Tesla Motors Inc is on the radar of the Consumer Council in Norway, and the firm is being brought into mediation in order to answer to accusations of false advertising. The case centers around the way that the firm calculated the horsepower on its P85D Model S. The advertised horsepower, though defended by the firm, could not be met with any consistency in real life.
Fred Lambert over at Electrek brought the Norwegian case to light on Tuesday evening. There is very little detail out there on the case right now, but a spokesperson for the consumer council, Ingeborg Flønes told a local news outlet that, “There have been a steady stream of complaints and they continue to come. Right now, Consumer Council works as a neutral mediator between the parties. We try to find a solution. This process is not public.”
Tesla Motors fights false advertising claims
Tesla Motors was, up until very recently, advertising the Model S P85D as having 691 horsepower. The firm, in the last couple of weeks altered that claim and now says that the car has just 463hp. 150 Model S owners in Norway have complained and the country’s consumer protection agency is now involved in the case.
We don’t have any additional info on the Tesla Motors Inc horsepower problem, but it’s clear that Norway might not be the only place to bring the firm to task over the complaints. The Tesla Motors Club forum has more than a few threads from Model S owners miffed at the oversight by Tesla. Some have even accused the firm of willfully misleading buyers.
Back in August a thread, with an open letter to Elon Musk with regard to the Model S hp issue, was opened. On Wednesday morning, as news of the Norwegian Consumer Council mediation breaks, the thread had almost 70 pages of comments and discussion.
Tesla Motors needs to tread lightly
Tesla Motors Inc has major power vested in it brand name, and this kind of bickering with its buyers, should it escalate, could significantly reduce the satisfaction of its customers. In a recent Consumer Reports survey 97 percent of Model S owners said that they would buy the car all over again. That’s the kind of number Tesla Motors will want to keep on its side.
This kind of friction with buyers is more or less inevitable, however. It’s the job of Elon Musk and the rest of the team at Tesla Motors to make sure that it doesn’t harm the firm going forward. The firm has altered the horsepower numbers for the P85D to make sure future buyers are no longer confused about what’s under the hood of the Model S.
This isn’t the first time that Tesla Motors has clashed with those that bought the Model S, though the firm usually manages to handle those cases with aplomb. That’s why the firm was so well defended in the wake of the Consumer Reports downgrade.
The P85D horsepower problem only impacts a small number of people, but with Norway’s Consumer Council on the case, compensation, in some form, may be paid out to owners in that country. That could raise awareness of the issue on a global scale, and make the horsepower problem much more of an issue for Tesla Motors in the coming weeks and months.