Tesla fails to get Model S door handle lawsuit dismissed

A judge has ruled against Tesla’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit regarding alleged defective door handles in certain Model S cars. The lawsuit, initiated by Florida resident John L. Urban, accuses Tesla of equipping its 2014–2016 Model S vehicles with faulty door handles that consistently malfunction after only a few years of regular usage.

As we have previously reported, the crux of the issue revolves around the “auto-present” feature of the Model S door handles, which should automatically extend when a user approaches the car with the key fob. According to Urban and other affected Tesla owners, these door handles stopped functioning as intended, causing inconvenience and potential safety concerns. To address the problem, the lawsuit alleged owners are often required to spend approximately $300 on repairs, particularly when their vehicles are no longer under warranty.

One of the significant safety concerns associated with malfunctioning door handles is that, in the event of an accident, individuals outside the vehicle may struggle to open the doors if the handles remain flush against the car. This could potentially lead to life-threatening situations during emergencies, the plaintiff claims.

Tesla asked to have the lawsuit dismissed entirely, arguing that all the claims were baseless. However, Judge P. Casey Pitts declined to grant Tesla’s motion to dismiss the four California state law claims, indicating that the case had sufficient merit to proceed, reports Car Complaints. Additionally, the judge denied Tesla’s request to halt discovery, allowing the lawsuit to move forward. Warranty claims against Tesla were also permitted to progress in court.

Tesla was however successful in having the plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief dismissed.

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