Tesla can detect aftermarket hacks designed to defeat EV performance payouts

The battle between the automaker and the aftermarket tuner is a war that has been waged for quite some time. While some manufacturers have adopted the movement, others are still fighting to protect their vehicles from changing after leaving the factory, even going as far as to encrypt the vehicle ECU to prevent the tuner from getting things Have been. Electric vehicles have opened up a new front – manufacturers like Tesla can now create accurate and high-performance versions using nothing but software.

Apparently, the aftermarket is working cheaply to defeat those pesky firewalls that unlock the full potential of the vehicle for everyone. Plugging in the dongle seems simpler than getting wet at least. But this new area of ​​modding comes with a similar new risk recently exposed by the owner of the Tesla Model 3 on Reddit (as reported) Electrek) -After this your connected car comes to know when you hacked it, and may be logging that data to be used against you in a future warranty claim.

The picture you are seeing above is a warning message that has popped up on the man’s Model 3 infotainment screen as he installed the latest over-the-air OS update from Tesla a few weeks ago. Prior to the update, they also added an aftermarket module from an outfit called Ingenext that allows the dual-motor Model 3 to get its fastest 0-60 mph time without Tesla’s $ 2,000 “acceleration boost” option . Its presence did not trigger an alert before the software update, and although the car still drove normally, the owner could not get the performance to clarify.

Ingenext is a Canadian company focused on enabling latent performance and comfort features baked-in Tesla vehicles. A special modification developed by the company is called the “Boost 50”, a $ 1,458 upgrade that claims to shave from zero-to-60 MPH time in half a second, when installed in a Model 3 equipped with dual motors , But not the display option.

The $ 500 savings may not do much, given the hassle of the warranty, but the smaller module also includes a few other neat things like the drift mode (which disables traction control), ambient lighting, rear heated seats, Custom battery heating, and the ability to open the driver’s door when the owner approaches the car. And if you don’t want to spend the full amount for an upgrade, or own a Model 3 with a compatible dual motor configuration, Ingenext offers a cheaper “bonus module” that just enables convenience features.

Regardless, upgrades are billed as a transparent, undetectable modification that a driver can install in minutes at a fraction of the price (with more features) than Tesla’s official offering. And Tesla has a history of implementing user-suggested features in its vehicles through OTA updates. Who says that Tesla will not make these kinds of changes later?

“Boost 50 module is remotely undetectable.” Ingenext on the product page for Boost 50 writes, “However, when visiting a service center or when a technician visits your home, it is recommended that you remove the device beforehand.”

Ingenext always suspected that its little box-o-software would be a cat-and-mouse game about it. It has also published a page on its website to let owners know if vehicle software updates are safe to upgrade without detection.

As it turns out, the Reddit user was one of several owners who installed a new OTA update without first mentioning the “Secure Updates” page. Fortunately, the update did not disable the modification or force the car into lame mode, but things could have been worse. What if something went wrong with the car while installing the module and Tesla had a potential avenue to fight warranty repairs? No one wants to fight an imaginary battle against the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Perhaps the most disappointing part of this entire debacle is not knowing precisely what happens when the car detects a modification and shows this warning to the driver. Is this recorded in the history of the vehicle? Is this sent back as a warning to Tesla Mothership? No one really knows the answer to this question, other than Tesla, but knowing that my car could potentially annoy me for my mummy.

Guinem André, founder of InGenext, told Drive He feared that Tesla might locate aftermarket parts to justify vehicles blocked by the use of the supercharger network and make customers “prisoners of the Tesla system”. The owner of the Model 3, which received the pop-up, told us that he planned to visit the Tesla Supercharger to ensure normal functionality, but has not yet reported the results of his findings.

A simple solution was probably not to upgrade the vehicle’s software. While this will work today, it is definitely not a long-term fix. Tesla has a history of forcing software updates to fix deprecated features with its vehicles, meaning that one day, those who are closing the update will have no other option but to bite the bullet Can.

Ingenext therefore worked to find out how Tesla detected its “undetectable” mod. After a few bruises, it was determined that the vehicle used a separate communication network to detect the presence of the module, and eventually determined that a second smaller hardware module could be countered to detect Can. Ingenext dubbed the “Nice Tri Module” its fix and has already started shipping it to customers.

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