Wash. Governor Inslee Signs Pro-Tesla Legislation, Hackers Find Ubuntu Inside

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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wash governor inslee signs pro tesla legislation hackers find ubuntu inside

Automotive News reports Washington state governor Jay Inslee signed legislation that would allow Tesla to continue with its direct-sales business model within the state while also clarifying current law that favors traditional franchise dealership networks by preventing other automakers from following in Tesla’s path. The EV automaker thanked the state government “for supporting a culture of innovation and ultimately making the right decision for consumers” with the introduction of the bill into law.

In other government news, the California Air Resources Board is considering cutting EVs priced at $60,000 and above from the agency’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program as funding continues to run low, according to Capitol Weekly. Though the move would be temporary, the cap would push-out both the Cadillac ELR and Tesla’s Model S and upcoming X, a move that Tesla feels is disappointing:

[CARB] aims to paint Tesla as the sole purveyor of EVs (electric vehicles) to the wealthy, while disregarding the fact that individuals of similar affluence may still continue to receive a rebate by purchasing a different EV.

Finally, Autoblog Green reports a group of tech-savvy Tesla owners have dug into their EV’s console via its exposed Ethernet connector, discovering a subsystem powered by Linux distribution Ubuntu. The individual behind the dig, known only as ‘nlc,’ was contacted by the automaker through its service center, warning him that his exploration could void his car’s warranty should he persist.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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12 of 30 comments
  • Gtrslngr Gtrslngr on Apr 14, 2014

    Strike Two to the State of Washington . First the passing of 420 . And now allowing TESLA to lie , cheat and steal to their little hearts content while keeping other car dealerships in check . So I guess in WA it isn't about whether or not you are a thief . But rather what kind of thief you are . Preference obviously given to High Tech Grifters with Obamas blessing Hey ! Thats pretty good . " High Tech Grifter " Methinks thats a possible Song-Book-Article-Movie title in the making . Hmmmmmn.....

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    • 360joules 360joules on Apr 15, 2014

      @morbo I agree with Morbo. Guttersnipe can go off with other trolls.

  • Brenschluss Brenschluss on Apr 14, 2014

    Is there just an 8P8C connector hanging out in the open or did they at least obscure this with a proprietary terminus?

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    • Brenschluss Brenschluss on Apr 14, 2014

      @Rod Panhard Maybe, but I'll bet it will phone home ASAP if there's any trace of a change- or if it doesn't now, it will soon. That is interesting how they found this. I probably wouldn't have thought to start jamming ethernet into a 4-pin M12 buried inside of my dash, but I probably wouldn't have the stones to take my new Tesla apart to find vulnerabilities either. I feel like if others had gotten this far in the past it would have made news as this did, and wonder what led them to this particular connection or if it was just process of elimination. Absolutely makes sense that Tesla would do what they can to prevent it, most companies in the business of soft and hardware don't want you reverse-engineering it.

  • Redliner Redliner on Apr 14, 2014

    Of course Tesla doesn't want you to mess with it's code. You could do all kinds of cool things, such as, make your plain Model S into something similar to a P85, without paying $25,000 to get it. This is a liability issue. What if you brick the car? Who is responsible? What if you buy a second hand Tesla and you have an accident due to a modification that the previous owner made? Who is responsible? A good (not good?) attorney might argue that it's Tesla, because they knew of this vulnerability, but did nothing to prevent it from being abused.

  • Mcs Mcs on Apr 14, 2014

    Speaking of Tesla, here are the renderings of the Saleen Tesla: http://ow.ly/vKu7f

    • Brenschluss Brenschluss on Apr 14, 2014

      "Saleen Tesla" Coming up now to the main stage, show her some love boys, and don't forget to tip...