Iowa bars Tesla Motors from offering test drives

Friday, September 19, 2014, Vol. 38, No. 38

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Transportation Department has told Tesla Motors to stop offering test drives.

The Des Moines Register reports ( ) that the department said the test drives were illegal because Tesla isn't a licensed auto dealer in Iowa and because Iowa law bars carmakers from retail sales.

A Tesla spokeswoman told the newspaper that the company doesn't think the statutes apply because the company was offering only three-day test drives, not actually selling cars.

Tesla doesn't sell its electric cars through franchise dealerships. People can buy the Model S online or at one of a handful of Tesla stores around the country.

Tesla is based in Palo Alto, California.