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When Features Disappear

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by sgblank, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. sgblank

    sgblank Member

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    #1 sgblank, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
    In the last year over the air upgrades have made the Model S a much better product then the one we originally bought.
    However, the 5.8 unilateral downgrade of air suspension is a troubling harbinger of the potential of downgrades.

    There doesn't seem to be a Tesla corporate obligation that owners permanently own their features.

    Tesla’s behavior with 5.8 tells us what they will do when faced with engineering constraints, litigation or regulation - they took the most expedient point of view; and acted as if their customers had no guaranteed rights to features they had purchased. 


    Problem solving in the Tesla board room appeared to have started with “lets change the feature set” rather than “the features we sold are inviolate so lets solve the problem elsewhere.”

    Tesla has crafted the legal terms of use to include their ability to modify or remove features.
    Telsa not only has the means to change or delete previously purchased features at will, there’s no legal barrier to stop them from doing so.

    In the 20th century if someone had snuck into your garage and attempted to remove a feature from your car, you’d call the police.
    In the 21st century it’s starting to look like the normal course of business.

    What we can hope for is that Tesla will lead the market and set the standard for a 21st Century Bill of Consumer Product Rights 


    · Notify users if an update downgrades or removes a feature
    · Give users the option of not installing an update
    · Provide users an ability to rollback (go back to a previous release)

    Larger context here
    When Product Features Disappear – Amazon, Apple and Tesla and the Troubled Future for 21st Century Consumers | Steve Blank

    Note: this post was deleted on the teslamotors forum. I assume it was by accident and I reposted it.
    Update: nope, no accident. It and other posts that were even faintly critical of Tesla were removed.
     
  2. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I think it comes down to context. At the end of the day, I still trust TM to do the right thing. If I look at a couple of feature deletions like sleep mode or the low setting on the air suspension, I think the underlying reasoning is defensible. I think where Tesla falls down is on communications, transparency and predicability. With the 5.8 release, some communications and transparency would have gone a long way, even if it was done concurrent to the blog post. Elon has said there is an update in Jan, so lets see what happens in Jan and how that enhances or undermines credibility and trust.

    They are a young company and growing fast and I am willing to cut them a great deal of slack. I am however looking for to make positive steps in this direction otherwise it will impact their long-term success. Continually counting on your customers' goodwill is a doomed strategy.
     
  3. redi

    redi 2013 P85+ with HumanPilot Technology

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    #3 redi, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    @sgblank - I think you are spot on.

    I expect the web browser to disappear and be nannied at some point (only able to use while driving after poking a "I agree" button or disabled from use while the vehicle is in motion).

    I would also not be all that surprised to have anything but basic car controls hidden behind an "I agree" at some point.

    When I bought my car I thought Tesla was a bleeding edge company that "went their own way" with some of these features that the rest of the sheep did not have the spine to implement, leaving it up to the driver to manage safely. It appears they have lost the ability to go their own way and I suspect it is just the beginning.

    This recent stunt makes it apparent that the priorities are: Tesla knows best, followed by their PR image (facts not required), their owners are a distant third or worse, with zero voice in the process, and certainly no consumer rights.

    Your post sums it up well:

    Lessons Learned

    • The product you bought today may not be the product you have later
    • Manufacturers can downgrade your product as well as upgrade it
    • You have no legal protection

    What is even more humorous is my recollection of Musk's videos/speeches about "we listen to our customers" - while I would really like this to be true, is seems to be another step closer to the serial truth-benders he and his sales/marketing/pr department have become lately. Most grown-ups can recognize spin and marketing copy when we hear it: sort of true, but not full of truth.
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    So one event and they have 'lost the ability to go their own way'? Tough crowd.

    Roadster owners, Model S Sig owners, and Model S early VIN owners have a slightly diff experience, which is why so many are repeat Tesla customers. Why is that not factored into the opinion here?
     
  5. Kraken

    Kraken Member

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    You keep saying this. Tere is no reason to believe this. Nhtsa has already reviewed the car and knows all of these things already. They are just looking at the battery pack right now. The air suspension wasnt even a big change, basically what tesla said was "we don't believe this is an issue, but we'll give the naysayers benefit of the doubt for a couple months while it is investigated. We don't want to or plan on removing this from our customers permanently."


    if you don't like that teslas car is software based.... Sell it. It's not something you can get around. Just like other software based devices that people own (cell phones, gaming systems) updates will come out that improve the system, but at the same time the developer might remove some of the operations of the device. Just because this is a car and no car before has had this issue doesn't make it different.

    Rather than fretting, just relax and wait. If a feature is removed that you can't live without, then definitely, the car is no longer for you and you should sell. If they removed the browser or other main functions, I probably would. For me, the air suspension isn't a main function, and it should come back. So I'm still happy.
     
  6. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The solution is to just not accept updates. Keep the car you bought, as it was when you bought it. That's how most cars work.

    Yes, you will give up new features, but they were not there when you bought the car, so you should be fine.
     
  7. redi

    redi 2013 P85+ with HumanPilot Technology

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    My guess is you don't have air suspension - correction, you don't have a car yet.

    As you will find out, part of the rub is that the readme with the update is not a full disclosure of what is being changed, like neutering the air suspension in this case was not even mentioned. Technically I am not sure you really can "not accept the updates" if Tesla insists that it is important. You can decline/reschedule, but I doubt you have the last word if Tesla sw deems it important. I certainly would not have updated if this was documented - 5.6 was working ok for me.

    But what you outline is my future approach to updates, and it is unknown if you can permanently "hold off" on a firmware push.

    Congrats on your purchase, you'll get to experience this for yourself in a bit.
     
  8. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Model S - Sig. 283 EU

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    +1

    And the air suspension isn't even gone! Just one aspect of it is gone (and only temporarily, if we are to believe Tesla). The ride is still smoother and you can still raise the car. Most car brands that have air suspension actually promote the fact that you can raise the car, not lower it.

    We bought a unique car, one which can constantly be improved. Most of us think that only means getting new features all the time. But Tesla decided that at this moment, in the interest of the company (and thus indirectly we as owners), it was best to take away a function, one of the hundreds this cars has, and to only take it away temporarily.

    So let's wait until January before we tear down the place.
     
  9. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I 100% agree that Tesla should provide accurate and complete release notes.

    But what I said is completely valid even if I get my car until next week :)

    As a rule, Your should not take Any updates if you don't want Any changes. The same applies to your smart phone or computers. The latest and greatest is often not.

    If Tesla starts forcing people to update that is a very different issue and I would have a major problem with that. As far as I know that has not been the case.
     
  10. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    +1. I am amazed how many whining threads and posts have appeared because of this one action. Tesla is fighting a particularly unfortunate (3 fire incidents in a few weeks, and two similar battery piercings) image and possibly regulatory battle, and owners here are making petitions and threatening lawsuits. Sheesh!

    Cut them a little slack as they battle this, but provide the measured feedback that a) communications must improve, and b) we expect the control back - and better than before - in January.
     
  11. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    One thing I have not heard in the discussion of the 5.8 suspension change is this: "We are early adopters, we should expect these things."

    When people discuss mechanical or fit-finish issues, the first words that are usually thrown around is the "early adopter" thing. Yet now, apparently, we are not to expect the same? I'm not advocating this point of view, necessarily, but I find it interesting that nobody has mentioned it. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, no? As early adopters, are we also not in essence testing a lot of these features and situations for the first time in the wild? Why is it that we are forgiving of Tesla on the one hand with one set of issues, but are so adamant about not cutting them any slack on this issue?

    I find it interesting.
     
  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Tesla can legitimately say this is a safety issue and other OS have removed features for similar reasons (security). It's not even unheard of to remove features for no reason at all.

    In this case, Tesla partially/temporarily removed some air suspension functionality. You can make a good case that the release notes should be more clear, but the actual change really does not seem as huge as it has been made out to be. From what I gather, it's a global raise of ~1/3" and there's a bug (some people say it's intentional) that makes the suspension lowering happen at 96.5mph (instead of 60mph).
     
  13. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Agree 100%. Drive and enjoy your car!
     
  14. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Do not assume that every Tesla customer has the same opinion as you. They very likely do not. Typically, majority rules. Just sayin...
     
  15. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    #15 sp4rk, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    Redi,
    A quick glance of your posts reveal you never have anything positive to say about Tesla. Always criticizing.
    And you don't even have the car.
    So, tell us why you stay around?
     
  16. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    I don't blame TM for their decisions. I support their decisions.
     
  17. redi

    redi 2013 P85+ with HumanPilot Technology

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    #17 redi, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
    You must not be able to read that well? :)

    But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I see no reason not to let you have yours free from insult (even though you don't appear to add much value or information in any post yourself).

    I enjoy driving mine quite a lot thanks.
     
  18. huntjo

    huntjo Member

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    Hi Bonnie! Whatcha been up to?
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Funny guy. Trying to lay low, obviously failing. Things somewhat under control at the moment, and not home for an extended period of time. All is good :) Hiya.
     
  20. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    The only feature that "disappeared" is the lowering at 55 and Tesla has already said they will be providing a software update to give people the choice back in January. What's the big deal? :confused:
     

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