Winter Has Barely Started, But Tesla Model 3 Cold-Weather Complaints Are Pouring In

The Tesla Model 3's inaugural winter hasn’t really even started yet and already owners are beginning to have issues with their vehicle, according to a new report by pro-Tesla blog electrek

Even though Tesla technically began delivery of its Model 3 vehicles last year, the first few months of deliveries took place in California where there was no notable cold weather. It took some time for the Model 3 to make its way east and to colder climates, but it finally has, spurring a litany of complaints.

The recent cold front coming through Quebec, where temperatures went slightly below freezing for the first time this year, resulted in a number of reports from local Model 3 owners facing issues with things like door handles, windows and charge ports.

Owners are reporting that the Model 3 door handles are becoming extremely difficult to use because of the cold weather. They are usually activated by pressing on one side of them to pop them out. This is usually followed by the corresponding window rolling down slightly, something that other owners are reporting is not happening as it should.

But don’t take it from these reports, take it from the editor of the pro-Tesla blog electrek himself, Frederick Lambert. He decided to do some testing of his own after reading this report and, on a whim, arrived at the exact same problems. He documented his problems on a YouTube video.

As you can see by viewing the video, he struggles for about a minute, with his bare hands in the freezing cold, just to get the door handle to pop out so he can open his driver side door. Welcome to the future of automobiles. 

He claims that preheating was on for about 10 minutes before he even walked up to his car. Prior to turning on preheating, the temperature outside the vehicle was -7C (19F) and the temperature inside the vehicle was about 1C (34F). The preset temperature for his car was 22C (about 71F). Those temperatures shouldn't be too troublesome, he alludes, because they weren't even cold enough to activate the battery pre-heating feature in the car.  

Lambert says he has gotten "a dozen" reports of Model 3 owners having the same types of issues. Some have also complained about the charge port door not opening and closing as it should, despite Lambert being able to do so in his video.

Lambert calls the problems "worrying" because he "doesn't see an easy fix" for it and because "the temperature is just starting to get cold". The fact that it's going to get much colder - and then eventually snow - seems to have him worried about what the winter will hold for his Model 3. 

What's his sage-like advice to other Tesla owners?

In the meantime, the best solution is likely to overheat the cabin for a longer period of time before trying to unlock the Model 3. Of course, it’s not really convenient or efficient, but it’s the best ai [sic] can think of for now.

So much for efficient energy usage. Enjoy your winter in Quebec, Fred.