04:45 GMT18 February 2020
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    Tesla has remotely disabled driver assistance features on a used Model S after the electric car was purchased from a third-party dealer, who bought it at an auction held by Tesla, arguing that the latest owner didn’t pay for it.

    The features were enabled when the dealer bought the car, Jalopnik reports, noting that the autopilot was advertised as part of the package when the car was sold to its owner. Cars sold with hardware-based upgrades, such as four-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive, or advanced adaptive cruise control, usually do not lose those features when they are resold on the used car market, however, as Tesla upgrades their vehicles remotely, it can make them lose some of their key selling features.

    The owner in question, who Jalopnik refers to as Alec, purchased the car last December. The dealer bought the car a month earlier from a Tesla auction, which included both the “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving Mode” features in his Model S, according to documents related to the car’s ownership and sale. The dealer then listed both of these features in the advertisement. However, Tesla held an independently conducted software “audit” of the car after selling it, and disabled those features in a December update.

    “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,” the message from Tesla’s support reads.

    The self-driving features that were supposed to remain active in the Model S would cost its new owner an additional $8,000. The owner said that the vehicle was bought under the assumption that the features were bundled into the car’s price, which was not specified in the report. Tesla didn’t provide any comment on the availability of the built-in features in their used cars sold to other customers.


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