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Model 3 owner claims Car froze while driving, stuck at 83MPH

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,022
10,029
Visalia, CA

I got 3 different Tesla cars since 2012 from classical manual mode to the fancy FSD and each one of them has its screen displays frozen from time to time but I thought nothing of it. They would either reboot themselves or I could reset myself while continuing the drive. I’ve never lost the propulsion and my accelerators have always worked in these cases.

However, this brand new Tesla Model 3 got into KABC7 TV news when its screen froze while at the speed of 83 MPH.

According to the owner:
"Diagnosed and found poor communication from charge port door causing power conversion system to shut off in order to protect on board components during drive."

So, does the computer actually shut down the propulsion and render the accelerator useless in this case?
 
Smells like BS to me. The news is so awful. "He said, he said, he said, he said." All this is is an accusation. Was he given a ticket? Is there any reason he would lie? Why didn't the article show the Tesla report so we can verify? Did they even look? How about evidence of a problem instead of just rumors? Is it possible that all this is true? Sure. It's possible I get struck by lightning when I walk outside. I need more. This is why I hate the news.

I've had screen blips and all about half a dozen times. In fact, the pic below is what I came to this afternoon. The Sentry Mode eye of Sauron. I guess it sentried before it detected the fob and bugged out. I did the double nipple reset (or whatever it's called). While it was resetting, threw it in drive and drove home with zero problem.
Screenshot_20220413-163251.jpg
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,523
1,980
Durham, NC
Yeah, this is garbage news reporting at its worst.

First of all, the car was not stuck at 83mph, the screen was. Sheesh!

And then the guy himself was nervous about getting slammed into from behind or whatever, but he made damn sure to get his cell phone out and start filming things while he drove for another couple of miles.

And then yes, he was given an explanation of the fault, but somehow that wasn't good enough for him. What does he want, to take a look at the source code so he can find the issue himself?
 
media like to bash on ELON Tesla every chance they get. ive had 2 teslas and never had the screen reboot on its own or freeze, although i am reading that has happened to others in this thread. ive even rebooted the screen whilst driving when i would reset the FSD beta trick. car always worked as a normal car, sans sounds.

i think ill bring this up in the next podcast we do.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,022
10,029
Visalia, CA
His "15 minutes of fame", obviously.
Most likely he is more like a car person than a computer nerd.

Lots of people don't realize that Tesla is a computer on wheel and they freak out when the screen is frozen as they assume that a frozen screen means the end of the driving function.

From my own experience, a malfunctioning Tesla screen has never affected the driving function. Just like him, I originally thought the signal lights and emergency would be dead too but no, the sound is dead but the lights are still functioning when it happens at night and I could see the light reflection or during days and I could see the reflection from the cars in front and behind.

Thus, it's a matter of education but both the press and Tesla have failed to educate this owner and the public about the reliability of the propulsion system despite frozen screens.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,523
1,980
Durham, NC
Most likely he is more like a car person than a computer nerd.

Lots of people don't realize that Tesla is a computer on wheel and they freak out when the screen is frozen as they assume that a frozen screen means the end of the driving function.

From my own experience, a malfunctioning Tesla screen has never affected the driving function. Just like him, I originally thought the signal lights and emergency would be dead too but no, the sound is dead but the lights are still functioning when it happens at night and I could see the light reflection or during days and I could see the reflection from the cars in front and behind.

Thus, it's a matter of education but both the press and Tesla have failed to educate this owner and the public about the reliability of the propulsion system despite frozen screens.
Well to be fair, it does sound like he was getting no power from the accelerator as well, so I think it was more than just a simple screen freeze. But yeah, if this was the case, my first instinct would be to pull over safely, not whip out my phone and make sure I captured the whole thing on video, including several tests of the turn signals and hazard lights.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,634
18,745
Riverside Co. CA
Most likely he is more like a car person than a computer nerd.

Lots of people don't realize that Tesla is a computer on wheel and they freak out when the screen is frozen as they assume that a frozen screen means the end of the driving function.

From my own experience, a malfunctioning Tesla screen has never affected the driving function. Just like him, I originally thought the signal lights and emergency would be dead too but no, the sound is dead but the lights are still functioning when it happens at night and I could see the light reflection or during days and I could see the reflection from the cars in front and behind.

Thus, it's a matter of education but both the press and Tesla have failed to educate this owner and the public about the reliability of the propulsion system despite frozen screens.

All that is true, but has nothing to do with the story appearing on "ABC7". That takes effort by the person, and automatically makes me assume a motive other than "im confused".
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,022
10,029
Visalia, CA
Well to be fair, it does sound like he was getting no power from the accelerator as well, so I think it was more than just a simple screen freeze...
I think this is the failure of Tesla Service Center to calm the owner's fear down. The note read from the receipt may require an expert to understand:

"Diagnosed and found poor communication from charge port door causing power conversion system to shut off in order to protect on board components during drive."'

Now that I have time to analyze those words, I think that means the propulsion system was never been affected. His accelerator was fine and never lost its function.

My interpretation of the words is: There's a fault in the charge port that affects the charging system during his drive. The system shut that system down which would affect his charging system and never his propulsion system at any time during his drive.

It's not too late for Tesla to call him up because other companies would routinely call their customers back to see if the repairs were satisfactory and they would resolve any concerns.

But if Tesla has such good customer service, would Tesla still be the Tesla that we've known still?
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,523
1,980
Durham, NC
No, he said he was "worried" that would be the case.

The accelerator would still work just fine as it has literally nothing to do with the media computer.
Well, it could be poor reporting, but the news report says (at 0:56 in the video) that "...even though the accelerator wasn't responding...". So is this just something the reporter misunderstood, or just threw in there for additional drama? Possibly...

From the article transcript:
"I noticed that it started to get hot in the car and there started to be a weird scent coming," recalled Rodriguez. "I was nervous that if I were to brake a whole lot that I wouldn't be able to gain the speed again to keep up with traffic and get around cars. I was nervous somebody was going to slam into me."

Even though the accelerator wasn't responding, fortunately Rodriguez said the brakes did work, but said that didn't make him any more comfortable when he was trying to stop.

Actually reading that makes me laugh even more...the worry was that he wouldn't be able to "keep up with traffic and get around cars". So it's not enough that he has any propulsion, but he needs to be able to get around cars? Yeah....okay....
 
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Yeah there are a lot of problems with the owner's story and even more problems with the horrible reporting but it does sound like there was a legitimate issue with significant safety implications.

What I suspect happened is the 12V charging system failed and shut down as stated - leaving the car to run on the battery and surely triggering increasingly urgent "Reduced power, pull over safely!" messages while gradually restricting acceleration. But the driver never saw those messages because the screen froze around that same time (likely due to the 12V issues).

Tesla has had a number of similar electrical system failures that have put their occupants at risk of injury, so it's certainly worth noting. But as long as these failures are occurring at or below the industry average it's nothing short of shameless clickbait journalism to make a whole ABC Breaking News segment about one single car breaking down.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,022
10,029
Visalia, CA
Yeah there are a lot of problems with the owner's story and even more problems with the horrible reporting but it does sound like there was a legitimate issue with significant safety implications.
Tesla has the ability to control the narrative because the news broke after the receipt was given to the owner and not before.

Even after reading the diagnosis, you understood it has something to do with the 12V but I don't read it that way. It has something to do with the charging system. If the problem is not fixed after the reboot, the car may not charge but as long as the main battery still has range, the car would otherwise function normally.

The temporarily frozen screen was to shut the charging system down and NOT the 12V system. Once it shut the charging system, all 12V systems worked normally (minus charging but the BMS would work fine).

That could have been explained to the customer so the customer could have told the news what happened.
 
The car has two independent 12V systems:
- The 12V battery
- The "Power conversion system" which "converts" the 400V main pack down to 12V to recharge the 12V battery and/or power all the 12V systems directly

If *both* systems fail then you will lose power steering, brakes, lights, airbags, wipers, etc. which would obviously be catastrophic. So to reduce this risk the car will restrict acceleration and urge you to pull over whenever *either one* fails. The article states that the "power conversion system" had shut down and the driver experienced restricted acceleration and a loss of climate control indicating that the car was likely down to one 12V system, or at least it believed it was.

You're certainly right that Tesla could/should do better in communicating these things but given the driver's "technical" description of the event and the reporter's, uh, "reporting" skills, there's a possibility that some communication was lost in translation.
 

Sam1

Active Member
Sep 11, 2019
1,617
1,705
NV
Yeah, this is garbage news reporting at its worst.

First of all, the car was not stuck at 83mph, the screen was. Sheesh!

And then the guy himself was nervous about getting slammed into from behind or whatever, but he made damn sure to get his cell phone out and start filming things while he drove for another couple of miles.

And then yes, he was given an explanation of the fault, but somehow that wasn't good enough for him. What does he want, to take a look at the source code so he can find the issue himself?

The owner has a legit concern from the perspective that if while he was pulling over through traffic, the accelerator did not work. if he tapped the brake once, does it automatically go into regen and start slowing down? does it accelerate back up to whatever speed it was going when he lets off of the brake, etc?

The fact that his screen was locked up is not an issue, but he's showing video of him stepping on the throttle and the car not doing anything. That is an issue.
 

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