Tesla agrees to pay $1.5 million to settle battery throttling lawsuit

Technology

Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company used a software update to reduce the maximum battery voltage for some of its Model S sedans, Reuters reports.

The software update, which was released in 2019, resulted in slower charging speed and diminished range for around 1,743 vehicles, the plaintiffs alleged. As a result of the settlement, Tesla agreed to pay $625 to each of the affected vehicle owners.

“This amount is many times the prorated value of the temporarily reduced maximum voltage, and thus represents an excellent and efficient result for the Settlement Class,” the court document reads. “In return, the Settlement Class will release claims related to the software updates that imposed and then restored the batteries’ maximum voltage.”

Lawyers for the owners said they conducted an investigation that found that “voltage limitation was temporary, with a 10% reduction lasting about 3 months, and a smaller 7% reduction lasting another 7 months before the corrective update was released in March 2020. Following that second update, the vehicles’ voltage showed steady restoration over time.”

It’s not immediately clear how the plaintiffs will receive their payment from Tesla. A US district court judge will convene a hearing on the proposed settlement on December 9th. A spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment; Tesla dissolved its PR department in 2019.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has been forced to pay its customers for throttling their vehicle batteries. Last May, the company was ordered to pay 136,000 kroner ($16,000) each to thousands of customers in Norway for slowing down charging speeds.