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Tesla settles class-action lawsuit over Model S range reduction

Each owner of an affected vehicle will get $625 out of a total of $1.5 million.

The lesson of this situation seems to be not to mess with Model S owners.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Way, way back in 2019, we reported on an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into some issues that customers were having with their Tesla Model S batteries. Specifically, Tesla sent out an over-the-air software update that was meant to address a problem with the Model S' battery pack, but it ended up reducing the range of the affected vehicles.

That range reduction was enough to piss off a bunch of Model S owners enough that they filed a class-action lawsuit which, according to a report published on Thursday by Reuters, they won. Not only that, Tesla has agreed to pay out $1.5 million to owners of affected vehicles, which works out to around $625 per owner.

If that doesn't sound like a lot, it's because it's not. You can hardly buy a house in Los Angeles for $1.5 million these days, and to Tesla, it's barely a drop in the bucket. Still, it is likely satisfying to those affected owners who -- according to Tesla -- had their cars' range restored beginning in March of 2020.

We'd typically reach out to an automaker for a comment on a story like this, but Tesla dissolved its PR department, so all we can really do is scream into the void of Twitter at Elon Musk and hope for a response that we're unlikely to get. It's a bad scene for us and for consumers.