A recent software update has reportedly wreaked havoc on several Tesla owners’ vehicles in the Canadian prairies as temperatures drop and some of the EVs’ heat pumps have failed.
The update rolled out in the middle of December for both the Model Y and the Model 3, Tesla’s more popular vehicles. However, since then, CTV News has received multiple reports of drivers with broken in-cabin heating.
Diving deeper, it appears this may be a wider Tesla issue as many users have shared stories of a wide variety of components related to heating failing far further back than mid-December.
Tesla North states that last year, Tesla replaced sensors related to heating on all vehicles after encountering bugs. It’s difficult to tell if the users in the prairies are driving outdated cars or if a new software update has added additional heating system issues.
Well @elonmusk having some buyers remorse. Last Feb had our Model Y in the SC for a month with no heat. New Super-manifold and thought it was fixed. New set of sensors last week and now this. -30c in #Saskatchewan and a very cold 1 hr drive later we barely made the supercharger pic.twitter.com/JLJ7Pmzc0P
— Mark Kroeker (@paateach) December 28, 2021
One driver was even caught out on a drive in -40 degree weather with young children in the car when the heat cut out.
According to CTV News, a representative of a Tesla Owners Club in Alberta says that they’ve been told Tesla is aware of the issue, and it’s been “sent up the chain.”
Our Model Y could have killed my family today when the heat stopped working in -40c Called service and the reset and auto didn’t fix. Hour away from any service. Luckily we had family in an ICE vehicle that I could put my 2 kids under 3yrs old in quickly.
— Tyler Selvig (@TSelvig) December 30, 2021
Hopefully, a software update will solve this problem, or perhaps Tesla will need to update its hardware to perform better in low temperatures.
Overall, this isn’t reassuring Canadians considering buying an electric vehicle (EV). The only EV I’ve been able to test under winter conditions has been a few Porsche Taycans models. In both instances, I didn’t encounter issues related to in-car heating, but I did find that took longer to top up the vehicle and that the battery doesn’t last as long when the temperatures are colder.
Update 13/01/2022: A 2021 Tesla Model Y owner in Toronto has shared how much it cost to fix the heat issue.
However, the vehicle was still under warranty, so he didn’t need to pay for it. That said, the total cost worked out to $5,665.81, according to Tesla North.
It’s still unclear if this fix solves all of the vehicles’ reoccurring heating issues. According to this Tesla owner, the repair included replacing refrigerant pressure/temperature sensors, the A/C line from the supermanifold to the compressor and the A/C compressor itself, also known as the heat pump.
The repair takes roughly a week to complete.
Update 14/01/2022: After multiple reports about issues with Tesla vehicles in cold weather, Transport Canada has begun investigating the cars. You can read the full story here.