Tesla fined $2.2 million in South Korea for alleged false advertising

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South Korea’s antitrust watchdog will levy a fine of 2.8 billion won ($2.2 million) on Tesla Inc. for alleged violations of the nation’s advertisement law, dealing a setback to the US carmaker that’s seeking to expand its presence in the Asian country.

Tesla falsely promoted and exaggerated the driving range and charging speed of its electric cars as well as the estimated savings on fuel costs by using its vehicles, according to a statement from South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission Tuesday.

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The Elon Musk-led company changed that advertisement on its Korean-language website last February when the watchdog initiated an investigation.

The regulator will levy an additional penalty of 1 million won on Tesla for violations of the electronic commerce act, saying the firm didn’t provide enough information to consumers on its cancellation policy. The commission will send a notice to Tesla to correct the activities, according to the statement.

As of end-September, Tesla had sold 45,812 battery-powered vehicles in South Korea since opening a local office in 2015, according to the transport ministry.

The sales volume made it the third-biggest green car brand with a local market share of 13 percent, just behind domestic carmakers Hyundai Motor Co. and its unit Kia Corp.

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