The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association is calling on state regulators to investigate and sanction Tesla Motors Inc. for alleged violations at its existing locations in the state.
In a 10-page letter to the Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board on May 31, VADA CEO Don Hall calls for an investigation of Tesla’s practices at its licensed dealership location in Tysons Corner and its unlicensed gallery at a nearby shopping mall.
“VADA believes it has a duty to bring these repeated violations to the attention of the MVDB so that the MVDB may protect its credibility in the face of such reckless law-breaking,” Hall wrote in the letter. He added in an email to Automotive News that the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, the state agency charged with oversight of the auto dealer industry, has “100 percent authority to stop Tesla, thus our letter.”
Hall said evidence of the alleged violations emerged in a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing on Tesla’s bid for a second dealership license in the state. The dealers association is opposing that license bid and filed a lawsuit against Tesla and the DMV in March to keep the second dealership from happening.
A Tesla spokeswoman criticized the dealers association’s actions.
“The franchised dealer lobby in Virginia is taking every possible step, whether through lawsuits, PR campaigns or outright harassment, to try to prevent Virginians from being able to buy cars from Tesla,” Khobi Brooklyn wrote in an email.
“Each of these actions is legally wrongful and threatens to move Virginia backwards. Virginians who would like to be able to buy a car from Tesla should have the right to do so. Tesla will continue to fight for that.”
Among the alleged violations the VADA accuses Tesla of in the letter: Running an unlicensed sales operation, including test drives, at the mall location; processing fee violations; failing to disclose online systems filing fees, taxes and governmental fees; and improper advertising.