Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims to 1,743 Model S owners due to the company temporarily lowering maximum battery voltage through a software update in 2019. The move comes after a Model S car caught fire in Hong Kong, China. The purpose of the update was to increase battery life on Model S and Model X by revising the thermal management system in the battery pack. However, the charging speed was reduced as a result, which ultimately affected the performance of the battery. In March 2020, Tesla released an update that brought the voltage on the affected Model S sedans back to their original levels.
Owners of the damaged vehicles will receive $625 each, well above the proportionate cost of the temporarily reduced maximum voltage. The $1.5 million settlement includes $410,000 in fees and costs for the plaintiffs' attorneys.
While this is a truly frustrating situation, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have not shied away from responsibility. On July 31, Musk commented on the situation via Twitter, saying that the company was indeed wrong. He also recalled that it is Tesla's policy to never admit to false claims, even if the company loses, and never fight true claims, even if they can win.
Tesla policy is never to give in to false claims, even if we would lose, and never to fight true claims, even if we would win.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 31, 2021
The ability to admit your mistakes is a great virtue and great practice. Not everyone is able to step back, accept their mistakes and correct them. The ability to admit mistakes is a treasured quality not only for individuals but also for companies. While this may seem like a sign of weakness to some, in reality, admitting mistakes shows strength and a willingness to improve. All people make mistakes sometimes, and companies are no exception, but not everyone is able to recognize this and take appropriate action to become better in the future. Tesla showed its strength and admitted its mistake.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.