WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. owners of Tesla Model S and Model X filed a proposed class action lawsuit Friday against the California-based electric vehicle maker over automatic software updates that allegedly reduced range or caused battery failures.
Lawsuit claims Tesla updates and their effects violate state and federal laws because they can reduce driving range by up to 20% and may require some owners to replace batteries at a cost of $15,000 .
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, argues that the affected Tesla vehicles are “protected computers” under the definition set out in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and that automatic updates violate the rights of users. consumers under the law.
“Tesla owners and lessors are solely at the mercy of the manufacturer of their cars, and Tesla forces software updates without consent whenever their vehicle is connected to Wi-Fi,” said Steve Berman, attorney at Hagens Berman representing Tesla owners and lessors in the lawsuit.
Owners’ attorneys say automakers typically notify customers when they want to perform a software update, but Tesla can issue automatic updates whenever the vehicle is connected to Wi-Fi.
The lawsuit said some Tesla owners paid third parties $500 to $750 to roll back battery-related software updates.
The lawsuit claims Tesla’s updates and their effects violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, California Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Lawyers say Tesla is denying reimbursement to Model S and Model X owners and lessors who experience a reduction in battery capacity following a software update.
In July 2021, Tesla agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle claims that a software update temporarily reduced the maximum battery voltage in 1,743 Model S sedans, including about $400,000 in fees and expenses. ‘attorney.
Owners of the vehicles received $625 each — “several times the prorated value of the temporarily reduced maximum voltage,” according to a court filing.