Tesla App Outage Left Some Drivers Unable to Start Their Cars

Tesla App Outage Left Some Drivers Unable to Start Their Cars
Tesla Model 3. Image: Tesla

Tesla owners over the weekend had the ultimate customer service experience – a response from Elon Musk himself following complaints an app outage was preventing drivers from being able to start their cars.

Brought to our attention by the BBC, Tesla drivers on Saturday were reporting being locked out of their cars after an app outage. They took to Twitter to report seeing an error message on the mobile app that was preventing them from connecting to their vehicles.

One user said he was being presented with a “500 server error” when attempting to connect his Model 3 through the iOS app in Seoul, South Korea. Musk replied “checking” before providing a diagnosis.

“Should be coming back online now. Looks like we may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic. Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Musk soon replied.


The outage was first reported by electric vehicle website Electrek, which started receiving reports from Tesla owners in the U.S. and Canada, then from Europe and Asia.

About 500 users were reporting errors from around 8.20 am AEDT Saturday.

Although starting a car with an app is handy, when an app inevitably goes down, a secondary option should be in place. Tesla drivers are not entirely reliant on the app, however, providing they’re carrying the backup.

“There will be a secondary mechanism to get in or out of the car beyond the app, the difficulty will come for drivers if they are not carrying it,” Stuart Masson, editor of the Car Expert website, told the BBC.

“Technology makes things convenient, but relies on a server working 100 per cent of the time. It’s the same as leaving the house without my credit cards, expecting to pay for things with my smartphone. If we are reliant on one mechanism all the time, we can be caught out.”

Musk may have set the bar super high for customer service, but in a tweet not long after, he lost us again.