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B.C. Tesla owner sues for gas costs and more after driving over ‘loose drain’

But tribunal ruling doesn’t have much sympathy

The B.C. owner of a Tesla was looking for $5,000 in costs after his brand-new electric vehicle was damaged driving over a “loose drain,” according to a new decision by the B.C. Resolution Tribunal.

The applicant, Mehmet Yapman, said his Tesla electric vehicle was damaged by driving over an allegedly loose drain cover on property in 2021 undisputedly owned by the respondent, Third Estates Ltd., said the tribunal decision.

Yapman was seeking $5,000, including $3,500 for vehicle repairs, $500 as a refund for his insurance deductible and $1,000 in gas for having to drive a gas rental vehicle instead of using his EV.

Third Estates denied any issue with the drain cover and said Yapman “drove on its property at his own risk,” said the decision. “It denies owing Mr. Mehmet any money.”

Yapman was dropping off a family member at their residence on property owned by Third Estates. Yapman said the vehicle suffered damage to the undercarriage, said the decision.

But Yapman said during the tribunal case that his insurance carrier, ICBC, had already paid $3,366.48 to repair the vehicle.

“The problem for Mr. Mehmet is that he provided no documentary evidence in support of his claimed damages,” said the decision. “First, the evidence is that ICBC undisputedly paid for Mr. Mehmet’s vehicle damage, less his applicable deductible. So, I find Mr. Mehmet has not suffered a loss for the $3,366.48. Although Mr. Mehmet says he paid a $500 deductible, he provided no evidence of paying this amount, such as his insurance policy showing the applicable deductible or any invoice from a repair shop showing he paid a deductible.”

The decision also notes Yapman claime he incurred $1,000 in gas expenses while his vehicle was being repaired, but “again did not submit any documentary evidence in support. He did not provide any receipts showing he purchased gas, nor did he provide any evidence or submissions about how long he was required to use a gas vehicle while his EV was being repaired.”

Yapman also argued his vehicle is less valuable now that it has an insurance claim on it.

“I find he has not provided any evidence about the alleged decrease in value,” wrote tribunal vice chair Andrea Ritchie. “I dismiss Mr. Mehmet’s claims.”

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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