Tesla gets its fair share of lumps for numerous automotive service and repair outages that have popped up as it has ramped up deliveries of the Model 3 in recent months, but it is worth remembering that Tesla has transformed service and continues to wow most of its service customers.
A recent Tesla Service encounter left one Model 3 Performance driver impressed after what started off as a really bad day. The events unfolded starting with one of the few Tesla touchscreen popups sure to make your stomach drop. “This week as I was driving home from work in my less than one week old P3D and I hear BA-boop” and an error message flashes onto my screen: ‘Front motor disabled, power reduced.’,” the driver wrote on Reddit.
The driver found that immediately after the message, the car had indeed lost power due to the front motor being disabled. After a few minutes to think about it, the driver went straight to page 1 of life’s “Troubleshooting Tech Things” manual — he pulled over to run through a basic soft reset of the car by putting it in park, getting out, locking it, unlocking it, and getting back in. This effectively reboots the onboard computer at the highest level and is on par with rebooting a smartphone.
That made the error message go away, but the uncomfortable feeling lingered, so the driver put in a call to Tesla Service, just to be sure. After a few minutes on the phone, the Tesla tech on the phone set up a service appointment and, unbeknownst to the driver, the gears of the machine that is Tesla started to turn in a dark corner of a remote Tesla field office.
Tesla’s pre-appointment checks triggered a call with the driver a few days later from a Tesla engineer in order to pull logs from the vehicle. It’s worth mentioning that even pulling logs from a vehicle remotely is something that no other manufacturer has demonstrated the ability to do. Just as much as dealer service agreements prevent Tesla from selling vehicles in some states, it also prevents manufacturers from actually helping customers identify and resolve service problems.
As the appointment to resolve the front drive issue neared, a text came through from Tesla, noting that, “That error is a known, rare bug in the firmware and the engineering team is aware and it will be fixed in a future release. There is nothing wrong with your front drive unit. There is no need to visit the service center at this time.”
Tesla was able to remotely access the car, troubleshoot the issue, identify the fix, and communicate back to the owner without a charge and without having to drive the 3+ hours (one way!) to the nearest Tesla Service Center. As the driver put it, “That’s the repair experience of the future — amazing! Thanks, Tesla!”
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