According to a report by Electrek, Tesla has reached a settlement with a group of unhappy owners totaling $5 million. The settlement is meant to partially reimburse “US residents who purchased Enhanced Autopilot in connection with their purchase or lease of a Tesla Hardware 2 Model S or Model X vehicle delivered to them on or before Sept. 30, 2017.”
A little background on the Autopilot feature:
Tesla began offering its Enhanced Autopilot to customers back in 2016, a feature based on a new hardware configuration that was designed to increase Autopilot functionality. Of course, the feature never came to pass. The lack of function without a return on investment from owners landed Tesla in the hot seat with a lawsuit.
A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement:
“Since rolling out our second generation of Autopilot hardware in October 2016, we have continued to provide software updates that have led to a major improvement in Autopilot functionality. This has included an extensive overhaul of the underlying architecture of our Autopilot software that enabled a step-change improvement in its machine learning capabilities. Our neural net, which expands as our customer fleet grows, is able to collect and analyze more high-quality data than ever before, which will enable us to roll out a series of new Autopilot features in 2018 and beyond. The customer response to our recent Autopilot updates has been overwhelmingly positive, so we know we’re on the right track.”
The package for Enhanced Autopilot is priced at $5,000, while a currently unavailable “Fully Self-Driving” is being sold for $3,000.
“That said, as time passed since we first unveiled Hardware 2, it eventually became clear that it was taking us longer to roll out these features than we would have liked or initially expected,” said the Tesla spokesperson. “We want to do right by those customers, so as part of a proposed settlement agreement for a class action lawsuit filed last year, we’ve agreed to compensate customers who purchased Autopilot on Hardware 2 vehicles who had to wait longer than we expected for these features. If the settlement is approved by the court, customers will receive different amounts depending on when they purchased and took delivery of their cars. Although the settlement is specific to customers in the US, if it is approved by the court, we’ve decided to compensate all customers globally in the same way. There’s no legal obligation to do so, but it’s the right thing to do.”
Electrek reported the settlement would pay $20-$280 for “all U.S. Tesla owners who bought or leased cars with Enhanced Autopilot between October 2016 and September 2017.”