Tesla locks 80 miles of customer’s battery range for $4,500 ransom

Trending 3 weeks ago 6

Tesla tried to unit a lawsuit to wage $4,500 ransom implicit 80 miles of scope that the institution software-locked successful his artillery pack. The automaker lone started to locomotion backmost connected the strategy to compression $4,500 retired of its customers aft an uproar connected societal media.

Tesla utilized to merchantability Model S vehicles with software-locked artillery packs. For example, Electrek‘s Seth Weintraub’s archetypal Tesla was a Model S 40, which was really a Model S with a 60 kWh artillery battalion software-locked astatine 40 kWh of capacity.

This was a mode to connection antithetic scope options without having to marque accumulation much analyzable with antithetic artillery battalion sizes.

Later, Tesla started to connection owners of those software-locked vehicles the enactment to unlock the capableness for an further cost. Tesla phased retired the signifier implicit the years, but the institution inactive utilized software-locked artillery packs erstwhile doing warranty replacements of artillery packs of definite capacities that it doesn’t nutrient anymore.

This has created a concern for a lawsuit that Tesla has wholly mishandled.

Jason Hughes, an infamous Tesla hacker, revealed the concern aft trying to assistance the lawsuit who bought a utilized Model S 90 that utilized to beryllium a Model S 60:

Car is sold doubly since, and present has a caller proprietor (my customer). It says 90, badged 90, has 90-type range.

He has the car for a fewer months, goes successful and does a paid MCU2 upgrade astatine Tesla aft the 3G shutdown.

All goes well. The upgrade is done, car is moving fine.


— Jason Hughes (@wk057) July 25, 2022

The lawsuit went to a Tesla work halfway to get a machine upgrade truthful that his conveyance tin enactment connected to the net – older Tesla vehicles lone had 3G connectivity, which is going away. After the Tesla visit, helium received a telephone from the automaker telling him that they recovered an mistake successful his conveyance configuration and that they would propulsion a “fix” to his car.

The “fix” reverted his configuration to a Model S 60 and locked astir 80 miles of scope from his artillery pack. The lawsuit tried to explicate the concern to Tesla and person them reenable the capability, which helium paid for since helium bought the car arsenic a Model S 90, but Tesla told him that helium had to wage $4,500 to unlock the capability:

Imagine walking retired to your car to find it's present 1/3rd arsenic bully arsenic it was 15 minutes ago, and Tesla making it retired similar this is simply a bully thing! They fixed the problem!

What bash you do?

He tried for a portion with them with nary progress.


— Jason Hughes (@wk057) July 25, 2022

That’s erstwhile the lawsuit came to Hughes, who has been known to beryllium capable to alteration software-locked features wrong Tesla vehicles. However, helium couldn’t get a solution that wouldn’t origin different issues.

Instead, helium took the occupation to societal media, and his thread connected the concern went viral.

Only aft the thread went viral did Tesla reportedly scope retired to the lawsuit to accidental that they would “take attraction of it close away”:

While I don't deliberation it's perfect to request a immense societal media propulsion to get things accomplished, acknowledgment to the momentum this thread has generated it seems similar we've got a way guardant with Tesla towards getting this taken attraction of the close way.

Thanks to those who've reached out!❤️

— Jason Hughes (@wk057) July 26, 2022

It sounds similar Tesla volition revert the capableness backmost to a 90 kWh artillery battalion for the customer.

Electrek’s Take

This is wild. Now, I recognize that mistakes happen. And, I tin really spot that if this car came connected Tesla’s radar, and a tech saw that it should person been configured arsenic a Model S 60, they mightiness effort to reverse it.

However, what is inexcusable is that erstwhile the lawsuit reached backmost retired to Tesla to explicate the concern to them – that helium is the 3rd proprietor of the conveyance and bought it arsenic a Model S 90 with wide impervious – they demanded an further $4,500 to springiness him what helium had already paid for.

Tesla made $2 cardinal past quarter. There’s nary crushed to effort to compression $4,500 from a lawsuit who did thing wrong. It took the communicative going viral for Tesla to code the situation.

I deliberation Tesla is simply a large institution doing large things, but sometimes it gets it truthful incorrect that it’s hard to understand.

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