Hey, there's a first time for everything.
Tesla has attracted the wrath of America's automotive dealerships because of its refusal to play ball. The electric vehicle automaker's direct sales model conflicts with the long-time status quo of franchised dealers. Automakers don't own their dealerships unless it's Tesla (or Rivian or Lucid). These EV brands are changing the rules of the game and the establishment isn't happy. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Unplugged Performance, a Los Angeles-based outfit that specializes in upgrading and customizing Teslas, has just received the automaker's seal of approval to become an authorized Tesla service and repair shop.
"We are always grateful of our 8 year relationship with our neighbors at Tesla and today we announce something very special to us. Unplugged Performance is now directly authorized for Tesla vehicle service and body repair," the company wrote on Instagram.
"Our technicians have completed Tesla official training, we have received Tesla's access to vehicle diagnostic equipment, proprietary Tesla repair tools, and direct replacement parts access. We are pleased to offer a wider range of support to Tesla clients as a result. All cars received at our shop now go into service mode for all work performed and we can connect directly to help diagnose and resolve service concerns."
The fact that Tesla is letting a third party handle vehicle service and the like is a pretty big deal, though Unplugged Performance isn't the first independent shop to get this level of training from the carmaker. However, it is the first aftermarket tuner to get the nod. This is definitely good news for Tesla owners who want something a bit more unique without having to worry that any modifications might void their warranties.
There have been plenty of instances where Tesla owners tinkered with their cars in some way only to see Tesla revoke the warranty. Some of Unplugged Performance's upgrades, which are available for the Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y, include performance and suspension improvements, more powerful brakes, enhanced exterior aerodynamics, and even racing seats with four- and six-point harnesses.
Browsing through the company's catalog makes it clear there's something available for just about any budget. Chances are this won't be the last aftermarket tuner to get the green light from Tesla because the world's most valuable automaker is rapidly growing. We look forward to seeing tuned Cybertrucks in about a year's time.