Tesla was reportedly misleading customers with inflated range estimates

Artificial boosting of the range was done back in the early days of Tesla when it was only selling the Roadster and the Model S

Tesla has reportedly been lying about its vehicles’ range estimates.

A new Reuters report suggests that the electric automobile company has been artificially boosting the range estimates of its electric vehicles as instructed by CEO Elon Musk.

The report cites an anonymous source who said that Tesla has been using algorithms that overstate the projected range at a full charge, and then adjust it to more realistic numbers when the battery level drops to 50 percent or below to prevent drivers from being stranded without range. “Elon wanted to show good range numbers when fully charged,” the person said as per Reuters. “When you buy a car off the lot seeing 350-mile, 400-mile range, it makes you feel good.”

According to the report, the artificial boosting of the range was done back in the early days of Tesla, when it was only selling the Roadster and the Model S. It is unknown whether the company uses similar range-boosting algorithms for its current vehicles.

Further, the report also suggests that last summer, Tesla created a Las Vegas “Diversion Team” that was meant to deal with range issues. Employees in the department were trained to tell customers that “the EPA-approved range estimates were just a prediction, not an actual measurement, and that batteries degrade over time, which can reduce range.”

The employees would also run remote diagnostics on the customer’s vehicle, and if they found anything wrong unrelated to the driving range, they were instructed not to tell the customer about it. Additionally, the team members would play a xylophone sound to celebrate appointment cancellations and were told that each cancelled appointment saved the company about $1,000 USD (roughly $1,300 CAD).

Some employees were even told to not run remote diagnostics at all. “Thousands of customers were told there is nothing wrong with their car,” said the unnamed source.

Tesla has faced criticism for its range estimates in the past. In South Korea, Tesla was fined for delivering vehicles that had a much lower range in cold weather than advertised, while in the U.S., the United States Environmental Protection Agency has asked Tesla to reduce its estimated ranges by three percent over six models.

The automobile company has also long been scrutinized over its FSD software. It is now being investigated by the California attorney general’s office for the same. Read more about it here.

Source: Reuters Via: The Verge