As winter settles in, many Tesla owners are battling the cold after a software update allegedly caused their cars to lose heat. According to a CTV News report, the update affected the electric vehicles HVAC system resulting in a lack of heat for passengers.
Tesla owners are reporting heating problems began with a December software update for the Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles. Both the Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles are fitted with dedicated heat pumps to reduce battery consumption and mitigate range impact during the cold winter months.
Currently it’s unclear which update is causing the heating defect, but Tesla released only four updates to the Canadian Tesla owner market:
- 2021.44.5 – Released December 9, 2021
- 2021.44.6 – Released December 16, 2021
- 2021.44.25.2 – Released December 23, 2021
- 2021.44.30 – Released December 31, 2021
What Does Cold Weather do to EV Range?
EVs are increasingly susceptible to decreased mileage in colder climates, and this is well known. In fact, AAA tested the range effects of 20F degree weather on several popular EVs and found that temperature could reduce range by 10-12%, while the use of in-vehicle climate control could amplify range loss to 40%.
But the consequences of losing interior heat can be extremely dangerous.
Tesla owners have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations and concerns over this software glitch:
December Software Glitch
Angie Dean, the president of the Tesla Owner’s Club of Alberta, says the issue is due to a recent software upgrade and is isolated to approximately 10-20 Model 3 and Model Y owners across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
It’s reported Dean reached out to Tesla corporate last week and was told the issue has been sent up the chain.
Dean has told Model 3 and Model Y owners to “precondition” or warm up their vehicles before driving, saying it could improve the way batteries operate in cold weather.
“Preconditioning the car is it’s just healthier for the batteries,” Dean said. “You wouldn’t throw your phone out in a snowbank and then try and turn it on and go all over the place. Same thing with an electric car, it just works better.”Angie Dean, president of the Tesla Owner’s Club of Alberta
Warm Up an EV?
There has been a history of debate around whether or not warming up your car is necessary. But this debate focused solely on traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, never EV. But for Model 3 and Model Y owners it might just be a requirement until the software defect is fixed.
Tesla has since said that it is working on a fix.
Submit your Tesla car complaint
Check for open recalls with our Car Recall Lookup Tool
Last Updated on April 19, 2022
Finder and reporter of automotive news & recalls. Emily is a professional writer who has covered various industries such as law, automotive, and mobility. She enjoys spending time with her family and improving her photography skills. While she loves writing, Emily’s true passion lies in helping others.
Learn more about us