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Tesla backpedals on Autopilot discounts after existing owners cry foul

Most of Tesla's recent price adjustments and strategy changes appear to have evaporated within days of the announcement.

Tesla has decided to revert to original Autopilot pricing after the recently announced discounts sparked backlash from existing owners.

The company originally pressured buyers to pre-pay for both Full Self Driving and Enhanced Autopilot, warning that prices would increase by several thousand dollars if the features were enabled via software unlock after the original car purchase. Some buyers paid $8,000 for both technologies to avoid paying up to $11,000 later.

The recent changes allow existing owners who opted out at initial purchase to buy both features for just $5,000, or roughly half of the alleged post-purchase cost that encouraged early adopters to dish out $8,000 in the spirit of ultimately saving a few thousand dollars. Adding the the "bait and switch" allegations, Full Self Driving is not yet available for existing owners or new buyers and has no firm launch date. Existing owners consequently overpaid for a technology they have not been able to benefit from.

"In retrospect, lower price shouldn't have been offered," Musk admitted on Twitter after owners cried foul. "Was done so because some simply couldn't afford it. Prices revert to normal on Monday."

The company also backpedaled on plans to close its stores, a move that was associated with across-the-board price cuts to the Model S and X. The only part of the announcement that appears to have stuck is the arrival of the $35,000 base Model 3.

The price reversions are scheduled to roll out on Monday, giving new buyers and existing owners a few days to take advantage of the cheaper Autopilot and lower vehicle prices.

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