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Tesla brings back radio (yes, radio!) for $500 with infotainment retrofit

Tesla has decided to offer a radio retrofit as an option with its infotainment retrofit after complaints from some owners.

It’s not cheap at $500.

In recent years, Tesla has launched several new features that require more computing power, and even with Tesla’s famous over-the-air software updates, owners of older vehicles couldn’t get those features.

We are talking about features like Tesla Theater (video streaming through YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch), Tesla Arcade (video games like Beach Buggy Racing 2, Cuphead and Stardew Valley), as well as TeslaCam and Sentry Mode.

It created a demand for a computer retrofit that would enable older Model S and Model X vehicles to have those features.

Earlier this year, Tesla launched a $2,500 infotainment upgrade (MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade) for owners of older Model S and Model X vehicles.

It enables the previously mentioned features, and it also comes with a more responsive touchscreen, better overall performance, and Enhanced Driving Visualization if they have the Tesla self-driving computer with FSD package.

On top of the people wanting those features, there are also many early Model S and Model X owners who suffer from problems with their infotainment (MCU) computer. NHTSA is even investigating the issue.

The features and the MCU issue created a lot of demand for the Tesla infotainment retrofit, but there was one thing that bothered some would-be buyers of the retrofit when it was first announced earlier this year.

It removed the radio in Model S and Model X vehicles:

Removes AM, FM, and Sirius XM radio Your car will still have access to internet radio and music streaming.

This frustrated some owners when it was announced earlier this year, but Tesla now offers a solution.

An Electrek reader (hat tip to Holmes) noted that Tesla has now updated the infotainment retrofit offering with an optional radio upgrade that will start soon:

We will start scheduling Radio Upgrades later in Q4 2020.

Tesla says that the radio upgrade is going to cost $500:

The purchase and installation of the Radio Upgrade will be available for vehicles that have already undergone Infotainment Upgrade. For vehicles that have not yet undergone an Infotainment Upgrade, we recommend having both the Infotainment Upgrade and Radio Upgrade installation performed at the same time. The Radio Upgrade costs an additional $500 plus applicable tax, and there is no difference in price if you have the Radio Upgrade and Infotainment Upgrade installed separately or together.

With the infotainment upgrade, it adds up to $3,000 to get the new computer and keep your radio.

Tesla’s logic is that “not all customers use their FM radio” and therefore, not including it enables them to make the infotainment retrofit cheaper.

What do you think about Tesla’s radio/infotainment retrofit? Let us know in the comment section below.

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