“At Tesla we don’t make slow cars,” Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said when he unveiled the Model 3 earlier this year. Problem is they might not be fast enough.
Tesla is being sued by 126 of its customers in Norway who say the company’s vehicles don’t accelerate as quickly as it claims in its promotional materials.
The electric vehicles are supposed to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (that’s 0 to 62 miles per hour) in just over three seconds. They’re also said to have 700 horsepower. The plaintiffs say Tesla’s vehicles don’t meet those acceleration goals and only have 469 horsepower, so they’re suing the company for breaking the law.
Speed is important to Tesla. The company revealed a new battery in August that will take a “Ludicrous mode” Model S from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. Its Model 3 could be even faster when it debuts sometime in 2017.
Tesla’s vehicles are so fast that one was filmed while it raced a Boeing 737 by an airline that wanted to drum up some attention from potential fliers:
If the lawsuit is any indication of broader sentiment within Norway, Tesla might have a problem in what’s become one of its most lucrative markets.
One plaintiff in this case said he paid the equivalent to $105,350 for his Tesla. The company has sold an estimated 1,600 vehicles in Norway this year alone, and electric vehicles aren’t taxed within the country. Having a lawsuit claim that spending six figures on these electric vehicles because they promised to be fast could damage Tesla’s reputation and convince shoppers to look elsewhere.
Tesla, for its part, says the claims are inaccurate. “With respect to acceleration, Tesla described the S P85D as having a 0-100 kph time of 3.3 seconds,” a spokesperson told AFP, “And Motor Trend and others actually achieved a time of 3.1 seconds.” That’s even faster than Tesla’s claims, but it’s hard to imagine a few tenths of a second making a whole lot of difference over the long term.