After the Ontario government cancelled the province's electric vehicle incentive program last month, some buyers were feeling left out. They weren't the only ones, though, and Tesla is suing the government alleging it has suffered "substantial harm" as a result of the sudden transition leaving out buyers of its vehicles.
When the program was cancelled in mid-July, stopping rebates of up to $14,000 on qualifying EVs, it came with a sunset period. Vehicles ordered before July 11 and delivered and registered before September 10 would still qualify for the incentive. But only if they were ordered from a franchised dealer. The government specifically excluded "vehicles that were ordered directly from an original equipment manufacturer by a consumer."
According to the lawsuit, the CBC reports, Tesla Canada argues that the government "deliberately and arbitrarily" excluded the brand's customers, with no warning or chance for input.
"The Minister of Transportation's decision suddenly left hundreds of Tesla Canada's Ontario customers in the unfair position of no longer being eligible for the rebate they had expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles," the lawsuit states, "while purchasers of other brands and from other dealers will still receive the rebate during the transition period."
That's because while Tesla dealerships are owned by Tesla, meaning that you order your vehicle directly from Telsa, virtually all other new car dealerships are franchises. But especially in pricy Toronto proper, there are notable exceptions, with large corporate-owned dealers from brands such as Mercedes-Benz that also sell plug-ins.
But generally, consumers order cars from the dealer, who in turn orders it from the manufacturer. So while other automakers have until September 10 to deliver EVs to customers with a rebate, the program largely ended for Telsa on July 11.
It's not clear what the company is seeking in damages, but Tesla Canada claims that each day "the unquantifiable and irreparable harm grows."