Another hacker who discovered references to the Model 3 in his car before its announcement:
* had his vehicle firmware downgraded to a version that contained no such references
* had his vehicle blocked from receiving further firmware updates
* had his vehicles ethernet port disabled
* [deleted] caught some commentary from Musk about his hacking behavior put himself, and other drivers at risk.[/deleted]
Though I suppose it's not technically "breaking" but downgrading.
Tesla software is Tesla IP. Would you dump your company's Github repos to customers? If not, why would Tesla wanting to tightly control their firmware and its contents be different? I have yet to run across a license agreement when code is provided to a customer that allows reverse engineering or disassembly.
I do disagree with the decision to disable ethernet ports on an owner's product.
And is the company entitled to reach into your device and remove the software provided and substitute it with an older version?
One could argue whatever that because Tesla advertises heavily with OTA upgrades that they are included in the purchase price and therefore should not be able to be unilaterally pulled.
I don't know exactly what obligations automakers have with respect to recalls, but I would expect that it's something more than just "we aren't allowed to make the car any more broken than it was the day you bought it".
Is this actually true? I'm entitled to a working product, so if a future update fixes bugs, am I not entitled to it?
Also, specifically in Tesla's case, they advertise that their cars are "capable of providing Autopilot features today, and full self-driving capabilities in the future through software updates". If that does happen, am I not entitled to that update considering I bought a Tesla with that in mind?
"What does your contract [or in this case, purchase agreement] say?" If it is silent on the subject of updates, how would a court interpret the argument that you are entitled to free software updates? For how long?
The battery and powertrain warranty is specific. The remaining component warranty is specific. The amount of time you receive premium data for is specific. There is no language to my knowledge (I would have to pull the purchase agreement for my Model S out) that speaks to a purchaser's entitlement to software updates when purchasing any model of Tesla.
Not to mention the fact that courts also tend to side with consumers when it comes to "implied contracts". If every car sold has and still does get updates on a regular basis, Tesla can't just not give the same to some customers.
Now, there may well be a provision allowing in the contract staying they have a right to deny updates if you try to reverse engineer things, but otherwise, they would need to go through the courts to go after someone for breach of contract. You don't get to take the law into your own hands when you suspect someone of wronging you.