Hybrids & Electrics

Canadian Shop That Offers Tesla Horsepower Hack May Recieve Tesla’s Wrath

Manufacturers are very tight-lipped about trade secrets. Rightly so! They do not want the information to get out in the public that could be used to modify or eliminate different systems in their cars and thereby possibly endanger the occupants. Tesla is no different. But, what if somebody is not only smart enough to hack Tesla’s Model 3 proprietary systems but then also goes around letting everyone know he had done the hack? Further, What if that same someone starts offering the same hack to others for a price?

A red Tesla Model 3 on display
A red Tesla Model 3 on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Ingenext hacks Tesla programming

Employees at a shop in Canada have done just that. They discovered how to get into Tesla’s programming and modify the cars to increase horsepower. They are offering this to their Tesla Model 3 customers for a fee. That fee is almost half of what the manufacturer charges for the same upgrade. Tesla charges $2,000. The shop, Ingenext, offers it for $1,100. 

This is where things get complicated. Consumers have been modifying their cars for as long as there have been cars to modify. Additionally, Ingenext is not modifying the Tesla Model 3’s safety system. It is only offering what Tesla already offers with the horsepower increase. So, if Tesla were to slap a cease and desist order on Ingenext owner’s desks, it would seem that they would have a hard uphill to climb.

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Desert Supercharger by @dinokuznik

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Potential legal suit

Tesla would have to prove that Ingenext has done some harm to Tesla’s brand, or endangered consumers by offering the hack. Yet, no harm has been done to the auto manufacturer because Ingenex is only offering the same thing that the electric car builder already offers. The shop is only flipping the switch in the programming. Also, no harm or endangerment has been done to consumers that is apparent at this time.

Still, Tesla has lawyers who know more about law than I do (I know nothing about corporate, criminal, or civil law). I would still expect to see a cease and desist order to be delivered to Ingenext soon if it has not already. The company is very protective of its programming. So, I suspect that the electric car manufacturer is not going to let this go on very long without a legal challenge.

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Model 3 in Portugal @lourencovc

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Youtuber has experienced Tesla wrath before

Richard Benoit, a Youtuber with the channel RichRebuilds, has experienced the auto manufacturer’s discomfort in the past. He has purchased multiple salvage Tesla models as donors to make good ones. At times, he has experienced Tesla’s wrath for doing so. For example, he has had the supercharging function turned off. So, we will have to wait and see if Tesla takes action outside the court system, through over-the-air updates, on owners who take advantage of Ingenix’s hack. 

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In short, the Canadian shop that makes this service possible could receive ramifications for the hacking. Additionally, the owners that paid to have the hacking done could also have some ramifications. Then again, Tesla could do absolutely nothing. But, expect there to be more news coming forward regarding this situation soon.