Tesla heat pumps failing in extreme cold due to firmware issue, here’s how to help prevent it while a fix is developed

Photo credit: @paateach / Twitter

Many parts of Canada are currently experiencing record cold temperatures, with some regions dropping below -40 ° C (-40 ° F).

The extreme cold has led a number of Tesla owners to report that their heat pumps are failing, sometimes requiring them to drive for hours on just heated seats to keep them warm.

One such owner was Drive Tesla reader Tyler Selvig, who was recently in the back seat of Saskatchewan with his two young children when his Model Y heat pump failed at -40 ° C.

@elonmusk @Tesla
Our Model Y could have killed my family today when the heat stopped working at -40 ° C. Hour away from any service. Luckily we had a family in an ICE vehicle in which I could quickly put my 2 children under 3 years old.

– Tyler Selvig (@TSelvig) December 30, 2021

Not even the replacement of the heat pump sensors, for which Tesla had issued an internal service bulletin earlier this year, could not keep Mark Kroeker’s heat pump alive at -30 ° C.

Well, @elonmusk has some buyers regrets. Last February, our Model Y stayed in the SC for a month without heating. New super distributor and thought it would be fixed. New set of sensors last week and now that. -30c in #Saskatchewan and a very cold 1 hour drive later we barely made it to the compressor pic.twitter.com/JLJ7Pmzc0P

– Mark Kroeker (@paateach) December 28, 2021

Tyler and Mark are not alone. Over the past few weeks we’ve heard from multiple owners with the same problem, and the Tesla Model Y and Model 3’s Canadian Facebook pages have been littered with owners reporting heat pump failures.

It turns out that Tesla is aware of the problem of heat pumps failing in extremely cold temperatures and the problem was due to a recent firmware update.

According to an email from Tesla Mobile Service to another of our readers, the automaker is currently developing a solution to the problem. Unfortunately there is no schedule for when it will be ready.

In the meantime, Tesla has the following recommendations to hopefully prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

“Current measures are to precondition the vehicle 30-60 minutes before departure, use the recirculation mode and use the automatic mode. Symptoms can continue to occur if you drive in a climate of -15 ° C and below. If the heat does not return, please park the vehicle in a warmer place and let the vehicle warm up.

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve been through a broken heat pump lately.

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