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Tesla Seeks Court Ruling in Row with German Supplier over Model X’s Falcon Doors

The Tesla Model X is the company’s third model and it was just released late last year, with a delay of “only” a few years.
Tesla Model X 1 photo
While Hoerbiger, the German supplier in question accused of not meeting its part of the deal, isn’t solely to blame for the late appearance of Tesla’s electric SUV, its inability to deliver the promised quality in the signature door system was one of the major setbacks that pushed the launching date so late.

The Germans were awarded the contract almost two years ago, in February 2014, but according to Tesla, they were unable to offer a satisfactory solution for the SUV’s doors system in over a year. In May 2015, Tesla Motors was forced to terminate the contract and look for a new supplier.

Hoerbiger specializes in hydraulic systems for trunk lids, liftgates, convertible tops and all other sorts of similar mechanisms, so its expertise seemed to fit the bill. However, the lawsuit filed by Tesla says that the proposed prototypes suffered from numerous issues like oil leaks, overheating, and “did not open with the speed or symmetry” required by the car maker.

The lawsuit isn’t an attempt from Tesla Motors to try and get a refund from Hoerbiger for the precious time (and “millions of dollars”) its inability to provide the necessary solution cost the company, but rather a defensive move. You see, the Germans too felt they were wrongfully dissed and asked Tesla to continue their collaboration over the course of Model X’s life. What’s more, they also claim that Tesla should pay them damages according to the initial contract signed by the two parties.

In a statement obtained by Automotive News, a Tesla Motors spokesperson said, “We were forced to file this lawsuit after Hoerbiger decided to ignore their contracts with us and instead demanded a large sum of money to which they are not entitled. We will vigorously prosecute this case.”

Tesla had already paid Hoerbiger $3 million in compensations, but the Germans feel the sum isn’t enough and are asking for more. Now the tables have turned and Tesla is the party asking for payments covering the damages - of course, in case it actually wins the trial. The dispute will be settled by the U.S. District Court of Northern California at a yet undisclosed time.


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