Tesla Ordered To Upgrade Self-Driving Computer For Free Due To ‘False Advertising’


Tesla has been ordered to cover the costs of upgrading the self-driving computer on an owner’s Model 3 after he successfully brought a court case against the automaker.

Ian Jordan already owned one example of Tesla’s small sedan, and bought a second having read marketing material from the company that claimed all Tesla Model 3s came with the hardware for full-self driving to make them ready for autonomous action in the future.

But when Jordan decided he wanted to subscribe to the full self-driving (FSD) program that has recently been made available to all owners in North America, he was told he would need to pay an additional $1,106 to upgrade his car’s 2.5-spec computer to the latest Hardware 3.0 equipment.

Tesla had previously said it would upgrade the computers on all post-2016 cars for free, but its policy changed when FSD became available as a $199 per month subscription as an alternative to buying the tech outright. Owners who had forked out up to $15,000 for the package in one go would get the free upgrade, but subscribers were asked to pay $1,500 to swap the computers, a figure later reduced to $1,000.

Related: Tesla Investors And Customers Think Elon Musk’s Twitter Antics Are Hurting The Brand

Judge Matthew A. Skau presiding over the case in a Washington small claims court accused Tesla of ‘false advertising’ and awarded Jordan $1,106 to cover the cost of the FSD computer upgrade, plus $1,657.50 for a media computer on his other Model 3 that Tesla claimed couldn’t be fixed under warranty, and $500 compensation for the loss of AM radio, a side effect of the media upgrade.

Tesla, which a week earlier had tried to get the FSD case thrown out by arguing that “mere failure to realize a long-term, aspirational goal is not fraud,” didn’t show up to the hearing. But according to Electrek the automaker paid up promptly after the judge handed down his verdict.


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