If you want to add Tesla‘s “Full Self-Driving” feature to your car, it’ll set you back $10,000. That $10,000 buys you a set of semi-autonomous driving aids and the promise that the car will be able to drive itself in the future.
You’d think that adding a $10,000 option to your car would result in some value being added to the car, especially when Elon Musk says Teslas appreciate, but you’d be wrong.
Pierre Ferragu from New Street Research recently took to Twitter to vent his frustrations about trying to trade in his Model 3.
@elonmusk: I paid FSD for my Model 3 in November. I now want to upgrade to model Y and your team tells me you don't value FSD in your trade-in offer because you can do the software upgrade for free. Want me to pay again full price for FSD again? That's not fair, change that!
— Pierre Ferragu (@p_ferragu) January 16, 2021
According to his tweet, he purchased the upgrade to “Full Self-Driving” in November. He went to trade his car in for a Model Y, and the company would not give him any additional value for his car for the package.
Why? According to Ferragu they won’t do it because they can add the software for free.
Would this be different if the software was added when the vehicle was ordered and therefore included on the vehicle Monroney? Who knows?
We’d love to ask Tesla about this, but they choose to no longer maintain any relationship with the automotive press.
Looking into this. No question that FSD should be viewed as reasonably valuable when doing a trade-in.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021
For whatever it is worth, Elon Musk did reply to Ferragu’s tweet and said that he’s “looking into this.” He claims that “Full Self-Driving” should have reasonable value during a trade-in.
Of course it should, but if this person, who is a financial analyst, didn’t tweet about it at the CEO of the company, would it have happened this way?
It’s dubious to believe that this hasn’t been addressed before, and it’s one of the major concerns some folks have when adding software technology to their vehicle purchases.
The best case scenario here is they don’t want to deal with trade ins, and would rather someone sell their car outright to a private party or to another car manufacturer dealership. The worst case scenario is that they know people will pay the money twice, and it’s more profit in Tesla’s bank account.
Our advice remains the same: the best chance you have of getting any value out of Tesla’s software unlocks is to specific it when the vehicle is ordered and is included on the Monroney. The Monroney, or window sticker, is legally binding and gives you some consumer protections.
Otherwise, buyer beware.