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Vendor USB-C data issue on newer Tesla models: A potential solution

A number of Tesla owners since last December have taken delivery of their car with USB-C ports missing, or the data function of the USB-C ports gone.

If you found this to be the case with your new Tesla, and unsure what to do about the problem, this could be helpful.

For some new owners, it meant no wireless in-car charging for their phone. Some of the affected cars at least have some USB plug somewhere, which could be used for a conventional charging cable.

Many new Tesla owners felt like they were left in the dark and are understandably less satisfied than they should be. The reason for this snafu? The global chip shortage, for one. It’s a subject that’s been covered in loads of threads right here in TMC.

Was this clearly and directly communicated by Tesla well and ahead of time? Perhaps not, or not in the way one would expect from such a respected brand. And I won’t blame you if you’re one of the disappointed customers who received the late-model Tesla Models 3 and Y with the USB-C issue.

Jowua 3 Port USB Hub with Dash Cam Reader 4.png


It’s unclear exactly how many new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles were delivered with missing USB ports or with data function disabled. These are brand-new EVs worth from $50k-$70k, so owners do rightfully expect a certain level of connectivity.

Here’s what we know so far: Cars that started getting delivered late last year had been affected.
We all love our USB-C ports. They’re quite a useful invention — a sort of Swiss Army knife of connectivity — data, power, and video capability in a small plug.

But sometimes, manufacturers remove one of the functions.
Was it really due to the chip shortage that made Tesla decide to remove the data function?

Whatever the reason — this missing USB-C outlet or data-removed-from-USB-C episode has become a fact of life for a certain batch of new owners.

It’s an issue raised by many. For one, if you want to use gaming controllers — it’s a no-go. Can’t be done.

Some solutions and then drawbacks

There are a number of solutions:

1. Get someone to retrofit your Tesla by adding a custom module — while this does restore data, there are a few drawbacks:

(a). The power they deliver is reduced from Tesla's original 27W (our testing shows 20W is the most common), which means some Tesla accessories, like hubs — won't work, due to insufficient power.

(b). Also, you can't trust that the modules will be compatible with future software upgrades, or future hardware in cars.

2. The second solution is workable: add data from somewhere else.

(a). This can be done — pretty easily — by getting our 3 Port USB HUB with DashCam Reader

https://www.jowua-life.com/collections/explore-all-products/products/3-port-usb-hub-with-dashcam-reader

(b). You get 2 additional data ports — and still can run the dashcam recorder with the dedicated microSD port on the device.

(c) Best of all, it's compatible with our Multi Device Wireless Controllers. That means 2-player gaming is back!
Jowua 3 Port USB Hub with Dash Cam Reader Side.png


Jowua 3 Port USB Hub with Dash Cam Reader 3.png


So it turns out that for every problem, a solution. Jowua has solved it for you.

Grab this device. It's $35 without SD cards, though there are a few bundles if you need one too. We’ve included a coupon code for TMC readers — so just use TMC5 when you make a purchase.
 

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Jowua

Member
Global Vendor
Oct 25, 2021
25
15
Taiwan
Yes, they should. I don't think this will be a problem forever, unless a chip shortage happens again. Even still, it's nice having the extra ports. We will need more as accessories for the cars are needed more (ex the TeslaMic is popular in some countries, wireless controllers).
 
Cool solution. My car was delivered with the USB C ports that did not have data enabled so this would be ideal for me.
If you haven't found this already, TPARTS offers a usb-c data module to replace the existing charge only module in the center console. If you have a car delivered early this year the data cable may be taped up inside. I popped it open and found the data cable so ordered this and put it in a few days ago. It took less than 10 minutes to do the swap and works great.
 
I understand controllers, but is there any other use for a data port? Specifically plugging your phone in
I was using a combined flash drive for usb music and dashcam/sentry and had issues with music skipping. Having center console data ports allows me to use two flash drives and eliminate skipping audio. I'm sure this hub style device would do the same. Not everyone uses usb music so possibly not an issue for you.
 
If you haven't found this already, TPARTS offers a usb-c data module to replace the existing charge only module in the center console. If you have a car delivered early this year the data cable may be taped up inside. I popped it open and found the data cable so ordered this and put it in a few days ago. It took less than 10 minutes to do the swap and works great.
Oh man, also cool product and no, I've not seen it before so thank you for posting it. This forum continues to amaze me. So, I would be worried about what the OP said about the console bricking from a software update. Not sure what to do yet but leaning towards the external solution.
 

Jowua

Member
Global Vendor
Oct 25, 2021
25
15
Taiwan
Oh man, also cool product and no, I've not seen it before so thank you for posting it. This forum continues to amaze me. So, I would be worried about what the OP said about the console bricking from a software update. Not sure what to do yet but leaning towards the external solution.
There are a few manufacturers that make the modules. We looked at that kind of product, but didn't like it because: 1. The wattage decreases on ports (in our testing) 2. Potentially not being compatible with future updates 3. Not movable to another car (if you upgrade).

To each his own.
 
  • Disagree
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Oh man, also cool product and no, I've not seen it before so thank you for posting it. This forum continues to amaze me. So, I would be worried about what the OP said about the console bricking from a software update. Not sure what to do yet but leaning towards the external solution.
I really like the look of jowua’s product & design. My hesitancy is the model y manual says do not use bridges in glovebox usb-a port. 🤷‍♂️
I doubt bricking can happen by upgrading usb-c ports to support power & data nor is planned. Two weeks ago Tesla sold me their version of the usb-c center console module which supports data & power. Last February they refused saying the part was not intended for my car. There are threads in model y forum about this topic.
The usb center console data/power modules can be transferred to another vehicle if needed. I kept my original tesla power only usb center console module in a cabinet. If needed, I can swap parts in 15 minutes and install elsewhere assuming compatibility in new car is verified ahead of time of course.
I have had no power issues at all with my TParts usb center console module. I plug my phone in for charging ( it charges faster than my jowua MagSafe charger but I love the MagSafe charger and often attach my phone if I have lots of phone meetings) and I play music from usb stick simultaneously. My kid has their phone plugged in to rear usb-c to power their phone. I also have tesla dash cam running in the glovebox usb-a. On top of that I have 9” hansshow behind steering wheel display powered on.
 
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I understand controllers, but is there any other use for a data port? Specifically plugging your phone in
Besides game controllers & recharging devices the ports are useful for music playback. High quality lossless compressed formats such a flac audio & a variety of compressed formats such as mp3, ogg. Streaming music over Bluetooth adds a layer of audio compression.
 
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Jowua

Member
Global Vendor
Oct 25, 2021
25
15
Taiwan
Besides game controllers & recharging devices the ports are useful for music playback. High quality lossless compressed formats such a flac audio & a variety of compressed formats such as mp3, ogg. Streaming music over Bluetooth adds a layer of audio compression.
Yeah, we should have mentioned this. A lot of people like taking a USB stick of music. You could use the adapter for that as well.
 
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TomT

Technical Maven
Mar 24, 2014
705
721
NE Georgia
If you haven't found this already, TPARTS offers a usb-c data module to replace the existing charge only module in the center console. If you have a car delivered early this year the data cable may be taped up inside. I popped it open and found the data cable so ordered this and put it in a few days ago. It took less than 10 minutes to do the swap and works great.

I installed it too and it works like a champ. I got it on sale for 70 bucks. It basically is the Tesla module with the missing parts added...
 
I've heard, but can't confirm, that with the newest cars you can't actually install a new module as the cable has been removed. When did you get your car?

TParts includes the data cable now and is an easier route maybe. The data cable is really two cables which plug in to each other to make a long cable. Sometime around May 2022 tesla started removing one section (in model Y). Later both sections. However people have been able to buy the parts from tesla and found a suitable second section alternative on Amazon and save some money by not buying one of the tesla parts.

Here is a post about how to make your own data cable as well as order the data module from tesla & cables from tesla if you want to go a slightly easier but pricier route. This person had no cables.

Post about TParts including a complete data cable.
 
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Why bother with paying extra for a non supported module from TPARTS? Just buy the genuine Tesla USB C module from a 2020/21 model car and retrofit. That’s what I did in my early MY22 car which had non data USB - 5 minute job and the part is only £33 from Tesla. Picture attached showing the part number of the module and the additional USB cable connected (grey connector)
 

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Why bother with paying extra for a non supported module from TPARTS? Just buy the genuine Tesla USB C module from a 2020/21 model car and retrofit. That’s what I did in my early MY22 car which had non data USB - 5 minute job and the part is only £33 from Tesla. Picture attached showing the part number of the module and the additional USB cable connected (grey connector)
My supplier sending me this kit in place . I asked tesla for they say we will only replace with what’s in it . So I desided to other way and buy my own I guess
 

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