Is your Tesla attempting to fool you?
A lawsuit against Tesla claims the company exaggerated its cars’ range capabilities. It comes after a Reuters investigation found that the electric vehicle maker used algorithms that boost in-dash range projections.
The algorithms was create about a decade ago for marketing purposes, according to a person familiar with the
early design of the software.
They would display rosy projections until the battery charge depleted, a way to manage customer expectations.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can leave victims feeling like they’re going crazy. It happens when an abusive person convinces their victim that their perceptions and memories are invalid, according to experts.
It’s often associate with domestic violence and can also occur in the workplace.
For example, a boss may tell employees that they don’t remember receiving a report or submitting an assignment when the employee knows that they actually did so.
Those who experience gaslighting often feel confused and overwhelmed because it’s a systematic way to discredit a person’s self-worth, Stern says.
This behavior can lead to a number of serious health issues, including depression, anxiety, and feelings of incompetence or powerlessness.
In addition, it can also cause a person to withdraw from loved ones and isolate themselves.
To protect yourself from gaslighting, experts recommend staying in contact with a supportive friend and focusing on healthy self-care.
They also suggest keeping a journal or recording texts and phone calls as proof of what happened. Finally, it’s important to gain perspective by talking to a neutral third party.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who regularly gaslights you, consider getting professional help to address the issue.
Talkspace offers a variety of therapy specialties and has coverage options with most major insurers. You can learn more about their services by taking a free quiz online or visiting their website.
How Does It Work?
Tesla is facing allegations that it lied to its customers about the driving range of their electric vehicles.
A recent report from Reuters revealed that the company used software to intentionally inflate the EVs’ displayed range on their dashboards.
According to the Reuters report, CEO Elon Musk decided about a decade ago to rig the EVs’ range-estimating algorithms.
The result was that the in-dash range projections were “rosy” even when the cars had little or no battery charge, and they dropped to more realistic estimates when a car was charged up.
The problem, according to Reuters, was that this led to a groundswell of customer complaints about the Teslas’ actual driving range.
Several owners complained that they were getting less than half of their advertised range, especially in cold weather. Some even made service appointments thinking that there was something wrong with their batteries.
Reuters reports that to silence these concerns, Tesla created a team to cancel service appointment requests tied to range issues.
Employees in the Las Vegas-based “Diversion Team” were reportedly told to celebrate when they closed such a request by striking a metal xylophone on their desk.
They were also given credit for saving the company $1,000 for each canceled appointment.
This was all to keep the volume of complaints low and to deflect attention from the alleged falsification of the vehicles’ displayed range.
What Are the Signs of Gaslighting?
If someone is gaslighting you, it may feel like you’re losing your mind. You may have trouble making decisions on your own or questioning your own reality, and you may feel unable to express yourself because they’re always attacking you. You might also find yourself apologizing a lot or trying to appease them. If you notice these signs, seek professional help. A therapist can teach you how to address the situation productively without losing yourself in it.
Gaslighting can happen in romantic relationships, friendships, and even work environments. It can be hard to spot when it’s happening, but it’s important to know that this type of abuse isn’t okay.
When someone is gaslighting you, they’ll often argue with you instead of admitting their behavior is abusive. This is because they’re avoiding confronting their own bad habits and behaviors because they think they’ll lose credibility or self-esteem if they admit to them.
A gaslighter can be difficult to reason with because they’ll twist stories in their favor. This is why it’s helpful to save texts or emails and remind yourself that the truth is on your side.
In addition, it can be helpful to gain some distance from the situation and practice self-care through relaxation techniques like deep breathing or grounding exercises. It may also be helpful to seek out therapy if the person continues to gaslight you.
Is Your Tesla Gaslighting You?
The latest blow to the electric car giant’s reputation comes in the form of a lawsuit filed by three Tesla owners over the company’s alleged deception regarding its EV range claims.
According to a report by Reuters, Tesla cars are programmed with algorithms that present optimistic range projections on the vehicle’s in-dash display when a battery is fully charged.
Once the battery drains below a certain percentage, the projections become more realistic.
This is supposed to help manage customer expectations on-the-go and avoid the “range anxiety” that some EV drivers complain about.
When a driver notices that the range meter on their Tesla isn’t matching up to the claimed numbers, they can call or set up an appointment at a service center.
According to the lawsuit, however, Tesla had a secret team called the Diversion Team that was tasked with canceling these appointments.
Reuters reported that this team closed hundreds of cases a week. It seems that these cancellations weren’t motivated by altruism but rather to save $1,000 per canceled service request and to ease the load on overburdened service centers.
Employees reportedly celebrated their successes with a clink of a metal xylophone after successfully diverting a customer’s concerns.
While every EV is bounded to have a less-than-advertise driving range in real-world conditions (think cold temps or hills), the fact that the company allegedly had an entire team to shut down these complains raises serious red flags. If the class-action lawsuit receives approval, it could potentially affect more than 180,000 customers who bought their Tesla vehicles based on its claims.