United States electric car maker Tesla Motors has agreed to pay 126 unsatisfied Norwegian car owners in an out-of-court settlement which was scheduled to begin on Monday. Lawyers for the owners and the company told Oslo District Court in a joint letter they were withdrawing their case. The Norwegian car owners of the Model S P85D sedan had claimed their vehicle's performance did not match or even come close to the promises made by Tesla's advertisement and marketing. They were marketed to have an "insane mode" of acceleration from the dual electric motors. The model was supposed to be able to achieve 700 horsepower but the owners claim it only reached 470 horsepower in the lawsuit.
The horsepower claim from Tesla was not a lie or falsified but it was misleading. The rear motor produced 470 horsepower while the front made 221 horsepower, so in a way the P85D's total output is 691 horsepower. However the flawed logic of that horsepower is that it in real world driving, the model would not produce any torque more than the rear engine could produce and it affects the car's performance. The out of court settlement would require Tesla to pay out the customers 65,000 kroner ($7700 USD) each, half the amount the owners had originally demanded. The owners will also have the opportunity to choose from alternative options such as upgrades to make their cars go faster, vouchers, or new tires, sometimes accompanied by a lump sum.
This out of court settlement does not mean Tesla acknowledges wrong-doing or falsehoods in their advertisement campaigns but it does leave them with some space for interpretation. This however does allow some skeptical Tesla enthusiasts doubtful of their advertised specifications. Tesla's chief technical officer JB Straubel, had earlier said that directly comparing the horsepower of internal combustion engines and electric motors isn't easy nor simple conversion math. He also stated different ways that electric cars differ from internal combustion engine power cars but did not give a define answer to resolve the horsepower situation in Tesla's marketing and advertising information. The Tesla Model S P85D is no longer available in Norway, but its successor the P90D costs 801,000 kroner ($96,700 USD) Norway is the world's second largest market for electric cars after the United States due to the generous state funded incentives in favor of electric cars in the form of tax exemptions, free city tolls and public parking. Tesla Motors has sold almost 2800 vehicles in the country since the beginning of the year, however it is still 24 percent less than the first eleven months of 2015. The decline in sales is largely attributed to the rising competition of hybrid cars.