Tesla owners sue over lack of horsepower

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More than a hundred Norwegian owners of the Tesla Model S P85D are suing the producer of the popular electric car. They’re seeking an upgrade of their cars instead of any rebate.

“The car is great,” Tesla owner Frode Fleten Jacobsen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “It’s just that I was tricked into paying extra for something I didn’t get.”

When Jacobsen sold his first Tesla Model S to upgrade to the new four-wheel-drive Tesla Model S P85D, he paid around NOK 150,000 (USD 18,000) for a so-called “performance model” that should have had high horsepower and go from zero to 100kph (60mph) in 3.3 seconds. He said he paid a total of NOK 873,900 for the vehicle (USD 106,000).

Instead he calculated his new Tesla as having horsepower of 469 instead of the 700 promised. He told DN the horsepower he has is still a lot and he doesn’t mean to sound whiney, “but many buyers stretched themselves to experience a car with 700 horsepower and when we don’t get what we paid for, we feel cheated.”

Now he and 125 other Tesla owners have sued Tesla Motors Norway, demanding that either Tesla upgrade their vehicles (“because we know they have they technology,” Jacobsen said) or give them a price rebate “since we didn’t get the car we ordered.” They prefer an upgrade.

“Tesla will have to answer for what’s possible,” said the owners’ attorney, Kaspar Thommessen of the large Oslo law firm Wikborg Rein. He wouldn’t comment on how much of a price rebate might be acceptable.

Tesla responded that tests conducted by both Tesla and third parties show that the acceleration of its Model S P85D has been exact, from zero to 60/100 in 3.3 seconds with Motor Trend magazine showing just 3.1 seconds. It claims Norway’s consumer council (Forbrukerrådet) has evaluated complaints in Tesla’s favour. DN reported that three owners, however, were awarded NOK 50,000 from Tesla, after a council commission found a “considerable” disparity. A Tesla spokesman wouldn’t comment on whether it would appeal.

newsinenglish.no staff