Reuters recently released an expose on the scheme, unearthing information that apparently led to the lawsuit. The outlet reported that Tesla’s attempts to cover up these misleading range estimates included forming a “diversion team” that existed solely to get customers to cancel appointments they had made with service centers about what they perceived to be problems with their batteries.
In reality, the batteries were functioning as normal, but the rigged range-estimating software was causing confusion. Tesla had allegedly made the software give “rosy” projections when the battery was fully charged and then switch to accurate projections once the charge fell under 50% to avoid potentially leaving drivers stranded, per the Reuters report.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are three California-based Tesla owners.
“Had Tesla honestly advertised its electric vehicle ranges, consumers either would not have purchased Tesla model vehicles or else would have paid substantially less for them,” the lawsuit stated, per Reuters.
“Put simply, Tesla has a duty to deliver a product that performs as advertised,” one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers said in a statement reported by Reuters.
The lawyers are seeking class-action status to represent “all persons in California who purchased a new Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model Y, and Model X vehicle.”
This is not the first time that Tesla’s estimated driving ranges have come into question. Earlier this year, the South Korean government fined the company $2.2 million for failing to disclose that ranges were shorter in colder weather.
It is also not the first time Tesla has been sued for misleading its customers. The EV maker has been sued multiple times for its automatic software updates reducing driving ranges and telling Tesla drivers they had to replace their batteries at a cost of $15,000.
The company also recently settled a lawsuit in which plaintiffs alleged that the company had misled them over the cost of installing its Solar Roofs, in some cases doubling the price after contracts had already been signed.
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