Tesla Disables Autopilot without Notice on Used Model S after It Was Sold

The new owner has to pay an additional $8,000 if he ever wants the deleted features back.
Derya Ozdemir

Tesla has reportedly disabled a used Model S’ driver assistance features after it was sold to a customer. The owner purchased it from a third-party dealer, who had previously bought it from Tesla with an auction back in 2019. Tesla claims that since the car’s new owner did not pay for some features such as Autopilot, they are not eligible to use them.

The car had all the features when it was originally bought from Tesla, therefore, it was advertised to have these features by the owner. These features were the “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving Mode.” After the transaction, Tesla remotely disabled the said features after conducting a software “audit.”

Tesla is now stating that if the owner wants to have those features, he will need to pay them $8,000. This is the price he would have normally have to pay if he bought the car from the company.


When the features were nowhere to be found, the owner confronted Tesla about the issue. This was Tesla’s answer:

 “Tesla has recently identified instances of customers being incorrectly configured for Autopilot versions that they did not pay for. Since there was an audit done to correct these instances. Your vehicle is one of the vehicles that was incorrectly configured for Autopilot. We looked back at your purchase history and unfortunately, Full-Self Driving was not a feature that you had paid for. We apologize for the confusion. If you are still interested in having those additional features we can begin the process to purchase the upgrade.” 

This raises some concerns over Tesla’s over-the-air updates. The legality of the situation is debatable, and the carmaker's power over the car is a topic of hot discussion. Should updates be manually made by the owners? Or does the carmaker have the right to make updates where they see crucial? 

H/T Jalopnik

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