Norway court finds Tesla guilty, orders fines in suit over battery capacity

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May 24 (UPI) — A court in Norway has found Tesla guilty and ordered fines after customers complained that a 2019 software update led to poor battery life and slower charging, Nettavisen reported.

The court ordered Tesla to pay $16,000 each to buyers of the Tesla Model S, bought between 2013-2015.

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The Tesla Model S involved in the suit has been sold 10,000 times, according to Nettavisen, which means if all of its customers sue, Tesla could end up having to pay $160 million. The 30 Norwegian owners who won the suit were automatically awarded $16,000 each.

Electrek reported Monday fines could be even more because of similar legal challenges in other countries.

Several Tesla owners reported significant drops in battery range after the 2019 update, Electrek previously reported. Model S and Model X owners with 85 kilowatt-hour battery packs discontinued in 2016 were the ones affected. Tesla confirmed at the time that the range reduction was due to the software update.

The company told Electrek the goal of the update was to “protect the battery and improve battery longevity,” adding that the range loss was for only a “small percentage of owners,” and it was working to improve the impact of the update on the battery range for those owners.

The Norway court, which handed down the verdict last week, has ordered Tesla to pay by May 31 or appeal the case by June 17 to the Oslo Conciliation Board.

Since Tesla Norway did not file a response, the case was decided by an absence judgment.