Many a tech junkie will probably wax nostalgic at the thought of the infamous “blue screen of death” that used to show up on personal computers running older versions of Windows, as well as the choked-out Apple face that appeared on ancient iPods post-hard drive failure. But it might humor you to know that Elon Musk’s “futuristic” Tesla cars also have the potential to do the exact same thing unexpectedly and for no apparent reason.
A Car and Driver staff photographer learned this the hard way on Christmas day when his Model 3 reportedly suffered a “catastrophic failure” while parked in his parents’ driveway. As he was celebrating the holiday with his family, Michael Simari suddenly got a push notification on his iPhone stating that his Tesla car had “suffered a failure and will no longer drive.”
Simari’s Model 3, which retails for nearly $60,000, was not in use at the time, which makes the notification he received even more perplexing. The electric vehicle appears to have just decided, perhaps in its own artificial intelligence (AI) mind, to just permanently shut down, leaving Simari stranded until Tesla’s roadside assistance service came to tow it away.
Since he was in Michigan at the time, Simari had to have his Model 3 towed all the way to Toledo, Ohio, as Tesla currently is not allowed to operate any company-owned service centers in the state of Michigan. In other words, the whole thing was a huge headache, which Car and Driver noted in a recent article about this bizarre situation.
“Not only is this the first time we’ve ever had a long-term car suffer a catastrophic failure while parked, it’s also an extraordinarily rare case of any car leaving us stranded, something unacceptable for any new service, particularly one that costs $57,690 and with merely 5,286 miles on the odometer,” the scathing article explains.
“Even our problem-prone Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was at least able to limp to the dealer following each one of its numerous issues.”
In years past when Tesla vehicles being tested and used by employees at Car and Driver broke down, they were offered a Model S to use while it was being repaired – and this was only because Car and Driver revealed to its readers that Tesla had initially offered nothing as far as a replacement car, which is entirely unacceptable for a “luxury” car manufacturer.
After raising a stink about Tesla’s poor customer service, Car and Driver says it was later offered a loaner car, a rental, or $100 per day in Uber credits while this Model 3 was being repaired. But overall, the car reviewer noted, Tesla’s service experience “hasn’t improved much” since the early days.
“We heard back on the afternoon of the 26th that our car was in the queue to be diagnosed, but there was no time frame given for how long that might take,” Car and Driver reports.
“After a two-day wait, we were informed that there are issues with the rear drive unit, the pyrotechnic battery disconnect, and the 12-volt battery and that they are waiting for parts. Again, no estimated time was given for when we might be able to cease scrambling for backup transportation.”
Car and Driver also reported that there wasn’t a single warning message about anything being amiss prior to the Model 3’s total failure. Simari says he did observe an anomalous charging situation at a Supercharger station earlier in the day before his car failed, but says there were no early-on push notifications that would have suggested what was soon to occur.
“We were just about to download the latest software update (2019.40.50.1) but hadn’t yet done it, so that didn’t have anything to do with it,” Samari explained.
For more related news about these and other modern tech failures, be sure to check out Collapse.news.
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