U.S. citizen Kevin Shenkman, an owner of a Tesla electric car, has sued the car manufacturer in California state court, claiming that it failed to keep its promise.
Particularly speaking, to attract new customers, the electric car maker had previously promised them a lifetime of free charging of their Tesla electric cars at Tesla Supercharger fast-charging stations.
However, in 2017, the load on Tesla Supercharger fast-charging stations increased to a critical level, and to address the problem, the electric car maker started charging money for powering the vehicle. It was claimed that this will not affect those who bought a Tesla electric car between 2012 and 2016 and they will still be able to use Tesla Supercharger fast-charging stations for free as before.
That would be fine, but in fact, it turned out that all Tesla electric car owners without exception had to pay for charging. It goes without saying that the complainant is not happy with this state of affairs and is demanding damages, given that he got into an extremely unpleasant situation with his car stalling far from home. According to Shenkman, the whole situation resulted in him having to travel 100 miles to his home by taxi.
In addition, Shenkman says that he represents the interests of all Tesla electric cars owners and will insist that the manufacturer will not only compensate everyone for their losses but also continue to charge their Tesla electric vehicles for free, as promised to them earlier.
Tesla owners aren’t happy worldwide
This is not the first time Tesla owners have sued the company over battery new technology issues. In Norway, a court found Tesla guilty of limiting the range and charging speed of electric cars and imposed a hefty fine of 136,000 kroner ($16,000) per customer.
In 2019, Tesla released a firmware update for the Model S and Model X electric cars which were produced between 2013 and 2016 with an 85 kW⋅h battery new technology capacity. After this update, customers started complaining about reduced battery new technology capacity and longer charging times at Supercharger stations. The manufacturer attributed the change to safety concerns and a desire to extend battery life.
At the same time, Tesla clarified that only a small proportion of cars have reduced range after the upgrades were installed. However, not everyone was happy with this explanation and a group of disgruntled customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the American manufacturer. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on 29 April.
Only 30 owners of electric cars have filed a lawsuit against Tesla. However, there are approximately 10,000 cars in total in Norway that fall under the above criteria. And if other owners also go to court and seek compensation, the company could face a fine of $160 million.
In August 2019, a similar class-action lawsuit against Tesla was filed by owners of the company’s cars in the US.
Currently, it isn’t possible to get a quick comment about all these situations from company representatives. As recently as last year, the company disbanded its PR department and usually does not respond to media inquiries.