Attack against Tesla : HUTZPAH

Automotive News publisher attacks Tesla over safety —
Ignores dealers who oppose having to perform safety recall repairs

“Musk Can Run, but he can’t hide,” writes Automotive News publisher Keith Crain, whose publication caters to auto dealers. Crain echoes the sentiments of auto dealers, who have mounted an aggressive campaign in an attempt to force Tesla to sell vehicles through dealership networks, where they can get a cut of the profits and subject Tesla customers to a wide variety of shady practices that further line the dealers’ pockets.

In his editorial, Crain questions whether Tesla has the ability to perform safety recalls on its cars — which so far have not even been subject to a safety recall.

He writes: “If and when, and it’s bound to be when in my opinion, his car is recalled — if not for the three Model S fires since October 1, it will be something else — he’s going to find it increasingly difficult to take care of all his customers in a timely manner. …I doubt that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will allow just anyone to repair a recalled Tesla or let the company ship parts to customers and tell them to install the replacements at their leisure.” (Automotive News: Musk car run, but he can’t hide,” by Keith Crain, Nov. 25, 2013.) Crain implies that Tesla, like other auto manufacturers, should depend on auto dealers to do the safety recall repairs.

What he conveniently fails to write is that auto dealers are aggressively opposing legislation in Washington DC and Sacramento that would require them to get unsafe, recalled rental cars or used cars fixed, before renting or selling them to consumers. A glaring fact that Automotive News has apparently forgotten.

As numerous national and local news organizations have reported, dealers have been caught time and time again selling unsafe, recalled vehicles to unsuspecting used car buyers without bothering to fix them first — even when the repairs are free.

Sample news report: Today Show finds recalled used cars for sale on dealer lots

Unless and until auto dealers show that they actually do place a priority on their customers’ safety, including sales or rentals of recalled cars, they don’t deserve to sell Teslas. They have shown over and over again that they simply can’t be trusted not to sell their customers unsafe cars, knowing full well that the safety recall repairs have not been performed.

Bottom line:  Elon Musk and Tesla are wise to avoid trusting dealers to ensure that recalled cars are safe.

Read more:

Auto dealers oppose rental car safety legislation in Washington, DC

Auto dealers oppose used car safety legislation in Sacramento, CA

Automotive News Editorial: “Musk can run, but he can’t hide”






Car dealers block Tesla from competing in Texas

Electric car manufacturer Tesla won raves from Consumer Reports. It snagged Car & Driver’s Car of the Year award. It earned top marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in crash test results. Plus — the company inspires loyalty among its customers bordering on fanaticism. So who could possibly want to block it from selling its cars?

Car dealers. In a remarkable culture clash, the new-age California-based company is being hammered by politically connected mega-dealers accustomed to padding their profits by engaging in a whole range of shady practices that harken back to horse-trading days.

In the latest skirmish, auto dealers succeeded in barring Tesla from being able to sell its popular cars in one of the nation’s largest car markets — the state of Texas.

One interesting analysis of Why Tesla lost the battle to car dealers in Texas

Tesla earns best crash test ratings — ever

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that the Tesla Model S earned a 5-star rating — in each crash configuration — front, side, rear, and rollover.

The agency’s testing also showed that the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants, based on specific scoring.

According to Tesla, the vehicle’s unique design creates major injury-prevention advantages. The California-based automaker explained, “The Model S has the advantage in the front of not having a large gasoline engine block, thus creating a much longer crumple zone to absorb a high speed impact. This is fundamentally a force over distance problem – the longer the crumple zone, the more time there is to slow down occupants at g loads that do not cause injuries.”

The sedan’s low center of gravity and the mid-mount position of the battery pack also make the vehicle remarkably stable and unlikely to tip over, particularly when compared with SUVs and minivans with much higher centers of gravity.

Despite its stellar safety performance, Tesla still faces an uphill battle with auto dealers, who seek to force the company to stop selling vehicles directly to the public, instead of making its customers spend an average of 4 hours at a car dealership in order to drive a Tesla home.


Car dealers sue to keep car buyers captive, attack Tesla

Ever wonder why you can’t just order a new car over the internet, directly from the manufacturer? Then pick it up at the factory, or a local showroom, like people do in Europe? It’s because U.S. auto dealers have used their political muscle to get laws passed in all 50 states that give them a special monopoly. Those state franchise laws insulate them from having to compete with manufacturers for your business.

Car dealers got the laws enacted because they know that, given a choice, most car buyers would never subject themselves to the typical car-buying experience.

Car dealers are now attacking electric car manufacturer Tesla in court and in state legislatures, seeking to bar the company from selling its highly-praised electric vehicles directly to the public. Tesla is wise to be wary of auto dealers. As a group, auto dealers are throwbacks to the era of horse-trading. They have been among the most aggressive opponents of advances in fuel economy standards. They also have a long history of opposing mandates to produce electric vehicles.

Car dealers repeatedly sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeking to block higher fuel economy standards. They waged all-out war against improved fuel economy in Congress. The end result, of course, was that when the price of gas rose, the value of their gas-guzzling products tanked, leaving their customers upside down in their overpriced loans. Then we bailed them out, at taxpayer expense, including the $3 billion they got from “Cash for Clunkers.”

Plus auto dealers commonly engage in a laundry list of shady or downright illegal practices that add billions onto the price of financing cars — hard-earned money that could be spent to get a newer, safer, cleaner car.

Think you might like to have the freedom to buy directly from a manufacturer someday?  Now it’s only a pipe dream for car buyers in most states — unless you’re willing to travel to Europe — but someday it may become reality here in the U.S.

Read more: National Public Radio report