The Washington Post reports that Porsche has been accused in a lawsuit of intentionally halving the charging speed of its electric vehicles (EVs) due to a defect.
The class-action suit, filed in a district court in California, alleges that Porsche AG, its U.S. arm, and related companies had deliberately implemented a software update that impaired the charging speed of its EVs, despite the company’s knowledge of a defect in the vehicles’ charging systems.
The suit claims that the affected vehicles, which include the Porsche Taycan 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S, were sold with a defect causing their onboard chargers to experience a “thermal runaway,” leading to decreased charging speeds. The suit further alleges that Porsche had developed a software update that would have addressed the defect, but instead chose to limit charging speeds to protect the vehicles’ onboard chargers.
The suit further claims that the decrease in charging speed has caused the affected vehicles to become “unusable” and “unsellable” due to their inability to be adequately charged. It also alleges that Porsche’s decision to limit the charging speed has caused economic harm to the plaintiffs, who are seeking unspecified damages and a court order requiring Porsche to address the defect.
Porsche has yet to comment on the suit, but the company has previously stated that it “will continue to ensure that its vehicles meet the highest standards of safety, performance, and reliability, and that any software updates are designed to ensure these standards are maintained.”
The suit is the latest in a string of class-action complaints against automakers alleging that they sold vehicles with defective parts or software. It remains to be seen whether the plaintiffs in this case will ultimately be successful, but the outcome could have major implications for the industry, as it could set a precedent for how automakers respond to similar defects in the future.