Tesla, the renowned electric vehicle manufacturer, is under scrutiny, with accusations of inflating the driving range figures displayed on their dashboard, as reported by Reuters. This claim could shake the trust of EV drivers who rely heavily on accurate range data when on the road.
For any electric vehicle, the driving range, the distance it can cover on a full charge, holds significant importance for the buyers and the users. Tesla drivers, however, might be working with deceptive data.
According to the investigative report by Reuters, the company has not been forthright about the actual driving range. When Tesla received an influx of complaints, they allegedly used a dedicated team to cancel service appointments, shirking from addressing the problem head-on.
It appears that Tesla’s dashboard and navigation system’s projected driving range estimates are overblown. While the estimates from the navigation system tend to be more accurate, the dashboard often gives an overly optimistic mileage count for a full charge. A source disclosed to Reuters that Tesla initiated this exaggeration practice nearly a decade ago, using algorithms to inflate the mileage figures.
Owners who raised concerns about their vehicles not meeting the projected mileage found themselves dealing with Tesla’s “Diversion Team.” As per the report, this team would cancel the service appointments after assuring the customers through remote vehicle tests that their cars were functioning properly. The diversion team allegedly celebrates each appointment cancellation by striking a metal xylophone.
Earlier this year, South Korea imposed a hefty fine of over $2 million on Tesla for misrepresenting the driving ranges of its vehicles. In the US, Tesla boasts some of the highest EPA-estimated driving ranges among EVs. The 2023 Tesla Model S, for instance, offers an impressive 405-mile range. However, real-world factors, such as weather and battery health, can affect these numbers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), responsible for approving listed vehicle ranges, required Tesla to reduce its estimates by an average of 3% after audits. However, the EPA warns that individual experiences may vary from the estimates.
Tesla has not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing this report. This issue casts a shadow on the reliability of Tesla’s vehicles, highlighting the need for transparency in this rapidly growing sector.