Tesla has consistently exaggerated the driving range of its electric vehicles, reportedly leading car owners to think something was broken when actual driving range was much lower than advertised. When these owners scheduled service appointments to fix the problem, Tesla canceled the appointments because there was no way to improve the actual distance Tesla cars could drive between charges, according to an investigation by Reuters.
In mid-2022, Tesla started routing range complaints to a “Diversion Team” that fielded up to 2,000 cases a week and “was expected to close about 750 cases a week,” Reuters reported.
“Tesla years ago began exaggerating its vehicles’ potential driving distance—by rigging their range-estimating software,” the article published today said. “The company decided about a decade ago, for marketing purposes, to write algorithms for its range meter that would show drivers ‘rosy’ projections for the distance it could travel on a full battery, according to a person familiar with an early design of the software for its in-dash readouts.”
Once the battery fell below 50 percent, “the algorithm would show drivers more realistic projections for their remaining driving range.” The order to exaggerate car range allegedly came from the top, Reuters wrote:
The directive to present the optimistic range estimates came from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, this person said.