Tesla Software 2019 Update Leads to Trouble: Elon Musk's Company Forced to Pay $160 Million to Model S Owners

Tesla Software 2019 Update Leads to Trouble: Elon Musk's Company Forced to Pay $160 Million to Model S Owners
A Tesla software 2019 update has put the electric car company in trouble, as a Norway ruling is forcing them to pay over $160 million in damages. Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Norweigan court found Tesla guilty of choking charging speed and battery. They are asking the electric-car company to pay $16,000 to every Tesla Model S car owner in Norway--and there are thousands of them. 

Tesla Software 2019 Update and Issue Timeline

Electrek first reported about Tesla owners noticing significant drops in their cars' range after a software update back in 2019. In Norway specifically, Tesla Model S cars bought between 2013 and 2015 were affected, Norwegian newspaper Nettavisen claimed. 

The electric automobile company told users who reported their complaints that it was the "normal degradation" of the battery pack. Tesla told Electrek that the goal of the update was to "protect the battery and improve battery longevity." And as for the range loss the car owners noticed, it only affected "a small percentage of owners."

The fast-charging rate of cars that charged in Supercharger stations also reduced. Owners would find that their cars had much longer charging sessions. 

Tesla car owners were both confused and unconvinced by Tesla's statements, they filed for lawsuits to push  Tesla to compensate the affected owners. In December 2020, distraught Norwegian Tesla drivers took to their conciliation council and cited the poor performance of their vehicles after the 2019 update.

The Norwegian court found Tesla guilty on the claims of throttling the cars' charging speed and battery life, Forbes noted.

When Tesla did not respond, the court ordered the electric-car company to pay $16,000 to all eligible drivers, owners of Model S vehicles manufactured from 2013 to 2015. About 10,000 units of the electric model were reportedly sold during that time frame.

The payout would total to over $160 million or 1.36 million kroner, according to Nettavisen. Tesla still is given until May 30 to pay the affected drivers. Should they file for an appeal, they can do so until June 17 to the Oslo Conciliation Board.

Tesla Model S Issue Not the First Time

This isn't the first time Tesla has been delivered similar lawsuits. Also in 2019, a Northern California Tesla owner filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming fraud as the update slashed the earlier car models' range by as much as 40 miles, Forbes shared in their report. That same year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began to look into the alleged battery defects of Tesla cars. 

Tesla is also facing backlash after concerns about the models' Full Self-Driving Mode was brought up by the resurfacing of the fatal 2018 car crash in Mountain View, California. 

Read Also: Tesla Autopilot Crash Investigation: Absence of Autosteer Feature, More Preliminary Findings Revealed

Norway Going Diesel-Free

Norway is considered the top country in Europe to have the most number of electric vehicles on the road. And In January, it became the first country in the world to have more electric vehicles than gasoline-run cars. 

According to Forbes, 54 percent of new vehicle sales were battery electric vehicles, per the Norwegian Road Federations. This is partially thanks to the aggressive tax exemptions the government gives to its citizens who purchase electric cars. 

Norwegian officials are optimistic, saying that the country is on track to meet its goal to have only electric vehicles on its roads by 2025.

Related Article: Tesla Cybertruck Release Date, Exterior, Specs and More: Production Schedule Confirmed!

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