Tesla has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over throttling battery capacity.
The court hasn’t approved the settlement, but it is expected to be and will include a payment of $625 to each affected Tesla owner.
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.
Model S vehicles with 85 kWh battery packs, which were discontinued in 2016, seem to be the ones 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.
It led to a series of lawsuits in different markets for Tesla to compensate the affected owners.
One of those lawsuits was a class-action in the US started by Rasmussen.
Two years later, Tesla has pushed some software updates to restore the capacity, and it is now ready to settle the matter.
The automaker has submitted a settlement with the court that involves paying $625 to each 1,743 Tesla Model S owners in the US who were affected by those updates and to pay the legal fees.
Electrek contacted Rasmussen, who confirmed that his own car saw its capacity restored, but he is aware of some owners who still have had battery capacity issues since the update.
But as far as the settlement goes, he says that he agrees with it, and he expects it to be accepted by the court.
If all goes well, this should settle the matter in the US, but Tesla is not out of the woods.
Over the same matter in Norway, Tesla was found guilty by a court and asked to pay $16,000 to thousands of owners, but the company is expected to appeal.
I am glad to hear that most owners have seen their battery and charging capacity restore.
At the end of the day, it looks like a lot of this could have been resolve through better communications.
Tesla should have communicated the update in the first place to the affected owners and let them know what was happening.
They never communicated anything until owners started to complain, and then we reported on it, and then Rasmussen had to bring the matter to court.
That’s not a great way to operate.
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