Tesla Analyst Shrugs Off Report On EV Maker's Hush-Hush Squad To Quash Customer Complaints: Here's Why - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-28 - Scroll down for original article

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After a report suggested that Tesla, Inc. TSLA had set up secret teams to silence customer complaints about range issues, an analyst did not attach much significance to it. What Happened: Future Fund's Gary Black tweeted that he is not concerned about the report carried by Reuters about suppressing complaints regarding underperformance on the range of the vehicle. "Reuters which has a history of posting wildly false negative reports on $TSLA," he said. "The EPA sets the advertised battery range for each EV based on the same process, so it would be difficult for TSLA to game." Tesla’s service team reportedly canceled appointments for customers who complained about range issues, as per Reuters. One customer traveling from Colorado to California in a new 2021 Model 3 found the range less than half of the advertised 353 miles on a fully-charged battery. The team, known as the “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas, was tasked with canceling as many range-related appointments as possible to alleviate range anxiety and service center complaints. Inside the Nevada team’s office, employees celebrated canceling appointments with applause. The team closed hundreds of cases weekly, saving the company $1,000 per diversion. Benzinga’s request for clarification from Tesla went unanswered. Tesla frequently overpromised on performance, leading to numerous complaints, the report noted, citing automotive experts. Years ago, Tesla reportedly employed another tactic by rigging its range-estimating software. The range meter showed optimistic projections on a full battery, but below 50% charge, it displayed more realistic projections to prevent customers from getting stranded. Why It's Important: Tesla stock has been on a lean trot since it reported its earnings and has lost over 12%. Black said in a separate tweet that some of the weakness seen on Thursday in Tesla stock is attributable to the Reuters report. In June 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk's mother Maye Musk took exception to Reuters’ coverage of the company's announcement regarding job cuts. “Reuters is particularly bad at accurate Tesla reporting," she had said then. Later that month, she agreed with one Tesla influencer's comment that "Reuters is hired to create Tesla FUD imho." Tesla closed Thursday’s session down 3.27% at $255.71, according to Benzinga Pro data. Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link. Read Next: Cybertruck, Tesla’s ‘Home Run?’ Analyst Sees EV Pickup As ‘Rolling Billboard’ That Will ‘Really Catapult’ Stock Photo via Shutterstock