Tesla Service Ban Texas

Tesla Service Ban Texas

electrek dot co/2019/03/16/tesla-service-ban-texas/

Just ordered my Model 3 AWD. I hope this does not pass. It would suck not to have a service center in Texas.
What the hell Texas. I thought we were cool.

teeonemillion | 18 mars 2019

I sent an email as well. We must not let this bill pass. This is BAD for Texas. Ridiculous! How does someone even think this is rational.

bedoig | 18 mars 2019

Looks like you're right in that it's not run by Tesla. Seems to be a public affairs firm (Capital Results), but I'm still assuming Tesla engaged them because the Tesla Policy team sent me that way at the start of the legislative session (general encouragement for opening up Texas to direct sales) and again just today with this service nonsense.

Earl and Nagin ... | 18 mars 2019

Don't forget to send notes to your own elected officials as well as those on the list. Your officials need your vote at the next election.
Tesla tends to hire local consultants (lobbyists) where they need to fight. It makes sense that this might be set up by them. They may also enlist support from Tesla owners in Texas to appear before the legislature or committees.

vishious911 | 18 mars 2019

Emails are great, don't get me wrong! But public shaming them on Twitter is what I think these shameless, greedy hobags need! Someone already started this thread..maybe Kelly Hancock already muted it. But still worth a shot!

M3phan | 18 mars 2019

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said this, ironically (use this to our advantage!): Greg Abbott@GregAbbott_TX, Mar 14
“Texas--the Oil & Gas leader of America--is 2nd in nation for clean energy jobs. There are more than 230,000 workers in solar, wind and energy efficiency jobs throughout Texas.”
Ok, so the way to keep up this good work he praises is to embrace Tesla not abandon/exile them!!!

DAlexModel3 | 18 mars 2019

If the law passes, and Tesla has to work with an independent dealership network, it should finance it with an additional line item on the bill of sale entitled something like "Corruption in Texas Fee" so buyers know why they are paying a higher price than those from other states.

Rjk | 18 mars 2019

@rxlawdude the teslafortexas site posted above is sponsored and promoted by Tesla’s policy team. Was invited to an official Tesla event last year in Dallas where it was shared Also just got an email from Tesla policy team directing me there for the latest bill.

Aridala | 19 mars 2019

I'm curious to know what this bill would mean for the superchargers in Texas if it were to be passed.

bj | 19 mars 2019

The concept that a state legislature would only sit only once every 2 years is truly bizarre to me.

Thrillion | 19 mars 2019

Silent EV "March" on the capital anyone?
I'm willing to make the drive to Austin from SE Texas.
Would love to make a spectacle and show off the cars, make some news, some more hype.
Any Tesla Owners of Texas organizers that can head this up?

OCModel3 | 19 mars 2019

It should be interesting how this plays out in Texas' marketing to convince companies to relocate to Texas because of "reduced regulatory burden." Please bring your workers with you, but if they have Tesla's, tell them they are not welcome in the Lone Star State. We want burden your business with environment-protecting rules, but we will regulate the types of cars you can buy and service here!

Texas has specifically targeted California, which is where most of the M3's were sold in 2018. Employers seeking to relocate employees may have to add a Tesla buyback perk to those they want to move to Texas. Hopefully this corrupt, anti-competitive rule blows up in Texas' face.

TexasBob | 19 mars 2019

The entire thing is beyond outrageous! Best to send snail-mail letters to your senators and representatives referencing Senate Bill 1415 and House Bill 2940. Snail-mail gets more attention than email.

BTW it is Rep Geren - former secretary of the army in the GW Bush administration - who is sponsoring HB2940. Long-time "free market" conservative. See what a little money can buy you!

ssewell | 19 mars 2019

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that the content in 501.002 (c)(1) is clarifying the limitations of manufacturers, specifically that they cannot own interest nor operate a "dealer" (neither franchised nor nonfranchised). Isn't Tesla exempt from this, since they are not a "dealer" in Texas?

Dealer is legally defined in the Texas transportation code 503.001 (4): "Dealer" means a person who regularly and actively buys, sells, or exchanges vehicles at an established and permanent location. The term includes a franchised motor vehicle dealer, an independent motor vehicle dealer, an independent mobility motor vehicle dealer, and a wholesale motor vehicle dealer.

Senator Kelly's office posted this yesterday:

IANAL... just trying to understand the true impact here.

rxlawdude | 19 mars 2019

@Rjk, thanks for the info. It makes sense that a lobbying firm working for Tesla would actually be the domain owner (in this case, actual owner is masked).

I'm still trying to comport the letter from Sen. Kelly's office and the plain text of the bill.

Needsdecaf | 19 mars 2019

The bill does NOT ban Tesla from servicing it's vehicles. People need to stop saying that. It makes your claim and your understanding of the issue seem less legitimate.

The bill was originally drafted to benefit Berkshire Hathaway, who seeks to manufacture RV's in Texas and also holds owning interests in multiple dealerships. This is currently illegal. What this bill does, on the face of it, is allow a manufacturer to build an apple, but sell an orange, to use the Senator's analogy. It defines the different classes of vehicles and then only prohibits the practice above for manufacturers making the same type of vehicle that they wish to sell. So Ford could own a bunch of Kubota tractor dealerships, if it likes, but can't own a Ford dealership.

Nonethelss, the bill contains language that is very dangerous to Tesla. It opens the door to ban Tesla from servicing their cars. How? The bill:

Define what a manufacturer is
Define that people working for a manufacturer, or on behalf of a manufacturer, are considered to be synonmyous with the manufacturer
Adds additional detail to the definition of a dealership as "the business of which includes buying, selling, exchanging, servicing, or repairing the same type of motor vehicle that the manufacturer or distributor manufactures or distributes"
And finally, prohibits a dealership from acting in the capacity of a dealership.

Ergo, it would then be possible to sue Tesla on the grounds that it's mobile technicians are acting on behalf of the manufacturer, and therefore Tesla the manufacturer is acting in the capacity of a dealership. Something that they are not allowed to do.

So no, this legislation does not directly prevent Tesla from doing anything. It just opens the door for them to be sued and their operations be shut down if that's what the judge finds.

rxlawdude | 19 mars 2019

A distinction without a difference.

twistedskipper | 19 mars 2019

@bj: Off-topic, but since you brought it up, here’s some info on state legislatures meeting less than annually:

ILoveMyModel3 | 19 mars 2019

I live in Texas and Texas can be a pain in the ass at times. I used the link sent from Tesla and sent letters to the following

Governor Greg Abbott
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
State Senator Kelly Hancock
State Senator Robert Nichols
State Senator Donna Campbell
State Senator Brandon Creighton
State Senator Jose Menendez
State Senator Angela Paxton
State Senator Charles Schwertner
State Senator John Whitmire
State Senator Judith Zaffirini

bj | 19 mars 2019

@twistedskipper - off topic but interesting. I wonder how anything gets done with only one session per year, let alone one every other year. In my country, state legislatures meet many times per year. My home state has 9 legislative sitting sessions per year. To do that in Texas would take 18 years. Hence my bewilderment!

LostInTx | 19 mars 2019

Guys, this will never pass. There's no way. Kelly Hancock is a hack who's losing support every day in the Texas Legislature.

And Red, for the couple years I've been on this forum, you've referred to the legislative body in Texas as the "Texas State Assembly". It's the Texas Legislature, made up of the House and Senate bodies.

Anyway, Hancock won't win his next election because Dallas County is becoming progressively progressive, i.e.: Democrat. His popularity in Tarrant County (Fort Worth) won't save him next time around.

Fear not, my friends. This one is DOA.

TexasBob | 19 mars 2019

The email from Tesla:
Hi --

Recently, Senate Bill 1415 and House Bill 2940 were filed with the intent to restrict Tesla service centers in Texas. These bills want to ban a manufacturer’s ability to provide vehicle service to customers directly and could therefore limit customers’ access to service in Texas.

If you believe Texas should not prohibit your right to choose where you service your vehicles, please take a few minutes to contact your legislator and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 1415 and House Bill 2940.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best Regards,
Karen Steakley, Tesla Policy Team

OCModel3 | 19 mars 2019

I truly hope LostInTX is correct. I've been to Austin a lot and Dallas several times and have seen a fair number of Teslas, so I have to believe there would be a lot of outrage if this went through. And for the state's reputation for supposedly being pro-business, it is just laughable that a select group of dinosaurs who are in denial could get something like this passed.

Keep up the letter writing Texans...every little bit helps.

alexftsl | 19 mars 2019

Nothing quite says “we’d rather not compete” like furthering regulatory capture.

M3phan | 19 mars 2019

Broader party platforms aside, Tesla knows no party. Plenty of republicans and democrats alike love their Tesla’s.

alexftsl | 19 mars 2019

@M3phan, no doubt. Still unfortunate to see people working so hard to stop things getting better.

burdogg | 19 mars 2019

Its all about special interest groups and money - and unfortunately - our whole system now is about money - the minute the supreme court ruled in favor of Super PACs...the we the people went down the drain and now it is who has the most money - they take control and sway whoever they can with all that election money.

myemel | 19 mars 2019

Time to donate to the campaign opponents of anti-tesla legislators.

nwfan | 19 mars 2019

@LostinTx, he's my State Senator. I live in Ft Worth.
During the last U.S. Senate Race Tarrant County shocked me
by voting for BETO. I hope your predication holds true and I have
someone else filling his State Senate chair.

I've responded to both Hancock and my State Rep Klick over this issue.
I've written to Gov Abbott as well. Hope your correct LostinTx and
this bill does not become State Law.

cbmilehigh | 20 mars 2019

Tesla could partner with a dealership like AutoNation. The dealership could charge a fixed price for handling and prepping the cars for delivery to the customer

jordanrichard | 20 mars 2019

Tesla just needs to hold a press conference and out all of the people involved with this bill. Politicians are like cockroaches, they don't like the light shinning on them when they are being sneaky.

I have been telling the Tesla reps here in CT that they have been play too nice. It is now 5 years they have tried to get a law passed and never do they debunk any of the BS the dealers are saying.

Earl and Nagin ... | 20 mars 2019

I agree that an aggressive stance might be nice, however, don't get into a gunfight with only a knife.
See my statement previously about the kind of reception you can expect from the press.
You can't count on the press helping out here.

dcinnh | 20 mars 2019

Good luck to you folks in Texas. We don't have any Tesla presence at all here in NH. Thankfully we're a small state and MA isn't too far away. And it was strictly the Automobile Dealers Association that pushed the law through to keep Tesla out.

geedub1023 | 22 mars 2019

3/22 UPDATE: I just received an email from Representative Lyle Larson which was a response to my shotgun email to several politicians here in Texas (per the link provided by Tesla). Here's what it said:

"Thank you for your email regarding Senate Bill 1415 and House Bill 2940. Your willingness to share your thoughts with me is greatly appreciated.

You may be interested to see this statement from the senate bill's author, Kelly Hancock. According to Senator Hancock, SB 1415 won't impact how cars from any manufacturer are serviced and repaired.

Please know we will continue to seek your input should these bills reach the House floor for a vote.

Lyle Larson"

Here is the "meat" from Senator Hancock's statement:

"The intent of SB 1415 is to reduce over-regulation of vehicle manufacturers in Texas.
Specifically, it adds 'of the same type' to existing statutory references to franchise dealer
activities to clarify that an auto manufacturer that grows apples can sell oranges, so-tospeak. While not a full-blown direct auto sales bill, which I have authored in the past, it's a step in the free market direction.
"Quite a while back we began working in good faith with all concerned stakeholders on belts and-suspenders language that would clarify any misinterpretations in future versions of the bill. Bottom line: SB 1415 won't impact how cars from any manufacturer are serviced and repaired. The misinformation and misreporting that occurred over the past few days without even reaching out to our office regarding the intent or current status of the legislation is,frankly, the definition of fake news."

This is positive news even though I don't trust politicians unless their lips aren't moving! ;) Geedub1023

jgeiss | 22 mars 2019

If Senator Hancock is to be believed about "won't impact how cars from any manufacturer are serviced and repaired" then it should be a simple matter to strike the word "SERVICE" from the proposed bill. I'm assuming no one in Texas is canceling their Model 3 orders over this?

P.S. Yes, Texas is cool, even if some of the legislation is backwards and "old money".

vmulla | 22 mars 2019

The wrong kind of Alamo.

Here's my thought - I'm sorry for the current Tesla owners of Texas. However, over the long run this is a GOOD thing. Every major change in history had some serious near-insurmountable resistance, and Texas might play that role for EVs in USA. Imagine how phenomenal it will be when Texas caves to EVs when Texas is brought into the fold.

Tesla is battling Texas on fronts - resistance to EVs in an oil-rich state, and resistance to free-market principles. It is inevitable that it will fold.

jgeiss | 22 mars 2019

vmulla: Ditto!

geedub1023 | 22 mars 2019

Agree with you vmulla. I'm a Tesla owner in Texas. I'm not worried in the least. Tequila and EVs for everyone!

TexasBob | 22 mars 2019

Will surprise no one that two of Hancock's largest donors are GM and Gulf States Toyota billionaire Friedkin.

To all of those "it will be fine don't worry" folks, Stephen Pace from Teslarati does a good job explaining why the language is very problematic:

"I would like to clarify this story because it was initially confusing to me as well. SB 1415, as proposed, defines acting in the capacity of dealer as “...the business of which includes buying, selling, exchanging, servicing, or repairing...” and adds that definition to subsection 2301.476 of the Occupations Code in an attempt to make it explicit that manufacturers are prohibited from this work. By adding the language to this subsection specifically, the intent is to add warranty repairs to the definition of acting in the capacity of a dealer, and effectively force Tesla to close its service centers. Worse, if the DMV decided that "over the air updates" were considered a service or warranty repair, those could potentially be prohibited as well."

So, my fellow Texans, WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! I sent out 3 snail mail letters this week in addition to emails.

jhandel | 15 mai 2019

Looks like this bill is now out of committee and will be up for consideration? (looks like May 16th??)

So I guess we will know more tomorrow how close we are to losing service and support for thousands of Texas Teslas

M3phan | 15 mai 2019

The bill was rewritten last month to allow Tesla servicing.