It is not uncommon for Tesla to allow you to book features. In the past, Tesla also allowed you to unlock range for a small fee. A buyer of a used Model S 90 (which was previously an S 60) demanded a large “ransom”. Although it’s been quite some time, the electric car manufacturer used to sell cars with different ranges of batteries, even though they actually gave more.
You could have “different” versions of a model, but each had the same battery. Software could block or restrict the use of batteries. A Model S 40 had a 60 kWh battery, while a Model S 40 had a Model S 40. This was because they didn’t want to make batteries in different sizes due to cost reasons.
Tesla allowed unlocking at first for a fee, but then did it all. One exception was software-locked batteries that were still being used in warranty cases. In one instance, however, Tesla was wrong. Electrek citing Tesla hacker Jason Hughes. He then presented the case of a customer to him on Twitter. A used Model S 90 buyer brought his vehicle to our workshop. He needed to update his software.
Tesla finds “wrong”
He received a call later from the service center, where Tesla claimed they had found a bug in the system and would fix it. However, this was a reset of Tesla’s configuration to the Model S 60, which prevented Tesla from traveling more than 130 km.
The customer wanted to clarify the matter and pointed out that he had purchased a 90-version, but Tesla refused to sell it. He demanded $4500 to unlock the range. Hughes is well-known for his hacks and the customer reached out to him. However, he was unable or unwilling to assist, at least not immediately. He posted the case to social media, and it became viral. Users thought it was a joke. Tesla responded by promising to clarify the matter, and to unlock the vehicle again as a Model S 90.