Tesla responds to D.C. businessman’s complaints

on Aug19

Alain Cohen with one of his three Teslas.

Tesla Inc. has responded to comments made in a Tuesday guest blog on the Automotive News website by Washington, D.C., businessman Alain Cohen. 

Cohen, a self-described Tesla fan, filed a lawsuit against Tesla in Fairfax County, Va., claiming that he encountered several problems with his Tesla. He wrote that Tesla was not responsive to his need for timely repair work. He contends his experience signaled that Tesla was losing its way with its loyal customers. 

On Thursday, Tesla issued this statement in response to Cohen’s comments: 

Tesla consistently achieves the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any auto manufacturer because we do everything we can to ensure owners have the best possible experience. Our philosophy is to work closely with a customer to resolve issues if they are encountered, however we will also strongly defend ourselves against claims that are unjust or lack merit. We have this same philosophy for every customer because we believe that all customers should be treated equally well. This is a matter of basic fairness.

All of the issues mentioned by this customer have long ago been fixed under warranty, at no expense to the customer, to the extent that repairs have been requested and are appropriate. The only exceptions are the seat, which we have been trying to install for many months, but the customer has chosen not to bring in the car to have it replaced, and the Bluetooth, which we have confirmed is operating correctly. Even though there are no remaining issues with his car, the customer has demanded a new vehicle, plus an additional cash payment. These demands are simply unreasonable.

Cohen, who was co-founder and president of OPNET Technologies, a Nasdaq traded company until it was sold for $1 billion in 2012, then issued this statement:

In the process of trying to have the car seat repaired, I did NOT ask for a new car in lieu of having the car seat fixed! I think my emails to the company and all the documentation in the lawsuit shows that I was just asking for the seat to be repaired in a timely manner. Nor did I ask for an additional cash payment. What they are saying is simply false.

I think they are probably referring to a dialog they had with my attorney where they asked “what do I want” to settle the case. That is an entirely separate question because it is what I asked for once things had to escalate to this extreme point of legal action. Also, those were not the demands in the lawsuit. They asked for a list that would “make things right” at this point. I also asked for an apology and a commitment to a 72 hour response time in the future for my service inquiries. 

The notion that I have not brought my car in despite their request is false. I have not received any notices from them that they are ready to install the replacement seat is false. If that were true why didn’t their attorney mention it to my attorney when they spoke. The last contact I had with them was with Mr. Alberto Cortinas (the most senior person I spoke with) who promised to fix the problem promptly, and then subsequently did not return any of my emails or calls. I haven’t received calls, emails, and nor has my assistant.



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