Forums

What happens if a customer disables remote control by the factory?

What happens if a customer disables remote control by the factory?

What happens if a customer subversively disables the cell modem in a Tesla vehicle in some manner that the vehicle diagnostics are unable to detect, so that the vehicle acts like it is permanently in an area without adequate cell tower coverage, and thereby cannot "phone home" to receive over-the-air functionality downgrades or car-totaling kill commands from the factory?

Can a customer use a Tesla vehicle in such a manner that it is never taken to a physical Tesla repair center for the life of the vehicle, so that feature downgrades or vehicle disablement cannot be applied at the "repair" center?

Goose | 15/09/2017

why

rxlawdude | 15/09/2017

In Florida, by any chance?

Frank99 | 15/09/2017

Yes, it's possible.

rxlawdude | 15/09/2017

I know what he's doing! ;-)

reed_lewis | 15/09/2017

The improvements that will be coming along in terms of auto pilot, etc far outweigh the small amount that it would cost to upgrade the battery legally.

This reminds me of people who spend thousands of dollars to steal a neighbor's WiFi when they could easily get their own account for $39 a month.

reed_lewis | 15/09/2017

...And I would never own a Tesla (or any other car) and not do the necessary maintenance on the vehicle.

DonS | 15/09/2017

I suspect the temporary battery upgrade has a timer in it, so you would need to figure out a way to fudge the car's internal clock to keep it going.
As for anything else, it just stops changing. Tesla will be aware it is off the network, but that is your loss. It doesn't hurt Tesla.

Captain_Zap | 15/09/2017

Sad.

Frank99 | 15/09/2017

There are valid reasons to disable calling the mothership. One might be privacy conscious, and not desire to have their every movement tracked. One might restore a damaged Tesla, and not want the factory to be able to mess with you (like disabling the car until it gets thoroughly inspected). To me, these are perfectly fine reasons to want to do this.

Wanting to keep 15 kwh of battery capacity that you didn't pay for, and Tesla enabled to help people get away from a natural catastrophe, isn't.

dmahalko | 15/09/2017

This has nothing to do with the Florida 15kwh distance extension. It's more about privacy and actually having full ownership and control over a device you personally own.

A product manufacturer should never have the ability to remotely and permanently brick a physical device you own, especially a car that costs tens of thousands.

If they want a liability waiver signed for continued use of an "out of specification" device, that is fine, but actually rendering a privately owned device unusable should be unacceptable and illegal behavior.

If the factory wants to permanently render a privately owned device unusable then the customer should be able to demand a full refund of the purchase price.

DTsea | 15/09/2017

Note that this strawman scenario has never actually happened.

Frank99 | 15/09/2017

Which scenario - Tesla tracking you everywhere you drive, or Tesla remotely deactivating a car?

blue adept | 15/09/2017

@dmahalko

Tesla's have an always on advanced GPS system that enables tracking of the vehicles should they ever get stolen (which has been used once or twice) and, of course, over-the-air connectivity for software updates, but no sort of 'disabling' or "car-totaling kill commands" functionality.

So, really, are you only interested in disabling the vehicles' tracking to enable your ability to steal them? Or is it that you're just interested in sowing a seed of paranoia amongst current and potential future Tesla owners?

Frank99 | 15/09/2017

>>> but no sort of 'disabling' or "car-totaling kill commands" functionality.

You're telling me that Tesla can access my car, unlock the doors, query the computer, download logs, and track the car, but the engineers didn't put in a "deactivate car" capability? That seems really unlikely; got any source for that?

blue adept | 15/09/2017

@Frank99

You are aware, are you not, that those (remote updates/GPS) are separate, entirely proprietary functions and that even OnStar (a service common to a number of ICE vehicles) can unlock or even start a car, yet you've no fuss about that because those are ICE cars and EV's, right?!

There are no known/reported accounts of any instance of remote disabling.

Frank99 | 15/09/2017

I don't know what you mean by "seperate, entirely proprietary functions" in the context of a computer system that communicates through a Tesla-controlled LTE link, or Tesla controlled WiFi link. You also haven't addressed that Tesla can remotely access detailed Tesla specific information and control (door unlock, logs, etc).

As an engineer who deals with communicating with/controlling/debugging devices in the field on a regular basis, I'd suggest that I have some background here. I don't know precisely what Tesla has implemented, but I know pretty well the types of control that are commonly available on these kinds of links.

I fully agree that similar systems such as OnStar likely have such capabilities also; which is why my last OnStar equipped vehicle was missing a fuse from the fusebox. No cars on the road are as connected as a Tesla, however, which is what drives the OP's question.

lilbean | 16/09/2017

Haha, lawdude!!

lilbean | 16/09/2017

What happens? I think you get really bad karma for taking advantage of a company's kind gesture and for all the other shady con artist actions.

jordanrichard | 16/09/2017

Well, why stop there. Throw away your cell phone, credit cards, stop driving on public roads and internet connectivity if you want total privacy.

SCCRENDO | 16/09/2017

You can disable remote connectivity. Tesla often does it when you go in for a service to prevent you playing with the sunroof, honking the horn etc. while they are working in your car. It's a while since I did it but its in the menu. Of course it would be unwise because you would never be able to take your car in for service or repair, they would not be able to pull logs to diagnose problems over the air, you would receive no updates. As some have said. It would be like buying any product with a warranty and discarding the warranty. I guess its like people who are trying to escape the law throw away credit cards, cell phones and go live in the woods.

rxlawdude | 16/09/2017

@SCC, not sure if disabling remote connectivity also applied to Tesla.

But the bigger question is, what kind of paranoid-beyond-all-reason person purchases a product that, by it's very nature, is "connected" to the manufacturer (for better or worse) and THEN bitches about privacy?

TEA score on this is approaching 100.

Frank99 | 16/09/2017

>>> what kind of paranoid-beyond-all-reason person purchases a product that, by it's very nature, is "connected" to the manufacturer

Maybe a person who wants a beautiful, desirable EV that isn't available from anyone else, but also doesn't want to be tracked everywhere? Where is it written that one must accept surveillance to purchase a product?

I buy a smartphone because I can carry a phone, camera, internet browser, and GPS on one portable device. When I buy from Samsung, are you suggesting that I should simply accept every bit of surveillance that they build into the phone, that I should never modify something the I PAID FOR to eliminate the "features" that I don't want? I rooted my phone so I could disable a bunch of spyware that I didn't want running on it; as a citizen of what claims to be the most "free" country in the world, isn't it my right to make that decision for myself?

SCCRENDO | 16/09/2017

@Frank. I guess the point is that having connectivity to Tesla is one of the greater advantages of the vehicle and you would be losing out on remote assistance, over the air updates including map updates. FSD is likely also dependent on connectivity

Frank99 | 16/09/2017

I agree with you. All I'm saying is that's a tradeoff that I get to make for myself. I'm not going to disconnect anything in the near future; but perhaps the OP is thinking about it.

blue adept | 16/09/2017

@Frank99

"I don't know what you mean by "seperate, entirely proprietary functions" in the context of a computer system that communicates through a Tesla-controlled LTE link, or Tesla controlled WiFi link. You also haven't addressed that Tesla can remotely access detailed Tesla specific information and control (door unlock, logs, etc)."

What I'm saying is that they are "fixed"/"dedicated" functions limited to their particular task and that task alone.

Also, I addressed your concern over Tesla's ability to remotely access specific functions of their cars when I mentioned that almost every car on the road today (over 96% of modern vehicles are equipped with event data recorders and GPS units and system's diagnostics that can be accessed to determine the status and functionality and location of the vehicle during operation and/or prior to or during an accident) possesses some degree of that very same functionality via "OnStar"/"NAVStar" or whatever other name/acronym automakers have devised for their onboard monitoring/tracking/performance/engine management systems.

If you're scared/paranoid over whatever information that Tesla might be retrieving regarding your driving habits, location/other such telemetry, then don't buy a Tesla, but remember that even ICE's possess the exact same systems which, from what I understand of the matter, are now required by Law and the NHTSA as they have been since the mid-90's, other than that I am unaware of whatever other connectivity they might possess, but you keep yanking your fuses if that helps you to feel better about driving your Co2 spewing environment and Human poison box.

blue adept | 16/09/2017

@jordanrichard

"Well, why stop there. Throw away your cell phone, credit cards, stop driving on public roads and internet connectivity if you want total privacy."

EXACTLY!

+1

rxlawdude | 16/09/2017

@Frank, your response is nonsense. You are purchasing it fully knowing that's what you're getting. I'm sure there are golf carts or maybe Nissan Leafs that you don't have to worry about being tracked. (Of course, you won't be traveling far in those.)
Let me also let you in on a secret: you probably won't be able to Supercharge after prolonged inability to reach the mothership. Nor ever get any improvement to the vehicle.

That's why you don't buy a Tesla if you're a paranoiac.

blue adept | 16/09/2017

@SCCRENDO

"You can disable remote connectivity. Tesla often does it when you go in for a service to prevent you playing with the sunroof, honking the horn etc. while they are working in your car. It's a while since I did it but its in the menu. Of course it would be unwise because you would never be able to take your car in for service or repair, they would not be able to pull logs to diagnose problems over the air, you would receive no updates. As some have said. It would be like buying any product with a warranty and discarding the warranty. I guess its like people who are trying to escape the law throw away credit cards, cell phones and go live in the woods."

+1

And good luck troubleshooting/diagnosing "CHECK ENGINE" lights/pulling fault codes as well, @Frank99, because for someone who claims to be well versed in vehicle telementry/monitoring systems, you sure seem completely UNAWARE of the intrinsic/hardwired interconnectivity/dependency of those systems and how disabling one marginalizes the functionality of the others...but you'll find out one day.

blue adept | 16/09/2017

@Frank99

"I agree with you. All I'm saying is that's a tradeoff that I get to make for myself. I'm not going to disconnect anything in the near future; but perhaps the OP is thinking about it."

Then you and the OP should avoid any potential discontent whatsoever by not purchasing a Tesla...There, problem solved!

Frank99 | 16/09/2017

You know, I try really hard to remain calm and collected on this board, but your dismissive attitude just rubs me the wrong way.

You're a sheep who believes that one must keep everything a manufacturer includes in a product - even if the product is perfectly usable with things like spyware removed. You are antithetical to the maker movement, and the modder movements. Your position would say that disabling all of the telemetry that Microsoft added to Windows 10 is something that shouldn't be done because it was purchased "fully knowing that's what you're getting".

Well, enjoy living your life under a microscope. Hope you never run for public office on a platform that makes you an enemy of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Samsung, or the myriad of others who capture and store everything they can about you, and might perhaps have no compunction about having certain information suddenly surface in public.

I'll say it again: if I choose to disable certain features of my vehicle, and I'm OK with the tradeoff of things that stop working, that's my choice. If you want to tell me to go buy a golf cart instead of a Model 3 because you disapprove of my choice, it's a good choice that you're being offensive from behind a keyboard, because you'd get a remarkably colorful earfull in real life.

I'm out of this conversation.

blue adept | 16/09/2017

And that's another petrol head down.

+1

ulrichard | 18/09/2017

When I bought the car, I planned to disconnect it after getting to know what I'd miss out for two weeks. But then all the stuff is just so convenient, that I left it connected so far. Part of the reason is that I trust Tesla more than most US companies.
In general, if you just accept whatever you get fed, you end up with emission cheating diesel cars and with phones that spy on you. It is important to many people to keep control of their private data. If it is ok with you that you might get a more expensive health insurance just because you made an internet search for an illness that somebody told you about, big data works great for you. If you don't get that new job because you listen to the same music as the average drug dealer, machine learning was working out for you.
When I was young, we shuddered at the stories from eastern Germany. Nowadays people don't seem to care when it's much worse.
Even if the cars don't have a kill switch in the current firmware. A malicious update can brick it. Of course we all trust Tesla to keep their infrastructure secure. But who expected Microsoft to leak the private keys for secure boot? And who expected Equifax to leak the credit card data of so many Americans? Who thought pacemakers could be remotely hacked when the doctor presented it?
Attacking people who want to weight their security against convenience, instead of starting to think is just dumb.
I'd be interested to know what Tesla would do if Edward Snowden left with a Model S, and the Govt asked them to disable the car remotely.

rxlawdude | 18/09/2017

@ulrichard, if Snowden left with a Model S, it would be somewhere underwater near Hawaii.

Captain_Zap | 19/09/2017

@ulrichard

I accepted the Tesla data agreement because I do trust Tesla more than the average company to do the right thing. They actually pulled a partnership marketing campaign several years ago because of the backlash.

I won't even get a grocery "loyalty" discount card because I don't want my bacon or tequila consumption records sold to insurance companies. I trust insurance companies less than any other entity.

blue adept | 19/09/2017

@ulrichard

- I'd be interested to know what Tesla would do if Edward Snowden left with a Model S, and the Govt asked them to disable the car remotely.

Tesla would pinpoint his location for the Govt. and track him until they managed to catch up to him.

Tesla employs some pretty strident, cutting edge, proprietary security protocols to secure their network not just because of the necessity to do so in today's world, but also because they are aware of just how reliant its customers are to their integrity for their own safety, a quality that Tesla holds in particularly high regard or weren't you aware of all of the safety awards Tesla has received for example?

But, of course, the choice is yours regarding whom you choose to be your conveyance provider.

Rocky_H | 19/09/2017

@Frank99 wins this thread.

NKYTA | 24/09/2017

I dunno, CZ and tequila/bacon is a solid second at the very least! ;-)

Insurance is plaguing me of late...switching jobs in SV can suck...

blue adept | 26/09/2017

People like ulrichard and Frank99 can go ahead and dick around with their Tesla's digitronics all they want, that is, if they want to "brick" their cars...

At least they'll end up with some really nice looking lawn ornaments!

Frank99 | 27/09/2017

Anger and dismissal driven by fear of inadequacy isn't a good look for you.

Rocky_H | 27/09/2017

@Frank99, +1 more

blue adept | 27/09/2017

And now you're not even making any sense....

blue adept | 27/09/2017

Either of you.

ulrichard | 16/10/2017

To understand why some people want to opt out of potential data collection, or at least allow it concisely, watch this:
Algorithms we want
https ://youtu. be/ 0yWUr_fbgLk?t=150

blue adept | 23/10/2017

@Frank99

"Anger and dismissal driven by fear of inadequacy isn't a good look for you."

Delusional paranoid isn't a good look for you.