All electric cars come standard with range anxiety – having to think about how far you can go before the car comes to a stop . . . and what you’ll do while you wait for it to recharge.
If you can find a place to recharge.
But Elon Musk’s electric cars offer a unique “feature” their owners didn’t know they paid for:
Not because the batteries are running low – but because Elon decided to reduce how far they can go.
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To keep more Teslas from burning up while recharging -an embarrassing as well as fatal problem with Teslas – the company recently transmitted a “software update” to its Model S and X vehicles that limits how much charge the battery will accept.
The reduced charge capacity translates as reduced range – as 40 miles less than advertised (and paid for, by the people who bought the cars).
This is no small thing given that 40 miles can be the difference between making it home – and making a long pit stop.
Still, better than being burned to death in a mobile crematorium.
Thousands of cars have been gimped by the update, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court by unhappy Model S owner by David Rasmussen.
“Under the guise of ‘safety’ and increasing the ‘longevity’ of the batteries . . . Tesla fraudulently manipulated its software with the intent to avoid its duties and legal obligations to customers to fix, repair, or replace the batteries . . . Tesla knew were defective,” the lawsuit claims.
In plain language: Rather than admit there is a problem with the batteries that makes charging them to full capacity a fire hazard – and replace potentially millions of dollars’ worth of batteries – Tesla decided on the free (to Tesla) “update.”
Which costs its owners not just range and time – but also resale value. A car that can’t go as far as advertised being worth less.
The industry trade publication Automotive News interviewed another Tesla S owner, Nick Smith of Orlando, FL who says his car will no longer charge beyond 90 percent of its former capacity after being “updated” by Tesla.