After delivering on offering a low-cost subscription to its Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, Tesla is now also decreasing the price of upgrading the hardware of older vehicles. It came after the company faced outrage from its long-time owners.
Amid the backlash, Tesla lowered the price of the hardware HW 3.0 update from $1,500 to $1,000 on older cars in order to become compatible with the new FSD feature. The said feature will subsequently cost a monthly fee of $199 a month or a single payment of $10,000, Business Insider reported.
Tesla Owners Furious Over Pricey Upgrade for Full Self-Driving Hardware
On Reddit, owners of Tesla vehicles purchased before the middle of 2019 were furious over the pricey upgrade. Apparently, they were made to believe that their cars would come equipped with the compatible hardware to run Full-Self Driving based on the automaker's 2016 announcement.
Tesla announced at that time that all of its electric vehicles going forward will have full self-driving hardware, Engadget noted. However, the automaker soon discovered that a computer update was necessary on older EVs. Owners were then shocked to find out that they were charged $1,500 for the hardware upgrade in addition to the cost of the FSD upgrade.
Tesla FSD Not Capable of True Autonomy
Similar to the "Autopilot," the FSD does not offer Level 4 full self-driving, rather conforming to just SAE Level 2 such as those from other manufacturers like Cadillac and Audi. This means Tesla's FSD is not completely autonomous, requiring an attentive driver prepared to take over any time. True autonomy can be attained until the FSD system reaches Level 4 or Level 5, and more development is needed before those levels are reached, Tom's Guide posted.
Business Insider interviewed a long-time Tesla owner named Arjun (who asked not to use his full name). He said that Tesla is "screwing over its earliest supporters." Arjun, who described himself as a "Tesla supporter, stockholder and fan," purchased his Model 3 when it rolled out in 2018. He declared that he was not after a "quick buck or a discount." What he was expecting from Tesla is to give them the "hardware we were told came preinstalled on our vehicles."
Full Self-Driving 'Huge Selling Point' for Tesla, Say Customers
The Tesla owner said the now-obsolete hardware for FSD was a "huge selling point" for the Model 3 at the time of purchase. Arjun described Tesla's move as a "blatant bait and switch."
A Reddit user, who claimed to be an owner of a 2018 M3, said he was "furious" about the upgrade cost. He added that he would "love to see some legal action taken."
Twitter user @JohnPConnell lamented how the new Tesla app bared the new cost for upgrading the FSD system with screenshots of a system message showing "Hardware Upgrade Required".
New Tesla App shows FSD subscription. HW3 upgrade required for $1500 pic.twitter.com/r5giBL3vX0— John Connell (@JohnPConnell) July 17, 2021