Tesla Service Centers in Oklahoma are in jeopardy following the unanimously passed HB3994 that aims to make manufacturers unable to service or sell cars directly to consumers in the State. The bill will now move to the House following its way through the House Business and Commerce Committee last night.
HB3994 is a House bill that could end Tesla Service Center locations in Oklahoma as we know it. Tesla has heavily opposed the bill, even writing a blog post in late February calling for owners in the State to oppose the bill vocally.
“House Bill 3994, a detrimental bill that could be interpreted as outlawing EV manufacturers like Tesla from servicing and delivering cars in Oklahoma, is currently being considered by members of the House Business and Commerce Committee. Contact your Representatives today and encourage him or her to vote NO on HB 3994,” Tesla said in the post. “If passed, this bill could force Tesla to close its existing locations in Oklahoma AND prevent Tesla from shipping cars to anyone in the state, which would force locals to travel out-of-state to service their cars or pick up their new Tesla vehicles. Oklahoma should focus on increasing revenue and jobs in the state, not stifling competition and limiting consumer choice.”
Unfortunately, the bill passed out of the House Business and Commerce Committee on Wednesday and now moves to the House floor. The bill was passed with a unanimous vote of 11-0.
Curtis Hayes, a member of the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission, explained more details of the bill (via KFOR4):
“Regulation would allow the consumers of Oklahoma have recourse to a state agency if they have issues. Right now there is currently nothing that the Motor Vehicle Commission can do if a consumer brings a complaint about, and the only EV manufacturer we’re talking about is Tesla. All the legacy OEMs that make EV vehicles work through the franchise dealer system. So we are working through that. It’s a very complicated issue, because it has ramifications throughout the entire law dealing with motor vehicle franchise dealers, and so I can just say that from the Motor Vehicle Commission and from working with Representative Dobrinksi and the Oklahoma Auto Dealers Association, we are not trying to preclude consumers and residents of the state of Oklahoma from getting their car serviced in Oklahoma.”
Politicians maintain that the bill will provide consumer protection. Rep. Mike Dobrinski said that opponents of the bill who are concerned about having to purchase vehicles out-of-state won’t have to worry. “Nobody on this end of the building and someone like myself who’s been in business for 33 years would support shutting down two service facilities in our major metropolitan areas, but what the introduced language of this bill has done has brought everyone to the table to have a conversation that is not easy, that will force us to find a way to license them and to provide consumer protections that Tesla dealers today don’t even think that they need,” he said.
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