Thieves taking advantage of Tesla feature to steal charging cables

When the Model 3 was first released in 2018 many new owners experienced issues when temperatures dipped below freezing. This included windows freezing shut, frozen door handles that wouldn’t move, and even frozen charge ports.

The frozen charge port was particularly difficult because owners were unable to remove the charging cable from the car, rendering the car unable to be driven.

In response Tesla released a software update that would automatically unlock the charge cable when temperatures dipped below 5°C (41°F). Here’s what the owners manual says about the feature:

“However, in cold ambient temperatures below 41° F (5° C), the charge port remains unlocked whenever the vehicle is not charging, even when Model 3 is locked.”

It appears as though thieves in the Netherlands have picked up on this and are taking advantage of the feature. According to a report from AD, as many as 21 owners reported stolen charging cables to police in a two week period in Amsterdam South alone.

In response police are advising owners to take certain precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

“It might be useful to lay the charging cable between two slats – which are slightly higher than the thickness of the cable – and place one of the wheels of the car on it at right angles. In this way, the charging cable will not break and it will not be damaged, ” said Rob van der Veen of the Amsterdam police.

Since the software update Tesla has also implemented another new feature to combat frozen charge ports. Earlier this year we learned that both the Model 3 and Model Y have heated charge ports, which were activated in a recent software update.

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