Tesla to Begin Over-the-Air Downgrades of the Model 3 Standard Range
【Summary】Tesla will launch an over-the-air "downgrade" for all Model 3 Standard Range versions reducing the range by 10%. Several other features will also be disabled, including the on-board music streaming service, live traffic visualization, navigation and even the heated seats.
It's probably safe to say that owners of the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range edition will not be very happy in the next few days, when Tesla launches its over-the-air "downgrade" for all Standard Range Model 3s.
Buyers of the Model 3 Standard Range were able to access some premium features of the more expensive Standard Range Plus edition, but now Tesla has announced that it will launch a downgrade, to limit access to the higher-priced features while reducing the range of the electric car.
The lower-priced Model 3 was initially sold as a "software-locked edition" of the Standard Range Plus(SR+) variant, but Tesla soon removed the Standard Range Plus model from its website, just a month after its debut.
However, some tech-savvy customers reported that they were able to access features of the SR+ variants even though the cars were supposed to be delivered with the software locked.
Tesla has now announced that it will downgrade the range of the standard Model 3 variants by 10%. Several other features will also be disabled, including the on-board music streaming service, live traffic visualization, navigation and even the heated seats.
This initiative is purely a over-the-air downgrade to both the Standard Range variant and Standard Range Plus. Other features will remain intact in terms of their hardware.
Tesla has started sending out emails to Standard Range Model 3 owners, informing them that their cars will soon receive new software, which will limit the capabilities of their cars.
Standard Range Model 3 owners will soon lose free access to Tesla's music streaming service after a software downgrade.
Tesla also informed Model 3 owners that if they want to continue experiencing features like faster acceleration, extended range and the autonomous driving Autopilot features of Standard Range Plus, they will have to book a service appointment using the Tesla app.
It's still unclear why the inconvenience of having to make a service appointment is required for a standard over-the-air software fix, instead of using the Tesla app as with previous OTA updates.
So far, there has been no official word from Tesla on this matter or even if a Tesla technician will be involved in the update process.
After Tesla's downgrade, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will be limited to just 220 miles, which will match Tesla's initial specification for the Standard Range Model 3.
Earlier this year, Tesla announced it was finally building the long-awaited $35,000 standard range Model 3, over 18 months after production of the more expensive versions began.
Some people believe that Tesla deliberately allowed customers to experience the Standard Range Plus features for a trial period and used the time frame to develop the software downgrade, although that's unlikely.
As of today, the price difference between the two variants stands at $4,500 and the Standard Range Model 3 is price at $35,400.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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