South Korea’s antitrust watchdog, the Fair Trade Commission, has announced that it will fine Tesla $2.2 million for alleged violations of advertising laws.
In a statement, the Commission claimed that Tesla falsely advertised the driving range and charging speed of its electric vehicles, as well as the estimated fuel cost savings. The regulator also stated that Tesla violated the Electronic Commerce Act by not providing enough information to consumers on its cancellation policy. As a result, the company will face an additional penalty of $835,000.
The allegations stem from Tesla’s Korean-language website, which was changed in February of this year when the watchdog began its investigation. Tesla has not yet commented on the matter.
Despite the regulatory issues, Tesla has seen significant success in the South Korean market. As of the end of September, the company had sold 45,812 electric vehicles in the country since opening a local office in 2015. This made it the third-largest green car brand in the market with a 13% market share, just behind Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp.
Overall, the fine serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate advertising and the potential consequences of false or misleading claims. Companies operating in South Korea, and indeed any market, must ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant advertising laws and regulations.