They thought their cars were FSD capable. Not so.
Tesla has finally rolled out its highly anticipated Full Self-Driving subscription option for $199 per month. This would be instead of paying $10,000 upfront, a very attractive alternative for owners who prefer to try before buying. People who purchased a 2016 to mid-2019 Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3, or Model Y, however, are now being forced to pony up an additional $1,500 if they want the subscription option.
The extra charge, according to Electrek, is for a software upgrade despite being told their cars were already FSD version 9 compatible; they just had to wait until the system was released. It turns out those older vehicles' computers aren't capable of handling FSD after all, a reality realized only after the fact by Tesla engineers. Cars built after mid-2019 received the updated hardware.
These owners were informed of the issue and told they could upgrade for free, but only if they paid $10k for the entire package. Subscription service customers now have no choice but to pay $1,500 first despite being told as far back as 2016 that there'd be no additional charges. Needless to say, this is now a hot topic in Tesla owner forums. Many are rightfully angry over Tesla's broken promise and some are even considering taking legal action.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Tesla has done something like this. A past example was a price increase for the Tesla Solar Roof for customers who'd already signed a contract for a specific amount. In fact, some of the first Model 3 customers purchased their cars with FSD even though they knew the technology wasn't ready yet.
They basically bought non-functioning software but were led to believe Tesla would roll out any necessary upgrades for free at a later date. Now they're coming to collect and Tesla is demanding more money. This may not have been a deliberate attempt to gain the financial upper hand, but rather an internal mistake.
Because of the company's high turnover rate, it's possible those charged with handling the FSD subscription rollout were unaware of past promises made by their predecessors. Sometimes information gets lost in the shuffle. In any case, Tesla has a ton of angry owners right now and it needs to resolve the situation quickly.