Tesla Motors is already busy in the courts, filing a suit in New Jersey last week to appeal the direct-sales ban of its automobiles in that state. But now it's going to have to deal with the self-described "King of Lemon Laws," Vince Megna, in Wisconsin. Now that we think about it, this showdown was quite inevitable.

In a video that is obviously part one of who knows how many (view it below), Menga sets up his argument against Tesla because the Model S of a client won't start. Then, he picks up a cardboard George Clooney hitchhiker and goes off to file suit in Milwaukee County Courthouse with an assistant with duct tape on her mouth and "WTF" on her shirt. Subtle, Megna is not.

If that cardboard celebrity bit seems familiar to you, then perhaps you're thinking about the Justin Bieber standup that Megna used in his lemon lawsuit over the Fisker Karma. In fact, Megna is famous in the auto industry for fighting against automakers that he says make shoddy products. In this case, he claims Tesla sold a faulty Model S to a doctor in Franklin, WI. This doctor, Robert Montgomery, got his 2013 Signature Performance Model S in March 2013, and the car has been in the shop for more than 30 days since then. He has asked for his money back, but the automaker has apparently not responded. The nearest shop is in Chicago, so the car gets to ride in a flatbed back and forth, as you can see in the video below. Plus, of course, Megna's one-sided conversation with a fake George Clooney.

Tesla told AutoblogGreen it does not comment on pending litigation.


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  • 109 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 8 Months Ago
      Quite a biased article. "The company's stock price dipped temporarily late last year after some fires in the car's lithium-ion batteries. No one was injured in the incidents, attributed to drivers running over items that punctured a protective cladding on the car's undercarriage. Federal safety regulators looked into the fires but closed an investigation after Tesla responded with improved undercarriage armor." Running over very large metal parts that fell off another vehicle... is considered by insurance companies as a collision, but instead, the JS author is trying to downplay the cause. As if the items were minor and the real cause is the Lithium Ion batteries. Also, insinuating cause (rather than correlation).... that the NHTSA investigation was closed 'because' of the added armor. This article is an uninformed hit piece. And I will wait until credible information can be obtained.
      Keef Wivaneff
      • 8 Months Ago
      Grendal (aka Peter Gordon, Phil11 Sranger) from the Church of Eloon rushes to the defense. Blame the customer. Blame the lawyer. But whatever you do, don't diss the sacred cow!
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Keef Wivaneff
        Sorry Keef, I always post under Grendal. Those others just care passionately about Tesla too. I've been following Tesla and posting here since 2009. I began posting to news articles back in 2012 when there was a lot of misinformation flying around. I was originally a fan of Aptera, a hyper efficient EV made in California, but that company fell apart in 2010. I looked around and even though it isn't hyper-efficient Tesla was a company that deserved support from someone like me. I asked you in another article's comments to give me your reason for hating Tesla and you were polite enough to answer. So there are some of my reasons for liking Tesla. There are things I think Tesla can improve upon and I think Elon is far from perfect. Actions speak louder than words and the company has done amazing things and has plans to do a whole lot more. In this instance, if I were Tesla, I would give Robert Montgomery his money back minus his use. Tesla has plenty of customers that will be happy to buy his old car. Calling names makes you out to be childish, Keef. I expect that you are younger than 30 from your various posts I've read. I also expect that you listen to one or more of the loony talk show hosts because of your misinformation and your hatred of "green." Tesla is not a "green" company as you think of them.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Wheels fall off of lots of cars. Even in the comments section of the article you have a number of excellent dissection of what likely happened. In terms of energy, you have a very heavy car moving at high speeds. That is an enormous amount of energy and any abrupt stop, such as hitting a wall or a very large pothole will rip a wheel out of its housing. It is also why cars crush under impact. All very dramatic due to the amount of energy involved. I understand you hate "green." There have certainly been plenty of people taking advantage of other people under the guise of "green." Just like anything there are plenty of people also doing great things using the term "green." Tesla is far from perfect but they have created a spectacular car and are trying new ways to bring it to the public. You may hate the car just because it is electric and therefore "green." That is your bias and you are not alone. There were people back around 1900 that thought cars were an unnecessary change from the greatness of the horse. Tesla has proven that an electric car can be great. The genie is out of the bottle and it is not getting back in. Is it a perfect car? Of course not. My father could afford a Tesla and I told him it was not an appropriate car for his driving needs. It is overkill for my needs. I will still buy one next year. Thank you again for being polite and asking good questions. We disagree, but I appreciate the dialog.
          Keef Wivaneff
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          That's the useful thing about greenwash it protects against critical analysis of the claims that are made made for the wonderful new green widget. Anybody speaking against it must be against green energy and a Luddite. Not much green about the Tesla except for the green that goes down Elon's trousers. 2 Tonnes of enviro-vicious Aluminium. Toxic batteries. Problems swept under the carpet. Owners gagged by confidentiality agreements and attacked by the army of TSLA shareholder fanboys. When the Tesla Ponzi collapses you'll realise that the Model S is as silly as a Segway. BTW Since you are a Tesla expert, can you explain why the wheels fall off? "This photo comes via Daniel S., who says he spotted the Tesla Model S on the West Side Highway not far from where the biker attack occurred last week. The force of the crash was so violent that it apparently ripped the wheels from the body.P Details are scarce right now and we have no word on injuries, although the passenger seems to be in good shape even though the airbag did deploy. P According to Daniel, one of the wheels (the driver's side, I think) was on the other side of the highway as the suspension somehow ripped apart. It doesn't appear to have caught on fire, so that's good.P Just Google that. There is no sign of an impact on the body of the car, it just looks as though the drivers side rear wheel and suspension has somehow been wrenched off.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Keef Wivaneff
        Are you upset that he called you out on repeating a lie? The confidentiality agreement has nothing to do with customer complaints. Read the pasted link below.
      tbird57w
      • 1 Year Ago
      FINALLY!
      marv.shocker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Douche
        Fountain42
        • 8 Months Ago
        @marv.shocker
        Really? Thats your comment?
          danfred311
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Fountain42
          It's wonderfully concise :) All lawyers will burn in hell but there is probably a grain of truth to less than total reliability in early Model S production. I seem to recall a couple of issues among the press cars and it's likely true that the car was in the shop for 30 days which is a fairly long time. So if a customer starts asking for the money back you may not want to ignore that. Lest you be in court and the news. Megna PI here is probably going to win which means Tesla will look bad and pay a lot more than the car's price.
          Autoholics Anonymous
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Fountain42
          Here is a quote for thought. "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away"-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
      artspeedperformance
      • 1 Year Ago
      I side with the majority here. These types of jackasses make money at consumers' expense; who pays in the end? I am so glad that the doctor will get a settlement. God forbid he can't make a payment on his new boat.
      chuckccole
      • 8 Months Ago
      Stupid lawyer. All lawyers make lawyers look bad. He has friggin music in the video? It isn't Tesla's fault the shop is in Chicago. It was in Chicago when the dummy bought the car and he knew it then. That's not a valid argument. He's just crying to market himself. The lawyer hopes to bring attention to the deal for a bigger check. It's ALWAYS about the money.
        Edsel
        • 8 Months Ago
        @chuckccole
        All lawyers are bad and stupid, until you need one. They then become heroes.
          ksrcm
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Edsel
          Did you ever ask yourself why do you need one? You certainly, like 99% of people know how to read. Right? So, why do you need a lawyer when you can read the laws yourself? Ah, you actually cannot read the laws - even when perfectly capable of reading. I wonder why is that ... I also wonder who wrote the said laws ...
      wickedme91
      • 1 Year Ago
      Like someone on Jalopnik commented, skip to 0:46. Just before the door handles comes out, you can see the rear lights blink twice (reflection on wall), like its being 'unlocked using the keyfob'. I am pretty sure the handles aren't supposed to extend out when its locked.
        Jon
        • 8 Months Ago
        @wickedme91
        You just need the key nearby and the handles should extend.
        404 not found
        • 8 Months Ago
        @wickedme91
        This reminds me of the fcukup ABC did on the Toyota Unintended acceleration news piece. If he really tried to get the door handles to pop out when the car is locked, he should be publicly called out for it. What little credibility he might have will instantly vanish.
          CaptTesla
          • 8 Months Ago
          @404 not found
          And that is exactly what he did. Refutes any argument he has when he tries to makeup the door handles not opening. Very simple mr slime all lawyer, have the key in your pocket, not hidden around the corner.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @wickedme91
        Staging a 'broken Tesla' for shock value? Never! /sarc #cancelTopGear
        DarylMc
        • 8 Months Ago
        @wickedme91
        Very good observation. Thanks for pointing it out.
      fordskydog
      • 8 Months Ago
      What an egg ducking sleeze. I would not ever want this dirt bag representing me in court.
      Keef Wivaneff
      • 8 Months Ago
      "Megna is later shown lugging the cutout through the courthouse’s metal detectors. As he climbs the stairs to the main corridor, he mentions he won’t let his paralegal talk about the case because Tesla requires customers to sign a confidentiality agreement when they purchase the cars" A CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT? Are you kidding me? No wonder you don't hear many complaints!
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Keef Wivaneff
        The confidentiality is about the technology, not your feelings. Joeviocoe posted the agreement earlier in the comments. Why would you trust anything this ambulance chaser has to say?
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Although I have not seen it reported on Autoblog, it has been widely reported that the Tesla Model S has higher than average problems. News to me is that Tesla makes you sign a confidentiality agreement in order to buy. Is this true? Any ideas on the reasoning (if it is true)? This guy is the king of grandstanders, but blows it by driving away with the Clooney cutout. Should have had it towed with it. According to this account, Tesla is not much different than most car manufacturers that ignore customer complaints. Porsche looks like the standout when it comes to integrity these days.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @edward.stallings
        --"it has been widely reported that the Tesla Model S has higher than average problems" Care to substantiate that? It could be that every little problem is blown to enormous proportions.
        CaptTesla
        • 8 Months Ago
        @edward.stallings
        Really? Higher than normal problems? Or are you just reading TMC forum, and making up your info? The model s community is very active and with it being new people talk about issues, but doesn't make it any more problems than others. Actually i would say far less. Pretty good for a new company.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's sounds like human garbage is continuing to attack Tesla with no basis in reality. The lawyer is without a doubt a slimeball, baiting losers and making wild accusations. Perhaps, on the surface, the case is reasonable but the manner in which the claims are made give me ZERO sympathy for the customer. Lawyers like this in should be shot on general principle since notorious shysters like this one are helping keep our judicial system corrupt and rigged not to mention clogged. I have a lot of reasons to believe Tesla is taking care of the guy and unless this guy has gone on the blogs and forums and utterly failed to get any response then getting a REAL lawyer might be a reasonable move. But hiring a publicity ***** of a lawyer screams "I'm a lying P.O.S.!! I wanna get my money, it's illegal to inconvenience me at all even though I KNEW where the nearest 'shop' was. I'll lie and shame Tesla until I get what I want! That's what I'm used to!" If the car is really not working then I would suggest using a lawyer who doesn't have "sleaze ball" written all over his entire being AND career.
        Jason Fisher
        • 8 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        You're right: there's a right way, and a wrong way to handle this situation. Not only is this the wrong way - but it's sleazy and opportunistic.
        DarylMc
        • 8 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/milwaukee-lemon-law-lawyer-sues-luxury-electric-car-maker-tesla-b99242239z1-254199321.html If the stories are true it sounds like the owner has every right to be cranky and demanding lemon laws are acted upon. The story claims 66 days out of service in the first year. Tesla's reputation will continue to be damaged until they make the customer happy and or provide some good explanations.
      Edsel
      • 8 Months Ago
      God bless Vince Megna. AOL Autoblog is giving him free publicity and he's laughing all of the way to his bank. As they say; there's no such thing as bad publicity.
        Neez
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Edsel
        "As they say; there's no such thing as bad publicity." tell that to GM
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