Tesla has been taken to court in Germany over allegations it sold a damaged car, and attempted to cover it up.

    German website EFahrer reports the owner was made aware of cracks in their Model 3’s underbody after a tyre shop put their car on a hoist.

    When the owner pursued a fix for the damage, a Tesla Service Centre in Berlin allegedly painted over the cracks rather than repairing them.

    The owner alleges Tesla views the damage as cosmetic, and intends to charge him for a full battery pack replacement if he wants the problem solved.

    An independent expert told the Munich District Court the underbody cracks would stop the affected Model 3 from passing an inspection from German vehicle safety assessor, TÜV.

    “Due to the damage found on the lifting profile of the battery housing, a test sticker cannot be assigned to the vehicle presented here as part of the main inspection according to §29 StVZO,” the expert said, as reported by EFahrer.

    The owner, who isn’t named in German reports, has taken Tesla to a Munich court in an attempt to make it replace his damaged car with a new one.

    EFahrer reports there was damage around three of the four mounting points for the car’s lithium-ion battery pack, and alleges the damage was likely caused by a robot during production at the Fremont factory in California.

    “The jacking points are part of the battery housing, and moisture and salt can get into the cracks in the aluminium alloy, especially in winter,” EFahrer says (translated from German).

    “In addition, the Tesla customer has great concerns in terms of stability, lifting his Model 3 with this damage onto a lifting platform the next time the tires are changed. And what about in the event of an accident? A rescue is likely to be problematic, after all, the fire brigade can only lift the vehicle by the jacking points.”

    The Munich Court is expected to hand down its verdict before the end of 2022.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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