Tesla disabled the autopilot feature on a supported Model S after remotely reselling. The company currently claims that the owner of the car, who bought it from a third-party dealer who bought the car at an auction held by Tesla, had "not paid" for the features and therefore had no right to use them. The most interesting thing is that all of these features were included when the vehicle was purchased by the dealer and were part of the additional package at the time the vehicle was sold to the end owner.
This is a special situation that raises difficult questions about the type of wireless vehicle-related software updates.
Tesla may disable the autopilot
Cars sold with some improvements such as all-wheel drive or improved adaptive cruise control will not lose these properties if they are resold on the used car market. However, since Tesla can update its vehicles remotely, Model S and other Tesla vehicles can obviously lose important functions.
The owner, who had complained about the problem, bought a car in December last year. The dealer bought the car a month earlier at the Tesla auction, and the functions of the "Improved Autopilot" and "Fully Automatic Driving Mode" were specified to complement the car.
Then the dealer resold the S model and focused on these features. However, without the dealer's knowledge, Teska independently performed a software audit of the vehicle after it was sold, and disabled these features in the December update. And when the owner took the car on December 20, he didn't have access to all of these advertised features.
After contacting Tesla support, the owner received bad news:
Tesla recently discovered inconsistent autopilot settings for customers who paid for it. Since then, an audit has been carried out to correct these cases. Your car is one of the vehicles that have not been properly configured for the autopilot. We've looked at the history of your purchases, and unfortunately autopilot was not a function for which funds were paid. We apologize for the confusion. If you're still interested in these additional features, you can start the upgrade purchase process.
How much does an autopilot cost in Tesla?
The cost of autonomous features that should remain active in Model S is around $ 8,000. The owner paid for the car and suggested that features be included in the price of the car. Tesla now says he has to pay companies for features to turn them back on.
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In the case of an ordinary car, a technician or mechanic needs physical access to the car to remove additional features, even if the functions relate to software. Even with a technology product such as a laptop or smartphone, updates cannot usually be reset without the owner's consent, unless special software is installed on the device. In these cases, the company usually owns the device or the owner signs a special legal agreement.
Tesla's "over-the-air" updates were problematic before. This type of control by the automaker was not possible until recently, and the situation with the autopilot raises the question of what future owners expect from supported Tesla.