No Touchscreen, No Heat - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: No Touchscreen, No Heat

February 25, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

I was looking forward to driving our new Tesla Model S into the office this morning. Figured I would sip some coffee in my kitchen for a few minutes while warming up the interior of the Tesla sitting outside via the phone app. No such luck. It wouldn't connect to the car even though it had been working great all weekend. No big deal I figured, there was plenty of time to try it later.

So I grabbed my things, hopped in the car (I had unplugged it the night before as it was already fully charged), pressed the brake to bring it to life — and nothing, or at least nothing from the main touchscreen. The rest of the car was ready to go, but there was a message in the instrument panel that said, "Please wait for touchscreen to power on."

After 5 or 10 minutes of nothing happening I left. It was 5:00 in the morning and I wasn't about to do any more trouble shooting. Maybe it would start up along the way, I hoped. It never did, making for a chilly and silent drive to work. With no main screen, the radio and climate controls wouldn't work. I tried the auxiliary controls on the steering wheel for both and neither worked.

We'll be stopping by the local Tesla service center today to see what's up and keep you posted.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 678 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    So you unplugged the car the night before? Who would do a DUMB thing like that? Why didn't you have that car plugged in until the moment you left? Also, our data traces show that it was 5:02 in the morning, NOT 5:00. You'll be hearing from our attorney. Love, Elon

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    I love this car, and couldn't wait to hear about it. If this is how reliable it's electronics are in the beginning however, I sure don't want to find out how reliable it will be a couple of years into my ownership. I don't have enough money (and patience) to buy things that don't work.

  • reminds me of the Ford Focus ad "I bought a car that's a computer" ctrl-alt-delete

  • legacygt made a great point in the MB section, on a center console problem, about quality control in lower production number cars. If Ford and GM have problems with their software on their interfaces then it could be somewhat worse with a much more complicated yet much less used system like the tesla. Bugs will likely happen just the same way center consoles may not be as exacting in their overall fit.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    This, unfortunately, doesn't surprise me. I took delivery of my Model S in December and it has already been back to the service bay 4 times for different issues. It's an amazing car to drive, but Tesla clearly has some teething issues they still need to work out.

  • cobryson cobryson Posts:

    Not that it's relevant, but fordson1 does have a point. Leaving it plugged in overnight will ensure you still have a full charge overnight, even after any battery heating/cooling activities that might occur due to ambient temps.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I'm going to miss the Edmunds staff when that paranoid loon Elon sends goons to wipe you all out after daring to criticize his product. Ironic that he would name it a Tesla, since he is definitely an Edison at heart.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    I'm really excited you are testing a Tesla. It's the most significant production car available right now because of its disruptive technology (no pun intended for people whose morning schedules have been disrupted!) and attainable price. I look forward to reading all of your observations on the ownership experience-- good, bad, or indifferent. And hooray for improving the LT tests UI to look more like a blog feed again!

  • jacarig jacarig Posts:

    Technology. Its great when it works, hell (or in this case 'freezing') when it doesn't. Hopefully this is an isolated incident and it gets rectified quickly and smoothly. Not exactly confidence-inspiring for long-term if this is happening @ 678 miles.

  • ohtag ohtag Posts:

    I believe you can hold down the buttons on the steering wheel to reboot the touchscreen

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    cobryson, I wasn't ragging on them for unplugging the car the night before - I was ragging on Elon Musk. But yeah, you are probably right about the batter heating and cooling deal.

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