As evidenced by the army of bot-like social media accounts that yell at anyone who dare criticises Elon Musk or Tesla, many people love their Teslas. But, the caveat there is most people love their new Teslas. The vast majority of Teslas on the road today are less than four years old. So we really don’t know how well they hold up.
And, speaking of, a Business Insider article reports of a serious issue affecting the flash storage onboard older Teslas. The issue, which was first brought to light by InsideEVs, appears to not only be preventing the screen from turning on, but also won’t let the car charge. It’s more or less a worse case scenario for someone who owns such a digitally-reliant car.
Here’s more detail from Business Insider:
The issue concerns a flash storage chip, called the eMMC, that’s embedded on a piece of onboard technology called the MCU1. Flash storage is form of computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed to help a computer perform tasks quickly and efficiently. It is often used in computers, USB drives, digital cameras, and networking hardware. According to multiple repair professionals, Teslas are writing vehicle logs to this flash storage chip so frequently that the chip stops working properly.
Frankly, this sounds a bit like an own goal from Tesla which didn’t consider the long term ramifications of its data hoarding:
Explaining the problem in more detail, [Tesla repair professional Phil] Sadow said: “[Tesla] creates so many logs in the car, they write to [the chip] so fast that it basically burns them out. They have a finite amount of writes; they can only do so many writes. The amount of logging they’re doing is excessive.
Tesla did not comment on BI’s story or respond to our inquiry before publication, but according to the experts BI quotes, it sounds like the four year mark is about when the issue crops up.
In response to a tweet about the issue, Elon Musk issued a cryptic message:
Should be much better at this point
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2019
What is much better? At what point? Who knows!
In any case, here’s to hoping Tesla resolves the issue quickly, because four years ago they weren’t even selling 10,000 cars a quarter. Obviously, a lot has changed since then, and making sure Teslas are not only impressive cars in Year One, but also in Year Five not to mention Year Ten, could prove one of the biggest questions facing the company going forward.