Why has it taken over seven months?
Tesla has long been at the forefront of technology for both its cars and the way it sells them. Instead of traditional dealerships, sales are conducted either through a Tesla store at a mall, or at private homes through the company's website. Want to upgrade your Tesla after your purchase? No problem. Unlocking those software upgrades through in-app purchases are quick and easy. Perhaps a little too easy.
Last January, we reported about several Tesla customers who unintentionally purchased in-app upgrades amounting to several thousand dollars. Those who weren't VIPs supposedly had a difficult time getting their money refunded. In one case, an owner was charged $9,700 for an in-app vehicle upgrade for his Tesla Model 3 for no reason.
It took several weeks but Tesla made good and gave people refunds but the upgrade purchase authentication issue was still not fixed. And now, over seven months since the problem became know, Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally has an update on the matter. Responding to an owner's question about the new two-factor authentication, Musk admitted the following: "Sorry, this is embarrassingly late. Two factor authentication via sms or authenticator app is going through final validation right now."
Aside from preventing unwanted in-app purchases, which in some cases could be blamed on "butt dialing," the two-factor authentication is necessary to secure owners' accounts from hacking.
As vehicles become more connected, they're more subject to hacking, and Teslas are the most connected cars on the market at present. One possible reason for the delay of the new authentication process is due to its complexity and the fact it's never been done before on a scale of this magnitude. Every Tesla owner must be included along with all of their valuable data. While those expensive and unwanted in-app purchases were a minor PR headache for Tesla at the time, the situation could have been far worse.
Imagine a wide-scale hack where owners' data became compromised. Tesla could have been hit with lawsuits for years.