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Lawsuit claims Tesla software update slashed Model S/X range

The OTA update was rolled out after a vehicle caught fire in a Shanghai parking garage.

Tesla has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that a recent over-the-air update reduces driving range for owners of older Model S and X vehicles.

Plaintiff David Rasmussen had already been tracking battery degradation on his 2014 Model S 85 when Tesla rolled out the update, which caused a quick drop equivalent to approximately 8-kWh, according to Reuters.

The revised software was rolled out in the wake of a Model S battery fire in a Shanghai parking garage. At the time, Tesla billed the update as beneficial to both safety and battery life.

"A very small percentage of owners of older Model S and Model X vehicles may have noticed a small reduction in range when charging to a maximum state of charge following a software update designed to improve battery longevity," the company said in a more recent statement.

The lawsuit accuses Tesla of using the software tweaks to "avoid its duties and legal obligations to customers to fix, repair, or replace" batteries that it knew to be defective, essentially 'throttling' the batteries and charging to avoid liability.

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