Tesla Model 3/Y taillights stay on after exit after recent software update

Tesla has implemented a small but important safety feature for Model 3 and Model Y owners which went undocumented in a recent software update.

Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, Tesla vehicles essentially turn off as soon as you put the car into Park. This means that if for example you need to get out of the vehicle at night to get your mail, you’ll be left in darkness.

While there is a setting to leave your headlights on after exiting the vehicle, without the taillights illuminated it is very difficult for cars approaching from the rear to see you.

Tesla headlights on after exit
Image via Medic /TMC

This safety gap was noticed by Everyday Astronaut, who asked CEO Elon Musk in June to add a setting that would allow taillights and license plate lights to stay on after exiting the vehicle. In true Musk fashion, he replied with a simple ‘Ok.”

Musk has now followed through with the feature request in the recent 2020.48.X series of software updates. Although the menu setting still only says ‘Headlights after Exit’, the taillights now stay on for 1 minute after putting the car in park and exiting the vehicle.

Headlights after exit setting

We tested this on our Model 3 and the behaviour is definitely tied to this setting. When it is toggled off, both the headlights and taillights turn off immediately after exiting the vehicle. Drive Tesla reader @kkvr2823 also confirmed this new behaviour in his Model Y.

Model Y taillights after exit
Image via @kkvr2823 /Twitter

The other part of Everyday Astronaut’s request to make the HomeLink menu opaque was already implemented in the 2020.32.2 software update in August.

Have you noticed this new feature on your Model 3/Y? Let us know in the comments below.

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