Tesla agrees to pay $1.5 million in class action battery-throttling lawsuit, vehicle owners to get $625 each
In the letter: Tesla is paying 1,743 Model S sedan owners in the United States $ 625 in a $ 1.5 million settlement over claims that a software update temporarily reduced the maximum battery voltage of their vehicles, leading to a class action lawsuit led the electric vehicle giant.
CNBC writes that the 2019 OTA update arrived after a Model S caught fire in Hong Kong. Tesla said the update, postponed beyond a “plethora of caution,” would revise the charging and thermal management settings of Model S and Model X vehicles.
However, an owner of the Model S, David Rasmussen, said the update temporarily reduced the battery charging speed, maximum capacity and range of the vehicles. The matter went to court in August 2019.
Lawyers for the sued owners said (via Reuters) that the “voltage cap was temporary, with a 10% reduction for approximately three months and a smaller 7% reduction for an additional seven months before the March 2020 correction update was released”.
Tesla released another update that restored about 3% of battery voltage, with a third update arriving in March 2020 that completely restored battery voltage. According to court records, 1,552 of the affected vehicles were restored to maximum battery voltage, while 57 vehicles had their batteries replaced. Other Tesla owners who have experienced battery throttling should see their Model S restored to maximum voltage if they continue to drive the cars.
The $ 1.5 million settlement includes $ 410,000 in fees and charges for plaintiffs’ attorneys. Owners can count on only US $ 625, which, according to the comparative documents, is “a multiple of the proportionate value of the temporarily reduced maximum voltage”. Engadget notes that affected owners in Norway can expect up to $ 16,000, the result of a lawsuit in the country over the same problem.
As part of the settlement, Tesla must also “maintain diagnostic software for warranted vehicles to notify owners and renters of vehicles that Tesla determines may require battery service or repair with certain battery problems.”