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?