New Jersey auto dealer association complaint against Tesla dismissed
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In September 2019, the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR) filed a complaint against both Tesla and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, alleging that Tesla was unlawfully operating more than the 4 manufacturer-owned sales locations authorized. It further alleged that the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) failed to enforce dealership franchising laws.
In New Jersey, all new vehicles must be sold through non-manufacturer owned dealerships (franchises). The state created an exception in 2015 for manufacturers of exclusively zero emission vehicles to have no more than four places of business in the State of NJ. NJCAR’s complaint centered around Tesla’s various “showrooms” located in retail malls, which offer consumers the ability to explore Tesla vehicles, but do not provide direct sales or servicing.
The court ruled on April 20, 2021 that NJCAR has no standing to pursue these claims. It further denied NJCAR’s request for relief, stating that NJCAR, as a “statewide trade association” does not represent the public or the public’s interest. The Superior Court further ruled that NJCAR did not provide any evidence whatsoever that NJMVC was not enforcing franchise laws; rather, that their prior actions against Tesla prove that they are enforced rigorously.
NJCAR’s entire complaint was dismissed on April 20, 2021. Here is link to the decision.