Server Outage Locks Tesla (TSLA) Owners Out in the Cold

November 22, 2021 7:34 AM EST

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One of the perks of owning a Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is using your smartphone as a key to open and drive your car. This feature allows users to do away with carrying a key fob. However, over the weekend, several Tesla owners reported getting a “500 server error” on their smartphone apps. The error would leave some stranded in the cold, unable to unlock their cars.

“Still stuck in Seoul” wrote Jaehwan Cho on Twitter after earlier reporting the server error when trying to use it with his Tesla Model 3.

The website Downdetector showed a large spike in reported Tesla server problems at around 5pm on Friday. It is unknown exactly how many Tesla owners are affected by the outage, or how many are locked out of their cars.

Zachary Kiefer had driven an hour from his home in Indiana when the app stopped working. Keifer was stuck outside of his car for hours. He ended up calling AAA but, luckily, the app started working again before the tow truck arrived.

Tesla’s customer service did not seem particularly helpful, he said. “I was pretty disappointed,” he said. “They just didn’t seem to care.”

As an explanation for the outage, Musk tweeted “Looks like we may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic. Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

The issue only affected those attempting to access their vehicles via Tesla's smartphone app; so, while users could still open their cars using a physical key, anyone who didn't carry around that backup likely had a frustrating few hours.

The Tesla servers are now back online, and users can once again use their smartphones as a car key.

By Michael Elkins | Michael.Elkins@streetinsider.com



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