Chinese NEVs draw drivers’ ire over battery life advertising claims

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/14 22:40:37

Domestic NEVs draw drivers’ ire over battery life advertising claims


A new-energy vehicle in Shanghai in September 2018 Photo: VCG

New-energy vehicles (NEV) are the subject of rising quality complaints in the Chinese market, especially when it comes to batteries that don't last as long as the ads promise, media reports said.

From 2015 to 2018, the number of complaints about NEVs in China rose continuously, and more than 70 percent of the complaints involved quality issues, according to a report by yicai.com on Wednesday. 

Among the complaints, 64 percent were related to battery performance and 18 percent to engine defects. Other complaints involved defects in transmission systems, clutches, steering systems and brake systems, according to the yicai.com report. 

Customers who complained about batteries often said that these don't last as long as advertised and that older cars don't travel as far as they did when new.

According to a report by bjnews.com, the advertised battery life of many domestic NEV brands is based on conditions where the car is running constantly at 60 kilometers per hour, and it does not reflect factors such as weather and road conditions, which can affect performance. 

One owner of a BYD EV360 complained that to conserve battery life for long enough to complete a trip, he needed to "wear coats in the winter and bring an electronic fan into the car while driving (to save battery life)," the bjnews.com report said.

Other customers complained that battery performances tend to vary in different weather conditions, the report by bjnews.com said.

Dai Yue, partner from King & Wood Mallesons law firm, told the Global Times on Thursday that the Advertising Law in China clearly states that the description of an advertised product must be clear and accurate. The conditions under which data is calculated should also be explained in the advertisement.

Dai said that ads need to be more open and comprehensive to protect customers' rights.

"In the case of NEV advertisements, if the data related to the battery life is exaggerated, it should be regarded as false advertising," Dai told the Global Times.

"If the battery range is calculated correctly but in a highly controlled environment, customers should also be informed of such conditions," Dai said. 


Newspaper headline: Domestic NEVs draw drivers’ ire over battery life advertising claims


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