Has justice finally been served?
This all dates back to 2019 when reports emerged that Tesla owners were experiencing serious driving range drops following a software update. Only the Tesla Model S and Model X were affected, and just those equipped with 85-kWh battery packs. That specific trim was discontinued in 2016 but Tesla still continued with over-the-air updates which makes complete sense. What allegedly happened as a result of one of those updates was a loss of 12 to 30 miles of range.
Affected owners weren't limited to a single country but a group of them banded together to take the matter to court. Electrek reports a Norwegian court has ordered Tesla to pay $16,000 to every affected owner in the country.
A specific number of owners is not available but the report claims there could be over 10,000. Norway has the greatest number of battery-electric vehicles per capita, making it a vital market for any EV brand. Unless Tesla appeals the decision, those payouts - that could ultimately total $160 million - are expected soon. Lawsuits have been filed in other countries over the same matter, but this is the first time a court has issued a ruling. Aside from the range decrease, owners claim the DC fast-charging rate at Supercharging stations has also dropped.
Tesla initially claimed the range loss affected only a small number of owners but the update was still deemed necessary in order to "protect the battery and improve battery longevity."
Owners were rightly concerned about their car battery's long-term health and many proceeded with the update only to soon see problems arise. Other owners wanted additional details about Tesla meant by "protect the battery" but were met with silence.
Tesla has yet to respond to the lawsuit that was collectively filed by 30 owners. All of them are immediately entitled to $16k in compensation. The company still has a few weeks to appeal but it's impossible for media outlets to reach out for comment since it eliminated its PR department last year.