Tesla thwarts performance hacks for its electric cars

You might want to think twice about using unofficial mods.

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Jon Fingas
August 23, 2020 5:25 PM
EV
Roberto Baldwin / Engadget

You might not want to rush into installing an unofficial performance boost for your Tesla. Users on Reddit (via Electrek) have discovered that the latest software for Tesla’s Model 3 thwarts an Ingenext mod that unlocks features like an extra 50HP and Drive Mode. If you have the requisite device plugged in, you’ll get an “incompatible vehicle modification detected” warning that stays while you’re driving.

These features typically cost thousands of dollars to unlock through Tesla (such as a $2,000 Acceleration Boost), so there’s a strong incentive for buyers willing to take the risk.

Ingenext is planning to counter the update in a week or two with a solution that allows its mod to run unimpeded. It said that only three customers are known to have updated their cars with Tesla code before trying the update.

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Even so, this suggests would-be performance hackers could be in for a challenge if they want to maximize the potential of Tesla’s EVs without the company’s blessing — they might not have more than a small window of time before Tesla clamps down again. It’s not surprising that Tesla would take swift action when its business model revolves around software-locking features, but this does suggest that the market for unofficial upgrades may be relatively limited.

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