Tesla is looking to put the final nail in the coffin on the direct sales ban it faces in six states.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the automaker is preparing a federal lawsuit which would prevent states from banning direct-to-consumer sales. The paper goes on to say the company's legal team has been studying a federal appeals court ruling from 2013 which determined St. Joseph Abbey could sell coffins directly to consumers without a funeral director’s license. It remains unclear if the case could be a suitable legal precedent as the ruling was made in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when Louisiana was facing a casket shortage.
The argument could also face other challenges as the WSJ points out courts have previously upheld laws that required licenses to sell certain products even if there wasn't a clear reasoning behind it other than to protect existing businesses.
The lawsuit faces an uphill battle but Tesla isn't putting all its eggs in one basket. The company has been filed for dealer applications in certain states and has been pressuring legislatures in others. As Tesla chief counsel Todd Maron explained, “Tesla is committed to not being foreclosed from operating in the states it desires to operate in, and all options are on the table.”
The issue has been a problem for years but it's finally coming to a head as Tesla is preparing to introduce the Model 3 tomorrow night. It will become the brand's most affordable model with a base price of approximately $35,000.
Source: The Wall Street Journal