Economy, Auto

Tesla Revises Nondisclosure Clause in Customer Deal

Tesla Revises Nondisclosure Clause in Customer DealTesla Revises Nondisclosure Clause in Customer Deal

Tesla Motors on Friday revised a nondisclosure clause in its customer repair agreements after a US regulator took issue with the practice, while the electric carmaker’s chief executive called most customer reports of suspension problems in its Model S sedan “fraudulent”.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk went on the offensive on social media, saying in a tweet that 37 of 40 suspension complaints filed with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were fraudulent, Reuters reported.

“Would seem to indicate that one or more people sought to create the false impression of a safety issue where none existed,” he wrote.

The US’ NHTSA would only say that the company was cooperating fully with its review and that no suspension problems had been found “to date”. Musk said the complaints were “fraudulent” because a “false location or vehicle identification numbers were used.”

Reuters reported Thursday that anonymous individuals have filed a number of complaints of suspension problems on NHTSA’s website, citing salvaged Tesla vehicles.

NHTSA spokesman, Bryan Thomas, said Tesla was cooperating “and NHTSA’s examination of the data is underway. To date, NHTSA has not identified any safety issue with Tesla’s suspensions.”

He declined to comment on Musk’s assessment of the complaints. On Thursday, NHTSA had criticized Tesla for entering into a “troublesome nondisclosure agreement” with a Model S owner with a suspension problem.

On Friday, NHTSA said, “Tesla has clarified the language ... in a satisfactory way, resolving the issue” of the nondisclosure agreements.

Alexis Georgeson, a spokeswoman for the California-based green carmaker, confirmed the change.

NHTSA said on Thursday it was reviewing reports of suspension problems, but had not opened a formal investigation.

Tesla has denied any suspension problems, saying extensive durability testing and review of customer issues “gives us high confidence in our suspensions.”

The possible safety defect in the Tesla Model S was reported on earlier this week by the auto-oriented website Daily Kanban, which cited owner complaints.

The website linked to a Model S owner who wrote on a Tesla fan website that he had suspension problems and had received an email from an NHTSA investigator.