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Tesla surreptitiously removed the self-driving features from one of its cars after it was sold to a dealership, according to a report from Jalopnik.

The vehicle, a Model S, was sold to a third-party dealership via auction on November 15 last year. A month later, on December 20, it was bought by a customer identified in the report as "Alec."

When Alec bought the car it was listed as coming with Tesla's "Enhanced Autopilot" and "Full Self Driving Capability" features, as confirmed in documentation viewed by Jalopnik.
An invoice from Tesla later revealed that on November 18, three days after the car was sold to the dealer, Tesla conducted an "audit" of the car and decided the features had not been paid for. Consequently when the car received its next software update in December, those features were remotely removed from the vehicle.
So Tesla apparently feels there is money to be made by charging (no pun intended...) subsequent owners for features included in the car's original price. As cars become more computer than vehicle, and other makers adopt OTA updates, is this the wave of the future? As always, "caveat emptor!" :)

 

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I know this is going to sound crazy at first, but things like this is why I think open standards and open source software are important. It's not too hard to imagine a future where a used car can only be used as parts and where at some manufacturer-decided time turns things off, making people buy a new car instead of keeping the old one going.
I am aware of some small projects replacing minor bits of the car here and there, but I can't think of a single project where all manufacturer software has been replaced entirely.

I keep my vehicles for a bit longer than most, typically buying cars that are 10+ years old and driving them for another 10+ years until I'm having to fabricate even common parts to keep it going. Once it's more cost and hassle to keep the old one going, I start looking for a replacement....which is how I got my 2008 Smart at the end of 2019 (my first car built in the 21st century). Given the cost of some specialized parts, the thought of eventually having to fabricate a complete replacement for a component that will require modifying the car's software to get it to accept the new part has been a concern.

Edit: As I recall, the US Supreme Court ruled owners have the right to modify their cars and change the software as they choose, but I'm not sure that helps when the manufacturer isn't fighting your ability to modify; instead leveraging a non-transferable license to the software itself.
 
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