Tesla will pay owners about $7,700 because of a dispute over the car’s power ratings.
Tesla Motors has settled out of court with 126 owners of its electric car in Norway, Reuters reports. The lawsuit concerned the horsepower ratings of the Model S P85D, which the customers alleged was inaccurate.
The court case had been planned to start today, but Tesla decided to settle ahead of time, according to Reuters. Tesla will agree to pay each of the affected Model S P85D owners the equivalent of $7,700, or a lesser amount of upgrades to their car.
The debate over the P85D’s output rating has been raging for more than a year. Because of the way Tesla rates its cars’ output, customers might not be able to access as much power as the ratings suggest. In the case of the P85D, the car’s twin electric motors are rated for 691 horsepower (515 kilowatts), but the car’s electronics and batteries cannot always deliver that much power.
Tesla alleges that the motor-shaft horsepower, the quoted number, is a more consistent figure and the only one legally allowed to be advertised in Europe. The company admitted, though, in a September 2015 blog post that Model S drivers won’t actually receive that much power at all times. In other words, the P85D doesn’t always deliver 691 hp.
“As we have pushed the combined motor horsepower higher and higher, the amount of times where the battery chemical horsepower is lower than the combined motor horsepower has increased,” Tesla said. “With the P85D the combined motor shaft power can often exceed the battery electrical horsepower available.”
The dispute in Norway initially went to that country’s Consumer Council, which sided with Tesla. But the plaintiff appealed to the Consumer Disputes Council before Tesla eventually settled.
Tesla has otherwise had a good relationship with Norway; CEO Elon Musk praised the country’s government after it announced plans to ban internal-combustion cars by 2025.