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South Korea Considers Penalty for Tesla ‘Exaggerations’

Korea Fair Trade officials sent a report to Tesla saying it exaggerated the mileage of some of its models, as cars may fall short of their stated range if the temperature drops below freezing


A Tesla Model S electric car is seen at its dealership in Seoul
Tesla's new prices bring the cost of some of its EVs closer to its top Chinese rival BYD’s best-selling models. Photo: Reuters

 

South Korea’s antitrust regulator is considering imposing penalties against US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla over its findings – that the company exaggerated the specifications of its batteries, an official said on Wednesday.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) sent a report to Tesla stating that it had exaggerated the mileage of some of its models, including the Model 3, in violation of the country’s fair advertising and labelling law, the official said.

“We plan to hold a general meeting to review and determine the extent to which the automaker has violated the law and decide the level of sanctions,” an official at the KFTC told Reuters.

Tesla, on its website, says its Model 3 can travel 528 km (328 miles) on a single charge. However, the KFTC says that the range may fall short of that distance should the temperature drop below freezing.

Analysts said most EVs could generally experience some loss of driving range in cold weather.

Separately, the KFTC is also weighing whether to impose penalties against Tesla for not refunding deposits to customers who cancelled online purchases before their vehicle orders were put in place for release.

In South Korea, Tesla requires customers to pay a deposit of 100,000 won ($84) when purchasing Tesla cars online, but deposits were not refunded when customers cancelled their orders, according to the government-run Yonhap news agency.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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