There is a bit of irony in the fact that the global warming Elon Musk is so vehemently fighting against is nowhere to be seen as cold weather continues to expose how poorly designed and thought out the company's Model 3 is.
You may recall our report from last week detailing how Model 3 vehicles were experiencing significant issues as a result of the cold weather making its way through the Northeast. Among the issues we documented were Tesla owners – including pro-Tesla blogger Frederic Lambert himself - unable to get into their vehicles and some owners complaining of not being able to access their charge ports. Lambert documented his own issues in this hilarious video, where he, bare-handedly in Quebec, can't get into his own car:
"Jesus Christ!" Lambert exclaims about 53 seconds into the video, hands shaking from the cold, upon finally getting his door handle to pop out.
As is often the "solution" for many problems, Tesla, who said at the time said they were investigating the issue, has reportedly now issued a software update to try and address these issues.
At the time, owners were reporting that the Model 3 door handles were 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 were reporting was not happening as it should.
Of course, the issue with the door handles being frozen in place doesn’t have anything to do with software and is a result of the "pop out" style handles simply not "popping". In terms of a software fix, it looks as though the only thing that was addressed was the corresponding window not always coming down after the door opens. Since there are no door frames on the Model 3 doors, the window rolling down is semi-necessary to help open the door once the handle has popped out.
In the release notes of its new software improvement, Tesla said very little:
“Window position and charge connector locking behaviors have been optimized for cold weather.”
Due to a lack of information from the company about exactly what they addressed, the pro-Tesla lot at electrek dutifully tested out the improvements and found that the Model 3 simply "doesn’t close the windows completely anymore" after the door is closed. electrek editor Lambert, upon experimenting, found that his window would not go "completely up anymore" which he attributed to Tesla trying to help people safely open the doors in cold weather.
The disadvantage, he notes, is that this doesn’t seal the interior of the vehicle and it is still not a cost-efficient or energy-efficient way to warm up the cabin of the car. This doesn’t differentiate much from the nonsense solution that Lambert had jerry-rigged once discovering the problem to begin with, which was to overheat his vehicle. As he noted at the time:
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.
In terms of the charge port, Lambert said he "couldn’t see a difference" with it, but was told by Tesla that the charge port would remain unlatched even in the event when the latch is frozen shut. He stated that he didn’t know what temperature would be the threshold for keeping the door permanently unlatched.
To add insult to injury, an update to Lambert's software update article later stated that his window now scratches on the trim of the car when it opens and closes the door.
Update: after the update, my window doesn’t go completely back up as previoucly [sic] 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. That’s not good.
As we said already, enjoy your winter with your Model 3 in Quebec, Fred. It's rumored Musk's next project is a "software update" to just stop all cold weather from occurring on Earth. Keep us posted.