Numerous new owners of the successively delivered 2021 Model 3 and Model Y have complained about how their malfunctioning air conditioners are unable to function as warmers in this chilly season.
Both the 2021 Model 3 and Model Y of Tesla are equipped with the latest heat pump system, and replacing traditional automotive air conditioning with heat exchange is one of the proudest achievements for CEO Elon Musk.
However, car owner clubs and forums have seen yet another wave of issues upon the early delivery of these two vehicles, where the air conditioning system for the new vehicles has stopped functioning under the cold weather of minus 10 degrees in Quebec.
The particular issue has been prominent in Canada, and a number of car owners from US and European forums have also commented on similar issue, for which the newly adopted heat pump system on the new Model 3 and Model Y may possibly be the source of problem.
A certain online member has reposted the explanation from Tesla’s maintenance personnel, who talked about how the malfunction is derived from the abnormal crystallization in partial areas of the heat pump system, which further impedes the sensor that eventually led to the suspended operation of the system. Tesla is able to replace partial components for malfunctioning vehicles, and is yet to resolve the formation of abnormal crystallization.
Assuming that this explanation is correct, Tesla will have to recall a batch of the delivered vehicles in order to handle the defected heat pump system, though the premise is that this defect did not merely occur in sporadic cases.
Based on the total delivery of 499K units from Tesla, vehicles that are equipped with the heat pump system account for approximately 250K units, with the majority being in US and Canada, though such defect would have been discovered back in October last year as Canada experienced a low temperature below 0 degrees then, and it is unknown now the exact number of affected owners. Search for “heat pump” and apparently a lot of car owners are quite satisfied with their vehicles, so it is now too early to determine whether this defect is going to turn into a major catastrophe, though this might reinforce the reputation on the quality of Tesla for a lot of users.
A previously circulating rumor regarding how Tesla wishes to introduce the heat pump technology to the market of home air conditioners had once generated panic amongst Japanese air conditioner manufacturers, and now it seems that a malfunction in residential heaters will definitely trigger much worse reactions. Daikin, you are safe from competitions for now.
(Cover photo source: Sandy Munro)