Tesla Accused of Exaggerating Mileage of Its Electric Cars, South Korea to Investigate


South Korea’s antitrust regulator is investigating US electric car maker Tesla over allegations the company exaggerated the specifications of its batteries, an official at the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday.

Yonhap news agency on late Monday reported the KFTC had sent a report to the electric vehicle (EV) maker stating that it had exaggerated the mileage of some of its models, including Model 3, in violation of the Act on Fair Labeling and Advertising.

“We plan to hold a meeting to decide the level of sanctions against the automaker,” an official at the KFTC told Reuters.

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

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

Tesla was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

The electric car-maker recently recalled nearly 579,000 vehicles in the US because a Boombox function can play sounds over an external speaker and obscure audible warnings for pedestrians.

The cars and SUVs have what Tesla calls a Boombox function that allows drivers to play sounds while the vehicles are moving, according to data on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website last week. This violates federal safety standards that require pedestrian warning noises for electric cars, which make little noise when in motion, the agency said.

It was the fourth Tesla recall made public in the last two weeks as US safety regulators increase scrutiny of the nation’s largest electric vehicle maker. In two of the recalls, Tesla made decisions that violate federal motor vehicle safety standards, while the others are software errors.


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