South Korea imposes penalty on Tesla for exaggerating mileage

SEOUL, Feb 15 (Reuters) – South Korea’s antitrust regulator is considering sanctions on U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) over its findings that the company overstated its battery specifications, said a manager on Wednesday.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) had sent a report to the electric vehicle (EV) maker saying it had exaggerated the mileage of some of its models, including the Model 3, in violation of the labeling law and publicity fair, the official mentioned.

“We plan to hold a general meeting to review and determine the extent to which the automaker has broken the law and decide on the level of penalties,” a KFTC official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. .

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Tesla, on its website, says its Model 3 can travel 528 km (328 miles) on a single charge. The KFTC, however, says the range could be lower than that if the temperature drops below freezing.

Analysts said most electric vehicles could generally experience some range loss in cold weather.

Separately, the KFTC is also considering whether to impose penalties on Tesla for failing to refund deposits to customers who canceled online purchases before their vehicle orders were placed.

In South Korea, Tesla requires customers to pay a deposit of 100,000 won ($84) when buying Tesla cars online, but deposits were not refunded when customers canceled orders , according to the Yonhap news agency.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

($1 = 1,197.0900 won)

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Reporting by Joori Roh, Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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