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Elon Musk Announces OTA Update for Heat Pump Issues, But Is It Enough?

Tesla owners in cold-weather regions are now tired of waiting for solutions or explanations for having no heating in their cars. Transport Canada is investigating the situation, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is discussing the matter with Tesla, and owners are still having issues. Elon Musk said fixing it would be a priority for Tesla.
Elon Musk promises to fix heat pump issues with an OTA update but there are signs this will not be enough 13 photos
Elon Musk promises to fix heat pump issues with an OTA update but there are signs this will not be enoughElon Musk promises to fix heat pump issues with an OTA update but there are signs this will not be enoughTesla contacts customer and confirms a firmware issue caused heating problems in vehicles with heat pumpsTesla contacts customer and confirms a firmware issue caused heating problems in vehicles with heat pumpsTesla contacts customer and confirms a firmware issue caused heating problems in vehicles with heat pumpsTesla Model Y heating system fails at freezing temperatures and puts family in real dangerTesla Model Y heating system fails at freezing temperatures and puts family in real dangerLauri Orrainen said he could not recommend Tesla anymore with his Model 3 presenting heat pump problemsTesla Model Y heating system fails at freezing temperatures and puts family in real dangerTesla Model Y heating system fails at freezing temperatures and puts family in real dangerTesla Model Y heating system fails at freezing temperatures and puts family in real dangerLauri Orrainen said he could not recommend Tesla anymore with his Model 3 presenting heat pump problems
That’s the first public “official” admission of the problem. Unfortunately, it only came after our colleagues at Drive Tesla Canada sent Musk a question on Twitter that shows Tesla owners want the company to be more transparent. After saying that the fixes tried by Tesla Service Centers have not worked, they stated that “some clarity and transparency would go a long way with owners.”

It is not just a matter of losing their patience with how Tesla is dealing with the problem. In places where the temperature can drop to below -20ºC (-4ºF), it poses life-threatening situations. Musk’s answer was that a “firmware fix to recalibrate heat pump expansion valve” was already rolling out. However, there are strong signs that the issue is not related solely to software.

As some readers highlighted, Mark was not the only person to experience heating issues in Tesla cars with heat pumps last winter. If you don’t remember him, he shared with us how his car’s heating system stopped working in the middle of a road trip at -30ºC (-22ºF). In the same article, we also told Tyler Selvig’s story, which was very similar. Lauri Orrainen later contacted us and confirmed his Model 3 is a 2021 Standard Range Plus made in China that is only two months old. In other words, cars made at Giga Shanghai also present the issue.

The most recent development came from the white hat hacker GreenTheOnly, who tweeted a video of a Tesla heat pump in Russia. The component does not seem to work: it just shakes and stops multiple times.

GreenTheOnly then shared images of the interior of the heat pump. It presents signs “of some metal parts hard-rubbing against each other,” something that no OTA (over-the-air) update can fix. GreenTheOnly then shares how the interior of a heat pump should look, and the difference is noticeable.

Although it is good to see the Tesla CEO admitting that there’s something wrong with the company’s heat pumps, it would be great if he said what the issue is and how the company plans to fix it once and for all. As Drive Tesla Canada states, “some clarity and transparency” are not a goodwill demonstration: they are mandatory in this case.







 
 
 
 
 

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