A new lawsuit from a former employee claims that Tesla knowingly sold faulty cars that they referred to as “lemons” to the public.
The Verge reports that electric car manufacturer Tesla has been accused by a former employee of knowingly selling defective vehicles referred to as “lemons” to customers. Adam Williams worked as a regional manager at Tesla’s New Jersey branch in 2011. Williams has since filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) claiming that after reporting the sale of defective vehicles to his superiors at Tesla, he was demoted and eventually let go from the company.
Williams claims that during his time at Tesla, he watched the company fail “to disclose to consumers high-dollar, pre-delivery damage repairs” before delivering them to customers. Williams claims that these vehicles were sold under the pretense that they were “used,” or were listed as “demo/loaner” vehicles. Tesla has outright denied that Williams has any case whatsoever against the company saying in a statement:
There’s no merit to this lawsuit. Mr. Williams’ description of how Tesla sells used or loaner vehicles is totally false and not how we do things at Tesla. It’s also at odds with the fact that we rank highest in customer satisfaction of any car brand, with more owners saying they’d buy a Tesla again than any other manufacturer. Mr. Williams was terminated at Tesla for performance reasons, not for any other reason.
Williams alleges that shortly after informing his supervisor of the issue, as well as Lenny Peake, Tesla’s East Coast Regional Manager, and Jerome Guillen, a Vice President at the company, he was demoted to the position of service manager at the Springfield, New Jersey, Tesla store. Later in the year, he was demoted again to the position of “mobile manager” before being fired entirely in September of 2017.
Williams believes that he was fired for reporting Tesla’s allegedly illegal practices and as a result should be protected under CEPA’s whistleblower protection act. The whistleblower act was put in place in New Jersey to prevent retaliation by employers against employees who report, object to or otherwise disagree with company actions that the employee believes to be illegal.
Williams full lawsuit can be found here.