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Does this mean you can legally mod your car under the guise of hacking it?



It's not illegal to have a NO2 factory in your garage, it's illegal to drive it on the roads. A good-faith emissions control hacking would probably not involve long-distance highway driving or racing.


I was thinking you wouldn't have to tell Tesla this, but it's a good point because the car is connected so they would know if you were driving it or not.


Modding cars is already legal.


I mean, you need to expand this statement, because with just those 5 words it's blatantly untrue. There's a whole load of mods allowed by my insurance and I'm sure you'd consider most of them "modding" - the law also has no opinion on most of them unless they start changing the emissions of the car(in which case that's still not the end of the world, you can get the car re-certified for the new emissions figure).

Edit: ignore me, I apparently cannot read


You're being pedantic. Saying "modding cars is legal" doesn't mean it's unrestricted.

Since when do insurance companies approve car mods? And what does that have to do with something being legal?

The only federal legal restrictions are on emissions equipment and safety equipment like seat belts and airbags. Some states have additional laws like tint limits and exhaust sound limits.


Wait, I either misread his comment, or it was changed after I replied - I was replying with the assumption that he said "modding is already illegal".

And any mods have to be reported to your insurer in the UK, even if it's just changing rims or putting on non-standard size tyres - failing to do so might get your claim denied if you ever file one.


Also, at least in the US, there is little chance an insurance company could deny a claim based on a mod (reported or not) as long as said mod could not reasonably be construed to be the cause of the claim.

Not that they wouldn't try.

Same as the whole "warranty void if seal is broken" nonsense.


I misread it exactly the same as you and had to go back.

I think since the default is for something to be "legal" until it is made "illegal" it makes the phrase "already legal" an uncommon one.


Maybe if you only drive in a private property and not public roads. Probably like aftermarket modifications currently.


This topic made me think of a funny old video of a farmer who put a turbo on his tractor.

Probably illegal to drive this on any public road, however on his own property/private roads he is having a blast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZZpAO0jP7E


What is with this latent assumption in this thread that DIY activity is a priori illegal? Of course it's legal to mod your car under the guise of hacking. Just like it's legal to mod your car under the guise of throwing a birthday party. The "guise" is irrelevant!

There's obviously legal nuance involving speed, safety, etc. But propagating a cultural assumption of "doing something weird must be illegal" is frightening.


It comes down to DRM and BS in the software industry. Anything with a EULA usually disallows you from doing anything "unauthorized" with it, and Teslas have a lot of software and EULA


I will agree that software authoritarianism is a big source of ambiguous fear being pushed onto other endeavors, but a contractual dispute is a far cry from "illegal". And yes the broken-ass DMCA can lift some of that into the realm of illegal, but even that is practically unenforceable beyond a mere chilling effect on publishing.


>but even that is practically unenforceable beyond a mere chilling effect on publishing

Not with Tesla recording remotely what "owners" do with their cars.


Also some gearing changes most likely.

I'd want a lot more roll cage than he has on there.




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