Tesla demanded from a customer a payment of $4500 to return 80 miles of range to his Tesla Model S. And the most curious thing is that it was Tesla herself who took away the autonomy of the customer when passing through his workshop. All this has its origin in the way of proceeding that Tesla had several years ago: they mounted larger batteries in their cars, but they were limited by software to simplify the production process.
Back in the day, Tesla had much simpler production processes. The Tesla Model S 40, for example, was a Tesla Model S with a 60 kWh battery but limited by software to offer just 40 kWh of capacity. They did this because in this way the cars were manufactured in series with the same battery, to have a simpler and faster production. But customers were sold exactly as much capacity as they had purchased. And while that ended many years ago, that practice continued for warranty replacements for batteries that were no longer in production.
Tesla blocked 80 miles of range to a client and asked for a ransom of 4,500 dollars
What has remained until a more recent time is something similar. If you had a Model S 40, but Tesla no longer worked with that battery capacity, then a limited capacity 60 kWh battery was installed. This was done when a warranty replacement had to be carried out, and if the said component was no longer on the manufacturer’s production line. In short, all this mess was made by Tesla to be able to offer different autonomy options but without complicating production with different battery pack sizes.
What has happened to this customer is that he bought a second-hand Tesla Model S 90, but it was originally a Tesla Model S 60. This Tesla went through the workshop to have the MCU2 update applied since it originally comes with connectivity Factory 3G and that connectivity is going to stop working. And in this intervention, they called him from Tesla because they had found “an error in the configuration” of the car, and they indicated to the new owner that “they would try to fix it”.
The solution to the problem of the car was to return it to its original configuration, that of a Tesla Model S 60, and thereby take away 80 miles of autonomy. The affected customer explained the situation to the workshop so that they would undo the operation and return the car to him as he had taken it to the workshop. But Tesla refused and, in addition, they pointed out that he had to pay $4,500 to enjoy his autonomy again, the one he had when he took the car to the workshop to do this operation.
The bottom line is that the affected customer contacted a person known to enable features in Tesla cars through software modifications. This person posted the case on Twitter, and in no time it went viral. Going viral, so yes, it seems that Tesla paid attention to the problem and will finally give back its kilometers of autonomy and its battery capacity.