By on September 13, 2018

Tesla’s latest over-the-air update appears to have caused at least a few drivers to lose all Autopilot functionality. While the vehicles seem otherwise intact, the semi-autonomous driving mode that was supposed to be improved by the latest firmware installation ended up a little buggy. That’s unfortunate for Tesla — a company that could do without additional bad publicity.

Luckily, minor software issues are exactly that — minor. This isn’t on the same scale as Tesla’s CEO promising to go public or pretending to smoke weed online. It isn’t even as big of a deal as the company losing another high-ranking executive, which also happened this week. 

Ryan Felton, a kind gentleman who frequently has his finger on the pulse of advanced automotive tech, recently shared several customer accounts via Jalopnik. One anonymous owner claimed their Model 3’s Autopilot system wasn’t available after Tuesday night’s over-the-air update failed. Initially, they were told by the automaker that any firmware problems wold be worked out by the following day.

From Jalopnik:

But then they discovered Autopilot had been disabled. The driver said it took nearly a half hour to reach a rep by phone, who explained there was no “immediate fix” but that it should be resolved “soon.” After another hour and a half on the phone waiting to hear back an explanation for the issue, a Tesla rep explained by phone, and then in an email, that a fix should be forthcoming.

“The current estimate is that the issue should be solved in the next two days,” the email said.

Tesla has told affected customers it is aware of the issue and has dispatched its engineering team to address the problem. Most owners have been informed that the Autopilot error should be remedied within a few days.

The recent over-the-air update was meant to enhance various aspects of the Autopilot system. Those changes included new abilities for establishing entry and exit ramp maneuvers while also adding traffic light and sign recognition. Unfortunately, the new software update obliterated the system on some cars.

While pecking around various owner forums revealed other owners who were affected, the issue doesn’t seem to be particularly widespread. However, some customers noted that Tesla issued numerous software updates this week, including an older version and a new one that simply didn’t take for some customers. Those afflicted with update failures also appeared to be the ones suffering from Autopilot failure.

Elon Musk seems aware of the issue but urged customers to be patient while the company figures out how to best handle the situation. “Due to a large increase in vehicle delivery volume in North America, Tesla customers may experience longer response times,” Musk tweeted last night. “Resolving this is our top priority.”

It would be easy to criticize the automaker for accidentally stripping its clientele of one of their favorite features but, honestly, we feel fine that an incomplete update resulted in the vehicle losing Autopilot functionality. Better to drive yourself than let your car take a stab at it without all the necessary code.

[Image: Tesla]

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13 Comments on “Tesla’s Latest Update Killed Some Vehicles’ Autopilot...”

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Where was TTAC every time say, Ford, failed to provide a software update enabling Apple CarPlay to current owners? Or the latest ECU reflash still hasn’t prevented the Jeep Cherokee from driving like complete sh*t?

    I fail to see how this is any different from any other automaker. Most automakers suck big time at software. Tesla owners should be happy real drivability isn’t impacted.

    But TTAC retains a hard-on Musk in their continued attempt at maintaining any relevance whatsoever. So the daily Tesla hatefest continues.

  • avatar

    Maybe because Apply car play doesn’t drive the car into semis, firetrucks or concrete barriers? The risk to a driver and the public is teensy bit bigger with autopilot.

  • avatar

    We had 2 software updates this week. Whenever that happens I suspect the 2nd update fixes some unexpected bug from the first.

    This week after the update all our key fobs registered as “low battery” which went away after the 2nd update.

    true story

  • avatar

    In a related story, another fire truck gets to live today.

    Tesla is such a train wreck. Like the Windows Vista of car companies

    • 0 avatar

      Then again, that fire truck might get hit by an out of control GM pickup or SUV instead. When is GM going to push out an update? Tesla may be the Windows Vista of car companies, but it’s competitors seem to be the Windows ME of car companies.

      • 0 avatar

        Wow. You Tesla cultists really will go to great lengths to defeat that ptitful company.

        These two problems are not even remotely analogues. First it’s a temporary loss of power steering assist which means you can still steer the vehicle. Second, the brakes continue to function as expected. Third, GM isn’t arrogantly blaming the drivers of the vehicles for this problem.

        Lastly, it says right in the article you linked when the repairs are taking place.

        • 0 avatar

          @ebflex. I’m not a tesla cultist. Still steer the car – yeah BS. The problem caused 30 accidents and injuries. keep pumping out your propaganda. not much happening in cottage grove these days I suppose.

          • 0 avatar

            Wow so much anger. Why do you have an issue with simple facts?

            It’s possible to steer the vehicle when assist temporarily goes out. Simple fact. Not sure how that is propaganda.

            Also it sure what a cottage grove is but nonsense is your forte.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    No Autopilot = somebody’s life was probably saved.

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