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Tesla is rolling out software ‘fix’ to heat pump issue in cold weather, but some think it’s a hardware problem

Elon Musk announced that Tesla is starting to roll out a new over-the-air software update that includes a ‘fix’ to a heat pump issue that has been plaguing Tesla vehicles in cold-weather regions.

However, some are worried that it might need more than a software fix, as Tesla service centers have indicated to owners that it might be more of a hardware problem.

Last week, Electrek reported on Tesla owners are losing heat in extreme cold as some heat pumps are failing.

As we explained, it’s a problem that first emerged last winter with Tesla vehicles equipped with the automaker’s new heat pump system first introduced in the Model Y and added to an updated version of Model 3.

It was the first full winter for both vehicles.

At the time, Tesla said that it fixed the issue with a software update, but it is now resurfacing a year later in a big way.

Many Tesla owners complained that they are losing heat in extreme cold and several owners who brought their cars to the service center had their whole heat pump system replaced.

CEO Elon Musk said that fixing this issue was a “high priority” at Tesla, and this weekend, he announced that the automaker is rolling out a software fix for it:

“Firmware fix to recalibrate heat pump expansion valve is rolling out now.”

This comes after several Tesla service centers shared with affected customers that the issue came from the air intake of the heat pump where a “flap,” or now potentially a valve, gets stuck with an ice buildup.

It was described as a hardware issue to them, and again, several had to have parts of their heat pump system or the whole heat pump system replaced.

Therefore, there are doubts that a software fix can completely fix the problem.

However, it could be that the heat pump repairs are not due to a hardware defect but to this software problem with the valve and/or an ice buildup leading it to break, and the new software fix could potentially prevent that from happening.

Both NTHSA in the US and Transport Canada announced that they are investigating the issue as a safety concern.

If you are a Tesla owner affected by this problem, please let us know as we will keep tracking the issue in the coming weeks.

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