We generally just try to report on the story here at CleanTechnica, rather than be the story, but I guess that sometimes it simply can’t be helped. Case in point: the Connecticut Auto Dealers Association recently put together a new anti-Tesla website referencing CleanTechnica content — rather out of context, to my eyes, though.
This “Tesla Crash” website — which is exactly what it sounds like — has of course referred to, among other things, our coverage of the rather high repair costs for a Model S that received what seems to be minor damage in an accident. Possibly a legitimate issue for some, which is why we covered the subject, but it should be stated up front that surveying strongly suggests that it’s not an issue for many — as Tesla was actually just rated by Consumer Reports as possessing the highest repair satisfaction in the industry, better than independent repair shops and dealerships.
The fact that Tesla’s electric vehicle repairs are relatively expensive isn’t exactly surprising, as the vehicles are themselves quite expensive — and are of a novel design as compared to industry standards, necessitating specific skills/experience. While there may (or may not) be some issues with graft as concerning Tesla-certified body shops, and a lack of competition — as discussed in our earlier article — that doesn’t really have anything to do with Tesla’s direct sales model.
And, for that matter, graft is an issue with nearly all body shops — certainly not just Tesla-certified ones. Again, consider that Tesla dominated the recent Consumer Reports survey concerning customer repair satisfaction.
Connecticut native (and writer for CleanTechnica + Gas2) Chris DeMorro provides some thoughts:
What’s more, the President of the CT Auto Dealers Association Jim Fleming can’t even get basic facts straight, stating there are just a “handful” of Tesla owners in Connecticut, when in fact there are over 500. Where I come from, 500 is a lot more than a handful, and he then goes on to compare Tesla to Yugo. Yes, yes he did. He also says consumer protections would be lost. What consumer protections Jim? Specifics here, because so far in my experience, going to a car dealership is nothing but negative. If I never have to buy a car from a dealer again, I’ll die a happy man.
But maybe I am being unfair to Connecticut car dealers? I mean, if they’re serious about selling plug-in cars, surely they’ve helped craft the sorts of laws proven to encourage EV ownership? They sure did…for themselves! Yes, the car dealer lobby convinced legislators to award the automaker that sells the most plug-in cars, instead of offering consumers a rebate or tax credit like so many other states do. Our charging infrastructure is pretty pathetic too, consisting mostly of singular Level 2 charging stations located on college or government campuses. So what exactly are the benefits for plug-in car buyers in Connecticut?
From the state’s own website: “Electric vehicles have an annual registration fee of $19, a savings of $47 over the registration of a conventional vehicle!”
And that’s it. That’s the environment car dealers have created for plug-in vehicles in Connecticut. What a bunch of clowns.
You know Jim, maybe if Connecticut’s car dealers had done more than create an award for themselves, I’d be inclined to say hey, maybe we should let them sell Tesla vehicles the way they want to sell them.
Lmao. 😀 You can only talk like that about a place after having lived there for a long time.
Perhaps I’m wrong to think this, but there’s really something rather comical to my mind about many of the dealership associations’ efforts to fight Tesla (like the “Get the Facts” campaign). They are in such an indefensible position to my eyes, after so many decades of people having no option other than to get ripped off by some scummy sort at a dealership, who’s really going to side with them against direct sales?
It seems like it’s just a matter of time — though, corrupt politicians and a dysfunctional legislative system can no doubt aid in delaying that inevitability. For some time anyways, not forever…
Image Credit: Public Domain
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