BOSTON — Tesla Motors won dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA), which sought to bar the electric-vehicle manufacturer from conducting sales on its behalf within the state.
The association claimed that the company-owned store and service center model was in violation of state regulations for a Class-1 dealer license. But a Superior Court judge dismissed the case based upon the auto dealers' lack of standing and failure to state a claim. Last fall, the same judge denied a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction requested by the state dealer association.
"We are delighted by the outright dismissal of this case and the validation that we are operating our business in compliance with the laws and expectations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO. "We are confident that other states will also come to this same conclusion and look forward to following through on our commitment to introduce consumers to electric vehicle technology in an open, friendly, no-pressure environment."
The MSADA is also pursuing a lawsuit it filed against individuals sitting on the Town of Natick’s Board of Selectmen, a group of elected officials who oversee the town. The board had issued in December a Class-1 Dealer License to Tesla to operate a retail outlet there.
"We think this subsequent lawsuit is a very unfortunate action taken by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association against a group of individual citizens who thoroughly reviewed our request for a Class 1 Dealer License and thoughtfully made a decision that was both legal and in the best interests of the citizens of Natick. We look forward to supporting the Board of Selectmen in this case," said Musk.
Automotive News reports that the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association is currently debating whether to appeal the ruling. A lawsuit against Tesla’s franchise operations is also pending in the state of New York.
A representative from the MSADA was not immediately available for comment.