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South Korea fines Tesla for exaggerating driving range of its EVs

South Korea’s antitrust
regulator has said it would impose a $2.2 million (2.85 billion won) fine on Tesla Inc for failing to tell its customers about the shorter driving range of its electric vehicles (EVs) in low temperatures.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said that Tesla had
exaggerated the “driving ranges of its cars on a single charge,
their fuel cost-effectiveness compared to gasoline vehicles as
well as the performance of its Superchargers” on its official
local website since August 2019 until recently.

The driving range of the US EV manufacturer’s cars plunge
in cold weather by up to 50.5 percent versus how they are advertised
online, the KFTC said in a statement on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Elon Musk tries to calm employees after Tesla shares slump

Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment.

On its website, Tesla provides winter driving tips, such as
pre-conditioning vehicles with external power sources, and using
its updated Energy app to monitor energy consumption, but does
not mention the loss of driving range in sub-zero temperatures.

In 2021, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, a South
Korean consumer group, said the driving range of most EVs drops by up to 40 percent in cold temperatures when batteries need to be
heated, with Tesla suffering the most, citing data from the
country’s environment ministry.

Last year, the KFTC fined German carmaker Mercedes-Benz and
its Korean unit 20.2 billion won for false advertising tied to
gas emissions of its diesel passenger vehicles.

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