Elon Musk’s software program experience has helped Tesla outsmart different carmakers. Whereas rivals would possibly have to carry a whole bunch of 1000’s of autos into retailers for recall repairs, Tesla can usually repair comparable points through an over-the-air software program replace.
However in line with 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 fairly count on that unexpected occasions—like climate, accidents, or flat tires—could influence the efficiency of their autos and result in pricey repairs. However no affordable shopper would count on that the automotive producer itself, by an automatic system, would intentionally and considerably intrude with the automotive’s efficiency by software program updates that scale back the working capability of the autos. However that’s exactly what Tesla has executed right here.”
In accordance with the swimsuit, Tesla’s automated software program updates have, with out warning, depleted the battery in Mannequin S and Mannequin X autos, lowering the driving vary by a minimum of 20%. “Automotive house owners might be compelled to pay a 3rd celebration a big charge ($500-$750) to reverse the software program replace in order that the automotive house owners might proceed to expertise the battery efficiency that they had earlier than the replace,” the swimsuit states.
In some circumstances, the software program updates “will render the batteries inoperable, and automotive house owners have to buy a brand new battery at a price of as much as $15,000,” it provides.
In July 2021, Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims that one in every of its software program updates quickly lowered the battery’s charging pace, most capability, and vary quickly for greater than 1,700 Mannequin S house owners, in line with CNBC.
Hagens Berman legal professional 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 vehicles, and Tesla imposes software program updates with out consent at any time when their car is related to Wi-Fi.”
The lawsuit provides: “Tesla house owners connect with Tesla immediately through Wi-Fi from their houses 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 definitely 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 car—making your car safer and extra succesful over time.”
Fortune reached out to Tesla for feedback concerning the lawsuit however obtained no instant reply.