Tesla is facing legal trouble due to allegations of false advertising related to the range of its electric vehicles (EVs). Three Californian car owners have initiated a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that Tesla exaggerated the estimated ranges of their cars and attempted to suppress customer complaints. According to the plaintiffs, their vehicles did not perform as advertised, and they were unable to get their concerns addressed by the company. As a result, they argue that they either would not have purchased their cars or would have paid significantly less for them.
The lawsuit accuses Tesla of committing fraud, violating warranties, and engaging in unfair competition. If the court grants class action status, the lawsuit will represent all California residents who purchased a Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, or Model Y. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages in this case. At present, Tesla has disbanded its communications team and is not available for comments on the matter.
The legal action comes after a Reuters report revealed that Tesla had been adjusting its EV ranges for approximately ten years. The cars allegedly displayed inflated range figures when fully charged, but their accuracy improved only when the battery level dropped to around 50 percent. To avoid complaints, the automaker reportedly formed a “Diversion Team” to persuade users to abandon range-related support calls.
It remains uncertain whether Tesla continues to employ such purported exaggerations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did ask the company to revise its range estimates from the 2020 model year onwards, and South Korea recently imposed a $2.2 million fine for allegedly failing to adequately inform customers that EV ranges could decrease in cold weather.
While Tesla is not the only automaker to overstate EV range estimates, an SAE International study found that electric cars, on average, fall about 12.5 percent short of their advertised ranges. However, the combination of the Reuters report and the current lawsuit suggests that Tesla’s figures might be less accurate compared to other brands, and the company might have taken measures to silence dissatisfied customers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Exaggerated EV ranges.
What is the lawsuit against Tesla about?
The lawsuit against Tesla alleges that the company engaged in false advertising by exaggerating the estimated ranges of its electric vehicles (EVs). Three owners in California claim their cars fell well short of the advertised ranges, and Tesla attempted to suppress their complaints.
What are the specific allegations made in the lawsuit?
The owners accuse Tesla of committing fraud, violating warranties, and engaging in unfair competition. They argue that had they known the true range limitations, they either would not have bought their cars or would have paid considerably less for them.
Who does the proposed class action lawsuit cover?
If the lawsuit receives class action status, it will include all individuals in California who purchased a Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, or Model Y.
What did the Reuters report reveal about Tesla’s EV ranges?
According to the Reuters report, Tesla began modifying EV ranges around a decade ago. The cars allegedly displayed inflated range figures when fully charged, but accurate numbers were only shown under a 50 percent charge. To manage complaints, Tesla is said to have created a “Diversion Team” to discourage range-related support calls.
Has Tesla faced any regulatory actions related to EV ranges?
Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Tesla to adjust its range estimates from the 2020 model year onwards. Additionally, South Korea issued a $2.2 million fine for alleged failure to inform customers adequately that EV ranges could decrease in cold weather.
Are Tesla’s EV range estimates different from other brands?
The lawsuit and an SAE International study suggest that Tesla’s figures may be less accurate than those of other brands, with electric cars typically falling about 12.5 percent short of their advertised ranges.
How has Tesla responded to the lawsuit?
Tesla has disbanded its communications team and is currently not available for comment on the lawsuit.
More about Exaggerated EV ranges.
- “Tesla sued for false advertising after allegedly exaggerating EV ranges” (Engadget): Link
- “Tesla allegedly exaggerated range for its EVs and muffled complaints, lawsuit claims” (Electrek): Link
- “Reuters report on Tesla modifying EV ranges” (Reuters): Link
- “Tesla’s EPA range adjustment and South Korea fine” (CNET): Link
- “SAE International study on electric car range” (SAE International): Link