Tesla to pay $1.5M over a claim saying its software update reduced battery performance

Tesla agreed to settle a claim that says  Tesla Model S cars had reduced battery maximum voltage temporarily because of over-air software updates. Tesla owners would receive $650 each, as 1,743 Model S cars were affected. The settlement money will be covering the lawyer’s fee of $410,00, in addition to compensating Tesla owners.

Tesla agrees to shell out $1.5 million to settle battery throttling lawsuit
Image credits- Latestly Hunt

Additionally, Tesla will be providing battery-related diagnostics to those Tesla owners along with battery repairs or other notifications.

The case was filed in US district court in San Francisco. They show that the owners will compensation, which is  “many times the prorated value of the temporarily reduced maximum voltage,”

According to the owners, who conveyed through lawyers, they sued Tesla stating 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.”

The owner of the Tesla Model S filed the case in August 2019. David Rasmussen had been tracking his vehicle battery performance from time to time, which led to observe that the performance reduced than earlier. In March 2020, Tesla rolled out another update, where 1,552 Tesla Model S sedans were known to be fixed. The remaining 57 vehicles will receive battery replacements.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, along with Ed Chen’s YK Law represented Tesla owners. 25% of the settlement fee goes to the attorney fee. The finalized hearing is scheduled for December 9, 2021.

The explanation for software update

The incident goes back to May 2019 when Tesla rolled out a battery safety update. Which was after a Model S caught fire in Hong Kong. In an attempt to improve the longevity of Model S and Model X battery life. Tesla set the software to optimize the thermal management system of vehicle battery packs.

Tesla spokesperson explained the reason behind the reduction in maximum voltage as,  “As we continue our investigation of the root cause (of the Model S fire), out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity,”