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Tesla owner says remotely disabled Autopilot functions have been restored

Tesla has restored the Autopilot steering assist functions that it switched off remotely on a used Model S in a few days Jalopnik has published a story about the test of the customer.

The owner, who Jalopnik simply referred to as Alec, attached to The edge that the functions are back The following web newly spotted Tesla Motors Club forum posts he wrote earlier this week. Alec said he was contacted by a Tesla customer experience representative who “apologized for my problems, told me that Tesla has restored all missed options” and “cited a miscommunication” as the reason why the company used Autopilot features in the used first.

Alec had purchased the used Model S 2017 in December from an external dealer who had purchased the car at an auction from Tesla in November. The original owner had equipped the car with the (now retired) “Enhanced Autopilot” version of Tesla’s driving assistance package and the “Full Self-Driving” package of the company, which promises more autonomy over the years. Three days after Tesla sold the car to the dealer, Tesla conducted an “external audit” that marked these functions for removal, according to Jalopnik.

Even then the functions were never removed and the dealer put the car up for sale with both Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving on the car Monroney sticker – which means that Alec has paid for a car with those functions.

But when Alec took the car to a Tesla service center a few weeks after his purchase, he was told the features had been removed. When he contacted Tesla customer service, he was told the following:

Tesla has recently found that customers are incorrectly configured for Autopilot versions for which they have not paid. Since then an audit has been carried out to correct these cases. Your vehicle is one of the vehicles that is not correctly configured for Autopilot. We have looked back at your purchase history and unfortunately self-driving was not a function for which you had paid. We apologize for the confusion. If you are still interested in having those extra features, we can begin the process to purchase the upgrade.

Tesla has removed functions from used cars in the past, but usually does so before the car is sold to an external dealer or new owner. Because Tesla had sold these functions to Alec after both selling the car to the dealer and after that dealer, it caused some fear that the company set a precedent for snatching functions.

That now seems less likely to be true, although owners and potential customers must always be willing to handle change. Tesla pushes the boundaries when it comes to adding new features and generally upgrading cars through software updates over the air, and other automakers follow (slowly). But the easier it becomes for car manufacturers to remotely update or change the functions of a car, the easier it will be to remove those functions.

But what exactly Tesla’s policy is is hard to say. The automaker did not respond to multiple requests for clarification or comment.