Tesla is hunting down owners who hack their own Models in order to get more performance. This additional power, already present natively, is normally unlockable through paid updates.
In the “old world”, when you wanted to improve the performance of your vehicle, you just had to change a part here and there, modify the mapping with the addition of a microprocessor and voila. Of course, this operation is always and again the responsibility of the owners, with all the risks and dangers that this could generate …
Since most vehicles are connected these days, a single click from a keypad can trigger a remote update (Over The Air). The champion in all categories – technical and marketing – is obviously Tesla who has made it a specialty with cars that can be changed and improved at any time. So increasing battery capacity and range or delivering more power, all from a distance, is the Californian’s hallmark.
As you can imagine, these updates are not free. The latest example, the $ 2,000 requested to benefit from 50 additional hp on the Model 3, Performance and Long autonomy finishes.
However, some Tesla owners have decided to activate updates themselves, specifically those related to performance. To achieve their ends, they do not hesitate to hack their cars thanks to “outside” connectors.
The site Electrek reports the example of Ingenext, a company specializing in this type of hacking. It sells a connector with software to plug into the microcontroller of the Tesla in order to unlock this additional power. Sold for half the price of the Tesla update, the device uses the same unlock code.
Except that all this is not to the liking of Tesla who decided to take the bull by the horns. Thus, some owners who have performed the update saw on their screen: "Incompatible modification of the vehicle which could result in a potential risk of damage or the stopping of the vehicle." Despite everything, the latter continues to operate, but leaves the warning displayed (source Reddit).
Ingenext told our colleagues atElectrek Tesla having made a correction to its power release update, it advised its customers to do nothing and wait for the correct patch within a week or two. To date, only three customers have ignored Ingenext's warning.
It remains to be seen how long this cat-and-mouse game will continue before Tesla steps up its fight against recalcitrant owners. That said, we can understand the reaction of these Tesla owners frustrated at having to pay for updates when these changes are already present and just “asleep”.