Software Update Barely Makes Dent In Tesla Model S "Vampire" Issue

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
software update barely makes dent in tesla model s vampire issue

Standby power — or vampire draw — allows consumer goods such as smartphones, cloud-enabled laptops and PS4s to wake up immediately to do whatever it is you need them to do. There are drawbacks, of course, such as the wasting of resources (money, electricity, the things that make electricity happen) and fires.

Speaking of fires, Tesla may need to cast more sunlight upon the S’s vampire draw issues, as it would appear their latest software update hasn’t done much to drive the stake into its heart if one owner’s experience is to be believed.

The cause for the vampire drain overall was a software update that fixed a number of issues found in the original version of the sedan’s operating system when the latter was put into sleep mode. By “fixed,” of course, the automaker merely disabled sleeping altogether.

What happened next? The standby power went from 1 percent every 24 hours to as much as 8 percent in the same time period, depending on what model one owned.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed this issue in March of this year, promising a new sleep mode update in July would bring the draw down to a much more reasonable 0.2 percent.

While the update would ultimately arrive in late fall, the owner found his S drained 15 miles of indicated range every 24 hours, down from a peak of 23 miles when the S was first tested earlier this year. Not quite 0.2 percent, though the Best & Brightest are questioning the owner’s methodology in the comments.

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5 of 18 comments
  • Pragmatist Pragmatist on Nov 26, 2013

    It's hard to imagine why the Tesla should draw ANY more standby current than a conventional vehicle.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Nov 26, 2013

      Kyree gave you a few hints. Does your conventional car check your email and queue up the messages for you?

  • Z9 Z9 on Nov 26, 2013

    On the TMC forum, I see Model S owners saying the latest software update has reduced vampire drain from 10-13 miles a day to 3 miles a day. How is this "barely making a dent" in the problem?

  • Andrew Andrew on Nov 27, 2013

    My dad's 2007 Acura RL has a vampire draw that the dealer cannot find or diagnose but if it sits for more than five or six days, it has to be jump started. When will the RL get its front page news article for vampire battery draw? Seriously, this media Tesla bashing is getting really old really freaking fast. These hippies have been crying and whining about showing big oil the middle finger since 1973 and now we finally have a viable fully-electric mass-market car with great styling and amazing quality and all these tards can do is complain about it?! Unbelievable. Nothing is perfect but this is ridiculous. Talk about grasping at straws.

  • HiFlite999 HiFlite999 on Nov 27, 2013

    My Volt will sit unplugged for days with no measurable loss in range. Tesla is doing something wrong here. *If* ones reason for existence is based on energy efficiency, a large vampire draw will be considered a minus. Electric vs Gasoline? Yeah, it didn't work for a long time. The birth of the machine age was ~1900, the digital age, 80 years later. Electric/hybrid cars require cheap computing and complex programming to work well and there was no path forward for the 1910 Baker electric until recently. Similarly, the radiophone was a failure. The digital cell phone did not fail because the radiophone failed. Nor did it succeed because it's better than land lines in every way. The tablet is not better than the desktop in every way either. Both became successful because they did enough things better that one could live with their relative shortcomings. Electric cars will evolve in the same manner.