Electric Cars

Some Tesla Performance models can no longer access full power, report says

Tesla says that customers' inability to use their vehicle maximum power settings is a bug that it's trying to fix.

A bug from a Tesla software update is preventing owners of Performance-spec cars from accessing their vehicle's full power.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

So there you are, at the stoplight in your Model S P100D next to a big, loud Hellcat. The driver of the Hellcat is revving that big, supercharged engine to intimidate you, but you know better. You engage Ludicrous Mode and wait for the light to go green. It does, and the next thing you see is a pair of Challenger taillights. Now your kid is crying and you're embarrassed. What happened?

Well, one of two things happened. Either you have a terrible reaction time or your glorious Tesla Performance model has a software bug. The odds are good, according to a report by Electrek Thursday, that it's the latter.

See, Tesla pushed an over-the-air software update to its vehicles earlier this year that Tesla says unintentionally removed some of the features that allow access to your car's full power mode, according to Electrek. Interestingly, this isn't the first time that Tesla has limited power on its vehicles.

A few years ago, Tesla pushed an update that locked owners out of Ludicrous Mode and launch control if they used it too much. Those restrictions were initially meant to be permanent, but in 2017 it relented and turned them back on, opting to monitor component conditions remotely instead.

Electrek received reports from P85D and P90D customers who bought the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, and after a March software update no longer have access to launch control or max battery power mode, both of which are necessary to engage Ludicrous Mode.

"These settings were inadvertently removed from some vehicles during a UI update, and we are in the process of restoring the functionality," said a Tesla representative in a statement. "This change was in no way meant to limit the performance of any vehicles, and we're sorry for any inconvenience to affected customers."