According to a Reuters investigation, Tesla’s service team used to cancel appointments set up by aggrieved customers who complained about range concerns. Several individuals familiar with the matter corroborated this information.
One such customer, who was traveling from Colorado to California in his newly purchased 2021 Model 3, discovered that the vehicle’s range was less than half the advertised 353 miles on a fully-charged battery. When he contacted Tesla’s service team and set up an appointment, they reportedly informed him that remote diagnostics showed no issue with the battery and subsequently canceled the appointment.
The report reveals that Tesla had established a team called the “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas. This team was tasked with canceling as many range-related appointments as possible, with the aim of alleviating the load of range anxiety and other complaints flooding the service center. Individuals familiar with the matter were the source of this information.
According to the report, inside the Nevada team’s office, some employees celebrated each time they canceled service appointments. They marked the moment by putting their phones on mute and striking a metal xylophone, which triggered applause from coworkers, who sometimes stood on desks.
The team’s performance was evaluated based on the average number of diverted appointments per day, and each diversion reportedly saved the company $1,000.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Zenger News’s request for clarification on the report.
As stated in the report, Tesla often hyped up consumer expectations by promising more performance than was feasible. This disconnect between promised and actual performance resulted in numerous complaints, according to automotive experts cited in the article.
The Reuters report also highlights a past tactic used by Tesla: the company had developed algorithms for its range meter that displayed “rosy” projections for the range of its vehicles when driven on a fully charged battery. However, when the range dropped below 50% of the maximum charge, the algorithm adjusted to show drivers more realistic projections to avoid customers getting stranded.
Analyst Reacts: Gary Black from Future Fund expressed his lack of concern about the report through a tweet. “Reuters which has a history of posting wildly false negative reports on $TSLA,” he said. “The EPA sets the advertised battery range for each EV based on the same process, so it would be difficult for TSLA to game.”
Tesla closed Thursday’s session down 3.27% at $255.71, according to Zenger News Pro data.
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