Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been using over-the-air software updates to add new features quickly to its electric vehicles, or to correct problems without asking the consumers to bring their vehicles to service centers. However, one apparent software update has rankled a few Tesla owners, says a report from Green Car Reports.
Tesla places limits on ‘Launch Mode’
The software in question is said to limit the number of times Launch Mode can be used with particular battery packs. It decreases the performance once a limit determined by the electric car maker is reached. A user named Ingineer was the first to mention the Launch Mode limit on the Tesla Motors Club forum.
Launch Mode, like the launch-control systems in several other internal-combustion performance cars, is an electronic aid intended to make it simpler for drivers to achieve maximum acceleration from a standing start.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is proud of the Launch Mode of its performance vehicle. The Launch Mode is used to electronically assist drivers in getting the best possible acceleration from a standstill. However, the car owners do not get “frequent launcher” points from the EV firm. On the contrary, the power of the performance cars (made by the automaker) will be automatically limited if they use the Launch Mode feature too frequently.
As per Electrek, the automaker confirmed the practice, saying that other performance cars do the same thing. Electrek notes that Tesla’s manual does not mention anything about the limits for the Launch Mode. However, the site did note that Tesla recently added words about “limiting controls” to the performance disclaimer on its website.
“Performance versions of the Model S and Model X continually monitor the condition of various components and may employ limiting controls to optimize the overall driving and ownership experience,” it reads.
Model S P100D does not have limits
A Model S P90D owner, in the same thread, claimed that his vehicle had in fact been limited after using the Launch Mode feature. The owner said that his car previously pulled 1,600 amps and 512 kilowatts (686 horsepower) of power, but it became limited to 1,500 amps and 480 kW (643 horsepower) at some point, as per GCR.
A Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) representative told the aforementioned Model S P90D owner that the automaker does have limits in place for the Model S P90D because Launch Mode “places an increased stress on the entire powertrain.” The representative said the computers of the vehicle automatically track Launch Mode usage, and estimate fatigue damage continually.
“Depending on how Launch Mode is used, the computer may eventually limit the available power during Launch Mode to protect the powertrain,” the representative said, calling such limits a “common strategy” among high-performance cars. The Model S P90D owner was told that the problem would solve if he upgrades his vehicle to the Model S P100D with Ludicrous Mode because that version does not have a limiter.