Javier Rodriguez, the owner of a Tesla Model 3 in Southern California, said that he was shocked to find his control over the vehicle severely diminished after an alleged software issue hit his car while driving on the freeway.
Speaking to ABC7 News, Rodriguez said that he was driving on the 10 Freeway through Cabazon when he said the car got stuck going 83 mph (133 km/h) and his infotainment screen froze. He said he first noticed something was wrong when his car started warming up and a strange smell started emanating from it.
All of the buttons and switches, including the turn signals, hazard lights, and even the accelerator pedal stopped working, he said. Although the brakes did work, they provided only moderate relief.
“I was nervous that if I were to brake a whole lot that I wouldn’t be able to gain the speed again to keep up with traffic and get around cars,” Rodriguez said. “I was nervous somebody was going to slam into me.”
Fortunately, despite the rising heat inside the car, Rodriguez kept his cool and was eventually able to get off the road. After the Model 3 rebooted, everything seemed normal and, eventually, California Highway Patrol helped him get off the freeway and he had the car towed away.
Rodriguez said that Tesla later said that it had fixed his Model 3, but would not reveal what went wrong in the first place, telling him only what they had written in a report.
“Diagnosed and found poor communication from charge port door causing power conversion system to shut off in order to protect onboard components during drive,” Rodriguez recalled.
That left him unsatisfied, though.
“I need more explanation,” said Rodriguez. “I’m on the freeway and this happens at 83 miles an hour. Everybody is trying to say, ‘Well we fixed it. We fixed it,’ but I need an explanation.”