Someone Should Let Elon Musk Know that The Tesla Model 3 Has Some Serious Winter Issues
Tweeting the issue his way might helpby Michael Fira, on
Winter is upon us, and this might just be worrying news for Tesla Model 3 owners living in colder climates as reports have emerged of some models encountering issues in low temperatures such as the door handles freezing or the recharging system malfunctioning due to the cold.
The Model 3, which was launched last year, is now facing its first full winter, which can get cripplingly cold in the northern hemisphere. That’s why a number of owners in countries like Canada were aghast to find out that, despite the car’s pre-heating system it would sometimes lock them out due to freezing door handles and windows.
We know the Model 3 is Cool, but it Gets Messy When it Becomes Frozen
Tesla’s compact Model 3 sedan seems to not be a fan of winter. Multiple Tesla Model 3 owners sent in their reports to Electrek these days talking about major faults with their cars after leaving them out overnight in freezing temperature. What basically happens is that the car’s own pre-heating system which you can activate using the app on your phone to warm the car up before you take it for a spin isn’t able to do its job quickly enough.
That's why, even after 10 minutes of leaving the pre-heating system on, you might still find yourself locked out because the pop-open door handles refuse to move.
Also, if you do get the handle to pop and are able to pull the door, the windows might still be frozen shut, and you could also face some issues recharging your car as the charging port seems not to be immune to freezing according to some reports.
Electrek’s Editor-In-Chief, Fred Lambert, set out to test his readers’ claims by leaving his own Model 3 out in the darkness hours to see if it will freeze. Lambert filmed the whole thing, and you can see the video below. In short, he experienced the same issues. "For context, it was about 19.4 F outside, and my Tesla app was showing 33.8 F inside the vehicle when I started pre-heating it to 71.6 F," Lambert said in an article posted on the site. He also added that the "front driver window did come down enough to open the door, but it doesn’t go up and down properly anymore."
What’s more alarming is that this is still November so we’re a couple of months away from the peak cold temperatures that this winter has in store for those in the northern hemisphere. Lambert also says that "preheating was on for about 10 minutes before I walked up to the car, which is generally more than enough for the heating system to reach the preset temperature," and, to add insult to injury, "it wasn’t even cold enough to activate the battery pre-heating feature."
What's strange is that the larger Model S, which has robotized door handles, didn't encounter such issues up until now.
Electrek did contact Tesla about the issue though, and the American automaker said that they’re looking into the matter. For now, all you Tesla Model 3 owners who are living in colder climates can do is to heat up your cabin for 15 or 20 minutes at a higher-than-usual temperature before you actually try to open the doors.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.