Fortunately, the automaker admitted that it was a mistake.
Tesla owners have faced an uphill battle ever since the EV giant started selling its first cars. The brand has faced continuing quality issues and its self-driving tech has been blamed on numerous accidents. Now, it would seem that its supercharging network has a serious issue: it's dropping huge charging fees on customers. Recently, a Tesla Model 3 owner in China was surprised to receive a bill for over $600,000 at his local supercharging station. That's enough to buy nearly five brand new Tesla Model S Plaid models. The charging fee of RMB 3,846,306 (around $608,000) was later admitted by Tesla to be an error.
A Weibo user first highlighted the issue in which a Tesla owner said that he had been notified via the Tesla app about his vehicle being banned from Tesla's Supercharging network due to the outstanding fines. Tesla recently moved to a payment system after offering the service for free. According to the afflicted user, he had last used a Tesla Supercharger on February 27 when he charged his Model 3. A closer look at his charging records shows that he hails from Shanghai and that he has not paid for charging since September 6, 2021. His record also shows that on February 27, he had used a total of 1,420 free miles on that day. His bill reflected that he had to pay over an insane $600,000 for 1,923,720 kWh, which was clearly an error.
According to CnEVPost, the Weibo user said that Tesla was aware of the issue that affected the back-end systems of some vehicles, and was working on repairing the issue. Late last year, Tesla canceled a program offering free overcharge credit to those referring friends and family to use its network. Referrals and buyers both received 1,000 miles of free charging in the US at the time. If one translates the massive bill to actual charging capacity delivered, it would work out to 32,062 Model 3 battery packs charged to 100 percent. A Weibo user noted Tesla's increased charging rates which now stand at RMB 6.4 per minute, which totals RMB 384 per hour ($61). This is a reminder that from now onwards, Tesla and Supercharger users should always keep an eye on their bills for inaccuracies. Sure, $600,000 is easy to notice, but small discrepancies can add up too.