Tesla slashes prices for “Full Self-Driving,” won’t refund preorders

When Earl Banning bought his Model 3 last May, he paid $5,000 for the “Enhanced Autopilot” package, which offers lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control. Then in early October, he decided to pay an additional $4,000 for the “Full Self-Driving” package. The option would have cost $3,000 if he bought it with the car, but it cost an extra $1,000 if purchased later.

“There’s this idea in the media of Tesla scamming people out of money,” Banning said in a late October interview with Ars. “I feel like it was the opposite experience.”

A Tesla salesperson warned Banning that the full self-driving option didn’t do anything yet, Banning says, but he chose to buy it anyway. “I kept saying, here, I’m dumb, take my money,” he said.

Banning was confident that Tesla would eventually deliver the technology. He was happy to support Tesla’s efforts to develop the capability, and he wanted to lock in a good price.