Why Buying A Used Tesla Can Turn Into A Nightmare
Jul 28,2022 | Chloe Lacour
30% less autonomy: this is what Tesla imposed on a customer who had bought a used model, through a software update. The group would have reconsidered its choice after the outcry raised by this affair.
"Imagine getting out of your car to discover, fifteen minutes later, that it now has a third less autonomy," reports Jason Hughes, a computer scientist whose tweet went viral, about the mishap that happened to one of his customers who had purchased a used Tesla. Elon Musk's company would have reduced, from a distance, its autonomy by 30%, then would have demanded 4,500 dollars to restore it, explains July 26. To understand this story, you have to go back to the firm's first steps in the electric car.
At the time, to avoid making different batteries, the company decided to use the same battery but with different autonomy options, locked by software. The 2013 Model S, purchased much later by a motorist who had this mishap, was initially locked to a 60kWh battery. As it was possible to extend its autonomy, at an additional cost, the vehicle would have been upgraded to a higher class to run with a 90kWh battery. Presumably, this passage would have been made by Tesla, by mistake. The company would not relock the battery at 60, but at 90 during a check.
The vehicle was reconfigured years later
Years later, and two owners later, a motorist buys the Tesla in 2022. It, therefore, has the battery and range of a Model S 90. Everything is going well until the latter decides to update the vehicle's onboard computer at Tesla. Once gone and parked in front of his home, this motorist receives a call from the company. The latter explains that she found and repaired a configuration error in the car. In fact, "they remotely locked the software of the car so that it was again at 60 when it had been at 90 for years", wrote the computer scientist on Twitter.
As a result, his vehicle was reconfigured on the 60 kWh battery and lost 120 kilometers of autonomy, "which is equivalent to losing a third of the vehicle's usable autonomy, remotely and without warning", writes the computer scientist. . When the vehicle owner realizes this, he contacts Tesla to ask for an explanation. There, he is told that he must pay 4,500 dollars to find his 90 kWh battery.
This isn't the first time Tesla has remotely disabled used vehicles, reports. But, faced with the outcry over the story on Twitter, the company reportedly decided to back down. According to Jason Hughes, speaking on his Twitter account on Wednesday, July 27, the 2013 Model S would have returned to its previous configuration and its 90kWh battery.