Tesla fined $2.25 million in South Korea for false advertising

Asian Tech Press (Jan 3) -- Tesla Inc. is facing a $2.25 million fine in South Korea for allegedly false advertising.

South Korea's antitrust regulator said Tuesday it has decided to fine Tesla and its South Korean subsidiary 2.85 billion won ($2.25 million) for falsely advertising the range of its electric cars.

Tesla advertised in August 2019 that its electric cars can run "at least" 528 kilometers on a single charge, which the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) deemed an exaggeration.

"The distance mentioned in the advertisements is only possible at average temperatures and in downtown areas. In other cases, the distances would be shorter," said the FTC. "The actual range drops by 50.5% in colder temperatures."

In addition, Tesla also provided false information about charging speeds. The FTC said, "Without mentioning types and testing conditions, [Tesla] advertised that its superchargers can charge a car enough to run hundreds of miles in 15 or 30 minutes."

The Korean antitrust regulator also decided to impose a separate fine of 1 million won on Tesla for its unfair business practices.

The separate fine is for Tesla's non-refundable deposit policy in South Korea. The U.S. automaker charged a commission of 100,000 won per order for about a year starting in January 2020, which would not be refunded if consumers canceled their purchases.

The FTC said Tesla also violated South Korean rules by not allowing buyers to cancel their orders online and instead requiring them to make phone calls

(US$1 = 1267.262 won)

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