Tesla to roll out software update to fix windshield defrosting issue on 26k vehicles

Tesla is rolling out an over-the-air software update that would allow the company to address a windshield defrosting issue present in heat pump-equipped vehicles. A total of 26,681 vehicles are affected by the issue, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safety recall report.

Vehicles that are part of the “recall” include the 2021-2022 Tesla Model S, 2020-2022 Tesla Model Y, 2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 and 2021-2022 Tesla Model X. The US regulator noted in its safety recall report that a software error in affected vehicles can cause a valve in the cars’ heat pumps to open unintentionally, resulting in a refrigerant leak. trapped inside the evaporator. This could adversely affect a vehicle’s de-icing performance.

While the issue is quite notable, Tesla notes that it is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fatalities related to the heat pump issue of the affected vehicles.

A timeline of the heat pump issue was outlined in NHTSA’s safety recall report. According to the document, Tesla began rolling out firmware version 2021.44 and later via firmware version 2021.44.30.6 to affected vehicles on or around December 10, 2021. Later that month, the company began receiving customer complaints about loss of heating performance in extreme weather conditions.

An investigation to find the root cause of the problem was then opened. On January 11, 2022, the lack of a software command to close the Electronic Expansion Valve (EXV) after communication interruptions in firmware versions 2021.44 through 2021.44.30.6 was determined to be a potential cause of the issue. Software update 2021.44.30.7 and later, which reintroduced a software command to close the EXV, was rolled out on January 15, 2022, as a precautionary measure.

Tesla Model 3, Model Y HVAC investigation in Canada still ongoing after 171 consumer complaints

Following discussions with NHTSA’s Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance and Transport Canada regarding consumer complaints, Tesla conducted tests to assess the compliance of new vehicles shipped with the software command found in the builds. 2021.44 to 2021.44.30.6 from firmware. Unfortunately, the results of these tests revealed that new vehicles shipped with firmware versions 2021.44 through 2021.44.30.6 may still exhibit issues in worst-case scenarios.

After confirming the root cause of the issue, a recall decision was made for the affected vehicles on January 26, 2022, the last day of compliance testing. The population of vehicles affected by the recall was then cautiously expanded on February 7, 2022, to incorporate vehicles that are currently running firmware version 2021.44 through 2021.44.30.6, but have not yet installed firmware version 2021.44. 30.7 or later.

The solution to the problem was outlined in NHTSA’s safety recall advisory. According to the document, the fix for the problem would be deployed via firmware version 2021.44.30.7. The update, similar to Tesla’s other key fixes for its vehicles, would be released over-the-air and completely free.

“Firmware version 2021.44.30.7 and later corrects the situation by reintroducing a software command to close the EXV, preventing refrigerant from entering the evaporator. No further action is required from owners whose vehicles are equipped with firmware version 2021.44.30.7 or later.

“Tesla does not plan to include a statement in the Part 577 Owner’s Notification regarding reimbursement of prior repairs to owners, as all affected vehicles remain covered under the New Vehicle Warranty, and owners will receive the remedy free of charge with an OTA firmware version.

NHTSA’s safety recall report for the Tesla heat pump issue can be viewed below.

RCLRPT-22V050-2023 through Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Tesla to roll out software update to fix windshield defrosting issue on 26k vehicles