Tesla Lashes Out At Michigan Governor’s Lock-Out, Citing ADA Payola And Lobbying

While Tesla is continuing to impress consumers and media outlets with its array of electric cars, especially the recently unveiled Model S P85D, car manufacturers and dealerships are doing their best to prevent the selling of these cars. Now, it appears that it might be time to start adding Michigan to the list of states that has banned the sale of Tesla cars. On October 1, Michigan passed House Bill 5606 that will prohib the sale of the electric car due to a last-minute change to the bill. The sudden change prompted a harsh response from Tesla about this latest attempt to prevent the company from selling its product directly to consumers.

“Not content with enshrining their ability to charge consumers dubious fees, on the last day of the legislative session, the dealers managed to make a last-minute change to the bill in an attempt to cement their broader retail monopoly, “reads the statement from Tesla.

The company went on to talk about how a procedure was used to prevent any debate or knowledge of the changes to be forthcoming from legislators and the public. Tesla went on to point fingers at Senator Joe Hune saying, ““Using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the State. Unsurprisingly, Senator Hune counts the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association as one of his top financial contributors, and his wife’s firm lobbies for the dealers.”

Not only would HB 5606 prevent Tesla from selling its cars directly to consumers but it appears to prohibit the company from even operating a gallery, which would only provide information to customers instead of selling cars, from being opened in the state.

Tesla went on to call these proceedings “anti-competitive” stating, “This anti-competitive behavior mirrors similar tactics in New Jersey and Missouri, where dealers have resorted to backroom political maneuvers to shore up their monopolies. The dark-of-night tactics highlight the dealers’ concerns that their arguments don’t stand up well to public scrutiny.”

Back in April, three officials from the Federal Trade Commission co-wrote a blog post that backed Tesla’s business model of selling directly to consumers. But despite support from various officials, and the public, it doesn’t appear to be enough.

Currently, HB 5606 has yet to be signed into law and is awaiting Governor Rick Snyder’s approval. Tesla is encouraging consumers to “contact the Governor and urge him to veto this legislation and return the issue to the legislature for a full and open debate in 2015.”

What do you think of the situation?