King of the lemon laws wins $126,836 settlement in first Tesla case

Justin Hyde
·Managing Editor

When we last heard from Tesla Motors and Wisconsin's "King of the Lemon Laws" Vince Megna, the two were verbally sparring over the first lemon claim filed against the start-up electric vehicle maker, with Tesla even intoning that the car might have been tampered with. Today, Megna declared the beef settled, thanks to Tesla paying $126,836 to buy back the owner's Model S.

We first heard of Megna back in 2012 when he won a record $618,000 verdict against Mercedes-Benz over a lemon case, a win that led Wisconsin's state legislature to change the state's lemon law in favor of automakers. All states have such laws allowing customers to seek a buy back a new vehicle that's spent a significant number of days in the shop.

Megna has filed thousands of such suits in his career, and has learned how to use the automakers' defenses to his advantage. In the video below, he commends Tesla for paying to settle the case, but not before reviewing the many negative (and often explicit) comments hurled at him online over the suit, such as comparing Elon Musk to the Wu-Tang Clan:

The payment includes a full refund for owner Robert Montgomery and $18,500 in legal fees for Megna's work. That can go a long way in the Dells.