Tesla has removed a strange Full Self-Driving loophole that some customers used to reduce delivery wait times for the company’s all-electric vehicles.
Tesla has been experiencing an increase in delivery times to customers as demand continues to outpace the company’s production capabilities. Due to the wait times, some customers have opted for another electric car, or to purchase a pre-owned Tesla, which has become a pricier option within the last several months.
However, customers noticed that adding Tesla’s $12,000 Full Self-Driving suite to their vehicle order would decrease their wait times by several months. According to a report from Investing.com, the loophole took away seven months of waiting from some delivery periods. However, Tesla caught on to the loophole and has now eliminated it from their website.
From Tesla’s perspective, the move would be smart as it would increase the vehicle purchase price by $12,000 for a feature the company only has to hit a button to activate. It would also contribute additional data to Tesla’s Neural Network, which becomes more complex with every mile driven by owners. The data is compiled and allows the vehicles to learn new driving behaviors to increase safety.
However, the standpoint from the customer is that $12,000 extra will get your a preferential spot in the waiting queue, which is not necessarily fair to everyone. The Full Self-Driving project, while robust and successful to the extent that it has given Tesla plenty of new data to learn from, is far from complete. It is still a Level 2 system, and CEO Elon Musk said he expects the company to finish FSD by the end of the year, stating he would be “shocked” if Tesla did not release a complete version by the end of 2022.
Regardless, the loophole, which only lasted a handful of days, is now shut and delivery times are beginning to return to normal. Tesla revised several delivery timeframes for the Model Y and Model X this week, as the two vehicles have several trim levels into 2023 for delivery. However, with Gigafactory Texas expected to go online soon with initial deliveries, some of these delivery times could be trimmed further, bringing vehicles to their owners before 2023 rolls around.
Tesla has raised prices several times this year already, with the most recent round of increases being applied to all four vehicles in the company’s lineup. Musk indicated the price hikes were due to “inflation pressure.”
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