Tuesday, July 4, 2017


By Christina Davis
July 3, 2017
By Christina Davis
July 3, 2017
Electric vehicle maker Tesla was
slammed with a class action alleging
the regenerative brakes on Tesla
Models S and X are defective posing a
serious safety risk to drivers and
Lead plaintiffs, Roy and Marites
Wiseman, allege in their class action
lawsuit that the regenerative braking
system in their Tesla Model X caused
their vehicle to crash down a
mountain in snowy conditions.
The plaintiffs claim that the braking system is defective because it does not allow
the driver to coast in snowy conditions and can turn on unexpectedly.
“Unlike almost every other passenger vehicle with regenerative braking, Tesla
vehicles activate regenerative braking when the driver lets off the accelerator
 pedal,” the Tesla class action states. “Other vehicles, like the Toyota Prius, only
activate regenerative braking when the driver presses the brake pedal, retaining
the ability to coast.”
The plaintiffs say they believed the Tesla Model X they purchased had a non-
defective regenerative braking system that would eliminate the loss of stability
caused by the braking system. However, say the plaintiffs, their vehicle’s
regenerative braking system switched on and caused them to lose control of the
vehicle when they slowed for a curve on a snowy mountain road.
“The regenerative braking systems used in both the Model S and Model X create
a substantial risk for the vehicles to lose control in snowy conditions,” alleges the
class action lawsuit. “The vehicle’s automatic regenerative braking system makes
 the vehicles unable to coast, and risk losing control on icy roads due to the
mandatory braking the vehicle imposes on the driver.”
The Wisemans allege that when the driver took his foot slightly off the
accelerator to slow for the curve, the regenerative braking system switched on
and the plaintiff immediately lost control of the vehicle. The plaintiffs say they
were stranded in the dark and cold for hours in their severely damaged Tesla
Model X.
According to the class action lawsuit, Tesla has known about the problems
caused by the regenerative braking system since 2007, but has failed to fix the
problem. Although a June 29, 2007 blog post on Tesla’s website claims that
“Tesla has ‘developed and verified [a] safety feature’ called ‘regen control’ to
limit the regenerative braking if the vehicle’s rear wheels start to slip, ten years
later Tesla vehicles still suffer from losing stability when the regenerative braking
is engaged in snow or ice.”
The plaintiffs further say they relied on Tesla to update the vehicle to fix any
problems using online software updates; however, “Tesla failed to correct the
loss of stability caused by regenerative braking through its over-the-air software
update system,” say the plaintiffs in their complaint.
“Had Plaintiffs known that the regenerative braking system and/or the regen
control system of the Subject Vehicle was flawed they would not have purchased
the Subject Vehicle, would not have used the Subject Vehicle in winters and
would have paid substantially less for the Subject Vehicle, or would have
purchased another luxury SUV from Tesla’s competitors,” allege the class action
Tesla has been hit with a number of other class action lawsuits recently. One
class action alleges the Model X accelerates unexpectedly. Another claims that
Tesla’s autopilot feature is dangerously defective.
The Wisemans say they have notified Tesla about their accident and the
defective braking system, but so far Tesla has refused to do anything about the
The plaintiffs are seeking to represent a nationwide Class of Tesla Model S and
Model X owners, along with a California subclass. They are seeking damages and
restitution as well as an order stopping Tesla from selling the vehicles.
The Wisemans are represented by Hovanes Margarian of The Margarian Law
The Tesla Defective Braking System Class Action Lawsuit is Wiseman v. Tesla Inc.,
Case No. 2:17-cv-04798-JFW-AGR, in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California.