Elon Musk Says Tesla Raising Full Self-Driving Price to $15,000
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Tesla Inc. will start charging $15,000 for the driver-assistance features it calls Full Self-Driving, raising the price of the controversial product for the second time this year.
The hike for customers in North America will take effect Sept. 5, CEO Elon Musk tweeted Aug. 21. The current $12,000 price will be honored for orders made before that date, he wrote.
Tesla’s use of the name Full Self-Driving, or FSD, has been criticized because the features require active supervision and don’t make its vehicles autonomous. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has accused the company of misleading consumers about FSD and its more limited Autopilot system. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has opened two separate investigations into whether Autopilot is defective.
Musk, 51, said in June that solving issues with the company’s self-driving technology will be pivotal to the company’s valuation. “That’s really the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money and being worth basically zero.” Tesla shares fell as much as 2.7% to $866 before the start of regular trading Aug. 22.
NHTSA sent a letter to Tesla recently regarding the first of its two pending Autopilot defect investigations, posing several questions related to how the company is monitoring and enforcing driver engagement and attentiveness, including its use of in-car cameras. The agency gave the carmaker until Sept. 19 to respond.
The regulator also warned consumers against using real people — and especially children — to test Tesla’s safety features after owners posted a video batting back criticism of how capable the company’s cars are at detecting pedestrians. NHTSA’s defect probes have focused on Teslas crashing into stationary first-responder vehicles and suddenly braking at high speeds.
Tesla last raised the price of FSD by $2,000 in January. The company said last month that more than 100,000 drivers had access to FSD Beta at the end of the second quarter.
— With assistance from Craig Trudell.
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