Tesla Releases an Update to Address Model 3 Cold Weather Issues but It’s the Laziest Fix Ever
Props to Tesla for trying to amend the problem, although this leads to other issuesby Michael Fira, on
Less than a week since we were talking about the trials and tribulations experienced by Tesla Model 3 owners as wintery weather hit the northern hemisphere, Tesla released a so-called fix that should act as a temporary solution to the problem of freezing windows, door handles, and charge ports. The fix, though, seems to be the cause of further problems.
Tesla’s compact Model 3 sedan is experiencing its first full winter since being introduced late last year. While the bigger Model S didn’t seem to be troubled by colder temperatures, the cheaper Model 3 is a bit on the sensitive side. Many customers have reported finding their door handles frozen as well as their windows which meant they couldn’t access their vehicles - even after pre-heating them for 10 or 15 minutes straight. Now, Tesla pushed through a new system update that’s meant to make things right again, but, apparently, it’s barely a knee-jerk reaction to a more complex issue.
The windows freeze? No problem! Let’s have them never go up again
What Tesla owners reported was that their pop-out door handles would freeze and, as such, wouldn’t come out to let them open the door. If they did pop out, sometimes, the windows would remain frozen shut.
As the Tesla Model 3 features frameless windows, the driver's side window goes down a bit when you pop out the handle to help you open the door and get inside
. This didn’t always happen after a long night in the cold. And by cold, I mean about 15F.
To address the problem, Tesla has released a software update, 2018.44.2, that includes "cold weather improvements." According to Tesla, the "window position and charge connector locking behaviors have been optimized for cold weather.”
Just like last time, Electrek’s editor-in-chief, Fred Lambert, went out to face the elements and test Tesla’s claims. He went outside - where it was about 12F - after pre-heating his Model 3 for 20 minutes. What he found upon trying to open the car makes for some peculiar reading as it seems that Tesla’s patchwork isn’t solving the issue.
"My driver’s window did go down when pulling on the door handle, but it didn’t go up after closing the door, noted Lambert. "It looks like Tesla is not allowing the window to go completely up anymore in order to enable people to safely open the doors in cold weather."
This, he reckons, might play havoc with the pre-heating system's ability to adequately do its job as the cabin is no more sealed as it would've been with the window properly shut.
"That said, the windows can still go down enough to open the door and still touch the seal, so it’s not that big of a deal," he concluded.
After locking and unlocking his car a number of times, Lambert noticed that "my window doesn’t go completely back up as previously noted, but it also doesn’t seem to go as far down as it previously would when opening and closing the door. The window scratches on the trim when I open and close the door." Oops!
Oh, and what about the charge port freezing, you may ask? Well, Lambert didn’t experience that problem first hand but he did ask Tesla about it and they said that the port would remain unlatched to allow owners to recharge their cars. That’s also not a fix to the core of the matter, but it’s all we’ve got for now.
Let’s hope Tesla keeps looking into this situation if they hope customers will continue to take them seriously as an automaker. It’s a bit embarrassing to have a car, in the year 2018, freeze in such a way that it forces its owner to take public transport to get to where he needs to go.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.