Imagine being locked out of your Tesla, unable to access your electric vehicle due to a drained 12-volt battery. This unfortunate incident happened to a Tesla owner in Texas, where scorching heat takes its toll on both man and machine. In this article, we delve into the challenges faced by the owner, the significance of the low-voltage battery, and the journey to restore power to the locked Model 3.
The Importance of the 12-Volt Battery:
While the main battery pack in an electric vehicle often takes the spotlight, the 12-volt battery plays a crucial role in powering various smaller functions within the car. This includes controlling windows, doors, and other essential features. Additionally, the 12-volt battery is responsible for charging the main battery pack. Without a functional low-voltage battery, the Tesla cannot initiate the charging process, rendering it immobile and akin to a traditional gas-powered car that requires a jump start.
Stranded and Helpless:
Dennis Hegstad, a Tesla owner and the founder of a startup, took to Twitter to share his frustrating experience. In the scorching Texas heat, his Model 3 became inaccessible both through the mobile app and the physical key. Unable to open the car or even move it to reach a charging point, Hegstad found himself in a distressing situation.
A Desperate Attempt:
In a video posted on social media, Hegstad documented his unsuccessful struggle to enter his locked EV using the Tesla key card. As frustration mounted, the Tesla app failed to recognize his vehicle, further exacerbating his predicament. He shared a photo from the app that displayed the message, “could not find vehicle,” preventing him from unlocking it.
Plea to Elon Musk:
Expressing his confusion and desperation, Hegstad directed a tweet at Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He questioned what could be done when the intense heat renders a Tesla unresponsive, inhibiting the owner from carrying out necessary tasks. The urgency in his message resonated with other Tesla owners facing similar situations.
Exhausting All Options:
Before resorting to professional towing services, Hegstad attempted various methods to revive his electric vehicle. Despite the scorching weather, he tried cooling down the car by hosing it off. Additionally, he made efforts to jump-start the 12-volt battery, exploring all possibilities to regain access to his Tesla. However, even these attempts proved futile, leaving him unable to open the access point to the charging port. Hegstad emphasized that he had taken precautions by parking the vehicle in the shade and utilizing Tesla’s cabin overheat protection system, designed to maintain the interior temperature below 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
With no other choice, Hegstad contacted Tesla for assistance, resulting in an unexpected expense of approximately $200 for the towing service. Compounded by the fact that the dead Model 3 blocked his gas-powered car, his situation became even more challenging. While awaiting the arrival of the tow truck, Hegstad shared on Twitter the multitude of measures he had undertaken to get his car running again. Unfortunately, his attempts were in vain, highlighting the critical nature of a functioning 12-volt battery for overall vehicle operation and access.
Relief and Recovery:
After reporting the issue, Hegstad received his Model 3 back in under 24 hours. Tesla promptly replaced the 12-volt battery, which cost him around $117. Thankfully, the more expensive main battery pack remained unscathed. The invoice from Tesla provided confirmation of the battery issue and its resolution, bringing relief to Hegstad.
Tesla’s Response and Other Incidents:
At the time of publication, Tesla had not provided an official comment on the matter. However, Hegstad’s experience is not an isolated incident. In a viral TikTok video, another Tesla owner shared his ordeal of being locked out of a Model S due to a depleted lithium-ion battery. Even Glenn Howerton, a well-known actor, encountered a similar predicament when his Tesla’s key fob failed to connect to Wi-Fi in a Los Angeles parking garage. These incidents shed light on the challenges faced by Tesla owners and the need for reliable backup systems in electric vehicles.
The story of a Tesla owner being locked out of his Model 3 due to a drained 12-volt battery serves as a cautionary tale. The incident emphasizes the importance of maintaining the functionality of the low-voltage battery, as it powers critical functions and enables the charging of the main battery pack. As the electric vehicle industry continues to grow, manufacturers must proactively address potential issues and develop robust systems that can withstand extreme weather conditions. By ensuring the reliability of these essential components, EV owners can enjoy a seamless and hassle-free driving experience.