Electric auto maker Tesla Motors said Thursday it is suing Ontario's new government, claiming it was treated unfairly in the cancellation of a program providing rebates to residents who bought electric vehicles.
But, according to Tesla, the MTO specified that "vehicles that have been orders directly from an original equipment manufacturer [as the government of Ontatio considers Tesla_ed.] but which have not been delivered, registered and plated on or before July 11, 2018 are not eligible for n EHVIP incentive".
Tesla says hundreds of purchasers of its cars were left hanging when the program ceased in July and was no longer eligible for the rebate.
In court documents cited by Canadian media, Tesla slammed the "arbitrary" exclusion.
It wants the provincial government to reverse the decision, which it claims was made without consultation.
The problem, says the application, is that the Ontario government sees Tesla Canada as a subsidiary of the company's manufacturing arm whereas the company itself contends that Tesla Canada is nothing more than a dealership network.
Tesla shares down 8 percent after Musk's freakish interview
As Tesla struggled to meet production goals for its Model 3 earlier this year, Musk ended up sleeping at the factory . The Tesla boss told the New York Times that the year "has been the most hard and painful year of my career".
The company called the decision "unreasonable and unlawful" and that "it has created the impression that Tesla Canada and its customers will not be treated equally under the law".
None of Tesla's claims has been proven in court.
Tesla sells vehicles directly to customers rather than through a dealership, making its vehicles ineligible for the incentives under the new rules.
Tesla has agreed to refund the deposit to some buyers who said they cannot afford the purchase of a $71,000 vehicle without the maximum government rebate of CAN$14,000. "My wife and I are still not sure if we are going to take delivery without the rebate... we are not millionaires", a Toronto Model 3 customer told Global. The lawsuit alleges "substantial harm" and lost sales as a result of the decision. The incentives were funded by Ontario's cap-and-trade program, which the government also canceled in the name of reducing gas prices.
Overall vehicle sales in Canada grew 4.8 per cent to a record 2.08 million past year.
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