Interessante blog over het verwijderen van functies zie hier de volledige blog Posted on November 21, 2013 by steveblank One of the great innovations of the 21[SUP]st[/SUP] century are products that are cloud-connected and update and improve automatically. For software, gone are the days of having to buy a new version of physical media (disks or CD’s.) For hardware it’s the magical ability to have a product get better over time as new features are automatically added. The downside is when companies unilaterally remove features from their products without asking their customers permission and/or remove consumers’ ability to use the previous versions. Products can just as easily be downgraded as upgraded. It was a wake up call when Amazon did it with books, disappointing when Google did it with Google Maps, annoying when Apple did it to their office applications – but Tesla just did it on a $100,000 car. It’s time to think about a 21st Century Bill of Consumer Product Rights Tesla – Our Problems are Now Your Problems In November 2013 Tesla, a manufacturer of ~$70,000 to $120,000 electric cars, used a software “update” to disable a hardware option customers had bought and paid for – without telling them or asking their permission. One of Tesla features is a $2,250 “smart air suspension” option that automatically lowers the car at highway speeds for better mileage and stability. Over a period of 5 weeks, three Tesla Model S cars had caught fire after severe accidents – two of them apparently from running over road debris that may have punctured the battery pack that made up the floor pan of the car. After the car fires Tesla pushed a software release out to its users. While the release notice highlighted new features in the release, nowhere did it describe that Tesla had unilaterally disabled a key part of the smart air suspension feature customers had purchased.Only after most of Telsa customers installed the downgrade did Tesla’s CEO admit in ablog post, “…we have rolled out an over-the-air update to the air suspension that will result in greater ground clearance at highway speed.”Translation – we disabled one of the features you thought you bought. (The CEO went on to say that another software update in January will give drivers back control of the feature.) The explanation of the nearly overnight removal of this feature was vague “…reducing the chances of underbody impact damage, not improving safety.” If it wasn’t about safety, why wasn’t it offered as a user-selected option? One could only guess the no notice and immediacy of the release had to do with the National Highway Safety Administration investigation of the Tesla Model S car fires.This raises the question: when Tesla is faced with future legal or regulatory issues, what other hardware features might Tesla remove or limit in cars in another software release? Adding speed limits? Acceleration limits? Turning off the Web browser when driving? The list of potential downgrades to the car is endless with the precedent now set of no obligation to notify their owners or ask their permission.In the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century if someone had snuck into your garage and attempted to remove a feature from your car, you’d call the police. In the 21[SUP]st[/SUP] century it’s starting to look like the normal course of business.