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South Korean Regulator Fines Tesla for Exaggerating EV Range

South Korea's antitrust regulator has announced plans to impose a $2.2 million fine on Tesla for failing to disclose the shorter driving range of its electric vehicles (EVs) in low temperatures.

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Tesla Logo

Tesla Accused of Exaggerating Driving Range, Fuel Cost-Effectiveness, and Supercharger Performance

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has accused Tesla of exaggerating the driving range, fuel cost-effectiveness, and performance of its Superchargers on its local website from August 2019 until recently.

EV Range Reduced by Up to 50.5% in Cold Weather

According to the KFTC, the driving range of Tesla's EVs can drop by as much as 50.5% in cold weather compared to the range advertised on the company's website.

Tesla Provides Winter Driving Tips But Does Not Mention Range Reduction

While Tesla's website includes winter driving tips such as pre-conditioning vehicles with external power sources and using the updated Energy app to monitor energy consumption, it does not mention the reduction in the driving range that occurs in sub-zero temperatures.

Most EVs Experience Reduction in Range in Cold Weather

In 2021, a South Korean consumer group, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, reported that most EVs experience a drop in driving range of up to 40% in cold weather when batteries need to be heated. According to data from the country's environment ministry, Tesla is particularly affected by this phenomenon.

KFTC Previously Fined Mercedes-Benz for False Advertising

This is not the first time the KFTC has fined a car manufacturer for false advertising. Last year, the regulator imposed a 20.2 billion won fine on Mercedes-Benz and its Korean unit for false advertising related to gas emissions from its diesel passenger vehicles.