Tesla remotely disabled the autopilot feature on a supported Model S after it was resold. Currently, the company claims that the owner of the car that purchased it from a third-party dealer who bought the car at an auction held by Tesla itself “did not pay” for the functions and, therefore, has no right to use them. The most interesting thing is that all these functions were included when the dealer bought the car, and they were included in part of the additional package when the car was sold to its final owner.
This is a special situation that raises difficult questions about the nature of wireless vehicle-related software updates.
Tesla may disable autopilot
Cars sold with some enhancements, such as all-wheel drive or enhanced adaptive cruise control, do not lose these features when reselling the used car market. But since Tesla can update their vehicles remotely, Model S and other Tesla vehicles can obviously lose key features.
The owner, who complained about the problem, bought a car in December last year. The dealer bought the car a month earlier from the Tesla auction and the functions of the “Improved autopilot” and “Full self-driving mode” were indicated as an addition to the car.
Then the dealer resold Model S, focusing on these features. However, without the knowledge of the dealer, Tesla independently conducted a software “audit” of the car after it was sold and disabled these functions in the December update. And when the owner took the car on December 20, he did not have access to all these advertised features.
After contacting Tesla support, the owner received bad news:
“Tesla recently discovered incidents of incorrect autopilot settings for customers who didn’t pay for it. Since then, an audit has been conducted to correct these cases. Your car is one of the vehicles that was incorrectly configured for autopilot. We examined your purchase history, and unfortunately, autopilot was not a feature for which funds were paid. We apologize for the confusion. If you are still interested in receiving these additional features, we can begin the process of purchasing an update”.
How much does an autopilot cost in Tesla
The cost of autonomous functions that were supposed to remain active in Model S is around $8,000. The owner paid for the car, suggesting that features were included in the price of the car. Now Tesla says he has to pay companies for features to turn them on again.
In the case of an ordinary car, even if the functions are related to software, a technician or mechanic will need physical access to the car in order to remove additional features. Even with a technology product such as a laptop or smartphone, updates, as a rule, cannot be forcibly rolled back without the consent of the owner, unless special software is installed on the device. In these cases, as a rule, the company owns the device or the owner signs a special legal agreement.
Tesla’s “on the air” updates have been troubling before. This kind of control by the automaker was not possible until recently, and the autopilot situation raises the question of what the future holds for Tesla-backed owners.