Tesla Inc is facing a lawsuit from an owner of one of its electric vehicles, which claims the company limited the battery range of older vehicles via a software update to avoid a costly recall to fix what plaintiffs allege are defective batteries, according to a media report.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Northern California federal court, alleges fraud and seeks class action status for the potentially “thousands” of such Model S and X owners around the world who have seen the range of their older-generation batteries suddenly curtailed, some by as much as 40 miles, the Reuters story said.
The newswire noted the lawsuit alleges that plaintiff David Rasmussen’s 2014 Model S 85 lost battery capacity equivalent to about 8kWh, but was told by Tesla the degradation was normal.
The lawsuit also points to a recent spate of Tesla battery fires, and claims that instead of informing its customers about a potential fire risk, the company “chose to go behind the backs of its customers and use software updates and throttling of the battery to avoid liability,” Reuters added.
Tesla did not immediately respond on Thursday to its requests for comment, the newswire said.