Tesla’s Direct Sales Model Helps It Thwart Customer Lawsuits

Sales contracts prevent buyers of the company’s electric cars from pursuing class-action suits if something goes wrong.

Until last month, a class-action lawsuit by Tesla owners looked as if it would reveal new details about the carmaker’s self-driving technology, which has been blamed for serious accidents and deaths.

But then Tesla deployed a legal strategy that has allowed it to avoid the kind of attention-grabbing lawsuits other carmakers regularly contend with. The company asked a judge to send the case to an arbitrator, who would hear it in private…

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