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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi -

I'd like to be more clear as to under what circumstances that Tesla says it will disable supercharging, and then whether the reality differs from what they say. I'm concerned that I've heard hard-to-confirm stories about Tesla disabling supercharging when customers have bought a used Tesla from someone other than Tesla, but that there had been reason to believe that supercharger access came with the purchase.

Is Tesla saying in those cases that
  • the seller knowingly misrepresented the supercharger access status?
  • the seller did not know supercharger access status?
  • the vehicle was declared a wreck, (and the VIN indicates this?), and supercharging cannot be enabled safely?
  • they have just decided to disable it because the latest buyer did not explicitly pay them for access?
On a related note, does Tesla publish a phone number or email where one can contact them to get information about a used vehicle one is considering buying (such as whether there will be a problem with supercharger access once a person has bought the vehicle?)

edit/addendum:

same questions for full-self-driving software.

I just noticed this recent article which helps capture some of why I am asking this question:

Tech by VICE
People Are Jailbreaking Used Teslas to Get the Features They Expect
Tesla is getting more aggressive in revoking paid software features on used cars, raising the stakes in a battle over what used Teslas can do that has raged for years.
by Aaron Gordon
Feb 11 2020, 9:00am
 

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If the car has ever been written off, then just assume that Tesla will disable all DC charging (incl. Supercharging) at some point, and any DC charging you get before that happens is bonus.

You can see if a car has been written off with an HPI check in the UK.

The ONLY situation where a written-off car will continue to have Supercharging is when Tesla have inspected and "re-certified" it. For this reason, anyone selling a re-certified write-off is likely to go out of their way to make sure you know that it has been re-certified. For peace of mind, contact Tesla to confirm the legitimacy of the re-certification.
 

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There are a number of different points to your questions:

Tesla don't prevent supercharging unless the car has been written off - the exact details here are more vague as in would they prevent a Cat N (not structural damage) from charging, or any car with a Cat status, and there are stories of cars without a Cat status but with damage to the charge port area being disabled. I think any Cat car should be checked with Tesla and any sign of accident damage needs to be thought through carefully if it could be in the areas of the carger or battery. A minor numper repair, door repair etc wouldn't worry me iin this regard, a shunt in the rear nearside by the charge port would.

The second point is free supercharging. There is a lot of confusion on this regard. The basics are no car first registered after March 2017 will retain free supercharging following a change of ownership. All cars that pass/passed through Teslas hands since late last year will lose free sueprcharging, even if that car is sent to auction by Tesla. The issue is that Tesla have taken time to remove the free status in some case resulting in the car appearing to have free supercharging only for it to subsequently disappear.

Similar goes for FSD and to an extent EAP. EAP was the autopilot sold from late 2016 until roughly late last year on MS and MX. This had more features than just AP which is the now default version, but not as much as FSD (although its close) but more importantly not as much as FSD will eventually have. Tesla have started to regress EAP to AP on all cars that pass through there hands. This was the problem in the US I believe where the car still had EAP features (may have been FSD features although as they're largely one and the same I suspect it was actually EAP), and was technically regressed to AP which was as described at auction and subsequently sold by the dealer, but it was some time after that it regressed in the car. I think Tesla capitulated to avoid more bad press, their mistake was taking too long to remove the features in the car.

The same goes for premium connectivity. The good (or better news) is that if you buy used and its not passed through Teslas hands in the process (and the issue here is dealers selling cars they bought at auction), the autopilot features should stay as is, the free supercharging should stay as is if before march 2017 (free VED is a pretty good barameter as the two changed more or less at the same time), and unlimited premium connectivity will continue (for cars registered before 2020). I cover both on supercharging and buying from Tesla more extensively on tesla-info as its something that is confusing a lot of people, and most dealers struggle to know what they have or how to check. I'm also happy to comment on any specific car

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
There are a number of different points to your questions:

Tesla don't prevent supercharging unless the car has been written off - the exact details here are more vague as in would they prevent a Cat N (not structural damage) from charging, or any car with a Cat status, and there are stories of cars without a Cat status but with damage to the charge port area being disabled. I think any Cat car should be checked with Tesla and any sign of accident damage needs to be thought through carefully if it could be in the areas of the carger or battery. A minor numper repair, door repair etc wouldn't worry me iin this regard, a shunt in the rear nearside by the charge port would.

The second point is free supercharging. There is a lot of confusion on this regard. The basics are no car first registered after March 2017 will retain free supercharging following a change of ownership. All cars that pass/passed through Teslas hands since late last year will lose free sueprcharging, even if that car is sent to auction by Tesla. The issue is that Tesla have taken time to remove the free status in some case resulting in the car appearing to have free supercharging only for it to subsequently disappear.

Similar goes for FSD and to an extent EAP. EAP was the autopilot sold from late 2016 until roughly late last year on MS and MX. This had more features than just AP which is the now default version, but not as much as FSD (although its close) but more importantly not as much as FSD will eventually have. Tesla have started to regress EAP to AP on all cars that pass through there hands. This was the problem in the US I believe where the car still had EAP features (may have been FSD features although as they're largely one and the same I suspect it was actually EAP), and was technically regressed to AP which was as described at auction and subsequently sold by the dealer, but it was some time after that it regressed in the car. I think Tesla capitulated to avoid more bad press, their mistake was taking too long to remove the features in the car.

The same goes for premium connectivity. The good (or better news) is that if you buy used and its not passed through Teslas hands in the process (and the issue here is dealers selling cars they bought at auction), the autopilot features should stay as is, the free supercharging should stay as is if before march 2017 (free VED is a pretty good barameter as the two changed more or less at the same time), and unlimited premium connectivity will continue (for cars registered before 2020). I cover both on supercharging and buying from Tesla more extensively on tesla-info as its something that is confusing a lot of people, and most dealers struggle to know what they have or how to check. I'm also happy to comment on any specific car

Thanks for this link and the overall reply.

To boil it down, for me, as a consumer what I want is transparency when I buy - am I paying for a feature or not? If I am not going to get a feature, then I want to know this, and I would not be willing to pay as high a price. One thing I'd like to see is a clear path at Tesla to check, if I am buying from a dealer, or from a private party, what features Tesla would honor or not. This could be a web vin check feature, and other web links with information, supplemented by a helpful phone number and email address if I have additional questions. In addition to wanting total clarity on what features the vehicle will have should I buy it, there will be questions around transferability, and to whom, and if there are any caveats, if/when I choose to sell the vehicle. I would also have other questions unrelated to software features, such as whether the pack or other key components have been been replaced.

Note that what I'm looking for is not so much a great deal, but transparency. If they will change free features to paid features, fine. If they will disable supercharging or some aspect of self-driving, let me know and I can make a clear decision. But, an unacceptable thing to me is to leave these multi-thousand-dollar matters to any sort of gray area or manufacturer whim - when there is more competition (coming in the next few quarters) this will be a factor in whether I would go to a competitor instead.

I'm also partly wondering why it appears Tesla has a kind of nasty un-businesslike attitude toward used vehicle dealers. I can understand some antipathy to the business as a category, but I've spoken to at least one dealer that was not able readily to get for me some of the key information. Does Tesla realize that any refusal to be clear or responsive with dealers on key information impacts Tesla drivers? Maybe Tesla is much more responsive and clear than I realize - I don't know.

In the recent story about the dealer and customer who were upset, there is too much I can't quite see. A couple of those things include whether there was clarity between the dealer and Tesla as to the transferability of features, and whether those features came with the vehicle. Both of these things, in my view, should be made totally clear, from here on out, when Tesla auctions or sells vehicles. I think one result of this would be that for vehicles where they disable features or make them non-transferable, we would see a drop in prices.

At the same time, I question whether the jail-breakers will be able to continue (surely eventually Tesla will win that battle?), and what is the value of a Tesla that is not allowed access to supercharging. I can't say whether Tesla's policy on where to draw the line on a vehicle not being supported is correct, but I'm kind of scratching my head over what is to happen with those vehicles, and if the pressure against being able to use them fully continues, what it does that do to the economics of ownership, and to the economics of insurance.
 

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I agree - I've wanted transparancy for years and one of the reasons I built the website was to try and fill in the gaps left by Teslas silence on lots of matters and how that void was filled by lots of Tesla fans. Way back in 2015 Tesla were a bit economical witht he truth over the power of the P85D car talking about front motor power and rear motor power - the fan boys added the two together and proclaimed thats how much power the car had - the truth was very much different as the battery couldn't supply both front and rear 100% at the same time - but they let the fans talk it up and just didn't reply. And so it is with all these things, Tesla are incredibly vague about lots and lots of things and play the official owners group and its all deliberate - push comes to shove and they have youy in the office with an NDA locking you down to keep stuff secret and have the official owners groups on the end of a very tight contract on what they can and cannot do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree - I've wanted transparancy for years and one of the reasons I built the website was to try and fill in the gaps left by Teslas silence on lots of matters and how that void was filled by lots of Tesla fans. Way back in 2015 Tesla were a bit economical witht he truth over the power of the P85D car talking about front motor power and rear motor power - the fan boys added the two together and proclaimed thats how much power the car had - the truth was very much different as the battery couldn't supply both front and rear 100% at the same time - but they let the fans talk it up and just didn't reply. And so it is with all these things, Tesla are incredibly vague about lots and lots of things and play the official owners group and its all deliberate - push comes to shove and they have youy in the office with an NDA locking you down to keep stuff secret and have the official owners groups on the end of a very tight contract on what they can and cannot do.
Thanks, very interesting to learn some of this. I'm hoping that when really full competition hits the market, over the next half decade, that some of the competitors seek to differentiate themselves in some of these areas. I'm also hoping that Tesla responds to this competitive upping-of-the-ante (if it occurs), or simply to their own customers or better judgment, and-or perhaps to litigation and policy measures, and they start to offer improved information and measures. While lack of really robust competition was a key advantage for them, there are times when it is a somewhat a disadvantage. Maybe the company will do well to be reminded by a competitor (and by loss of a few customers) that there are sometimes better ways to do things.

One pet focal point for me is part and battery replacement. As we move toward a type of vehicle where a very big part of what a person wants to know when they buy used is whether a pack (or modules of it) have been replaced, and whether key components have been replaced, in an information age where any of this can be easily tracked, I'd like to just cut through all the bs and have some sort of standardized database, and one can put in the VIN and see this. We have it for the question of whether an accident has been reported, so why not other key points? Maybe this already exists. I wonder if there could be smart/reasonable legislation that could require making it readily available on each vehicle.
 

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The good (or better news) is that if you buy used and its not passed through Teslas hands in the process (and the issue here is dealers selling cars they bought at auction), the autopilot features should stay as is, the free supercharging should stay as is if before march 2017 (free VED is a pretty good barameter as the two changed more or less at the same time), and unlimited premium connectivity will continue (for cars registered before 2020).

Are they disabling free supercharging or all supercharging?

So if you buy a Tesla from a private seller who’s owned from new and it’s a model after March 2017. How would Tesla know that it’s changed hands? Would they still disable the supercharging?
 

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Are they disabling free supercharging or all supercharging?

So if you buy a Tesla from a private seller who’s owned from new and it’s a model after March 2017. How would Tesla know that it’s changed hands? Would they still disable the supercharging?
Just to make things more confusing, there are two types of free Supercharging.

Sometimes it came with the car (mainly for pre April 2017 cars) and sometimes it was given to the owner under the referral scheme. The latter won’t transfer with the car sale.
 

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Are they disabling free supercharging or all supercharging?

So if you buy a Tesla from a private seller who’s owned from new and it’s a model after March 2017. How would Tesla know that it’s changed hands? Would they still disable the supercharging?
They're only disabling free supercharging. (Superchargiong may be disabled for other reasons relating to accident damage but thats another point).

As for how do they know, well for one the old owner will not want to be connected to the car as they will incur any tesla fines associated with supercharging over stay etc, nor will they want to pay for any work on the car, and the new buyer won't or shouldn't want the old owner to know where the car is, able to open it and drive away in it etc so will need to take control of the car in MyTesla. Whether Tesla also have access to the DVLA and see changes of ownership for the purposes of recalls etc I don't know.
 

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If you log into your MyTesla account, it’s fairly clear that the Supercharging stays with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
They're only disabling free supercharging. (Superchargiong may be disabled for other reasons relating to accident damage but thats another point).
[....]
fwiw, my primary concern is not whether supercharging is free. It is whether one has access to it at all.

This is from that jailbreaking article I mentioned:

"...Teslas are notoriously expensive to fix, partially because the automaker retains a tight hold on parts availability. So when a Tesla gets into a crash, insurance companies are quick to declare them a total loss because the cost of repairs approaches the value of the vehicle. At that point, Tesla stops supporting the vehicle, meaning all warranties are voided and Supercharging is disabled, even after the repaired vehicle passes a high-voltage inspection by Tesla’s own repair staff.

"A Tesla that doesn’t have access to the Supercharger network is hardly a Tesla. The Tesla Supercharger network is one of the company’s biggest selling points for its charging speed, convenience, simplicity, and integration into the vehicle’s on-board computer.

"This is why specialists like Sadow have for years worked around this salvage title problem. They jailbreak Tesla’s software and restore the features one expects when they buy a Tesla.

"“If the car originally had supercharging when sold, and has no HV [high voltage] safety issues, I turn it back on,” he told Motherboard via email. “If it had paid supercharging, I restore that.” He claims to have done this with “around 600 cars for hapless owners all over the globe.”...."


I've noticed in trying to follow used prices on Teslas in the US, using your good site, that there seems to be a pretty high floor. I can think of multiple possible reasons for this, and more than one may be at work. One of many is that accidents that would not be that big a deal on a gasoline engine vehicle can apparently lead to Tesla (permanently?) removing supercharging. It also seems worth noting that in the US used Tesla market that many of the lowest priced used Teslas are for sale in Utah where apparently it is a thing to sell "branded" title vehicles. I don't know if these would come with supercharging. [If I toggle your site to search on M3, then most of the 10 least expensive tend to be in Utah.]
 
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