Tesla is facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States from a group of owners of older Model S and Model X electric vehicles over battery throttling. Reuters reported that the Tesla electric vehicles of these affected owners have received a software update that reduces the vehicle’s range by 20%. Affected owners have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the electric automaker, claiming the company’s update and its impact violated state and federal laws.
Affected owners of older Tesla Model S and Model X EVs claim in a lawsuit against the automaker that their cars’ range has been reduced by 20 percent compared to before due to the software installation. Additionally, they claim that a software update could also cause battery failure. Owners of some of the affected vehicles may have to replace their batteries at a hefty $15,000 cost, the lawsuit said.
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The suit further argues that the affected Tesla vehicles are protected computers under the definition outlined in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and that automatic software updates violate consumers’ rights under the law. The suit also alleges that Tesla’s updates and their effects violate California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
The report quoted Steve Bergman, an attorney representing affected Tesla owners, as saying that Tesla owners and lessors are at the sole mercy of the automaker, which doesn’t check when their vehicles are connected to Wi-Fi. Software updates are imposed upon consent.
This isn’t the first time Tesla has faced lawsuits over the same issue. Previously, in July 2021, the car company agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle claims that a software update temporarily lowered the maximum battery voltage in 1,743 Model S sedans.
First published date: May 16, 2023 at 09:11 AM CST