Some Tesla owners who bought the standard Range version of the Model 3 for $35,000 have been getting away with the features of Tesla’s more expensive Standard Range Plus Model 3, but the automaker now says that it will start downgrading the software of those vehicles within the next 10 days.

Earlier this year, Tesla launched its base Model 3 for $35,000 – something that the company had been promising for years.

But things got increasingly complicated after the launch as Tesla removed the configuration from its website and made it more difficult to order the vehicle just a month later.

Furthermore, the vehicle was only sold as a software-locked version of the ‘Standard Range Plus’ (SR+) Model 3.

Tesla explained:

“Its range will be limited by 10%, and several features will be disabled via software (including our onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats).

When it comes to the actual hardware, the two versions of the vehicle, which now start at $35,400 and $39,900, are identical.

The automaker started to deliver Model 3’s to people who bought the Standard Range last month, but we checked with a few owners and they all report still having access to all the same features as the ‘Standard Range Plus’ to this day.

Last week, we reported on Tesla starting to deliver the ‘Standard Range’ Model 3 with software-locked features.

It meant that Tesla finally wrote the software for the Standard Range and we expected that the automaker would soon start to downgrade the software of those who bought the ‘Standard Range’ but received a ‘Standard Range Plus’.

Sure enough, Tesla is now warning ‘Standard Range’ Model 3 owners that they will soon be downgraded.

The automaker sent the following email to owners:

“Your Model 3 will soon receive new software that matches the Model 3 Standard Range configuration you ordered. As we communicated in April, this includes a limited range of 220 miles, and the removal of several software features. To continue experiencing the extended range, faster acceleration and Autopilot features of Model Standard Range Plus, schedule a service appointment through your Tesla app.”

We contacted Tesla about the email to ask about pricing for the upgrade and we will update if we get an answer.

Electrek’s Take

As we speculated in our last article about the Standard Range software, it looks like Tesla taking its time to write the software and let owners enjoy the Standard Range Plus is an attempt at convincing them to upgrade.

They didn’t confirm the price, but the difference before delivery is currently at $4,500.

While I don’t believe that the number of Standard Range Model 3 vehicles is currently very high, it would be an interesting way for Tesla to get more revenue before the end of the quarter through a software update (or lack of software update really.)

Interestingly, Tesla says that the owners who want to keep their current features need to schedule a service appointment.

It’s unclear why, but it could be that the software update is coming no matter what and a Tesla Service Technician might be needed to reverse it.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below


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