Tesla faces a firestorm of controversy after a report that regulators are looking into a possible defect with the suspension in the Model S. However, it was another detail accompanying the report about the suspension that grabbed the public’s attention. The driver whose Tesla had the suspension problem reported that the automaker had him sign a goodwill agreement to keep him from talking about future problems with his car.
Now a law firm is advising Tesla owners not to sign any agreements.
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Tesla owners advised not to sign agreements
Hagens Berman, a law firm known for filing a lot of class-action lawsuits against companies, issued a press release on Monday stating that it is investigating the report that Tesla requires owners of its cars to sign an agreement to remain silent about defects and repairs on their vehicles. The law firm said it is also looking into whether the automaker asks owners to waive all claims against it in exchange for paying for repairs.
The firm warns Tesla owners that signing any non-disclosure agreement that keeps them from discussing problems with their cars may put their rights in jeopardy. It is currently investigating the language of the agreement in question and said that the EV maker isn’t the only automaker to do something like this. It said Toyota and General Motors have “bought back defective cars and entered gag agreements with owners of the vehicles, effectively trying to erase any evidence” as well.
According to the press release, the goodwill agreement Tesla asks owners to sign states that they agree to states in part:
“You agree to keep confidential our provision of the Goodwill, the terms of this agreement and the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill. In accepting the Goodwill, you hereby release and discharge Tesla and related persons or entities from any and all claims or damages arising out of or in any way connected with any claims or incidents leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill.”
Tesla spars with blogger over suspension reports
Tesla sparred with the blogger who originally reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was investigating a report of problems with the suspension on the Model S. The automaker said no official investigation was ever opened and even went so far as to attack the blogger and suggest that he may be one of the many investors who have sold Tesla shares short.
Tesla also tried to defend the goodwill agreement Hagens Berman is investigating, stating that it isn’t meant to keep owners from discussing problems with regulators.
Tesla shares climbed by as much as 2.41% to $220.66 during regular trading hours on Monday.