LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas firefighter Art Nivon really likes Teslas, but that’s what happened at a local car dealership that got him called the 8 News Now I-Team.
“It’s a great car,” Nivon said of his 2013 Model S. In fact, he’s already pre-ordered his next Tesla, the company’s new Cybertruck.
In early December, Nivon dropped off his car for service at the Tesla dealership on Sahara Avenue near Rainbow Boulevard. A few days later, he received this phone call.
“They called me and he was like, ‘Hey, I don’t know how to say this, but we had an incident at Tesla and someone broke into our dealership and stole your car. “”
Nivon’s car was stolen from the lot.
“I thought he was joking,” he said. “No, of course, my car was stolen.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report on the incident obtained by I-Team indicates that Nivon’s car was stolen between the night of Saturday, December 4, and the morning of Monday, December 6.
A man entered a service bay, finding an unsecured key fob in a mechanic’s area, according to the report. The key was Nivon’s car key.
“It seems [the thief] tweeted the key and found the Tesla it belonged to,” the report said. The driver then left with the car. According to the police report, the incident was reported to police the following day, Tuesday, December 7.
Nevada State Police later found the abandoned car on Interstate 15 near Jean, according to the report. The car was towed to North Las Vegas and then returned to the dealership.
“It blows my mind that they were able to get in, take it out and drive it to Jean,” Nivon said, adding that the Tesla just ran out of power on the freeway. “It’s not my fault. It’s entirely their fault that they were negligent in the way they secure their keys and now I have to face the result.
According to the police report, the car is valued at $70,000. Nivon fears the car will depreciate now that it has a stolen event in its history.
“The dealer is certainly responsible for what happened here,” said Peter Goatz, attorney at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. “As a consumer, you don’t expect your vehicle to be taken to a mechanic and stolen or damaged further.”
Goatz said the dealership should fix any new issues with the car, such as cosmetic repairs to the thief’s ride, and it appears, according to Nivon, that the dealership is doing just that.
But Goatz added that no law requires an auto mechanic to meet a service schedule. There’s also no law saying the dealer is liable for any decline in value, he said.
“That’s something that would be very difficult to prove because you would need an expert to say that your vehicle would have been worth a higher value, but for the stolen character of the vehicle,” Goatz said.
“It’s just frustrating because now I have to deal with it and it’s been a month and a half,” Nivon said when I-Team interviewed him. Thursday, Nivon has still not received his car. The dealer lent him a vehicle.
“You feel violated,” Nivon said of the whole incident. “It’s like having your house robbed. If your house has already been burglarized, it is not the same thing.
Nivon added that there were additional constraints because he could only communicate with Tesla through an app. He said his messages went unanswered for days.
Nivon hopes that the problem will be solved by his insurance. If not, he said he plans to go to court.
The I-Team reached out to both the dealership and the Tesla business, specifically asking about security protocols for key fob storage and how the company works with customers in this type of situations. 8 News Now did not receive a response.