Raglan engineer accuses Tesla of hacking his vehicle

A Raglan engineer who's been fighting a legal battle against Tesla has now accused the electric car maker of hacking his car.

Niall Darwin rebuilt a wrecked Tesla Model S and claims the promised supercharging ability was disabled.

He lost his legal case but still found a way to get almost everything he wanted.

"I feel thoroughly upset and helpless," he told Newshub. 

Mr Darwin bought a wrecked Tesla 90D in Australia and had it rebuilt.

But not before he had an email from an Australian Tesla employee confirming it had supercharging.

However when he plugged it in here - there was no supercharging and no software support.

Mr Darwin sued Tesla in the disputes tribunal but it ruled the person who confirmed  supercharging  was a not an employee of Tesla New Zealand, therefore cannot have contracted on behalf of this company.

"It leaves me with a car that isn't quite what it could be, its leaves me with a really bad taste in my mouth from this company I thought was trying to change the world," Mr Darwin says.

And the car is worth less, leaving Mr Darwin out of pocket by about $20 thousand.

What's more Mr Darwin now claims Tesla logged into his car without permission to turn off supercharging.

"That's a bit like your average Ukrainian hacker coming into your computer and stopping it from working."

Tesla says it won't comment on the case and Mr Darwin has given up on legal action.

But he has found a workaround. He was forced to pay an American to hack his own car.

He says he can now update and manage his car and he actually controls what he owns.

Except for one thing - still no supercharging.

Newshub.

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