles in cold weather with owners seeking financial compensation.

In places with tough winters where they use salt and sand on the road, some Model 3 owners have reported surprisingly fast paint degradation at the bottom of their cars – as pictured above.

Like with other cars, Tesla Model 3 owners turned to aftermarket products like Xpel paint protection film and even mud flaps.

Tesla has somewhat acknowledged the issue since they offered the “All-Weather Protection Kit” for free to owners in colder climates:

“In certain regions where heavy salt, sand, or gravel is used to improve winter road conditions, we’re providing the All-Weather Protection Kit to help protect your paint from stone chips — at no cost. Instructions for self-installation are included.”

The issue has especially been a problem in Québec, Canada where there are many Model 3 owners thanks to the local EV incentives and cheap electricity.

A local Model 3 owner, Jean-François Bellerose, decided to start a class-action lawsuit against Tesla because they refused to repair his paint issues.

The lawsuit states that Bellerose noticed some accelerated paint deterioration on his less-than-a-year-old Model 3 last February after going through its first winter.

He contacted Tesla about the problem, but the automaker refused to fix the issue under warranty.

The Model 3 owner went to a body shop and he was quoted $4,700 to fix the paint and corrosion at the bottom of his car.

After several attempts to have Tesla address the issue, he decided to file a complaint against the automaker.

They are now seeking more Model 3 owners with the same issue to participate in the lawsuit.

In the class action, they are asking for Tesla to pay the difference between the price of the car and the diminished value due to the paint issues, which would basically add up to the cost of fixing the issue, and an extra $500 to every owner affected.

Here’s the lawsuit in full (in French):

[scribd id=464502349 key=key-8stTTLkyjOvzt8sInMpg mode=scroll]

Electrek’s Take

I understand that paint deterioration and corrosion can be affected by the specific use of the vehicle in some different road conditions.

That said, I don’t think it’s normal for a car to see significant paint degradation within a year of usage and that’s what many Model 3 owners are reporting in Quebec and other cold-weather markets.

Legally, I am not sure if Tesla is in the right here, but ethically, I think they should do more to help those owners than the free “All-Weather Protection Kit”

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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