Car trouble sucks. Being stranded because an old beater breaks down is bad. Being stranded in a new car is worse, but being stranded in a new Tesla would top either. This poor driver in Florida, whose Tesla Model 3 was stuck to a Supercharger, knows all about it.
The driver was unable to disconnect his Model 3 from the charging station and found himself temporarily lashed to the charger for hours after stopping when his Model 3 was down to 15 per cent battery state of charge. The driver says he received “an error message [and] it was downhill from there.”
This may be a little more stuck than stranded, but it’s a case of vehicular malfunction either way, which will ruin anyone’s night and the following morning for this Tesla driver, it seems.
The driver posted his fiasco on Reddit’s biggest Tesla sub, r/TeslaMotors. The community there was more supportive than Tesla Support proper, who tried troubleshooting over the phone to no avail. They finally told the driver that help would be unavailable for “at least several hours.”
Fellow Tesla drivers and Reddit users recommended using the manual release and shared their tips and tricks about how to deal with a stubborn charger coupling. Many drivers had their own version of this story, and it makes me wonder about the average rate of failure for these things.
The driver took some of the comments and followed the instructions, but unfortunately that only made matters worse after the manual release mechanism seemed to break, too. Things just seemed to be getting worse for the driver as the hours passed.
I would have been keeled over sick at this point with a stubborn charger and a broken manual release. I mean, that’s the failsafe! What do you do when the failsafe fails?
A hard reboot suggested by the Reddit readers didn’t work either, and the driver was given the terrible news that his Model 3 would be stuck overnight since assistance would not be available until the next morning. I know that sometimes roadside assistance companies will hedge their bets and say it will be hours until they get out there, only to show up much sooner. But that was not the case here. The Tesla owner provided an update today, sharing how the car released easily the following morning:
9:30 AM Update: Came back to check on the car, it was fully charged and able to disconnect without any issues. Reaching out to Tesla now to suggest they turn off that charger until someone can go look at it. I’ll also be dropping the car off at a service centre to get checked asap.
And keep in mind, the solution was not due to Tesla’s support or service. The car detached all by itself. And it turns out his manual release snafu was reversible, though I’d still get that looked at.
The driver stated that despite being in a big city with its own Tesla service centre, he did not hear back from Tesla after their initial troubleshooting phone call until 11:30 the next morning. The driver shared the following with Jalopnik:
I wanted to raise awareness for the issue because I really do think the future of transportation is in electric cars. But when all of these systems become so complex that we can’t fix them ourselves, we put our trust in the companies to support us when we need it. This was a brand new car with 4,023 km on it. and the best recommendation they had was to just leave it in a random parking lot and go home for the night. There’s no reason why support should take 15 hours to address something as critical as this.