The interior view of a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S P90D, a model with some autopilot features, is seen during an exhibition featuring several self-driving cars outside of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)

Tesla Drops Self-Driving Option Buyers Have Been Unable to Use

(Bloomberg) -- The self-driving capability that Tesla Inc. customers have been able to pay for but not activate for two years is going on hiatus.

The electric-car maker has dropped from its online design studios the option to pay thousands of dollars more for what it called full self-driving, a higher-level feature for its Autopilot system. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted late Thursday that the feature “was causing too much confusion.”

Musk, 47, started selling full self-driving as an $8,000 option in October 2016. Tesla then suffered a series of setbacks, including departures of top Autopilot managers and engineers. Owners who paid thousands of dollars for the options filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging they were deceived into buying a feature that didn’t exist.

The option is unlikely to be gone for good. Musk wrote to employees last month that Tesla needed about 100 more employees to join an internal testing program linked to rolling out the full self-driving capability.

Any worker who bought a Tesla and agreed to share 300 to 400 hours of driving feedback with the company’s Autopilot team by the end of next year wouldn’t have to pay for full self-driving, or for a premium interior, for a total savings of $13,000, the CEO wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg News.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.