Elon Musk’s software program experience has helped Tesla outsmart different carmakers. Whereas rivals may must carry a whole bunch of 1000’s of autos into retailers for recall repairs, Tesla can usually repair related points through an over-the-air software program replace.
However in response to a class-action lawsuit filed Friday in California, software program updates have drained or rendered inoperable costly batteries for some house owners. The swimsuit states:
“When automotive house owners buy their autos, they moderately anticipate that unexpected occasions—like climate, accidents, or flat tires—might affect the efficiency of their autos and result in pricey repairs. However no cheap client would anticipate that the automotive producer itself, by means of an automatic system, would intentionally and considerably intervene with the automotive’s efficiency by means of software program updates that scale back the working capability of the autos. However that’s exactly what Tesla has completed right here.”
In keeping with the swimsuit, Tesla’s computerized software program updates have, with out warning, depleted the battery in Mannequin S and Mannequin X autos, lowering the driving vary by no less than 20%. “Automotive house owners can be compelled to pay a 3rd occasion a big price ($500-$750) to reverse the software program replace in order that the automotive house owners might proceed to expertise the battery efficiency they’d earlier than the replace,” the swimsuit states.
In some circumstances, the software program updates “will render the batteries inoperable, and automotive house owners must buy a brand new battery at a value of as much as $15,000,” it provides.
In July 2021, Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims that one in all its software program updates quickly diminished the battery’s charging velocity, most capability, and vary quickly for greater than 1,700 Mannequin S house owners, in response to CNBC.
Hagens Berman lawyer Steve Berman, who’s representing Tesla house owners and lessors within the present lawsuit, advised Fox Information, “Tesla house owners and lessors are uniquely on the mercy of the maker of their automobiles, and Tesla imposes software program updates with out consent each time their automobile is related to Wi-Fi.”
The lawsuit provides: “Tesla house owners connect with Tesla immediately through Wi-Fi from their properties or companies, and Tesla can then push software program updates onto the autos, with out the chance to consent to the updates or ask questions concerning the updates. And Plaintiffs actually didn’t consent to updates that hurt the efficiency of their autos.”
Tesla states on its web site: “Over-the-air software program updates introduce new options and updates to your automobile—making your automobile safer and extra succesful over time.”
Fortune reached out to Tesla for feedback concerning the lawsuit however acquired no fast reply.