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.
Looks like Model Y heat pumps are seizing en-masse in Russia as well. This is how it looks like:— green (@greentheonly) January 15, 2022
(in the video they just count start attempts), video credit to some Russian Tesla owners group pic.twitter.com/tN9rHdkJvT
finding pictures of undamaged Tesla pumps proving to be hard.— green (@greentheonly) January 16, 2022
Instead I was shown this video of a Honda unit that I was told looks almost exactly like a non-failed Tesla unit looks like (timestamp 4:55 in case it did not transfer)https://t.co/av9LdR7T54
Fixing this is a high priority— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2022