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Tesla Dashcam Failed When Needed Most - During an Accident

apilot

Member
Feb 14, 2019
20
5
Bay Area
I have a 2018 Tesla Model X, HW3 with the latest firmware at the time of this writing (2019.31.12.2) and a high-speed USB drive to capture dashcam footage - worked fine until now. I was unfortunately rear-ended by another driver - luckily fairly minor damage. About a minute after the accident I pressed the Dashcam icon to save the most recent footage thinking I was covered.

Only to find out when I got home that the actual accident footage wasn't there. It saved everything before, and everything afterward, but not the actual accident! Likely there's a software bug that corrupted the file during save in some way.

Super disappointed that when I needed it most, it failed. If you really want a reliable dashcam, better get a third party one.
 
Mar 27, 2016
527
434
Melbourne fl
I have a 2018 Tesla Model X, HW3 with the latest firmware at the time of this writing (2019.31.12.2) and a high-speed USB drive to capture dashcam footage - worked fine until now. I was unfortunately rear-ended by another driver - luckily fairly minor damage. About a minute after the accident I pressed the Dashcam icon to save the most recent footage thinking I was covered.

Only to find out when I got home that the actual accident footage wasn't there. It saved everything before, and everything afterward, but not the actual accident! Likely there's a software bug that corrupted the file during save in some way.

Super disappointed that when I needed it most, it failed. If you really want a reliable dashcam, better get a third party one.


Similar experience. Sentry working great. Ran off the road by Toyota SUV who attempted to squeeze his vehicle into the space for a VW in front of me while cruising in the fast lane at 83 in a string of cars. Ran me into the ruff. I think my BYE2GAS license plate pisses them off.

At later check with the super phone check program and all clips were there but the one from the incident. Darn. Saved me from the opportunity to take it to the police and have them tell me, "Tuff luck,buddy, what do you want us to do about it?"
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,678
8,806
Visalia, CA
...I pressed the Dashcam icon to save...

Could that pressing be to stop and not to save?

Anyway, it's just another example of a beta Tesla system. It's unpredictable. For predictability, please just use a real dash cam with predictable production quality.
 

apilot

Member
Feb 14, 2019
20
5
Bay Area
Could that pressing be to stop and not to save?

No, I've actually saved many times before. In this case, for whatever reason in this particular case, it didn't save (or corrupted) the save. You'd think Tesla would have fixed the edge cases on saving clips by now.
 

Webby

Member
Feb 1, 2017
44
40
Salt Lake City, UT
IIRC, @wk057 and others have pulled accident footage from salvaged cars. Seems a coincidence that each of you had a scenario with impact for which Dashcam didn’t write to your card for the block of time the incident actually occurred, but successfully recorded for “non-emergency” blocks of time. Could it be that the car actually wrote the footage to internal storage instead of your flash storage, due to systems registering an emergency scenario (eg AEB or ABS triggers, etc)?
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
Just remember that even if you don't hit save, there is an hour's worth of recording on the drive itself. When you hit save, it simply moves those files and closes the current file in progress.

As long as you haven't been running the X for more than an hour, check the drive you're using. Also, in some cases, you can use data recovery software to recover some of the past recordings as long as those blocks haven't been overwritten.

But, of course, there's a chance it really didn't write anything to the drive at all.
 

apilot

Member
Feb 14, 2019
20
5
Bay Area
Just remember that even if you don't hit save, there is an hour's worth of recording on the drive itself. When you hit save, it simply moves those files and closes the current file in progress.

Yes, checked that too, unfortunately, nothing there. I'm baffled as to why it didn't save the footage unless it saved it somehow to internal storage for an emergency scenario? (not sure if that exists). It normally works fine.
 

verygreen

Curious member
Jan 16, 2017
2,947
11,526
TN
Could it be that the car actually wrote the footage to internal storage instead of your flash storage

no, those operations are parallel. As in the buffer that the car stores for Tesla use is diffrent than the dashcam use, they are encoded all the time in parallel on two different nodes and know nothing about each other.
 

sperkin

Member
Mar 23, 2017
948
1,079
Los Angeles, CA
This happened to me earlier this year too. Dash cam saved everything before and after except for the 1 minute where the accident happened.

The other drivers admitted guilt 100% so I didn’t end up needing the footag, but she wouldn’t take the insurance call for over a month to admit to the accident though.
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
Wonder if they're being "lost" because of a firmware bug, or on purpose..

Bug (not real, just saying how it could go wrong) - on impact detection, automatically save. User hits save, oops, overwritten by nothing. Forgot to implement checks in code.

Purpose - on impact detection, send video to Tesla servers for analysis and delete from drive, in case the fault was the vehicle's, so they can't use it against us (Tesla).

But, in the end, it's more than likely a coding bug... The question is - can you save videos repeatedly without the issue, or, is it really detecting an impact, and the functionality is different at that point.
 
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kross76

Member
Jun 10, 2019
17
6
San Mateo
I had a similar experience. I rear-ended a car (my bad), airbags deployed, no one hurt. I had the presence of mind to try and press the dashcam icon to save the data, but my icon was a red warning symbol so nothing happened, I pulled the USB. There's no data for the crash, even after examining the drive at a low level. Someone this thread indicated that footage could be pulled off of salvaged cars. I wonder if this is possible? Any comments?
 

Soey22

Member
Nov 28, 2019
232
142
Fort Erie, ON, Canada
You have to make sure you press and hold the dashcam icon to make sure it’s safe to eject. Sometimes we might not notice. Regardless I saved tons of clips of people cutting me off and days latter could not find any of them to show my cousin who is a prosecutor and can get them fined through the right channel.
 

Tac0Meat

Member
Nov 8, 2019
77
52
Colorado
I have a USB drive hooked up to mine but I also have a Blackvue dr900s-2ch for this reason. The on board cameras are nice but I want to make sure that something doesn't get "deleted" at random etc.
 

Wingsy

Member
Apr 30, 2019
178
276
Mocksville, NC
All recordings made to the dash cam drive have a 3-second gap between each 1-minute video file where nothing is recorded. Perhaps what you're missing is not a full minute but just those 3 seconds. It's happened to me too - the critical 3 seconds of interest are coincident with the 3-second gap. I've reported this deficiency and hopefully Tesla will see fit to do something about it, but it's been like this for quite some time.

My experience is with a Model 3 but I would assume the same is true for a Model X.
 

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