02/20/24 | Judge Denies Tesla’s Motion to Dismiss
A federal judge granted in part and denied in part Tesla’s motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit alleging its software updates are designed to deplete the battery and reduce the driving range of Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles. Judge Jon S. Tigar allowed eight of vehicle owners’ ten claims against the automaker to proceed, and found that the complaint adequately alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California’s Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

“Plaintiffs adequately plead that Tesla intentionally accessed their computers without authorization,” the order states, and “Plaintiffs plausibly explain how various software updates result in immediate battery degradation.” Judge Tigar also held that Hagens Berman’s complaint adequately states a claim for trespass of chattels, which alleges that Tesla intentionally degraded owners’ car batteries through invasive software updates.


Own a Tesla Model S or Model X? Tesla's automatic software updates performed without your consent may have reduced your vehicle’s driving range by as much as 20%, or rendered your battery inoperable.  Fill out the form to find out your rights »

Case Status
Motion to Dismiss Denied (In Full or in Part)
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Case Number
Tesla, Inc. d/b/a/ Tesla Motors, Inc.
File Date


Hagens Berman has filed a lawsuit on behalf of owners and lessors of Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles, alleging that Tesla's automatic software updates are responsible for a drastic drop in battery performance and driving range in affected vehicles. In some cases, attorneys allege, the software update renders batteries fully inoperable, and drivers are told they must purchase a new $15,000 battery.


  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model X


Tesla routinely performs automatic software updates on its vehicles. Typically, if an automaker wants to update vehicle software, the automaker will notify drivers, and include a brief description of and reason for the update. This gives customers the opportunity to choose to receive the update, and ask questions about potential downsides or effects.

According tot he lawsuit, because Tesla owners connect directly to the automaker via Wi-Fi, Tesla can push its software updates onto its customers at any time without their consent or the opportunity to ask questions.


Attorneys say that Tesla markets its vehicles with the promise of a battery “designed to function for the entire life of the vehicle,” but following software updates, Model S and Model X drivers reportedly experience drastic drops in battery performance, resulting in a decrease in vehicle driving range of up to 20%. In some cases, software updates render Tesla batteries inoperable, and drivers are told to purchase a new battery at $15,000+ apiece. 

The lawsuit claims that at no point has Tesla warned customers that its software update would derate the battery or result in the depletion of battery life, and drivers are told they have recourse if they encounter performance issues following a software update. According to the lawsuit, updates cannot be canceled once they begin, and Tesla tells consumers it is not possible to revert to previous versions of the vehicle software.


In prior litigation, Tesla has not challenged claims that its software updates can and do lead to diminished battery performance, and admitted that data showed a May 2019 software update caused a 10% decrease in battery performance in 2012-2016 Model S vehicles. In a separate lawsuit that was settled in 2021, Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims that its May 2019 software update temporarily cut the maximum charge of some of its vehicles, and a court in Norway ordered Tesla to pay $16,000 each to 30 plaintiffs who experienced a drop in battery performance and charging speed following that same 2019 software update.


Tesla owners have taken to online forums to share stories of reduced battery performance following software updates:

  • “So far the battery capacity decreases every time I drive.”
  • “How do they explain the sudden loss of range. Gradual reduction in range is or can be normal but I don’t know how they can say a sudden drop-off-the-cliff in range is normal or gradual.”
  • “This whole thing follows the Tesla mode of operation: throw out a fix and deal with the consequences later.”
  • “Any range loss that is due to a software change and not due to degradation is theft even if they never advertised explicit battery…capacity.”
  • “I’m already fine with never getting another update and don’t want one with the fiasco that v9 has been…I’ve removed all saved wifi Aps and turned wifi off hoping that I’ll never get an update.”


Attorneys believe that Tesla’s automatic updates may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and state consumer protection laws, and we find it unacceptable for Tesla to impose automatic updates that may decrease vehicle performance suddenly and without warning. We believe Tesla needs to be held accountable to its customers who may have the right to compensation. Model S and Model X owners and lessors deserve a real answer from Tesla about the link between automatic software updates and battery performance, as well as peace of mind about their vehicle performance.


Through a class-action lawsuit, individual consumers can collectively bring claims against large corporations that would otherwise have the upper hand, like Tesla. A class-action lawsuit seeks to level the playing field, bringing strength to collective action to change corrupt practices and negligent responses to customers. Though these measures do not bring immediate relief, they are a time-tested method of holding companies accountable for wrongdoing, including automakers’ failure to sell reliable vehicles to their customers.


In 2018, Hagens Berman recovered damages in a class-action lawsuit against Tesla for its delayed rollout of Enhanced Autopilot features, for which it was charging vehicle owners an $8,000 premium. Hagens Berman is one of the nation’s leading automotive law firms and has played a leading role in achieving the two largest automotive settlements in U.S. history. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in automotive consumer law.


In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the legal team for the class.


Complaint Filed

Hagens Berman purchases advertisements on search engines, social media sites and other websites. Transmission of the information contained or available through this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you seek legal advice or representation by Hagens Berman, you must first enter a formal agreement. All information contained in any transmission is confidential and Hagens Berman agrees to protect information against unauthorized use, publication or disclosure. This site is regulated by the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct.