Every new car should be able to handle extremely cold temperatures, even if it's an electric car. That said, cars certainly don't perform as well in the cold, and you can expect a significant range loss as the temperature drops. However, in the case of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, there are obvious problems related to cold temps, so this test attracted our attention.
As you likely know, many Tesla owners in areas such as Canada and Alaska have reported very concerning issues with the heat in their Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. At first, the concerns seemed related to the cars' heat pump, and more specifically, a software update that may have introduced issues and/or complicated problems that were already present. Not long after the heat pump issues came to light, some Tesla owners were experiencing a loss of heat in earlier vehicles that aren't actually equipped with a heat pump.
Tesla owner and YouTube influencer Tesla Canuck says he wanted to test his Model Y's heat pump due in part to all of the recent talk about Tesla's heat pumps failing. Interestingly, his wife's Model Y experienced a heat pump failure the same morning he was testing his own Model Y. Tesla Canuck writes:
"With all the talk lately about failing heat pumps, I put my Tesla Model Y to the test in extreme cold conditions -27°C (-16.6°F). Will the Tesla heat pump fail? My wife's heat pump failed in her Model Y earlier the very same morning of my test."
While we have no way of knowing for sure, it often seems to us that problems related to Tesla's vehicles are the result of inconsistencies. This is to say that when some of Tesla's vehicles have problems – whether they're related to paint, build quality, fit and finish, Autopilot and FSD Beta performance, or even a lack of heat – other vehicles don't necessarily have the same issues.
When a whole host of Tesla's vehicles have the same issue, it results in a recall, which is often addressed via an over-the-air software update. However, in the case of the potentially faulty heat pumps, and/or the lack of heat and defrost in general, Tesla's software updates have reportedly been unable to provide a consistent solution.
Tesla doesn't rely on model years, it makes software and hardware changes on the fly, and it doesn't always stick with the same suppliers, parts, etc. While this can work to the company's advantage in many cases, it can also result in an overall lack of consistency from vehicle to vehicle.
With all of that said, despite the fact that many people are experiencing heat failure in their Teslas, which can prove to be extremely dangerous, others don't seem to be having the same issues.
Tesla Canuck's test proved not only that his Model Y's heat pump performed exceedingly well in frigid temps, but also that the electric crossover delivered seemingly "excellent efficiency," especially considering the circumstances. This, all at the same time as his wife's Model Y seemed to experience the exact problem that convinced him to run the test in the first place.
What do you make of all this? Why are some Tesla owners dealing with a scary loss of heat, while others' vehicles seem to be working as expected? Is there something we're missing here?
Start a conversation about this in the comment section below. Perhaps we can get an idea of how many of our readers have been impacted by a failing heat pump and/or a loss of heat versus those whose Teslas appear to be functioning properly.