A trio of Tesla owners in California are suing the Texas-based automaker in a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging the company falsely advertised its electric vehicles’ range. Filed Wednesday, the lawsuit cites an article published by the Reuters news service last week, alleging Tesla had created a so-called diversion team to suppress driver complaints that their EVs were not traveling as far as they expected.
Reuters reported that Tesla intentionally wrote algorithms for its dashboard range meter to overstate vehicle range. The lawsuit claims Tesla did not live up to its warranties and has perpetrated fraud.
“Driving range on a single charge is undoubtedly a key feature that EV consumers rely on in the purchase decision,” said Adam A. Edwards, an attorney at the Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman law firm representing the plaintiffs. “Tesla’s decision to create a team to divert range-related complaints and cancel service appointments is unacceptable.”
Tesla had a duty to deliver a product that performs as advertised, he added.
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Edwards’ law firm specializes in class action cases. It is seeking to represent all California purchasers of the new Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model Y and Model X vehicles.
Consumer Reports reported last week that Tesla’s Model Y comes up short of claimed range in all types of weather. While its official EPA range is 326 miles per charge, the best range researchers were able to achieve was 274 miles in warm weather, while in cold weather, the vehicle could only travel 186 miles.
Tesla has not commented on the Reuters report or the lawsuit.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the same day California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that one in four new vehicles sold in the state is electric. More than half of all EVs sold nationally are Teslas.