The world’s leading electric autopilot cars manufacturer, Tesla, has been a major figure in the fight against the right to repair movement. But despite opposing many bills that favor the right-to-repair, Tesla has made some improvements over the years in this regard.
So where is Tesla now concerning the right-to-repair? Does it support it? Tesla doesn’t fully support the right to repair, however, it has launched a portal of repair manuals and diagnosis tools for third-party certified shops to access.
One would ask, Will Installing Aftermarket Parts Void My Tesla Warranty? The answer is NO as long as it is installed correctly. What if I fix my Tesla at a local repair shop that isn’t Tesla certified? You will save cash but chances of voiding your warranty will be high.
Tesla is certainly not on the same side with the right-to-repair movement, but there’s more to it. Here’s what we know.
You might also want to educate yourself on the USA Lemon Law, and check this car insurance guide and other guides to winning disputes on AliExpress, Alibaba, Shein, Amazon, Upwork, Freelancer.com, Paypal, and eBay.
Tesla vs. Right to Repair
In 2020, Tesla made headlines for its opposition to Massachusetts’ second Right to Repair bill “Question 1”. The bill, now a law, is an update to Massachusetts’ 2013 Right to Repair law, which required automakers to grant independent repair shops the same access to their repair information and resources as their dealers.
Luckily for Tesla, it doesn’t have any dealerships and sells directly to customers. Thus, Tesla successfully argued that the law doesn’t concern it.
However, the 2020 update concerns Tesla as much as any automaker. It required all automakers to give car owners and independent repair shops access to mechanical data through a mobile-based application.
Tesla urged its users to vote against it due to safety issues. The email said:
“As you go to the polls this fall, Tesla asks that you vote no on Question 1. Tesla has long applied an open source philosophy to our patented intellectual property for electric vehicles … [It] goes well beyond what is necessary to perform this work, and it potentially jeopardizes vehicle and data security. The requirements, pushed by two national auto shop lobbying groups, would make vehicles more vulnerable to cyberattacks and would make successful attacks more harmful.”Tesla
The bill, however, was approved as a law with 74.97% of voters endorsing it, and it’ll be effective in 2022.
Many big manufacturers currently monopolize repair services and require consumers to only use their certified repair centers. They adopt policies that restrict access to repair-related information and penalize third-party or unauthorized repairs. Tesla is hardly an exception.
While Tesla doesn’t fully support the right to repair, it has improved its repair policy over the years.
It has launched a portal of repair manuals and diagnosis tools for third-party repair businesses to access. However, it costs $3000 a year and is only available for Tesla-certified shops.
The catch is, there’s a free, legitimate alternative. Users found that Tesla offers free access to the same repair information on its Chinese service site.
Moreover, there are about 466 Tesla repair centers in 34 countries.
But, what if you want to fix your Tesla at a local repair shop that isn’t Tesla certified?
Well, you can do that. You might save a lot of cash; however, you might risk being denied repairs at Tesla if your car doesn’t meet their safety standards and vehicle specifications.
To recap, when it comes to the right to repair, we can see that its policy is not what the repair movement anticipates. However, it has made improvements that make Tesla cars repair a little bit easier.
Tesla Self-driving Car Insurance
In every self-driving car discussion, obvious insurance-related questions are raised: what about insurance? Who is liable in the case of a crash? Do we need insurance for a self-driving car?
The truth is, there’s no true answer. Self-driving car insurance is a hot topic, especially since Tesla announced its “full self-driving” automation software.
Although this software is far from supporting hands-off driving, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, dreams that a fully autonomous Tesla will be a reality in the future.
According to Yahoo Finance, Tesla’s self-driving cars are still at level 2, with level 5 being full autonomous self-driving cars. So, we might not see driverless cars on highways anytime soon, but how do they affect car insurance?
Well, you might start paying much less on your car insurance. Insurers use your personal credit card, driving history, and geolocation to decide your insurance premium. However, with self-driving cars, these details will be irrelevant.
Moreover, liability for car accidents might fall on your car’s manufacturer. There are no federal safety laws as of now, but some states have their own regulations in this regard. Some states find the driver liable with or without autopilot. Others hold the manufacturers liable for any accidents their self-driving cars cause.
some manufacturers such as Volvo have already announced that they will be responsible for accidents, injuries, and damages caused by their self-driving cars.
Tesla Insurance Policy
Regardless, Tesla has launched its own insurance, which is assumably based on the driving behavior alone and not any of your personal information. It is currently available for users in California and Texas.
It also claims that their insurance is a lot cheaper. It can save drivers 20% to 60% with their insurance compared to third-party insurance companies.
While their insurance policy doesn’t address self-driving cars precisely, it doesn’t exclude them either.
Here’s how Tesla insurance claims work:
In the event of an accident, you must:
- Contact the authorities or emergency
- Take photos of any damages
- Exchange insurance information with the involved parties.
- Contact your insurance adjuster and provide your policy number, the date and address of the accidents, a summary of your losses, and the contact information of the involved parties
Depending on the severity of your damages, you might be able to repair your car at a Tesla Service Center or a Tesla Collision Center.
Tesla Self-driving Car Accident Disputes
Tesla cars have been involved in a number of accidents. In fact, an NHTSA investigation found that Tesla self-driving cars have been involved in 12 accidents leaving 17 injuries and one death since 2018.
Moreover, according to Tesla’s Q2 report of 2021, they registered one accident for every 4.41 million miles driven using autopilot compared to one accident for 1.2 million miles driven without an autopilot.
So what should you do if you find yourself involved in a car accident, and how to dispute fault?
As stated before, different states have different regulations concerning self-driving cars, so taking that into consideration is very important in the event of an accident.
So if you get into an accident while your car is on autopilot, you must get the authorities involved. You should involve road safety agencies such as the NTSB and NHTSA for an in-depth investigation.
If Tesla’s autopilot is proven to be on at the time of the accident, you might be off the hook, and even better, your damages will be compensated.
This is especially the case if you were co-driving with the autopilot and a defect in the autopilot software caused the accident. You will be able to sue Tesla for any damages you suffered.
However, if your self-driving car accident left pedestrian victims, things might get very complicated. Depending on your state’s laws, you might be held responsible and liable for the damages.
Much worse, you might be facing a punitive damages claim in addition to physical and emotional damages.
Punitive damages are damages caused by drivers’ deliberate neglect and disregard for human life. This is because Tesla warns its users that its self-driving software is not fully autonomous, and it requires them to manually drive their cars regardless.
Tesla has a history of blaming drivers involved in self-driving car accidents. In the lawsuits filed against it, Tesla denied any responsibility or liability for drivers’ lack of responsibility and attention.
The lack of clarity concerning the regulations makes self-driving car disputes very complicated. Yet, it allows a multitude of options for the involved parties in the dispute.
When it comes to the right to repair, Tesla is reserving most of it to itself and its certified centers. While you will not face any complications if you repair your Tesla car by yourself or in an uncertified shop, it’s still a hit or miss.
That is because Tesla limits access to its repair information and tools, so it’s possible that only they can fix your car. However, there’s an undeniable improvement in this regard compared to the previous years.
Part of Tesla’s constant improvement is their insurance program, which is assumably a lot cheaper and offers different plans.
Interestingly, they still refuse to be held liable for self-driving car accidents, especially ones that result in injuries or deaths.