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Tesla is again found guilty of throttling charging speed, asked to pay $14,000 to owners in retrial

Tesla was again found guilty of throttling its Superchargering speed on early Model S vehicles.

In Norway, the company is asked to pay ~$14,000 to affected owners in a retrial of the process, which Tesla is going to appeal.

The Problem

Back in 2019, Electrek reported on several reports from Tesla owners about seeing significant drops in range from 12 to 30 miles following a software update.

Only Model S vehicles with 85 kWh battery packs, which were discontinued in 2016, seemed to be affected at that point.

For most owners, the range drop happened after updating to Tesla’s 2019.16.1 and .2 software updates.

Tesla owner David Rasmussen was among the ones affected, and he got one of the most severe drops we have seen.

At the time, he told Electrek:

My 2014 Model S 85 was getting Rated Range of 247 miles until May 13. Now after the next update, it continued to drop to now 217 miles. This is an 11% drop in 5 weeks.

Rasmussen has been plotting the battery capacity degradation of his Model S over the last 100,000 miles or so, and the drop is quite obvious:

On top of the range loss, the DC fast-charging rate at Supercharger stations has also been reduced. Affected owners are seeing much slower charging sessions.

When Electrek reported on the issue, Tesla told us that the goal of the update is to “protect the battery and improve battery longevity,” and it resulted in a range loss for only “a small percentage of owners.”

This created a lot of confusion among the owners affected by the update who wanted more details about the sudden need to “protect” the battery pack.

Tesla eventually released a new update fixing the range for most owners, but many owners noted that Supercharging speed was still lower.

Tesla owners fighting back

The problem led to a series of lawsuits in different markets for Tesla to compensate the affected owners.

In Norway, Tesla was found guilty of throttling its charging speed over this particular issue by a local court who asked the automaker to pay the equivalent of $16,000 to each affected owner.

Interestingly, the court found Tesla at fault without hearing Tesla’s side since the company didn’t participate in the case.

The company claimed that it simply wasn’t aware of the case, and it received a retrial.

But even with Tesla’s telling its side of the story, the automaker received roughly the same judgment.

The only difference is that Tesla is now asked to pay 130,000 kroner to each owner instead of 136,000 kroner.

According to Dagens Næringsliv, Tesla admitted to the changes, but it doesn’t think it warrants compensation (translated from Norwegian):

Tesla admitted marginally increased charging time, and changes in the use of superchargers, but stated that customers were not entitled to any given charging pattern. The update was carried out to increase the life of the cars, according to the company.

Tesla already indicated that it will appeal the verdict to the district court.

Christian Hagen, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said that they were happy with the verdict, but they are not commenting any further because of the impending appeal:

My clients are satisfied that the conciliation council assumed that Tesla had reduced the charging speed, and that they did not have access to make this change. Our assessment is that the verdict is correct. However, since Tesla has signaled that they will take the case to the district court, it is not natural to comment on the case further.

As we previously reported, it’s not the only case of Tesla owners going to court to have the automaker compensate them for the same problem.

In the US, Tesla recently settled a lawsuit over the same problem.

However, the owners in the US were awarded a much lower compensation of $625 per owner.

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