Customers should not rely primarily on the Tesla mobile app due to a software problem.
On Friday, Tesla owners all over the world were unable to login to their vehicles using the mobile app. The mobile app outage was first reported in the United States and Canada, but it swiftly extended around the globe to other owners in the company’s European and Asian markets. The interruption occurred shortly after the company’s mobile application was upgraded, albeit no link between the two has been discovered at this time.
The Tesla app provides owners with the ability to start their vehicle, access various vehicle controls, schedule maintenance or assistance, and manage vehicle charging. Any inability to access the app can result in a major inconvenience, potentially leaving the unprepared owner stranded until connectivity is restored. Tesla owners may also carry the vehicle’s key card or key fob to ensure they can access the vehicle at any time, regardless of app status.
According to a report by Electrek, the connectivity issue continued to gain traction as Friday afternoon progressed. A Twitter user and EV reporter from Seoul, South Korea, @hohocho, tweeted Tesla and Musk directly regarding the error message received when trying to connect to their vehicle:
— Jaehwan Cho 조재환 (@hohocho) November 19, 2021
After several hundred likes and retweets, Cho received a response directly from Elon Musk, who was personally looking into the matter. The Tesla CEO promptly responded, saying the company had identified the root cause of the issue and was restoring functionality.
Should be coming back online now. Looks like we may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic.
Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2021
Besides carrying the vehicle’s key card/key fob, Tesla owners can plan ahead for this type of app unavailability by taking steps to ensure their phone can still be used as a key via the car’s Bluetooth connection.
The outage event is not the first time Tesla owners have experienced an issue affecting access to their app and vehicles. In September 2020, the company’s internal and external servers were brought down for several hours, preventing everything from order fulfillment to vehicle access.