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Tesla Backtracks On Asking $4.5K To Unlock Model S Range After Web Outrage


Tesla had locked the 90-kWh pack of a 2013 Model S to 60 kWh after detecting a "configuration error," then asked $4,500 to restore it. Owner purchased a car with a 60-kWh battery at a significantly reduced price over what a 90 kWh would cost.​


Tesla has pulled some shady crap in the past on owners. Stuff that I completely disagree with. However, in this case, I actually have to side with Tesla's original decision.

Could they have just left it alone since the mistake was made years ago? Of course they could have, just to not piss off a customer. But, Tesla has demonstrated, they rarely care about pissing off customers, even when the customer was right.

However, in this case, the owner purchased a car with a 60 kwh battery. As far as I know and remember, nearly all 40 and 60 kwh designated cars actually had bigger batteries, but were software limited based on what the customer paid for. Such customers generally benefitted in a round about way as their degradation was generally less since they never used the full battery that the car had.

I can understand the customer's frustration that an error was made years ago that accidentally allowed him to have a usable 90 kwh battery only for Tesla to take it away. But the fact is, the customer still only paid for a car with 60 kwh of usable battery space. The fact that he got to benefit from having a bigger battery for several years for free still doesn't change the fact that he only paid for a 60 kwh battery. It was a mistake. The owner benefitted greatly from having something he didn't pay for for several years. But, then they caught the error and simply restored the car to WHAT THE OWNER PAID FOR.

I'm actually surprised that Tesla reversed course in this case as its one where they were right. The owner should have been happy to get something for nothing for several years. But to get mad that they found the error and corrected it?? There have been cases where owners mistakenly got use of Full Self Driving they didn't pay for. Tesla corrected it. Bottom line is, it wasn't paid for. Tesla is under no obligation to "give" you a feature you didn't pay for.

In this case, the owner just got a far more expensive car and paid absolutely nothing to get it upgraded. The value of a 90 kwh car is notably higher than the value of 60 kwh car.

Most know, I'll be the first one to speak the truth and constructively criticize Tesla when they screw up. But, this is one case where I'm more annoyed that the owner and "internet" felt that the owner deserved to get something for nothing. Then published bad press about Tesla for not "righting a wrong". Where were they wrong? Want a bigger battery for your car, that's fine, pay for it. That's something already that is typically unavailable to most vehicle owners. How many manufacturers will take your base model car and upgrade it to the higher specs of the more expensive optioned model? NONE. In most cases, it can't be done even if they wanted to. Tesla offered a cheap version of the car, but owners had the ability to upgrade their cars at a later date if they so chose. But that upgrade was never free. If I were a 60 kwh battery owner right now, I'd be pissed that this guy just got his car upgraded for nothing, yet if I wanted my car upgraded, I'd have to pay for it. How is that fair to all other owners?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,668
21,948
Riverside Co. CA
You are not breaking any news, here at least.. there is an existing thread on this already, from the person who triggered this reversal:

 

Takumi

Member
Aug 25, 2006
855
536
IL

I think you missed this part:
Car is sold twice since, and now has a new owner (my customer). It says 90, badged 90, has 90-type range.

I speculate it went that way for a while because Tesla didn't include the 90kWh pack in the beginning as the pack for an S60. The original S60 only had 70kWh packs and when they introduced the 60D it came with 75kWh. So when warranty cars with those batteries did not warrant Tesla to make replacement packs of those size, Tesla just put in whatever battery they had on hand - in this case a 90kWh - and good willed it. This should've been grandfathered in & it has been thanks to WK057.

The first owner got the upgrade for free, as good will from Tesla(?), but the 3rd owner bought it as a 90. Tesla screwed up, but they corrected it. It gets in the news because TSLA.
 

The first owner got the upgrade for free, as good will from Tesla(?), but the 3rd owner bought it as a 90. Tesla screwed up, but they corrected it. It gets in the news because TSLA.
Per the article, the car was branded as a 60 (badges) and the screens in the car showed it was a 60 as well. Yet, it had 295 miles in range. It wasn't until after Tesla agreed to reverse course that it was rebranded as a 90. Thus, any buyer should have seen the red flag. They probably got it at a reduced priced and felt like they were getting a steal on it.
 

Russell

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2012
1,053
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Silicon Valley
Per the article, the car was branded as a 60 (badges) and the screens in the car showed it was a 60 as well. Yet, it had 295 miles in range. It wasn't until after Tesla agreed to reverse course that it was rebranded as a 90. Thus, any buyer should have seen the red flag. They probably got it at a reduced priced and felt like they were getting a steal on it.

Reread the tweet in the 3rd post. Tesla Backtracks On Asking $4.5K To Unlock Model S Range After Web Outrage


Tesla did not accidentally sell a 60 with an unlocked 90 battery.

A customer had a 60 with a bad battery and Tesla, under warranty, replaced it with a 90 and forgot to lock it to 60.
 
Per the article, the car was branded as a 60 (badges) and the screens in the car showed it was a 60 as well. Yet, it had 295 miles in range. It wasn't until after Tesla agreed to reverse course that it was rebranded as a 90. Thus, any buyer should have seen the red flag. They probably got it at a reduced priced and felt like they were getting a steal on it.
That isn’t mentioned anywhere in the article that I see, and that isn’t how any of this works. The buyer bought the car as a 90. You seem to think this should have been a red flag, what about it is a red flag? Tesla making repairs of this nature is quite normal and well documented (newer battery packs.)

I had an old P85D that was replaced with a 90kw battery, it is effectively a P90D now and was sold as such. Could you imagine if two or three owners down the road Tesla decides this should now be a P85D again? I wouldn’t be happy with that as a future owner… and neither should you.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,445
18,339
California
The original S60 only had 70kWh packs and when they introduced the 60D it came with 75kWh.
Not quite.

The “original” 60kwh cars produced from 2012 to ~2015 contained real 60kwh batteries. They were 350v 14 module batteries that had some of the cells replaced with blanks.

In 2016 the “60” was reintroduced alongside a new “60D” as a software-locked 70kwh battery. Very shortly after that the 70 was replaced with the upgraded chemistry 75 but Tesla kept selling the software locked 60 until sometime in 2017.
 
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Not quite.

The “original” 60kwh cars produced from 2012 to ~2015 contained real 60kwh batteries. They were 350v 14 module batteries that had some of the cells replaced with blanks.

In 2016 the “60” was reintroduced alongside a new “60D” as a software-locked 70kwh battery. Very shortly after that the 70 was replaced with the upgraded chemistry 75 but Tesla kept selling the software locked 60 until sometime in 2017.
Thanks for correcting me!
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,728
18,930
New Mexico
The tricky part here is what happens to subsequent buyers of the car down the line. In this case the last (latest) buyer is left to deal with the fall-out from the original Tesla omission of the software lock.

I know that if this had happened to me and I had bought a 90 kWh pack at a 60 kWh price, I would view a subsequent request from Tesla to pay $4,500 for the extra 30 kWh to be a fair offer. OTOH, if I had bought the car at a 90 kWh market price, I would feel cheated ... by some one. This makes it easier to see why a court might take the view that Tesla cannot demand correction after the fact, and certainly not years and multiple owners after the fact. It just gets too messy.

As for the 'outrage' on the internet -- meh
 

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