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Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is reexamining the S$15,000 (RM44,800) carbon dioxide emissions surcharge it levied on an owner of a used Tesla Model S, according to The Straits Times. The agency released a statement saying that it was working with Tesla’s engineers to determine if it correctly ran emissions testing on the electric sedan, used to identify its equivalent CO2 tax bracket.

The owner, Joe Nguyen, reportedly spent seven months importing the EV from Hong Kong and going through Singapore’s type approval process, only to have been hit with the surcharge – instead of a rebate of the same amount typically offered to EV buyers under the island nation’s Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS). The Model S was the first electric vehicle in the country to be levied that surcharge.

The LTA came to the surcharge figure after taking to account upstream emissions at electricity power plants to its UNECE 101 emissions testing procedure. The agency previously told the publication that based on the tests, the Model S consumed 444 watt-hours of electricity per kilometre; a grid emissions factor of 0.5 grams of carbon dioxide per watt-hour was then applied to determine the car’s emissions figure.

As such, the Model S was judged to be emitting a heady 222 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, slotting it under the CEVS’ C3 bracket – where the S$15k surcharge is applicable.

It was also mentioned in the statement that Tesla Motors told the LTA that the Model S had a 181 watt-hour per kilometre energy consumption rating – which would have put the car in the CEVS A1 category, qualifying it for a rebate – when it left the factory on June 28, 2014.

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However, the authority stated that as Nguyen imported a used car, it needed to run emissions and fuel efficiency tests on it as part of standard procedure, as it could not have known how much the car’s condition might have deteriorated since it was built.

“We cannot make exceptions as it would not be fair to other car owners, and would have an impact on our environment-related policies,” the LTA said in the statement.

Nguyen has already elected to pay the surcharge to expedite the already-protracted ordeal of obtaining and driving the car. “I’ve given up on getting the money back,” he said. “I just want LTA to improve. There is a lot of interest in the Model S.”

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he had heard of the case and spoken to Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, claiming that the premier would “investigate the situation.” The prime minister’s office has since confirmed with The Straits Times that various agencies were looking into the matter.

Closer to home, the government has recently agreed to waive import and excise duties on 100 units of the Model S that will be brought in by the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia). The cars are to be leased to government-linked companies (GLCs) to increase awareness of EVs and the tech among policy makers, and will not be sold in direct fashion to the public. GreenTech Malaysia already has two units of the Model S 85 in Malaysia, and you can read our exclusive review of the electric sedan here.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S in Malaysia