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Norway fines Tesla for reducing battery capacities and charging speeds

It's been ordered to pay thousands of owners around $16,000 each.

GULSVIK, NORWAY - AUGUST 09: Tesla cars charge at a Tesla Supercharger charging station on August 9, 2020 in Gulsvik, Norway. Norway has the highest percentage of electric cars per capita in the world. In March, 2020, all-electric electric car sales accounted for 55.9% of new car sales. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images,)
Sean Gallup via Getty Images
Steve Dent
Steve Dent|@stevetdent|May 24, 2021 8:25 AM

A court in Norway has found Tesla guilty after it was sued by owners who complained of reduced battery capacities and charging speeds. It has been ordered to pay 136,000 kroner ($16,000) each to buyers of certain Model S owners, a judgement that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Nettavisen

Owners in Norway and elsewhere complained about drops in range of up to 30 miles following a 2019 software update, as Electrek reported. They also noticed reduced DC fast-charging rates at Tesla's Supercharger stations. The issues reportedly involve 2013-2015 models and Tesla said at the time that the aim was to "protect the battery and improve battery longevity." The company added that it would only affect "a small percentage of owners." 

Some owners saw precipitous drops in battery capacity of up to 11 percent, compared to the normal gradual declines expected. Those issues have led to lawsuits not only in Norway, but in Denmark, the US and elsewhere. 

Tesla reportedly failed to reply to the suit, so the judgement was made in absentia. As a result, the 30 owners behind the lawsuit will be awarded $16,000 each unless Tesla appeals. EVs are huge in Norway, however and Nettavisen notes that there are over 10,000 buyers of the affected models in Norway — as such, the lawsuit could get considerably more expensive. 

Norway fines Tesla for reducing battery capacities and charging speeds