Forums

Car was towed and location not updated on the Tesla APP, is it a bug?

Car was towed and location not updated on the Tesla APP, is it a bug?

Couple of days ago my M3 was towed due the parking violation. Car was taken on a flatbed to 10 miles away from the last parked. I was trying to use Tesla App to location of the car and location was showing where I parked vs actual/current location of the car.
I was able to use app to lock and unlock the car, honk and flash the lights remotely by Tesla app did not update the location. Is it a Bug?

lilbean | 11. Februar 2019

No not a bug. This is normal.

Whdame | 11. Februar 2019

That doesn't seem right "sekhar_g". I can track my car no matter where it is. When I had to have it painted again it was taken really far from me for almost (2) full weeks and I checked on it almost every night and could see it move between garages until it was painted. I never had an instance in the past (9) months that I could not see my car on the app.

Mike UpNorth_ | 11. Februar 2019

I wonder if you 'Started' the car via the app if it would wake up and update its location.

lbowroom | 11. Februar 2019

lilbean, can you add some color to why you think this is normal? Are you claiming that if the car is towed instead of driven, it won't update it's location? Doesn't seem like an effective scheme to recover stolen cars.

Teslanene | 11. Februar 2019

I’m more curious about the parking violation, where did you park?

rxlawdude | 11. Februar 2019

@Mike UpNorth, +1.

guydude | 11. Februar 2019

Definitely not normal. Let Tesla know

gmr6415 | 11. Februar 2019

I would assume the car didn't wake up and refresh it's location.

charles.a.braun | 11. Februar 2019

I learned yesterday when my Model Scwas towed away that the app will not update the location. I tried to track my car on its journey to the SC but the app just showed the car in front of my house. Then a few hours later, when the car was backed off of the flatbed the app updated the location as being at the SC.

I asked a service center guy last night and was told that "if the wheels aren't turning, the location in the up ain't updating."

ICEMELT | 11. Februar 2019

I wonder what can be done by stealing the car like this. The location will eventually show up when the unload the car.

I thought towing is not so simple. How do towing truck manage to put it on a flat bed?

Rt002k | 11. Februar 2019

Conceivably, they would jack it up to get a skate under the wheels and then slide it on.

lbowroom | 11. Februar 2019

And then do the same to get it off, load it into a shipping container and your car is in a foreign port without the location ever being updated. Wow! I didn't know that.

charles.a.braun | 11. Februar 2019

@lbowroom - another reason to enable P2D. I suppose there maybe a "reset to factory defaults" to wipe the PIN but if not, the car is just a paperweight when it arrives in the foreign port.

lilbean | 11. Februar 2019

@lbowroom Exactly. I don't have the answers to that. What you said sounds like a good explanation. I've read that here on the forum a while ago. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

burdogg | 11. Februar 2019

Not a bug :) Had my X towed due to flat tire - I wasn't with the family on this trip - they all squished in the tow truck - no one disabled app :) from home, I kept trying to monitor status, knowing the tow arrive, and it never moved from the spot.

Interesting side too - when they fixed the car, and my wife started driving - it did not catch up to where she really was at - it had them still back a ways and then even off road she was really even on. It took sometime for it to catch up, recalibrate and become correct again.

So no - not a bug, a known thing - why? we don't know :)

sekhar_g | 11. Februar 2019

I did not start the car but car was "wake up" mode. I used remote flash, remote honk and unlock and lock to see if it trigger current location on the app. But none of this actions made any difference and location did not update.

RichardKJ | 11. Februar 2019

Early on a number of people reported that when they took delivery some place other than Fremont the car thought it was still in Fremont for quite a while.

cince | 30. Mai 2019

My M3 was picked up for shipping on a flatbed, parked in Florida transport lot May 21st.. The Tesla App never updated it's location (shipped in a covered transport) so I thought maybe that was the issue.. When it arrived in MA it "located" in Burlington, MA. Then from there, it was transported to Cape Cod (on a flatbed); the location of the car to my driveway never changed from the MA transport-out address??? So no, the Tesla App did not follow the car up the East Coast. Kind of too bad, that was going to be the fun of it. As a result, I overschecked the App for a location updates. No worries still love the M3 & App

jamespompi | 30. Mai 2019

Happened to me about a month ago, sentry mode didnt go off either which sucks cause i'm pretty sure they scratched the front bumper.

ILoveMyModel3 | 30. Mai 2019

From what I remember the car only knows the last location that it was driven to. It was towed it won't know its location.

douglas_peale | 30. Mai 2019

This can also happen when the software crashes. I had the software malfunctioning once as I drove to work. I rebooted when I got to work, but the app was telling me the car was still at my house until I drove it again.

syclone | 31. Mai 2019

The car will never update its location if it didn't move under its own power. I don't know if that's a feature or a 'glitch'. I had my car transported for FL to NY in April. The car showed up in the transporters parking lot for 3 days. Then it appeared to be on the street for 5 days. Then it appeared in the transporters parking lot in NY on the 6th day. The location changed only when the car rolled under its own power.

vishious911 | 31. Mai 2019

Sounds more like a glitch than a "feature".
If it weren't, the app should stop saying "Location" and instead say "Last driven to"

dpjordan | 10. Juni 2019

just happened to me. I called the police thinking it was stolen. Called the police in 2 locations. I left my S at Discount Tire in South Bend (via tow) at 5pm. Checked on it at 10pm and it showed at a location between pothole and Discount Tire. I'm like - my car was stolen! Reported to one town's police "my car is on side of road between two streets" (as my location service provided on my app), and called South Bend to have them check Discount Tire. Turns out the the location was wrong on the app even though I logged off and logged back into the Tesla app, deleted and reinstalled the app, and even reset my phone. The car was where the tow truck left it - at Discount Tire. What a nightmare.

dpjordan | 10. Juni 2019

just happened to me. I called the police thinking it was stolen. Called the police in 2 locations. I left my S at Discount Tire in South Bend (via tow) at 5pm. Checked on it at 10pm and it showed at a location between pothole and Discount Tire. I'm like - my car was stolen! Reported to one town's police "my car is on side of road between two streets" (as my location service provided on my app), and called South Bend to have them check Discount Tire. Turns out the the location was wrong on the app even though I logged off and logged back into the Tesla app, deleted and reinstalled the app, and even reset my phone. The car was where the tow truck left it - at Discount Tire. What a nightmare.

dpjordan | 10. Juni 2019

just happened to me. I called the police thinking it was stolen. Called the police in 2 locations. I left my S at Discount Tire in South Bend (via tow) at 5pm. Checked on it at 10pm and it showed at a location between pothole and Discount Tire. I'm like - my car was stolen! Reported to one town's police "my car is on side of road between two streets" (as my location service provided on my app), and called South Bend to have them check Discount Tire. Turns out the the location was wrong on the app even though I logged off and logged back into the Tesla app, deleted and reinstalled the app, and even reset my phone. The car was where the tow truck left it - at Discount Tire. What a nightmare.

Magic 8 Ball | 10. Juni 2019

That does sound like a nightmare.

https://youtu.be/2RR26J-dDzc

syclone | 11. Juni 2019

It's simple- If the wheels aren't turning, the car will not show a position change. Why? Ask tesla!

CharleyBC | 11. Juni 2019

So the way to surreptitiously steal a Tesla is to drag it onto a flatbed, and at your leisure back in your criminal lair, you can take stuff apart and disable its ability to report its location.

joe | 11. Juni 2019

I had my M3 towed to service center last week, and on the app showed it was still at my house. I asked the SC and was told that when the car is put into Service Mode, the GPS location doesn't update. But that obviously doesn't explain most of the incidents described above... Strange that GPS should have anything to do with the wheels spinning.

VenomRider | 04. August 2019

It's probably done to conserve battery. I'm sure they'll include it in the future when the batteries get more miles. If you leave your car parked you lose about 3-5 miles a day with just the cabin cooling feature. GPS tends to take a lot of juice. Not saying that's the actual reason, but it's possible.

steevsteevsteev | 05. August 2019

They should include a refresh location option in the app. That way you don't have to worry about energy drain from an always-updating GPS, and you can still find your car when it is towed.

davidfguajardo | 09. Januar 2020

2020 Update, it just happened to me today. My car got towed during the night and now I don’t know where it is.

Hope it’s safe. TESLA PLEASE put a refresh button on the App

derotam | 09. Januar 2020

@davidfguajardo: It doesn't update when not driving. Why did your car get towed. Either the property owner knows the towing company that it may contract with, and/or the towing company reported the tow to the police. So contact one or both of them.

NorthValley | 09. Januar 2020

@derotam...doesn't update if not being driven? Ooh, that's not good. I would have thought at least a once every few hours "here I am' signal would have been useful?

nelis.orb | 28. Februar 2020

@derotam, it shouldn't matter 'why' it was towed. How about if the car got stolen?

@tesla - Simply add a button in the app on the GPS screen to refresh the location. The problems discussed in this thread (and many others) would be solved.

derotam | 28. Februar 2020

@nelis.orb: This thread has nothing to do with whether the car was stolen. That is an offshoot discussion. My statements were in regards to the OP saying that his car was TOWED and the implication that they couldn't locate the car. I gave options of who might have the information of the car's location.

I do agree that it would be nice for the app to maintain location information.

LoveMyM3 | 28. Februar 2020

I noted the same yesterday and was wondering myself. I had a flat tire and they sent a tow truck. The entire time in transit it showed the original location; once at the service center updated the location. Not sure if it was the same way in the past.

Frank99 | 29. Februar 2020

So you get a choice:
1. Have the car awake 100% of the time, reporting it's position to Tesla so it can be shown in the app, with people complaining about vampire losses, or
2. Have the car sleep when it's in "Park", so vampire losses are minimal, but it's position doesn't get updated.

Engineering is a b*tch.

LoveMyM3 | 29. Februar 2020

@frank99
Nobody is complaining why it does not update continuously; the assumption was when you wake it up through the app it would update the location. I guess it may be helpful in case it is stolen or something.

seth.ryan | 28. März 2020

Currently having this same issue... had a rear motor disable/pull over safely warning and it was towed to the SC, but still showing the location where it does. Only 1,942 miles on the car too.

ollitrop | 30. März 2020

Doesn't sound normal. I tracked mine while it was getting new tires and could see when the car moved from the parking spot to the lift bay and back.

spuzzz123 | 31. März 2020

This seems like a common report. Some speculate that the car does not bother with all the constant triangulation and calculations associated with tracking its own position if it “thinks” it’s stationary. It only remembers its last position when the car was placed in park. Perhaps an effort to minimize vampire drain.

spuzzz123 | 31. März 2020

Ollitrop I assume your car was being moved by driving it, right? Not by towing...

shangod2006 | 18. Mai 2020

This is definitely a wrong Implementation. The app should be able to enforce GPS refresh over LTE when it can move the car or control almost all infotainment on the car remotely. Just happened to me today. Since it was my first experience, i kept running around in circles in a parking lot unable to find it, later realized it got towed and figured where the car was the manual way by calling them. That's no different than a 90's car then. I have portable gps fixed on my other older car which can track it live even when car is off with it's reserve battery which will last for weeks without car being turned on. So pretty sure Tesla can manage that despite the vampire drain factor. No point having charge if i don't know where my car is if it's missing.

syclone | 19. Mai 2020

If the wheels ain't turnin' the GPS ain't burnin'

syclone | 19. Mai 2020

If the wheels ain't turnin' the GPS ain't burnin'