Tesla Caught Cheating by Selling Old Hardware in Model 3

by Kshitij Rawat | 06/03/2020
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American Electric carmaker Tesla has found itself in hot water after customers complained of receiving downgraded Shanghai-made Tesla Model 3 cars.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, there has been a disruption in the supply-chain for Tesla in China. In fact, the company’s Shanghai factory was temporarily shut from the end of January till 10th February. Following the delay in production, the American carmaker had then silently rolled-out downgraded chips in Model 3.

Tesla model 3 chip controversy

Tesla was silently selling older-generation hardware in China-made Model 3

The incident was discovered when a few customers checked the part numbers which were printed on their new Model 3s’ control units. Instead of the car’s latest 3.0 processor chip, the car featured the previous-generation (2.5) chips. This information wasn’t even mentioned in the car’s information sheet of the owner’s manual of the vehicle. The customers have threatened legal action against the company for the same.


These chips are used by the ‘Autopilot system’ of the Model 3, which is Tesla’s autonomous driving system that can run the vehicle with minimal input from the driver. There has been no clarification from the company towards these allegations, although there was one official statement from Tesla on 'Weibo', a Chinese social media platform, stating, "We are deeply sorry for the confusions we have caused to some Tesla owners."

"Oddly, those who complained didn't actually order FSD (Full Self-Driving). Perhaps they weren't aware that the computer is upgraded for free if the FSD option is ordered even after delivery."

Elon Musk, Founder, Tesla

Although Elon musk had tweeted earlier that the more-powerful chip is actually an optional upgrade (stated above), the company has already announced free upgrades to all the customers of the “downgraded” Model 3 units. The 3.0 processing chip can reportedly process images up to 21 times faster than the older one, which is quite significant.

Tesla Model 3 - coronavirus problems

Tesla Model 3 is the most affordable car in Tesla's range

In other news, Tesla Cybertruck has managed to outsell the Model 3, with nearly 500,000 pre-order bookings in just four months. The company had earlier claimed that it can deliver 2,00,000 units by 2023, starting next year.

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