While Norway is gradually becoming the world leader in the percentage of electric cars in use, the transition is not without problems. Nearly 80 motorists have sued the US automaker Tesla over misleading advertising, claiming their electric cars failed to deliver as promised.
The plaintiffs complained that the real power of their Tesla S P85D sedan, with what was claimed to have the fastest acceleration in the world, only had 469 horsepower, which is way below the 700 horsepower initially promised by the manufacturer, the Norwegian economic daily Dagens Næringsliv reported.
Because the declared power was later downgraded by the manufacturer itself following revealed deficiencies in the battery, 79 dissatisfied Tesla owners decided to take the producer to court, demanding a price reduction due to inadequate marketing, in what seems to be a repeat of a similar, earlier collective Norwegian lawsuit.
Previously, a group of 133 Norwegian motorists sued Tesla and reached a deal in December 2016, as the electric car manufacturer pledged to either recompense the disgruntled car owners with either NOK 65,000 ($8,000), new equipment or a free car upgrade.
“It’s the same kind of case that ended in a settlement last time,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Christoffer Falkeid said. “It’s about the power of the car and the mistakes in marketing and in the sales process, but I don’t want to go into details,” he added.
The 79 plaintiffs, including investor Jens Ulltveit-Moe, who reportedly swapped his Porsche for a Tesla, come in addition to 38 other Tesla owners, who sued the car manufacturer in autumn of 2017.
The case is scheduled for investigation at the Oslo District Court in June this year, with six days to settle the dispute.
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Despite being one of Western Europe’s leading oil and gas exporters, Norway is one of the world leaders in electric cars in terms of market share, and one of the largest markets in the world for Tesla. Last year alone, Tesla’s combined sales in the Nordic country reached 8,465 cars.
In 2017, electric cars, as well as hybrids, which use both a battery and a diesel or petrol motor, accounted for a historic 52 percent of all new car sales in Norway, up from 40 percent in 2016, according to the Norwegian Road Federation, which cheered the fact that the fossil-fuel market share has fallen below 50 percent for the first time.
In Norway, new electric cars are exempt from almost all taxes and granted otherwise pricey perks, such as subsidized parking, re-charging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels.