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If Tesla Disables Features You're Using...

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Sylvia Else, Jul 31, 2018.

?

What would you do?

  1. Take the refund

    9 vote(s)
    47.4%
  2. Accept the limitations on your use of the product

    10 vote(s)
    52.6%
  1. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    In some jurisdictions, it may be possile to make Tesla refund the entire cost of your system, and pay for its removal.

    Given that there are other systems out there, including ones that have the ability for user control.
     
    • Like x 1
  2. nswfugitive

    nswfugitive Member

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    And I would like to find out how to do that here in Australia Sylvia, I received a bullsh1t email from Tesla support in the States that states and I quote "I was informed that our customers can only access the app through their mobile phones, the only ones that has the ability to access it through their laptops would the installers. We are not sure how you were able to gain the rights to access through your computer. Unfortunately, it's possible when your firmware was updated it prevented you from accessing it."

    Are you still taking them to the tribunal or Consumer Affairs? Love to here the result.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. cwied

    cwied Member

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    There are still avenues to use the server API even if the local API is blocked. That is more likely to stay working since it's mission critical for them. Honestly I don't understand their thinking behind limiting updates to be hourly, though.

    I'm experimenting to see how well I can control the Powerwall through frequent changes of the time-based control settings. If it works well enough manually, I might try to automate it.
     
  4. nswfugitive

    nswfugitive Member

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    According to NA support that does level 1 support Australia has reviewed the situation and stated that they have not in their opinion they have not violated Australia Consumer Law because the access was never intended to be provided. I've asked that the local (Australia) office call me to discuss.
     
  5. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    The difficulty for them is that they're essentially saying that the manufacturer can decide, after sale, which features form part of the product, and are thereby affected by the Australian Consumer Law, and which features do not. An analogy would be that you find that the cigar lighter in your car doesn't work any more, and the manufacturer said that they never intended for owners to have access to the cigar lighter, and that therefore that they wouldn't repair it, or perhaps that you'd take your car in for service and it would come back without a cigar lighter.

    As originally installed, the password to my system was just the serial number. This fact is widely documented, and the serial number is printed on the gateway. The more recent version has a password reset facility, so it's hardly the work of a genius to obtain the password.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    I'm seriously looking at it, though there are some complications due to the fact that the Australian Consumer Law doesn't really consider the situation where a manufacturer makes changes after the sale, without the owner's consent. One may be able to make a case that such conduct is a "trespass on chattels", but that is not something that can be adjudicated by the Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

    The manufacturer (or importer in this case - Tesla Motors Australia Pty Ltd, hereinafter just Tesla) has an obligation to ensure that repairs are reasonably available. My position is that as a result of the changes made to the firmware, the system is now faulty, in that it lacks a feature it previously had, even though that feature was not one that was advertised for the product. The argument here is that product descriptions rarely decribe functionality in every last detail, but that any significant departure from initial functionality is a fault.

    If I cannot get that fault corrected, then Tesla are liable to damages for failing to ensure that the repair would be available.

    A slightly different approach relates to "unconscionable conduct". This is conduct that goes beyond merely being unfair, but offends against the conscience.

    The thinking here is that Tesla have used their access to the gateway, which under the warranty is only to apply upgrades, to make changes that were only introduced to prevent owners from using their systems in a particular way, and not for any valid technical reason. The evidence for such a case may be obtainable via summonses that the tribunal can issue if requested.

    Either way, there's a problem of what happens if we win. The tribunal can award damages, but these are to compensate for financial loss. What are our losses? Probably at most the difference between what our eletricity bills are, and what they would have been had we retained access to the features we were using.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
  7. nswfugitive

    nswfugitive Member

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    You probably need to add an option - remove access for Tesla - which I think that will be my next step if Tesla Australia doesn't do something about it - and the government doesn't either. I'm seriously thinking of removing the 3g sim and see what they think.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Funhouse

    Funhouse Member

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    Given some sections of the media's keenness to publish anything critical of Tesla at the moment, I'm considering whether to contact a few select journos to see if they're interested. In fact, Ben Grubb of the Sydney Morning Herald might be a good choice. He seems fair in his writing, and I'd frame it around the bigger picture of the "Brave New World" angle where a company seems to think they still own the product you've bought from them, and are free to remotely modify it without your permission.

    It's interesting to see the disconnect between what Tesla Australia are saying about it and what US support are telling us.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  9. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    One payed for advertised features. That is the contract.
    Anything else was given for free and can be taken away, again for free.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  10. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    It wasn't given for free. It was part of the originally supplied firmware, which was paid for as part of the system.

    Further, Telsa have committed trespass by using their access to the system to do things that do not fit the description of the changes they say they'll make in the warranty. It's as if they walked up to your car in the street, used their secret key to unlock it, and then made alterations that removed any feature that wasn't expressed mentioned in the advertisements.

    They've also used the threat of warranty cancellation to dissuade people from denying them access to the system.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. nswfugitive

    nswfugitive Member

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    WOW - this is weird - just tried the TEG connection again and decided as I have done every night before going to bed to check it - for some reason it is now working and I'm able to connect via wifi again - who'd of thunk it. Am I dreaming and it will just be a nightmare as it has been - stay tuned.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    It may be understood that way but if the feature was not explicitly stated as a 'price item', it was free.

    Yes, it is in the gray area... was it a defect or a feature?
    For you it was a feature, for Tesla it was a defect and they've corrected it.
     
  13. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    If it was a defect, it was one only in the sense that it allowed owners to do something that Tesla doesn't want them to do. Tesla are on very shaky ground when they modify the system to prevent that, since it cannot in any sense be described as an upgrade, and there's nothing that permits them to make changes that only benefit themselves.

    Tesla don't get to determine the meaning of words to suit themselves.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Member

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    You may find that your firmware has been upgraded again. That causes a reboot, and rebooting makes the connection issue go away - for a while.
     
  15. Funhouse

    Funhouse Member

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    If you're happy for Tesla to remotely access your Powerwall that you paid for, and remove functions without your permission, good for you, and that's your choice and right. Some of us aren't though. If that means we have to either engage consumer tribunals to enforce local consumer laws that prohibit that sort of activity, or seek publicity to shame Tesla into doing the right thing, then that's our right as well.

    Perhaps you could explain to us the downside of getting Tesla to restore the web and API access.
     
    • Like x 3
  16. nswfugitive

    nswfugitive Member

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    No, firmware still at 1.20.0.
     
  17. Shygar

    Shygar Member

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    Depends on what you mean by feature. If they take away Advanced Time based control, then I will be upset and will lose the main value of the powerwall. If they take away API access (of which I use to upload to pvoutput), I will try to connect to the Neurio directly like I do on my other house or I will live with it. API access for me wasn't a prerequisite for having the system.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. cwied

    cwied Member

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    I'm as frustrated as anyone else at the lack of user control over the Powerwalls and the thought that they may take away what little access we already have, but I think it's very difficult to consider this a feature. The API is password-protected and clearly states that it is for installers. The password happens to be easy to determine, but that doesn't change the fact that it is pretty obvious that Tesla never intended users to access this functionality.

    Let's also not forget that TBC was added after the fact. I think cutting Tesla off completely at this stage is throwing the baby out with the bath water. There is still plenty of improvement they can (and should) do to the firmware to make the Powerwalls work better.
     
  19. JohnRatsey

    JohnRatsey Member

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    I'm content to not have direct control over the Powerwall provided Tesla improve the phone app to provide a greater level of user control than is currently offered (and preferably offer a computer-based interface which gives the same functionality as phones are invariably fiddlier to use). My own need, once the UK winter approaches, is to be able to define a minimum charge level at the end of the off-peak period. That value will vary from day to day depending on likely solar output (which will need to be guesstimated from experience and interpretation of the weather forecast) and the likely household power consumption with the objectives of not using peak electricity nor have solar output going back into the grid. If Tesla sign up with Solcast then they might get a reasonable estimate of the solar output. Ideally, one could set a default value and then be able to fine-tune the next 7 days on a rolling basis. Anything set in the evening would have time to go to the server and then to the PW.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. Lasairfion

    Lasairfion Member

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    I'm not sure I'd trust a weather service for accurate information. Even the Met Office gave up on long term forecasting.
    I've lost count of the amount of rainfall here that was going to happen according to forecasts that then didn't happen, in the last 2 months.
     

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