The Tesla app is the primary way that owners interface with their cars. The app is used to unlock the car, turn it on, and use various features such as sentinel mode and interacting with Tesla superchargers. When the app is not working, many of those features are inaccessible.
Elon Musk apologizes after Tesla app goes down
Automotive News reports that on November 19th, there were global reports of the Tesla app being non-responsive to owners trying to use it. Many reported getting a “500 server error” when the app attempted to connect to Tesla servers.
An electric vehicle reviewer based in Seoul, Korea, noted the outage on Twitter. Quickly after that, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded with “checking…”
Approximately five hours later, Musk once again came back to Twitter to address the app outage.
“Should be coming back online now,” said Musk. “Looks like we [Tesla] may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic.” Musk went on to apologize to app users.
“Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said Musk.
It is unclear if any Tesla owners were stuck or locked out of their vehicles during the app outage.
Tesla’s come with an RFID card that acts as a “key” to the vehicle. So, if an owner could not access their car with the app, the RFID card would serve as a backup method assuming the owner had the card on them.
Tesla has faced other software issues recently
The Tesla app outage is not the first software-related issue the automaker has had to deal with in recent months.
Tesla had to revoke an update to its Full Self Driving Beta software when the company received reports from Beta testers that their vehicles would apply emergency braking for no reason. Within 24 hours, Tesla released an update to the software to fix the issue.
However, the incident gained the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The safety organization threatened Tesla with $100+ million fines if the automaker did not file a recall over the Full Self Driving Beta software update.
The weekend before the deadline, Tesla launched a recall for thousands of vehicles using the Beta software.
Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta may have caused an accident
While the Tesla app outage may have locked some owners out of their cars, another Tesla owner had a more dangerous experience due to an alleged glitch in Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta software.
A Tesla Model Y driver said their car was in Full Self Driving mode when their vehicle went into the wrong lane while making a left turn.
The driver said that they attempted to regain control of the vehicle after it gave an alert halfway through the turn. However, the driver claimed that “the car by itself took control and forced itself into the incorrect lane.”
From there, the Model Y was hit by another car in the next lane.
The NHTSA is investigating the incident and is in the process of gathering data.
“The NHTSA is aware of the consumer complaint in question and is in communication with the manufacturer to gather additional information,” said the agency in a statement.
The Tesla app outage could serve as a warning to owners of other app-based vehicles to always have a physical backup at the ready.