Lawsuit Alleges Tesla Over Inflating Driving Range Figures to Drive EV Sales


Recently, a group of Tesla owners initiated a lawsuit against the manufacturer of electric vehicles over its mileage range estimations, accusing the firm of exaggerated range of its automobiles and sport utility vehicles in advertisements. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status in the Northern District of California, seeks unspecified damages as well as a court order prohibiting Tesla from falsely advertising the estimated ranges of its model vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that the companies were aware that this range would be a crucial, if not the most important, feature for a number of consumers and took advantage of this knowledge.

Tesla representatives did not respond to a comment request. In 2020, the company ceased responding to inquiries from the press. South Korean regulators fined Tesla $2.2 million in January for overstating the cold-weather range of its vehicles. The previous week, Reuters reported that Tesla personnel received instructions to refrain from customers who complain about bad driving range from taking in their vehicles for service. According to unnamed sources, the firm created a “Diversion Team” to decline customer appointments in order to assess battery range.

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CEO Elon Musk Accused of Direct Involvement in Overstated Driving Range Claims

Photo by: ODD ANDERSEN via Getty Images

According to Reuters, Tesla algorithms provide drivers with rosy estimates of their driving range until the battery power drops below 50 percent, at which point more accurate estimates are provided. In the lawsuit filed on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk is alleged to have directly mandated the use of excessively optimistic algorithms. Three automotive professionals who analyzed or tested Tesla vehicles confirmed Reuters’ findings regarding the advertised driving ranges and battery projections. The accusation, which cites the Reuters article, asserts that drivers would not have purchased Tesla vehicles or would have paid much less for them if they were conscious that a single charge did not provide as much range.

Tesla is widely regarded by automotive specialists as the automaker whose EV models offer the best driving range. Car and Driver ranked four Tesla models among the Top 10 longest-range electric cars for 2023, while no other manufacturer had more than one vehicle on the list. This is the second lawsuit lodged against Musk’s business empire in the last week. Musk is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and he has recently rebranded Twitter as “X.” The international news agency Agence France-Presse filed a lawsuit against Twitter in a European court for refusing to compensate AFP for the use of its news content on social media, which is mandated in much of Europe.

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Source: The Washington Post, Investopedia

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