Tesla heat pumps failing in extreme cold due to firmware issue, here’s how to help prevent it while a fix is developed

Many parts of Canada are currently experiencing record cold temperatures, with some regions dropping to below -40°C (-40°F).

The extreme cold has resulted in a number of Tesla owners reporting their heat pumps are failing, leaving them to sometimes drive hours with only seat heaters to keep them warm.

One of those owners was Drive Tesla reader Tyler Selvig, who was recently driving in Saskatchewan with his two young children in the backseat when his Model Y heat pump failed at -40°C.

Not even the replacement of the heat pump sensors, which Tesla issued an internal service bulletin for earlier this year, could keep Mark Kroeker’s heat pump alive in -30°C temperatures.


Tyler and Mark aren’t alone. Over the last few weeks we have heard from several owners with the same problem, and the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Canadian Facebook pages have been littered with owners reporting heat pump failures.

It turns out Tesla is aware of the issue of heat pumps failing in extreme cold temperatures, and the issue stems from a recent firmware update.

According to an email from Tesla Mobile Service sent to another one of our readers, the automaker is currently developing a fix for the issue. Unfortunately there is no timeline on when it will be ready.

Until it is ready, Tesla has the following recommendations to hopefully prevent the issue from happening in the first place.

“Current mitigations are to precondition the vehicle 30-60 minutes prior to departure, use recirculating air mode and use auto mode. Symptoms may still occur when driving in climates -15°C and below. If heat does not return please park vehicle in a warmer location and allow vehicle to warm up.

Let us know in the comments below if you have already experienced a faulty heat pump lately.

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