Tesla has filed a lawsuit in Louisiana that if successful would finally allow it to sell its electric vehicles (EVs) directly to consumers in the state. Tesla says the current laws which restricts its ability to do so violates its constitutional rights.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Friday. Named in the lawsuit as defendants are the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, multiple officials on the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission and several dealerships in the state.
According to the lawsuit the defendants collaborated to bring the existing laws and regulations into place in 2017. Those laws and regulations prohibit a vehicle manufacturer from selling their cars directly to consumers, instead requiring a local in-state dealer to do so.
“Louisiana consumers’ freedom is being unduly restricted by protectionist, anticompetitive, and inefficient state regulation and laws,” the lawsuit reads. (via The Wall Street Journal)
Along with prohibiting direct sales, Tesla also argues in their lawsuit that the defendants have attempted to prevent it from leasing its vehicles and operating repair shops in the state. Tesla says there are over 3,000 owners registered in Louisiana adversely affected by this.
Louisiana isn’t the only state where Tesla, and other automakers like Rivian and Lucid, are not allowed to sell their cars directly to consumers. Despite having plunged billions of dollars into the local economy to build Giga Texas, Tesla has to ship their cars made in Texas out of state before they can sell them to consumers in state.
Tesla has also been battling for years to sell its cars directly to consumers in Connecticut. A proposed bill that would overturn the legislation failed to pass the House earlier this year.
The case in Louisiana is 2:22-cv-02982, Tesla Inc. et al v. Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association et al.