Tesla has been accused of forming a secret squad to hide thousands of consumer complaints about driving range. The squad, dubbed the “Diversion Team,” was apparently charged with cancelling range-related servicing appointments and offering consumers alternative types of compensation, such as free Supercharging credits, in order to keep them from registering formal complaints with the authorities.
Reuters broke the story first, citing interviews with former Tesla employees and internal corporate papers. According to the documents, Tesla had been aware of the range difficulties for years but had done little to remedy them.
According to one former employee, the Diversion Team was “set up to prevent customers from escalating their concerns.” According to the employee, the team would frequently reschedule servicing appointments for customers who complained about range and then offer them other sorts of compensation, such as free Supercharging credits, to persuade them to drop the matter. According to another former employee, Tesla’s range estimations were “inflated” by software algorithms.
According to the employee, the corporation was aware that the real-world range of its vehicles was shorter than the stated range, but it chose to inflate the estimations to make the vehicles more enticing to buyers.
Tesla has dismissed the charges as “false and misleading.” According to the corporation, it has “always been transparent with our customers about the range of our vehicles.” The charges, however, have raised questions about Tesla’s dedication to customer pleasure.
If the corporation is concealing range complaints, it is effectively misinforming its customers about the capabilities of its vehicles. This could result in both safety hazards and customer discontent.
The charges also cast doubt on Tesla’s corporate culture. If the corporation is willing to form a hidden team to conceal consumer complaints, it implies that it is more concerned with maintaining its reputation than with addressing valid customer issues. It remains to be seen whether Tesla will face any regulatory action as a result of the allegations.
The charges, however, have already harmed the company’s reputation. Tesla is under increased investigation from regulators worldwide, and these latest charges are expected to add to the strain.