Tesla exaggerated the driving range of its vehicles for years, Reuters reported.
To suppress complaints, the EV maker created a secret team to cancel appointments, per the report.
The cars often did not need to be repaired and the performance had merely been overstated, it added.
The report, which cited a source familiar with an early design of Tesla software, said the EV maker rigged the range-estimating software on the cars’ dashboards. Instead of displaying the true driving range, the software provided a “rosy” projection of how far cars could drive before needing to be recharged, the report said.
The distance EVs can travel before needing to be recharged is one of the main disadvantages the cars face in comparison with gas vehicles.
The order to inflate the driving range displayed on the cars was given by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk around 10 years ago, according to Reuters. The news agency said it couldn’t determine if the algorithms were still in use.
As a result, the company was inundated with complaints and service appointments from drivers who expected a longer driving range, several sources told Reuters.
To suppress the volume of these complaints the automaker created a secret “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas to cancel appointments, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The team was tracked by the number of appointments they diverted each day and often closed hundreds of cases a week. In most cases, the cars likely did not need to be repaired; their performance had merely been overstated.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside of normal working hours. The company did not provide Reuters with a comment on the report.
The ground EVs can cover on a single charge has improved significantly in the past decade, and Tesla has been one of the frontrunners in terms of “miles per fill-up.”
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