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Tesla has been slapped with a $2 million fine in South Korea over claims it falsely advertised the range of its vehicles in cold weather

Elon Musk TeslaTesla fined over $2 million by Korean antitrust regulators for false advertising.

Carina Johansen/Getty Images; Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

  • South Korea’s antitrust regulator said it’s fining Tesla $2.2 million for false advertising.
  • The regulators said Tesla had exaggerated the driving range of electric vehicles in cold weather. 
  • Tesla’s electric vehicle’s driving range plummets by over 50% in cold weather, South Korea’s regulator said. 

South Korea’s antitrust regular fined Tesla 2.85 billion won ($2.2 million) for false advertising, saying the company overstated the range of its cars in cold weather, as reported by multiple outlets including Reuters

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said at a press conference on Tuesday that Tesla exaggerated the driving range of its electric vehicles, failing to inform customers that cars have shorter driving ranges in lower temperatures. 

The KFTC said that Tesla overstated the “driving ranges of its cars on a single charge, their fuel cost-effectiveness compared to gasoline vehicles as well as the performance of its Superchargers,” on its official website since August 2019. 

KFTC spokesperson Nam Dong-il said at the press conference that Tesla had shared “false, exaggerated and deceptive advertisements,” about its vehicles.

The driving range of Tesla’s electric vehicles drops by 50.5% in cold weather, more than what was advertised online, the KFTC said.

The carmaker changed the advertising on its Korean-language website in February 2022, after the KFTC launched an investigation, according to Bloomberg

The regulator has piled on an additional fine of one million won (roughly $800) for violation’s of the country’s electronic commerce act because the firm did not provide enough information to customers on its cancellation policy, Bloomberg said. 

Tesla and the KFTC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside of regular business hours. 

A South Korean consumer group, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, said the driving range of electric vehicles drops by up to 40% in colder temperatures, particularly Teslas, according to data from Korea’s environment ministry, per Reuters. 

Tesla has winter driving tips on its website advising drivers to precondition their vehicles and to use its energy app. It does not mention anything about shorter driving ranges in cold temperatures. 

Tesla had sold 45,812 electric vehicles in South Korea by October 2022 since it opened its local office in 2015 — making it one of the biggest green car brands in the country, according to Korea’s transport ministry, as reported by Bloomberg. 

Read the original article on Business Insider