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The Model 3 is supposed to be a sportsy car. It isn't a true sports car, but it isn't an econo-box like my Prius. The seats should have some amount of lateral support for cornering. Ideally, a seat would provide enough support that while cornering, you don't have to brace yourself, and you can concentrate on cornering. My 2012 Prius has virtually no lateral support for either the bottom of the seat, or the back of the seat. I would like to improve that, but I don't corner very hard, so it isn't a big deal. The 2018 Prius has a much better seat with far more lateral support. The Model 3 seat is reasonably comfortable, and has electronic adjustments (which I really don't care about). The good news is the bottom of the seat has some lateral support. The bad news is the back of the seat has virtually no lateral support. It is comparable to my 2012 Prius seat, and has far less lateral support than the 2018 Prius. This is really poor for a car that is positioned to be a sportsy car. If the manual Model 3 seat is better,, I might swap out the drivers seat, when I can buy one for a reasonable price.

I was recently in a new, 2018 Model S with the base seats. The central part is made out of fabric and the edges are made out of a leather like material. They are far more supportive on the back than the Model 3 seats. The Model S is less sportsy than the Model 3, yet the seats are far more supportive. I wonder if I can swap in Model S seats. No idea if they have the side airbag...


The factory speakers are reasonably good. I expected this because I purchased the 'premium package' which comes with the deluxe stereo. One amusing thing is when you go the the equalizer settings, it shows a 5 or 6 band equalizer with the bass and treble reemphasized. I set the controls to be flat. A sneaky trick from the factory.

FM Radio

The Model 3 has no AM radio. This is a shame, because there are decent traffic stations on AM radio. There is a HD FM radio. For those that don't know, HD stands for nothing at all. It certainly does not stand for High Definition. Each FM station can broadcast in standard FM, as well as at least 3 other streams called HD1, HD2, and HD3. HD1 is always (as far as I know) the same as normal FM in terms of programming. On every radio I have dealt with, you select the frequency, and then select the stream. For example, on Sony radios as well as Toyota radios, you can hit a button which will cycle through HD1, HD2, HD3, and back to HD1 (assuming there are 3 HD streams. Not the Model 3. On the model 3, you have to search a list of all radio frequencies and HD streams for the stream you want. This is pretty silly in an urban area that might have 100 different frequencies and streams. The manual states "Touch HD to play high defnition versions of available frequencies." This is true for going from analog FM to HD1, but not true to access HD2 or HD3. The manual is misleading at best. Searching (or scrolling) through over 100 streams is a very poor user interface.

So now you have found your favorite stream, and you want to make it a favorite. On all other radios, you make the frequency a favorite (or associate it with a preset of some kind). On the Model 3 it doesn't work that way. You need to touch the favorite icon (which is quite small) and the stream is market as a favorite. The problem is they are sorted by frequency. Lets say your favorite station is 88.1. You want to associate it with button 1 or the equivalent. If you have another favorite such as 100.1, it will appear before 88.1. In fact all of your favorites will appear before 88.1. I never thought I would say this, but the 2012 Prius radio is has a much better user interface.

When listening to the radio, I like to listen to a particular HD2 radio station. When I stop the car and restart it, the radio goes to the correct frequency, but plays the default stream, not the HD2 stream. On my Prius when I am listening to a specific station and stop and restart the car, the radio continues with the stream I was listening to. If the Model 3 started with the default stream, but switched automatically to the HD2 stream, that would be ok, but it just plays the wrong stream. This is a bug.

Overall the user interface of the radio as well as the USB music player is completely unacceptable and needs to be significantly reworked.

USB Input

The Model 3 can also play USB based mp3 music (and perhaps other formats). You can search by artist, album, and likely other means. The Model 3 quickly was able to index about 18gb of files on my USB drive. All of my mp3's were created by me and have correct ID3 tags. I have created them from CD's. For example, I have the two CD album Quadrophenia by The Who. If you search by album, you need to select the correct first letter. This is a poor user interface decision. It is nice to start with the first letter, but you should be able to search everything by album. I typed in a Q, and found nothing. It is unacceptable to not find the album when there are at least two entries (disk 1 and disk 2). So I tried searching by artist. I typed in T for The Who, and I was able to find the two albums. Even my crappy 2012 Prius stereo can find music by searching by album. I have no idea why this is broken.

If you are listening to an album, and you stop the car and then start the car, you might think that the album would resume. Even the 2012 Prius does that. But not the Model 3. When you select USB input, it does not resume playing. If you select the same album, either it will resume, or it will start from the beginning. I have had both happen. You can select 'factories', just like with the radio. But favorites can only be a song, not an album. This is a very primitive interface and unacceptable in a modern music player.

Internet (slaker) radio

On Friday, the Internet based radio, powered by Slacker stopped working. On Sunday, I called Tesla support. After waiting on hold for about 30 minutes, I got the local service. When I tried to play internet radio, I was asked to log in to the slacker account, or try to log in with the tesla account. No matter what I did, I went back to that screen. (I don't have my own slacker account or credentials). They had me reboot the car which didn't help. They told me to go to a service center, which isn't open today, to set up a slacker credentials. I said there must be some way to do this over the phone. They said they were not qualified, but they could transfer me to some real tech support. The real tech support, noticed I had a decent signal. Finally, they suggested rebooting the touchscreen. That worked. So there is some kind of bug that disabled my access to slacker until I rebooted. I know quite a bit about software. It is easy to write buggy software, and much harder to write bug free code. However, this is the second time I have had to reboot the touchscreen (the first was when my LTE modem hung). Tesla needs to write more reliable software. They also need to make it clearer when something has gone wrong, and what to do about it. I think the tesla touchscreen may be more complex than any other car user interface. It needs to be reliable and not crash or hang every month.

Voice Input Needs LTE

According to the manual, the Model 3 can make phone calls or do navigation with voice commands. It turns out that you can also select radio stations, which is not documented. Today, while driving in a large urban area, I noticed that there was no cellular signal on the tesla screen. My cell phone still worked fine. It was unclear if the Tesla cell phone carrier was down, or some Tesla servers were down. In any event, there was no traffic data displayed on the map, which is less than ideal, but not a big deal. What was a big deal, and is unacceptable is that the voice commands stopped working. I suspect that the sounds get sent to some Tesla server which does speech recognition. That is a clever idea, as long as the cellular network works. For at least an hour today, it wasn't working, and voice commands did not work. My 2012 Prius can do voice recognition without a cloud server helping it. I admit the voice recognition isn't great. I would expect that the Model 3 could do the processing locally. I consider this to be a significant bug.

Phone dock

The model 3 center console has a place to put two phones, which is very nice. It has a power connector for each phone. One is for an iPhone (lightning connector) and the other one is a micro usb connector. This is a really cool feature... unless you have 2 phones of the same type, or unless you have phones in cases, or unless you have a new phone with a usb-c connector. In those cases, the best you can do is to plug one phone in. In my case, I have an older phone with a micro usb connector. The problem is that I have a case, which means my phone does not align with the connector.

This is not a good design. Perhaps there should have been two adjustable slots, and you could get two connectors that are appropriate for your phone. With the slots, you would be able to mate with your phone even if it had a case. Almost any non-iPhone phone you will buy today will have a usb-c connector, so you will be out of luck with the existing connectors. In my case, when I use a straight micro usb cable, my phone will not sit flat in the area unless the cable is sharply bent. I really need to buy a right angle connector cable. This is a poor design for phone holders and should be fixed.

V9 Software

I got the V9 software. I can now play centipede on a tiny screen. It is not as easy to move around as an arcade game. The user interface for the radio still sucks. The usb music player still thinks each song on an album is a separate album (If you have 10 tracks on album X, it will sow 10 different album X's each with one track.) The vehicles displayed around the car are more like the real vehicles.

When I drove my car fir the first time with V9, after about 20 or 30 minutes, the LTE modem hung. I know this because the streaming music stopped. Also the voice commands stopped working. After I stopped the car, I rebooted the car and rebooted the graphical user interface, which fixed the problem (I did that because it worked the previous time the LTE modem hung.) Hopefully it won't happen again... There is no excuse for the LTE modem to hang. Properly written software doesn't crash. Critical software should also have keepalive timers and watchdogs timers. It is clear that the LTE modem software isn't properly written, and doesn't have a keepalive or watchdog timer.

This morning when I got in my car, I saw an error message on the screen saying something like 'screen not responsive, reboot the GUI'. The screen was in fact nit responsive. This is the most severe issue I have had with the car to date. Rebooting did fix the issue. I wonder what would happen if the screen became unresponsive while I was driving? At least it seems there is some kind of watchdog on the screen GUI.

Also, the display of nearby cars is far more detailed than v8 software. What is bad is the cars passing me or the cars I am passing, weave from side to side in a crazy drunken fashion that is quite distracting, and not an accurate reflection of reality. This really needs to be fixed.

V10 Software

I have the V10 software. There are a few quirks when driving. For me the most noticeable changes are the voice commands when playing audio. I used to be able to say "play 101.1 FM" or "play KXYZ" and it would play the appropriate radio station. No more. This is a bit of a deal, because doing it with the display is really easy, assuming you are not driving. If you are driving, it is pretty difficult to do, and you need to take your eyes off the road quite a bit. It is much easier to use any other car's radio controls than the Tesla model 3.

But I don't listen to the radio a lot, so that isn't super bad. I used to be able to say "play Bruce Springsteen" and it would play some Bruce Springsteen song. This now works about 10% of the time. I used to be able to say "play Born to Run" and it would play some version of Born to Run. No more. You would think there would be basic regression testing with the software, but clearly there isn't at least for music playing. The screen controls to play USB music really suck. I had hoped things would be better with V10, but they are just as bad. I got a software update for my V10 software. All of my observations are after the update to V10.

I have heard reports that summons mode has been known to run into things in parking lots. That doesn't sound like something that would give me confidence to use it.

GPS screen

Yesterday, while driving, my GPS screen stopped updating. This has happened several times in the past. Interestingly, when I set a destination, the GPS screen started updating again. This has happened several times in the past. It is annoying, but not nearly as annoying as the LTE modem hangs.

Key - Bug reported May 2018

The Model 3 has a clever keyless entry system that uses a smartphone as the key. The model 3 can associate a smart phone with the car, by downloading the tesla app. Then, the phone can be used to unlock and start the car. I did that when I bought the car. The phone unlocks the car using Bluetooth low energy. The app will say if the phone is connected to the car. If it is not, the car won't unlock. This happens at least 90% of the time. The solution is to put the phone on airplane mode, wait a bit, and take the phone out of airplane mode. Then it will associate with the car. The other solution is to use the key card to unlock the car. If you don't have the phone, you need to put the key card next to the cup holders to start the car. Whenever I need to use the key card to unlock the car, the car will start without the key card being placed next to the cup holders. I assume the phone somehow gets associated after I get in the car. The odd thing, is when I am locked outside the car, the screen lights up. I suspect it is because there is some communication with the phone. This is a very buggy system. My Prius has keyless entry that always works. It requires a special key fob, but it is completely reliable. I called Tesla support and they opened a bug report on the issue. I was told others are having issues using their smartphone to unlock the model 3.

I have been speaking to a few friends with Model 3's. The ones that have iPhones seem to have no issues with the key. The ones that have Android phones have the same issue I do. So the problem is not specific to my car, or my phones. Tesla really needs to fix this issue. If Toyota can make a keyless remote, then I expect a working keyless remote for a car that costs twice as much money.

I spoke the tech that came out to fix my car. He said my phone settings were all fine. He said that Tesla has had endless issues with all different types of phone hardware and software. He said that Tesla will eventually send out key fobs to all Model 3 owners, but he had no idea when that would happen.

Early in Sep-2019, I updated my phone to Android 10 (the same day it was released by Google). There have also been many Tesla Model 3 updates since I last tried using my phone key. In any event, my phone now works reliably to unlock my car. I don't know if it was an issue with my phone operating system, the Tesla phone app, or the Tesla Model 3 software. It really doesn't matter. If you make a car that is supposed to use a phone to unlock it, you need to test with a variety of phones and make sure it works. If Tesla would have given me a Bluetooth key fob to unlock the car, that would have been reasonable, but they wouldn't. saying they were happy to sell me one for around $150. Of course my other issue where the phone wouldn't pair with the car for handsfree calling is another issue, but not as serious in my opinion as the phone key fail.

It is now Mar-2021. My phone worked for at least a year to lock and unlock my model 3, but no more. For at least a month, the phone has not worked at all to lock or unlock my model 3. Since I haven't had a phone operating system update in a while, it is clear the fault lies with tesla. Not sure if it is the app or the car, but it doesn't really matter since both are under Tesla's control. Tesla needs to fix the bug.

Locking Issue

Since I have never had my phone key work reliably, I use the key card to lock and unlock the car. You place the key in the middle of the drivers side B pillar and it locks and unlocks the car. I have my car mirrors set to automatically fold when the car is locked. The side marker lights also blink when the car is locked or unlocked. This week, I was having a hard time locking my car. I did the usual procedure, the side lights blinked, but the mirrors did not fold. When I repeated the procedure a few times, the side mirrors would eventually fold. Yesterday, the side mirrors stopped folding at all. The good news, is the car did seem to lock the car, because I couldn't open the door handles. I called tesla support. Using the remote diagnostics they saw an event that the support person had never seen before. After some digging, he found it was related to Bluetooth LE (low energy) which is how the doors lock and unlock. Specifically, on one connector, there is likely a bent pin. He scheduled service for my car. When I got home, I looked at the mirror settings, and they were set to auto-fold. I turned that off for each mirror, and then back on. Now when I lock the doors, the mirrors fold. Something clearly is wrong, as they have always been set to auto-fold. I wonder if this issue is also making my phone-key not work? I have reported the phone-key issue several times, but this is the first time that they told me about an event which might be the cause of it. The remote diagnostics are great; their inability to deal with my phone key issues which I reported in May-2018 is unacceptable.

The problem turned out to be the seat person sensor on the passenger front seat. It failed, and the car thought there was a person seated, and didn't want to lock the car. It is fixed now.

Phone Key Bluetooth - now fixed

In the last month, 905 of my incoming and outgoing phone calls do not work. If I switch the Bluetooth off, I can make a call. If the Bluetooth is on, the phone just has a crackling sound. I suspect the problem is related to the phone not working as a key, as both use Bluetooth. I will try to get the issue resolved soon, as it is a bad idea to use a handheld phone while driving. I never had this problem with my 2012 Prius... And of course, the phone still won't unlock the car.

Using a friend's iPhone, I was able to place a call. I only tried once, but the Bluetooth is not 100% broken. I am able to place calls about 10$ of the time with my phone (not an iPhone).

It is now fixed. I don't know if it was one of the phone software updates, or one of the car software updates, but the issue is fully resolved.

service - Seat Creases -not fixed

seat creases

My drivers seat has developed creases or wrinkles on the seat bolster near the door. I though they would go away, but they got worse. I contacted Tesla about it. I was able to make an appointment to take the car in. They asked for a photo before the appointment. I contacted tesla around Dec-05-2018. The earliest appointment I could get on a friday was Dec-21-2018. I emailed them a photo Dec-07-2018. I thought they would either repair the seat while I waited, or replace the seat while I waited. I was wrong. The good news is they gave me a loaner Tesla 75D car. The bad news is they didn't know how long it would take to fix. I later found out they work on Saturdays and Sundays. On Dec-26-2018, I get an email saying "My manager will be in today to inspect the driver's seat further and see if there's a fix or just a replacement as a whole." I think it is a bit odd that it took 4 days (not counting Christmas) to schedule a manager to look at the seat. On Dec-29-2018, I get an email saying "The crease may come back over time. The next step is to order a whole compete seat and this can take a couple of months. Did you want me to move forward the ordering the seat?" It turned out that Tesla was able to make the creases smaller, but not go away, by applying some heat. I told them I wanted a seat without creases. I was able to pick my car up Dec-30-2018. I had the rental model S (which has great bucket seats) for 10 days. I find it odd that it took Tesla so long for a manager to look at the seat. I find it much odder that tesla told me it may take a couple of months to replace the seat. If I had a crash, would it take several months to get the parts to fix the car? I expect better from a high end car.

As for my phone app problem unlocking the car, they were unable to replicate it with their iPhone and their Samsung phone. Using my phone, it did work when I was there, but the next day, I could only get the car unlocked 25% of the time (which is better than usual). If you are going to make a car that has a cell phone as a key, you need it to work with all recent cell phones (like mine with Bluetooth 5.0 and android pie) or at worst, to have a list of phones that you guarantee will work. I have at least two friends with android phones that have the same problem as I do. In fact, I don't know of anyone with an android phone that works well. If they gave me two free Bluetooth keyfobs, that would be ok, but they are being sold for $150 each, and the last time I checked, they were sold out. Makes you wonder why they are sold out... I first reported the problem with my previous android phone in May-2018.

I just took a look at a newer model 3 seat. It has creases that are very similar to mine. So the problem is not unique to me.

seat creases 1

So tesla said they replaced my seat. Above is a picture of the seat with 30 miles on it. I went back to tesla, and when I said I wanted my old seat back, they said that they only replaced the seat bottom, and the old one was already sent back. The new one has creases and what is worse, the bottom is far mushier than the old seat and the passenger seat. I really should have taken a picture of the 'repaired' old seat, but I assumed it would just get fixed with the new seat. Tesla has ordered a complete new seat for the car. I noticed some minor creases in the passenger seat.

Now it is Jul-18-2019 I didn't hear from tesla for about 6 months. I sent them email, which they ignored. I left them voicemail, which they ignored. After about 2 days, I called the local service center, and got a live person. They were able to look up my history with the seat. They scheduled me for an appointment the next day, and replaced the seat while I waited. The seat looked ok. I drove off, and within 10 minutes, there were wrinkles. I took the car back to tesla, and they said they would order a new seat bottom, and get it installed where I life. Now, last time they said they would order a seat and install it where I live. I am not sure what has changed. They did say that other the difference between the version 1 and version 2 seat (I have a 2), there have been no improvements to the seat. So the replacement seat will likely wrinkle in a few minutes. Some people I know have a seat that wrinkle, and some don't. I suspect the seat is a poor design and/or has very poor quality control building it. Either way, I am now on my 3rd seat, and they have all wrinkled. They did rotate the tires for me for free (they usually charge $97 which I find excessive). I also found out the model S has recarro seats, and the tesla service people think them much higher quality than the model 3 seats. Recarro knows how to make seats, unlike tesla.

Tesla said they would email me a receipt. I waited until Jul-26-2019, and I then sent them email asking when I could expect my receipt. A few hours later, they did email me a receipt. I wonder how long it would have taken if I had not sent them email. I am pretty sure someone forgot about it. If they are unable to send a receipt of service, how can I trust them to fix a complex car?

Voice Song Selection

You can say something like 'Play Dennis by Blondie' and it will play a song. This sometimes works quite well, and sometimes works quite poorly. I tried the quoted phrase, and I have gotten it to work about 5% of tie time. Sometimes it finds other songs by Blondie, such as Heart of Glass or other songs that don't sound at all like Dennis. Sometimes it plays songs totally unrelated to either Denis or Blondie. It is so unreliable that I filed a bug report. I have tried many songs with varying degrees of success. It found 'Where the Streets Have no Name by Two Cellos', but couldn't find 'ET by Katy Perry' I also tried 'Extra Terrestrial' without success. It does display what it thinks you are saying, and even when the text is correct, often the appropriate song cannot be found. It does seem to do a well with spelled out radio station names however.

I did get the internet radio to find a song with a french name successfully (this is the first time that worked).

LTE Modem (cell phone) Hung

Well, the LTE (which stands for Long Term Evolution) (cell phone) outage continued for a few hours. After being on hold with Tesla for about an hour, I got someone to help me. It turned out that the LTE modem in the car hung. We rebooted the car. We then rebooted the touchscreen twice. The LTE modem seems happy now. This was about a day and a half after a software update. I hope it doesn't happen again. This is the first time I had to reboot a car...

In real time systems such as a car, one should monitor critical assets. This is often done with a watchdog timer. A watchdog timer periodically emits a signal saying the system is ok. If the signal is not received, after a while the system is restarted. This is pretty standard stuff. The LTE modem should have a watchdog timer, and get restarted automatically when it hangs or crashes (not that it should hang or crash). Tesla needs to write better software. The LTE modem is needed for voice processing, real time traffic, software updates, communicating with the phone tesla 'app', and likely other stuff....

I have observed two different failure modes. Sometimes, streaming audio just stops, but after a few minutes, it starts again. It is as if the LTE modem failed, but rebooted in a few minutes. Sometimes, the LTE modem fails, and stays failed until I reboot the GUI or until I wait overnight. I suspect there are several issues.

When I updated to v9 software, the next day my LTE modem crashed again. I rebooted the car and GUI and it started working again. Yesterday, while I was driving, the LTE modem crashed again. I put in a call to Tesla, perhaps there is a hardware issue that is causing the problems. Some friends with Model 3's have never had this problem, and never needed to reboot the car or GUI.

LTE modem failed again. I decided not to reboot the GUI, and the next morning, the LTE was working again. Perhaps there is some kind of watchdog timer... Tesla will send someone to my place today to look at the logs and perhaps figure out what is going on.

USB input

I have documented issues with the USB media player. None of them were serious enough for me to file a bug report. This changed today. I tried to use my USB media player today. Using the same USB drive that I have been using for several months, I looked for Quadrophenia. I had been able to find it before. It was missing. In fact, about 90% of my albums have gone missing. I went under artists, and I was unable to find The Who, and roughly 90% of the artists went missing. It can't be very hard to make a working media player. Even though my 2012 Prius media player sucks in many ways, it is far superior to the 2018 Model 3 media player. Perhaps they should license software from Toyota to play media (only half joking).

I did not previously report bugs with the media player as I was able to work around them. However, I can find no workaround for these issues, and so I am reporting this as a bug. Hopefully it will get fixed soon.

Wifi doesn't work

I got a message on my tesla screen saying there was a map update, but I had to use wifi to get the update. This makes sense, because map updates can be really big. So I try to connect to my house wifi, but I can't find the signal. So I try at work, but though I have the correct password, it won't connect. I also tried with a friends phone acting as a hotspot. Today, I got a reasonably high power router close to the tesla. The model 3 would not authenticate with the correct password. Result - no way to update maps, and no way to connect to wifi.

Well, I was able to connect to the WiFi. The car can't see my main network, but I added a network, and the car connected. I am told the map update is 3 to 5 gb, so using WiFi makes good sense. No idea how to tell when the map update happens though.

Door Handle broke

For the last few days, I have noticed that when I get in the car, and try to close the door, it is really hard to get it to close properly. Today, I saw the door closed, however the door handle was in the open position (it is supposed to snap back to the closed position when you release it). I was able to get the door to close securely, however when I rolled down the window, I realized that the door handle was in the open position. I called tesla and told them about the problem. Naturally, they had never heard of such a thing happening. They said they will order a door handle (as they don't have any in stock), and send their mobile repair people to me, with a replacement handle, in case it needs to be repaired. Could I be the first person with this problem? I wonder...

Well the tech showed up, and had seen the issue before. He squirted in some molybdenum disulfide lube, and the door handle worked great.

After a few months the problem returned. The door handle was replaced.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) crash

I was driving my car this morning, and suddenly the screen went blank. After about 30 seconds, the big T logo showed up. Shortly afterwards, the GUI returned. It rememebered the location I was driving to, and the temperature settings. The music being streamed was not recalled, and it started playing a random song. I reported the bug.

I got a reply from Tesla, but it is not what I expected. They said Thank you for contacting Tesla! Please allow me to apologize for the delay in our response to this email. I am sorry to hear that your touchscreen is not working properly.

Your touchscreen, like most cell phones and tablets, requires resets from time to time to ensure that it is running properly. The process is easy and resolves most touchscreen and audio issues you will see in your vehicle.

Reset your Touchscreen This will reset the main display Make sure that the vehicle is in park. Press and hold both scroll wheels located on the steering wheel Continue pressing and holding the scroll wheels until the white Tesla 'T' logo appears on the screen This can take up to 60 seconds

If this does not resolve your issue, we will be more than happy to take a look at the issue. Please give us a call at 1.877.798.3752 and we can do some troubleshooting over the phone and set you up with the proper service if needed

First, cell phones and tablets should not require restarting 'from time to time'. If it requires a restart, it is software bug. Second, a car is not a cell phone. It is completely unacceptable for a car GUI ro go blank and reboot. Cars are real time computers, that have people inside of them. It is a serious software bug when the GUI crashes. The idea that someone at Tesla doesn't understand this boggles my mind. I expected them to log the error from my car, and fix the bug. I didn't expect them to say I should treat the car like a broken cell phone. I may not use my phone a lot, but I have never needed to reboot it 'from time to time.'

I was in a friend's model 3 on Sunday. The screen was blank. It did not reboot. I had to explain to him how to reboot the screen, which fixed the issue. While driving home today, my screen became unresponsive. About 10 seconds later, it went blank. It did reboot itself. This time I submitted a bug report via the tesla bug reporting app. Clearly this is an ongoing problem, as I had a software update between my first blank screen and the one today.

Today, I was in a rental model-S. Both of the screens suddenly went blank. In about 30 or 40 seconds, they booted up, with the Tesla logo. Clearly the problem is not specific to the model-3. I think full self driving is cool, but how can you trust it, when they can't even make a GUI that doesn't spontaneously crash?

Bluetooth Issue

For about the last month, I have been having problems making hands free calling using my phone. After switching carriers and having that not fix the problem, I finally figured out that the issue was with the Tesla phone Bluetooth connection. I am not talking about the 'tesla key' Bluetooth low energy connection, but the Bluetooth connection with the infotainment system. The symptom is I can place a phone call, but the infotainment system doesn't make any ringing sounds. When the connection is established, the other end can hear me, but I can't hear them. Using the app, I scheduled service, and they will come to my house to investigate. While they are here, perhaps they can fix the issue that the high beams don't turn on on dark roads. Of course, the phone Bluetooth connection used to work perfectly, and the high beams used to work reasonably well. I am curious what tesla will find out.

I was told the tech would come out Dec-30. He didn't. I have had no contact from Tesla. I called the local service center, and left a message with them.The problem has not been fixed. The tech is MIA. I have no idea what Tesla is doing to address the issue. It is the cone of silence. Tesla needs better customer service...

The tech came out, and after awhile and having me call him on his cell phone, decided the problem was the microphone module near the interior lights. I though about it for a few minutes, and pointed out that he could hear me when I called him (though I couldn't hear him), so the microphone had basic functionality. He left without fixing anything.

The tech came out again. He did a hard reset, which means disconnecting the 12v battery as well as the high voltage battery. The 12v battery is disconnected by opening the hood, and removing some plastic near the front window. The high voltage battery is disconnected by lifting up the back seat, and disconnecting a connector. It all tool about a minute. Now the phone Bluetooth works fine. No idea why this should fix the issue though... I suspect the hardware got into a bad state and required power cycling, but that is just a guess.

Automatic High Beams

The Model 3 has automatic high beams. When there is a dark road, the high beams turn on. It works great - until it stopped working about 3 months ago. One friend with a car a few months newer than mine headlights work great. Another friend with a still newer car used to have working automatic high beams, but his also stopped working. I am pretty sure this is a software issue, as the high beams work when manually turned on. Still, it would be swell if the issue got fixed.

The auto high beams have started working again, even though there has been no software update. This is really odd, but it is nice to have auto high beams that work. I have no idea what fixed the issue.

Voice Command - call a person

When you say 'call some-person-name' the car thinks you want to navigate to some location. It seems to happen no matter what some-person-name is. Of course this used to work before the last software update.

GUI fail - music thumbs up

When a streaming song is playing you, you can click on the thumbs up, which tells the streaming service you like the song. If you click thumbs up while the song is playing, and turn off the car, the song will resume, but the thumbs up is not selected. I suspect if you hear the beginning of a song and click thumbs up, and you select a new song, the thumbs up does not get recorded. I don't know that this has ever worked, but it is a GUI bug.

Bug report bug

If you want to report a bug, you can press the audio input button, and the next 30 seconds of text get reported to Tesla. This has stopped working recently. I have used it successfully several times, months ago. You would think that Tesla would test this functionality...

Radio stopped working

I was listening to streaming music, and I decided I wanted to listen to the radio. I switched to the radio, but there was a spinning circle, and the radio was silent. I tried to change channels, but I still got the circle and silence. I guessed that the radio or GUI might have an issue, so I rebooted the GUI. This fixed the problem. Clearly there is a bug which needs to get fixed. I don't think that users should have to ever reboot the GUI, or do a full reboot, or a hard reboot. I have done all of these to fix issues (the hard reboot was done by Tesla as it involves disconnecting the batteries). I have had a few issues with my Prius Entune radio, which was fixed by turning the car on and off, but that hasn't happened in a few years. The Tesla software needs to be more robust, and not crash or hand.

Blank Screen

My screen has crashed at least 5 times this week. No idea why. It also often goes black. I was sitting in the passenger seat (while parked). The screen went black. A few seconds the display started working. Every time I opened the passenger door, the screen would go black. When I closed the door, the display reappeared. This happened at least 4 times in a few minutes. I have never seen this failure mode before. The screen rebooted at least once while this was happening. The software is clearly quite buggy and should have never shipped. I have never had another car screen crash before, and I don't know the procedure to reboot the screen of any other car than the Model 3. I tried to submit a bug report. Perhaps it worked...

Flat Tire

I noticed that I had a flat tire. I have an air compressor, and I tried to inflate the tire. I heard a loud hissing, indicating that the puncture did not have a nail or something partially blocking the hole. This meant that it would be difficult to put in air and drive to get the hole fixed. Adding complexity, the Tesla tires have foam lining the inside of the tire where the tread is. This is to make the tires a bit quieter. Unfortunately, this also means that most repair shops won't patch tie tire (the good patches are done from the inside). Fortunately, Tesla has roadside service. They came to my location, and dismounted the wheel, found the leak, removed the tire from the wheel, patched the tire, and put everything back together. The cost was $97.50, which is the same cost if I had driven to Tesla service. I should find a tire store that will patch tires with foam inside, for the next time I have a leak. Or perhaps I will get replacement tires without the foam.

Safety Restraint System Fault

A friends Model 3 had an error message saying 'Restraint System Fault'. The car was taken to Tesla service. They replaced the steering column control module. Soon after, the fault happened again. Tesla replaced the airbag harness driver side. Soon after, the fault happened again. Tesla replaced the restraint control module. It seems odd to he that Tesla was unable to figure out what had broken. It seems inefficient to replace 3 items to fix one problem. Perhaps all of them failed at the same time, but I think it far more likely that only one failure occurred. Tesla needs to get better at figuring out what needs to be fixed when something goes wrong. Given all the computers and telemetry the cars possesses, you would think they could isolate most problems quickly to the failed part.

After the third repair, the problem went away for about 3 weeks, however problem has returned. Tesla said it needed a new front wiring harness. They ordered the wiring harness, and installed it. However, the car won't charge after the wiring harness replacement. Also the battery is very low. Hopefully Tesla can figure out what got broken with the wiring harness replacement and hopefully the front wiring harness fixes the original issue. Tesla has fixed the charging issue, and the car should be ready to be picked up today. It was in the shop for about 2 weeks to fix the issue.

The good news is the car is working. The bad news is there is a rattle inside the car, near the glovebox, which is also where the main computer is. The computer was upgraded when it was last serviced to a FSD computer. It is scheduled to go back to tesla again, to fix the rattle. As a tesla stockholder, I am not happy that the car was serviced 4 times for a single issue and is will have to be serviced again.

It turns out there is an air vent under the front passenger seat and it had a lid that was open that was causing the rattle. The issue was fixed the same day.

Tesla Full Self Driving Computer

I ordered the full self driving package around April 2019. It turns out that my needed to get the computer updated. I knew it would take awhile to get one. A few weeks ago, I got a notification that my car was ready to get the new full self driving computer. I made an appointment for next monday. It turns out that a friend also had ordered the FSD package and had an appointment 1 hour earlier than me. He got a cancellation notice, by text message, and the rescheduled him for July 30th. I never got a message. That is likely because the phone number on my tesla account is a landline that doesn't get text messages. I have told tesla several times that I want to be contacted by email and not by text. This isn't a complicated thing. Many companies have phones numbers and email addresses and you can set a preference how you want to be contacted. Apparently not tesla. One time my car was ready but they didn't let me know. It turns out they did send me a text the day before, which I never got. I had told them before that not to text me, but to email me, but I guess they didn't take me seriously. I tried to call tesla, but it is impossible to get a person, or leave a message. I went to the website and contacted tesla twice, saying that I don't want to get texts (and I have told them this several times). It turns out that you can use the tesla app, and under schedule an appointment, you can see that your appointment has been changed. Mine has been changed to July 30th, like my friend. After I saw that, I did get an email which may have been in response to the messages I sent tesla. This isn't rocket science. Some people love their phones and take them everywhere they go. I use my phone to call people. Less than 20 people have my phone number. I rarely read text messages. I prefer email. Deal with it tesla.

Of course some will question why it takes over a year to get a FSD computer. I know of at least 4 people that this has affected. In fact, I won a bet with one of them that thought it would take less than a year to get the FSD computer and the FSD software. A sucker bet...

Tesla Lane Departure Avoidance

Ever since I got the FSD computer, Lane Departure doesn't work. It is a great feature, and if you drift out of a lane without signaling, the steering wheel will vibrate (on the warning setting) or the car will steer back into the lane (on the assist setting). It worked fine when I had the earlier computer, but since I got the FSD computer, it doesn't work at all. I have scheduled tesla service to look at it. Autopilot works, which does all of the steering, so the steering hardware is ok. Some friends who have the FSD computer say that Lane Departure Avoidance works for them....

Tesla has looked at the issue, and says it is working. I tested it today, and it only works when my hands are not on the steering wheel. The old behavior worked whether or not my hands were on the steering wheel. I think this is not the desired behavior, and is a bug. I really don't care what happens when my hands are off the steering wheel, as they are always on the steering wheel.

Tesla Passenger Footwell


I haven't had a passenger in my car since I got the FSD computer. The FSD computer lives behind the glove box. I suspect during the installation of the FSD computer Tesla may have moved around some interior panels to gain access to the computer. The problem is they didn't put them back correctly. Perhaps I should have noticed, but I drive the car, and I am rarely a passenger in the car. Tesla needs to improve the quality control process when performing repairs.

My USB drive got unformatted

I have a usb hub plugged into one of the usb ports in the front console. I have 2 usb drives plugged into the hub. One is for the security camera, and one is for music files. Recently, the tesla music interface couldn't find the usb music. It turns out that the usb music drive got unformatted. No idea why. I reformatted it, and copied the music back.

Tesla Adaptive Cruise Control

I was driving using the adaptive cruse control, set to 65mph. There was no nearby traffic. Suddenly for no obvious reason, the car quickly slowed down to about 45mph. Fortunately, there was nobody close behind me. I pushed down the accelerator, and got back to 65mph. I submitted an in-car bug report. Of course, I have never heard back from in-car bug reports. About 10 minutes later, the GUI crashed.

Tesla adaptive cruse control failure

I was driving yesterday, and my car exited cruse control for no obvious reason. There was a text warning that said "Reduced Front Radar Visibility." I was unable to engage cruise control or FSD. The problem persisted for about 30 minutes. Eventually, I was able to engage cruise control. I have no idea why this error occurred or how it got corrected. I have heard other inexplicable reports of the same issue.

Cabin Camera failure

For the last month or so, I was getting pop up messages about the cabin camera not working. This is the interior car camera. It said if the issue persists, contact tesla service. So I contacted tesla on Jun-20. All of this is done via the tesla app on my phone. For a problem description, I wrote 'cabin camera intermittent'. Tesla contacted me asking when the problem last occurred, exactly what was going on, and finally asked the exact time the problem happened. I said around noon on monday. Given that tesla can view logs from the car, I found all of this quite confusing. They told me the car was out of warranty, and I would have to pay for the repair, but gave no indication how much that might be. They seem to asking lots of silly questions and seem reluctant to service the car. Perhaps the issue is just erroneous messages. A reliable source had a problem when the car was reporting that the windows were down when parked, when in fact the windows were not down. We shall see...

My repair was scheduled to happen at my House Jun 24. The night before I got an email saying it was moved to the local service center at the same date. a minute after that I got an email saying the appointment was moved Jul 7 at 8:30pm. I got an estimate for the repair was $0. When I went there, I was told that since they didn't know how much it would cost, they started with $0. I got a call this morning saying the cabin camera has failed and it needed to be replaced. With labor the total will be $594. Tesla claimed the camera gets tested to be sure it works even without FSD. It is odd it failed after I got FSD beta. Well, the repair bill was $264, which includes $24 for the camera. Tesla said the camera had to go back to Tesla, but I told them I wanted it, and was entitled to any replaced parts. I now have the camera.

Tesla Service 1

When my door handle was sticking, tesla sent someone to fix it. The person sprayed some lube in the door handle, which fixed the problem temporally. I also said the phone key didn't work. He was unable to fix it, but did update the software. He also looked at the logs and saw the LTE modem hung several times. He updated the software, which seems to have resolved the problem.

Tesla Service 2

I brought the car to tesla because the phone key wasn't working. They were unable to reproduce the problem. I also reported creases in the seat. They steamed the seat, but it wasn't fixed. They said they would order a new one. This took about 9 days.

Tesla Service 3

My seat arrived. I brought the car in because the door handle was sticking, the phone key wasn't working, the Bluetooth couldn't connect when making a phone call, and the right mirror did not move when switching between user profiles. They said the mirror issue was a software bug and newer software would fix it. They were unable to reproduce the phone key and phone call issue, even though they saw the issues with my phone. They replaced the door handle, which I suspect they should have done the first time. They did something to the seat, but it still has the creases. Worse, the bottom is far mushier than before, as is the back. The paperwork said they replaced the seat, but the person I spoke to on the phone said something about replacing some foam. I would prefer the old seat back if possible. The passenger seat is reasonable good. There is no reason the drivers seat should be significantly worse.

They also need to resolve the phone problems.

So I drove back to tesla and complained about the seat. It turns out that they were not very clear about what they did. They really replaced the part of the seat where your but is, but not the back part of the motor part. They did admit that there were wrinkles and the bottom was pretty mushy. They said they will order a complete seat, which will take 6-8 weeks. I noticed today that my passenger seat has some minor wrinkles on the outboard part of the bottom. I suspect many seats will develop these wrinkles...

Tesla Service 4

My car started having difficulties locking and unlocking the doors. The issue got worse. I brought the car in Feb-11 to be services. I was told I would be called the next day with an estimate on how long it world take to fix. On Feb-18 I called, and I was told my car was 'queued', which seems to mean they had not started working on the car. On Feb-28, I called again, and I was told my car was done, and they texted me Feb-27. This may be true, but they texted my landline, which like most landlines does not deal with texts. Every time I got my car serviced, I told them to contact my by email. Perhaps my contact preferences got lost... In any event, it turns out there is a switch in the seat that detects if you are seated in the seat. The switch had malfunctioned, and even when I was outside the car, it thought I was sitting in the car. The switch was replaced, and I can now lock and unlock the car. They also looked at the hands free calling issue I had reported several times. Each time, I demonstrate the issue. At least now, they have opened some kind of knowledge base issue with my phone. Handsfree calling does work with most other phones. It also worked flawlessly for the first 6 months I owned the car. I am not sure why it took 17 days to get my car fixed... At least I had a nice loaner Model S to drive.

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