Reuters Accuses Tesla of Battery Range Manipulation

Report alleges 'Diversion Team' was formed to deal with battery range complaints
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2023 7:53 AM CDT
Reuters Accuses Tesla of Battery Range Manipulation
Tesla Supercharger is seen in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

A lengthy investigation by Reuters alleges that Tesla's batteries haven't always had the range the company touts—and that the company in 2022 put together a special team whose job was to try to convince drivers seeking service on their batteries to cancel those appointments. Neither Tesla nor Elon Musk commented for the article, which alleges that Tesla "rigged" its range-estimating software about a decade ago by relying on an algorithm that would initially project a robust range on a full battery. A source tells Reuters that once the battery's charge dropped under 50%, the algorithm would adjust the read-out to show the true number.

Reuters "could not determine whether Tesla still uses algorithms that boost in-dash range estimates," but notes that "automotive testers and regulators" have recently flagged this very issue; South Korean regulators, for instance, fined the company earlier this year after determining the cars had as little as half the in-dash range estimate under cold-weather conditions. Reuters' sources further say that a "Diversion Team" located in Las Vegas is tasked with trying to get Tesla owners to cancel service appointments related to range concerns. Sources say the team was told that each axed appointment would save Tesla $1,000 and take the pressure off of overloaded service centers. Canceled appointments are reportedly sometimes celebrated by chiming a metal xylophone kept in the office. (Read the lengthy investigation in full.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.