Why Tesla restricted the range of a Model S to force a customer to pay a bill
The remote software update system for You’re here is one of the big assets of the brand which uses it to regularly introduce new features, by activating hardware components pre-installed at the factory.
But it also happens that the manufacturer uses it to restrain its cars. It is the misadventure that relates Electrek about the owner of a Tesla Model S who saw the autonomy of his electric car reduced before he was presented with a bill for $4,500.
To understand the reason for this intervention, it is necessary to know that at the beginning of the marketing of the Model S, Tesla used a pack battery whose capacity was locked by software. This offered the possibility of extending the autonomy of the vehicle after the fact and at a cost. Tesla thus avoided having to produce different versions of the Model S. This practice has been abandoned, but the brand’s after-sales service continues to use it for warranty replacements of battery packs of certain capacities that it no longer produces. .
In the case in question, the owner purchased a Model S 90 kWh used that was previously a Model S 60 kWh. The update to increase the autonomy had been carried out in a completely official and legal way.
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This customer recently visited a Tesla Service Center to have their internet connection upgraded. At the end of this intervention, he learned that the technicians had carried out an update which cut the autonomy of 128 km and that he would have to pay the equivalent of 4,432€ to find his initial configuration.
Faced with the end of inadmissibility of You’re here, he asked Jason Hughes, a Tesla hacking specialist, to help him break this restraint. But it is impossible for him to intervene without creating other problems. On the other hand, he revealed the affair on the social networks. The news spread like wildfire and eventually reached Tesla who finally contacted the customer to tell him that his problem was going to be taken into account.
All’s well that ends then. But Electrek rightly points out that it is quite ” inexcusable ” that You’re here resorted to such a practice of fait accompli and did not take into account the good faith of his client. “ Tesla earned $2 billion last quarter. There’s no reason to try to extort $4,500 from a client who has done nothing wrong. It took the story to go viral for Tesla to deal with the situation “, can we read in conclusion of the article.
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