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      03-23-2020, 11:42 AM   #1
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Tesla Removed "Optional" Features from Used Cars

Not sure if this has already been discussed here but, apparently, a number of reports say that Tesla has removed features (via Software Upgrade) like Autopilot and Ludicrous Mode from used Teslas after they were purchased by the owner who bought the car with those features.

Here's one from Motor Trend where Autopilot and Full Self Driving modes suddenly disappeared (without telling the owner).

Here's another from Jalopnik (HERE and HERE) where as a result of an "audit" of the car subsequent to purchase of a used Tesla, features were removed because Tesla claimed they were not purchased by the used car buyer. There has apparently been no official response from Tesla as yet.

If they can do this then this may be a kind of paradigm shift in used car buying where the buyer of a used car may have a car with different trim levels / features than the previous (original) owner. This essentially means that car options are purchased subscription-based that attaches with the owner rather than as products that attaches with the car.
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      03-23-2020, 12:26 PM   #2
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My understanding of what's going suggests that this statement from the article does not properly characterize the situation:

Quote:
The situations ... point to a philosophy on Tesla’s part that believes that certain features, like Ludicrous Mode and Autopilot and FSD, are things that would need to be re-purchased every time the car changes hands, at considerable cost.
That does not appear to be a reasonable conclusion at all. If that were the case - if that were really what Tesla was trying to do - it would be a widespread, unilateral policy. And at the very least, every last pre-owned vehicle being sold by Tesla themselves would be stripped of these for-charge, software-driven options as part of their resell program. Yet, that's not the case.

This quote reveals what appears to be what is actually going on:

Quote:
We have reviewed your situation extensively and while we understand that this misconfiguration may have caused confusion, it would not be fair to those who have paid for Ludicrous Mode to make an exception.
The key here is "misconfiguration". So, first off it's important to acknowledge that, due to various circumstances, some Tesla vehicles in service today have features enabled that were not paid for. This can happen if a vehicle was not programmed properly before being delivered to the owner, or perhaps there was a period for which the feature was enabled on a limited free trial basis. Other cases certainly exist too. I recall, for example, that the Short Range Model 3 - the elusive "$35K" model - was originally simply a Medium Range model that was sold at a cheaper price. It has all the hardware and functionality of the Medium Range model, but had not had the omitted features disabled by software. Buyers certainly didn't mind, and it gave Tesla a (shrewd) way to provide buyers with a preview so they might be enticed to upgrade. Later, Tesla issued an update that disabled those features. But what if someone didn't get the update, or it otherwise failed to install properly and failed to remove the functionality? The buyer gets a lucky bonus, that's what. Now, when the vehicle changes hand's Tesla performs an audit, re-flashes the car again, and disabled what should have already been disabled earlier, as disclosed to the original buyer at the time they purchased the car. Unfair? I would say it is definitely not cool, of questionable wisdom, and poor PR. But certainly not stealing. The second buyer needs to be informed of what they are buying, of course, and if they selling party didn't disclose (including if that selling party is Tesla), they should absolutely be held accountable in some way.

If, on the other hand, Tesla adopts a policy to disable features that were explicitly included with the car at the time it was manufactured and sold to the original buyer, hoping to double-dip, that's criminal as far as I'm concerned. However, I don't see that that's what they are doing. And if they have done it, it appears not to be by act of adhering to company policy, but by error or simply by poor judgment on the part of specific employees of the company who should arguably be removed from their particular post.

That's my take.
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      03-23-2020, 02:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
My understanding of what's going suggests that this statement from the article does not properly characterize the situation:

Quote:
The situations ... point to a philosophy on Tesla’s part that believes that certain features, like Ludicrous Mode and Autopilot and FSD, are things that would need to be re-purchased every time the car changes hands, at considerable cost.
That does not appear to be a reasonable conclusion at all. If that were the case - if that were really what Tesla was trying to do - it would be a widespread, unilateral policy. And at the very least, every last pre-owned vehicle being sold by Tesla themselves would be stripped of these for-charge, software-driven options as part of their resell program. Yet, that's not the case.
This is the"Alec" case in which Tesla sold a Model S 75D at auction with a Monroney sticker that clearly stated Autopilot/FSD were included, but then later unilaterally deleted it. So if an mistake was made, it was done by Tesla when they sold the car claiming to have those features.

The article said "point to a philosophy on Tesla’s part that believes" which is not a conclusion per se but rather it might point that way. The articles mentioned at least 3 cases of this going on and apparently there are more if you read the Tesla chat rooms. So the writer asked Tesla for clarification but so far (months later) have not received a reply. If it's as clear cut as your take suggests, then you'd think the Tesla would've responded to them by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
This quote reveals what appears to be what is actually going on:

Quote:
We have reviewed your situation extensively and while we understand that this misconfiguration may have caused confusion, it would not be fair to those who have paid for Ludicrous Mode to make an exception.
The key here is "misconfiguration". So, first off it's important to acknowledge that, due to various circumstances, some Tesla vehicles in service today have features enabled that were not paid for. This can happen if a vehicle was not programmed properly before being delivered to the owner, or perhaps there was a period for which the feature was enabled on a limited free trial basis. Other cases certainly exist too. I recall, for example, that the Short Range Model 3 - the elusive "$35K" model - was originally simply a Medium Range model that was sold at a cheaper price. It has all the hardware and functionality of the Medium Range model, but had not had the omitted features disabled by software. Buyers certainly didn't mind, and it gave Tesla a (shrewd) way to provide buyers with a preview so they might be enticed to upgrade. Later, Tesla issued an update that disabled those features. But what if someone didn't get the update, or it otherwise failed to install properly and failed to remove the functionality? The buyer gets a lucky bonus, that's what. Now, when the vehicle changes hand's Tesla performs an audit, re-flashes the car again, and disabled what should have already been disabled earlier, as disclosed to the original buyer at the time they purchased the car. Unfair? I would say it is definitely not cool, of questionable wisdom, and poor PR. But certainly not stealing. The second buyer needs to be informed of what they are buying, of course, and if they selling party didn't disclose (including if that selling party is Tesla), they should absolutely be held accountable in some way.

If, on the other hand, Tesla adopts a policy to disable features that were explicitly included with the car at the time it was manufactured and sold to the original buyer, hoping to double-dip, that's criminal as far as I'm concerned. However, I don't see that that's what they are doing. And if they have done it, it appears not to be by act of adhering to company policy, but by error or simply by poor judgment on the part of specific employees of the company who should arguably be removed from their particular post.

That's my take.
The "misconfiguration" quote was the "Brett" case in which Brett said the car was equipped with Ludicrous Mode as indicated by the menu option and the underlined P100D badge, which is normally used to indicate a car equipped with Ludicrous Mode from the factory. If it was a 'free preview" or in any way software glitch as you surmise and Brett shouldn't have those features permanently, then shouldn't Tesla have told Brett that before they sold it to him?

Jalopnik did say: "Based on these reports and others, it certainly seems that Tesla feels that options like Autopilot and FSD and Ludicrous Mode are tied to the owner of the car that paid for them, not the car itself," so they "reached out to Tesla for some clarification, but received no responses back." That was in January and still no response? If these were all mistakes by Tesla it would be a simple response back saying so, but nothing so far according to Jalopnik.

This may point to (again, not a conclusion) that there may be something more. I'm not making any judgement call either way and have no dog in this fight since I don't buy used cars and I don't like the look of Teslas and won't buy one, but this is something that Tesla needs to make an official statement on to clarify sooner than later.
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      03-23-2020, 04:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
The article said "point to a philosophy on Tesla’s part that believes" which is not a conclusion per se but rather it might point that way. The articles mentioned at least 3 cases of this going on and apparently there are more if you read the Tesla chat rooms.
I hear you, but I think the language he's using gives the wrong message. To me, it's not an accurate way to describe the attitude Tesla has. It sounds to me like its a few isolated cases, not a wholesale reflection of the attitude of the company. Mind you, I don't deny that the company may very well be in the wrong in these cases.

Quote:
So the writer asked Tesla for clarification but so far (months later) have not received a reply. If it's as clear cut as your take suggests, then you'd think the Tesla would've responded to them by now.
I wholeheartedly agree that Tesla needs to make their policy more clear. Absolutely.

That said, there could be any number of reasons why individual cases have not been resolved, including possible suspicion of fraud, tampering or other legal circumstances. I don't expect public comment on all of that. I do expect them to make right anything that is justifiably unfair or genuine wrongdoing on their part, yes.

Quote:
The "misconfiguration" quote was the "Brett" case in which Brett said the car was equipped with Ludicrous Mode as indicated by the menu option and the underlined P100D badge, which is normally used to indicate a car equipped with Ludicrous Mode from the factory. If it was a 'free preview" or in any way software glitch as you surmise and Brett shouldn't have those features permanently, then shouldn't Tesla have told Brett that before they sold it to him?
Yes, if the car was sold that way, they absolutely should have.

Quote:
This may point to (again, not a conclusion) that there may be something more. I'm not making any judgement call either way and have no dog in this fight since I don't buy used cars and I don't like the look of Teslas and won't buy one, but this is something that Tesla needs to make an official statement on to clarify sooner than later.
I would go by the numbers. Surely thousands of these vehicles have changed hands. Have the features been stripped in most of these cases? If not, then this statement:

Quote:
"Based on these reports and others, it certainly seems that Tesla feels that options like Autopilot and FSD and Ludicrous Mode are tied to the owner of the car that paid for them, not the car itself,"
Can be ignored, and instead, we can seek a better way to describe what's going on. Like you, I don't have a stake in this, but my intuition tells me that these cases are the rare exception, not the rule. And furthermore, there is likely a rational explanation.

I do hope that all those involved have their cases resolved in an acceptable way because no one wants to see the customer bent over by the big corporate machine.
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      03-23-2020, 04:22 PM   #5
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Another reason to not buy a Tesla.
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      03-23-2020, 05:17 PM   #6
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Could you imagine going and buying a used BMW and then having them take back the M-Package or heated seats.....WTF is Tesla thinking?
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      03-23-2020, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog View Post
Another reason to not buy a Tesla.
I see used prices for Teslas and the price disparity is not so great that you’d save any money, in fact pay more, for a used Tesla over new if you had to repurchase those features.
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      03-23-2020, 05:30 PM   #8
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      03-24-2020, 12:29 PM   #9
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Imho, it's the confirm that's a smartphone with 4 wheels....
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      03-24-2020, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog View Post
Could you imagine going and buying a used BMW and then having them take back the M-Package or heated seats.....WTF is Tesla thinking?
Or charged you for CarPlay?
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      03-24-2020, 03:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Or charged you for CarPlay?
Carplay isnt exactly a dealbreaker because you have idrive and it was optional lol...
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      03-24-2020, 03:32 PM   #12
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Waiting for the i4...
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      03-24-2020, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 740I_yeye View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Or charged you for CarPlay?
Carplay isnt exactly a dealbreaker because you have idrive and it was optional lol...
I'm just saying BMW charges for silly things that other brands don't. Just like Tesla.
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      03-24-2020, 06:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
I'm just saying BMW charges for silly things that other brands don't. Just like Tesla.
Can you imagine if the 20 years subscription of Carplay to the current gen BMW
is only available for the original owners?

Like BMW does now for extended maintenance contract that can't be refunded to the original owner and only available to the next owner if they pay a "refresh" fee!
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      03-24-2020, 06:47 PM   #15
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Kinda reminds me of how Intel or AMD used to disable performance features with their CPUs. Only later on emerges and under-current of users that managed to enable said CPU performance and unleash a massive market for mods.
I see this is where it'll go too.

Whatever. I have 0 appetite for Tesla especially with Musk idiotic antics of late.
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      03-24-2020, 07:12 PM   #16
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Well, if that's their business model, let sales, and resales reflect consumer objection!

When cars can't be resold because of the business model, they will change!
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