Tesla unaware of GPS problems?

Tesla unaware of GPS problems?

I picked up a Model S last week and the GPS has been completely wonky. Looking at the forum it seems like a lot of people who purchased recently have the same issue. However when I called my local service they were unaware of any problems. They told me to call the 877-78TESLA number for Ownership help. The rep there also told me he had not heard of any GPS problems at all. I mentioned this forum and he said he checked regularly and was very surprised to hear of GPS issues.

So if you are among the recent buyers who have experienced the GPS issues I suggest you add on to this thread and also call 877-78TESLA to let them know as I don't think they will fix it if they don't know about it.

BTW - This is not just the limitations of Google maps. The issue is that the GPS will often loose the position of the car in the middle of a drive for no reason. It often puts the car in the middle of a filed or several blocks over. The car gets "lost" for maybe a minute or so and then it often pops back in. But it will do that back and forth continuously. This happens for me every time I use it. Sometimes the map goes wonky too. And at times the car location is different on the big screen and the dashboard screen, with even has different turn instructions sometimes. When the GPS looses the car position it starts giving out wrong turn directions and quickly gets you lost. For this reason I have to bring a separate GPS until with me as the Tesla one is completely unreliable.

Bighorn | September 12, 2013

Does the car get lost on a N up orientation as well?

Dripps | September 12, 2013

@MarioA Same here and I too have seen a few forum threads about this same issue. We are not alone. I had a ranger visit for this issue but it was not resolved. Frustrating.

@Bighorn The issue persists, even if you change to N up orientation. I've tried no satellite view, no traffic, various combinations, with no resolution. Mine is generally wonky but from time to time, it does know where I am.

Curious how sometimes it even shows me moving sideways, like a crab, or in circles in the same spot. GPS often has me correct then drifts off even perpendicular to direction I'm going. The ranger tried working with the antenna but no help.

rbarry | September 12, 2013

I picked my car up last week and have the same problem / issues. Today was the worst since I needed to use navigation to get me to an appointment at a location I hadn't been to before. The Google Maps nav AND Garmin in-set were both off by at least a 1/4 mile. Had me on surface streets / vacant fields / middle of buildings as I drove on the freeway!

It does pop back eventually -- but on this trip it took a good 10 minutes.

Service center hadn't heard about it and suggested the normal (which I had done already) system reboots.

Bighorn | September 12, 2013

Very curious--hope it's resolved ASAP. I remember hearing that getting the NAV to have heading up was going to be complicated, but this behavior is tough to grasp.

MarioA | September 12, 2013

I've also tried rebooting and all possible map configurations and nothing helps. Its disconcerting that neither the service center nor the Ownership group have heard about this yet but hopefully they will soon. It is definitely NOT the usual limitations of GPS units. I've had many GPS units over the years and they never behaved this badly. And from what I read on the forum many people have units that work perfectly. For those of us with the problem it is not at all subtle. You absolutely live in fear of having to depend on the GPS. So that means that either there is bad batch of hardware or there is some issue with the ver 5 software.

Have we determined that all the people with problems have ver 5 software? I do.

MarioA | September 12, 2013

Well they know now.l just got a call from Tesla and they have reported the problem to the VP of service. Yeah! And they forwarded this posting on the forum. So again Yeah! I love this car and I'm encouraged that they will fix this problem. If anyone else has similar GPS issues please let them know in this string because they are listening and are responsive. The more info we give them the more likely they will be able to solve this problem. Very encouraging response from Tesla.

klarich | September 12, 2013

I also have the same issue - exactly as you describe it. One thing I noticed today was that the problem seems to nearly disappear when I changed the map from "north up" to "heading up". Hopefully this can be solved with a simple software update.

cwmenne | September 12, 2013

My car, delivered mid-July, with 4.5 software has been flawless and extremely accurate.

ColoradoBlueS | September 12, 2013

There are about 8 other owner reports of this issue in another thread: NAVIGATION SYSTEM LOSES POSITION FREQUENTLY.

All recent deliveries, all running 5.0.

We are almost all reporting the same symptoms. Ours is in the Denver SC currently and they will be evaluating this problem tomorrow.

CoreyM | September 12, 2013

I picked up my MS two days ago (running 5.0), and have only used the nav twice, but experienced similar issues to posters above. While I was driving on the freeway, it started giving me directions as if I was heading the other direction of I-5 even though those lanes were a good 100 feet away at the time.

I can't remember if I had it set to "North Up" or "Heading Up" at the time.

swalkermd | September 12, 2013

Same GPS problem here...occasionally has my position off by several blocks. Picked up my S on 9/11/13, software 5.0

rfriess | September 12, 2013

My car is a month old and is running 4.5. There have been no problems with the GPS.

sia | September 12, 2013

The GPS on my car (delivered May 31) has never failed, but a loaner I drove last week ( VIN 16xxx, 4.5 software) had this problem. Twice, during navigation to a destination, the navigation arrow froze at some point on the map and didn’t recover, despite my attempts to pan , zoom, re-center, etc. I had to cancel navigation for the GPS to resume.

At least for this one car, the issue happened on 4.5 software. I did report it to the service rep, when I returned it.

Fling | September 13, 2013

Picked up my car 9/7/13 and also seeing the GPS issue of having trouble properly locating the car. Plus I already had to reboot my touch screen... Love the car though!

mumanoff | September 13, 2013

GPS has been acting screwy. Tells me to make a left off the Garden State Pkwy, when there is no left

earlyretirement | September 13, 2013

I picked up my car 2 weeks ago and only had that happen on the first day and I think the day after. But it only happened really briefly and it was at intersections where there were several forks in the road so it looked like it got confused. But once I turned it resolved itself.

Sometimes it will move from the North Up and deviate back to the other setting and I'll have to tap it. Also, when you are in the North up setting it's annoying seeing the street names backwards or upside down. Not sure if they can fix that either?

teslamonkey | September 13, 2013

Picked up my car last Saturday (9/7) and have noticed the same issue. The map will show me off of major roads although close to my actual location.

Brucelli | September 13, 2013

Same issues as above. Car delivered on 8/31, version 5 Software. The GPS will locate the vehicle perfectly if its parked, but once moving, whether its on I5, or in downtown streets, it seems to get off by a block or so, and then it gets thoroughly confused, and gets further and further from its actual location, with non-sensical corrective directives.
Use your I Phone until they figure this out.

redacted | September 13, 2013

Brand new MS picked up on 2013/9/10. GPS is pretty much randomly located within about 1/2 mile from the car. I mentioned this to the service tech, who said there's a beta of version 5 that's testing a fix for it.

redacted | September 13, 2013

A post V5 beta, that is.

David70 | September 13, 2013

My only problem with the GPS Nav. is that the voice commands are slow. Many times it "turn" at a certain intersection just as I'm going through it, or after I've already gone through it. This is with 4.5. Usually it's not an issue, as it happens mostly when I'm ignoring the instructions to go on a route other than what the Nav. system wants.

rbarry | September 13, 2013

As an update: I had called the service center (in San Diego) yesterday and they hadn't been aware of any GPS problems. They suggested I reboot the systems and to get back to them. I did the reboots and had same problems so was going to test it out today a few times before calling back.

Before I could even do that -- I got the e-mail below from San Diego service center. I absolutely love the initiative they took and the responsiveness! Love this car.


Hello XXX.

We have remotely diagnosed your vehicle regarding the navigation issues that you’ve been having. However, this issue will require us to have the vehicle here at the shop. The engineers have some test for us to run on your vehicle, and we will need to perform these tests here.

I will be able to provide a Model S loaner for you while we are working on your vehicle. The soonest I have one available is Monday Sept. 23rd. I can do that day, or any day after. Please let me know what works best for you.

Thank you!
Jeff H.

FatNinja | September 13, 2013

I have had the same problems since picking up my MS on Sep 6th.

TeslaDC | September 13, 2013

Just got mine delivered today. It has 5.0 firmware. Noticed the same issue when I drive back from the service center to home (~3 miles). Exactly as described on the off-road / wrong street issue. I was too frustrated and had to cancel the nav route.

Dr. Bob Reinke | September 13, 2013

The only problem we have had with GPS is that We cannot direct it to avoid the Illinois Toll-way, a rubble covered parking lot. I can direct my Garmin to avoid this ditch criminally called a road. Garmin calls it selective routing. So far most of the damage to my Signature P85 S has been from road rubble being kicked up and dropped from Toll-way athority dump semis, passing me in both directions, hauling away 50 miles of rubble. Even if I refuse to follow the turn-by-turn instructions to get on the Toll-way, the turn-by-turn keeps directing me back to a public disgrace I don't want to park on. The last trip in Chicago, the Touchscreen GPS showed that I90 was jammed to a stop from I290 interchange to the Whirlpool, yet at every intersection I was directed back to I90. After a lot of wrong directions back to the Tool-way parking ditch, I shut off the turn-by-turn voice and followed the Garmin on the surface streets.

borodinj | September 13, 2013

Never had any issues until I upgraded to 4.5. I'm now finding that traffic data will not refresh. If I change the zoom, it will update, but if I then revert to the previous zoom level, traffic reverts to the stale image.

Called Ownership team yesterday after getting stuck in a major traffic jam (map showed all green on 95S near the Philly airport...after getting stuck, I zoomed in and the traffic showed solid red/black!). They said this is the first they had heard of this issue and that they would look into it.

ThorensP | September 13, 2013

I'm seeing the same GPS issues as the OP. I picked up my P85 on 7-29 and have v. 5.0 | September 13, 2013

Guess this is another reason 5.0 is not out OTA yet....


mightyj | September 14, 2013

My delivery was 9/5 with firmware 5.0 and I'm also having the GPS being as far as a quarter mile off issues. Sometimes the Google maps just start spinning around the location arrow for a good 30 seconds while it tries to reorient. I had it in to service this in Villa Park yesterday. They said they tried a new GPS antenna and a GPS specific firmware update. No luck fixing it and I'm scheduled to return for an unknown to me (and maybe them) next step in a few weeks.

Lovin' the car otherwise!

NotGasy | September 14, 2013

My GPS (4.5) was in really bad shape. At several points, it had me in the middle of the Pacific ocean or Africa. I even sent snapshots of that to Tesla Service in Rockville. It would also frequently stop updating and leave me miles behind my actual location, sometimes taking an hour or more before it would update to my actual location. Navigation was pretty much worthless.

They finally took it in and replaced the whole front screen unit. Took two weeks to get my car back (I did have a P85 loaner, so all good there). It's been working great ever since.

MarioA | September 14, 2013

From the amount of responses it seems clear that Navigation is currently a non starter in newly purchased Models S's and perhaps in version 5 software in general. This would give me pause to consider upgrading to ver 5 if I had had a currently functioning GPS. And new buyers need to be aware that until they work this out they should not depend on using the GPS in the tech package. All in all, even if I would have known this before buying, I would have still gone ahead with the purchase. I have confidence in Tesla to fix this. But it is something people should be aware of up front.

Flick | September 14, 2013

I picked up my MS earlier this week and suffering from same issue...

Dripps | September 14, 2013

I don't know of any instance of ver 5 of the software making Nav behave this way when it was working correctly before. I have only heard of this in cars delivered in the past couple weeks. This makes me think is hardware related.

sdukker | September 14, 2013

I picked up my MS on Friday, 13th and have the same issue of losing position. Bad day to pick up? :-)

I talked to Tesla support today and the agent said they were aware of the problem, they could fix from their side OTA, and I would be fixed by the Morning.

Anyone else get a fix yet.

This seems pretty widespread.


gooshjkc | September 15, 2013

I realize every car has their problems and that's why many would say don't buy the first year model. The Model S is in the same boat; however, Tesla can fix most of these problems OTA. Also, technically speaking the MS is still in it's first year of production. I ordered my MS in the middle of this year and won't take delivery till the middle of next. Did this on purpose to coordinate delivery the same time as I move into my new house - new house, new car. Yay!

ebilling | September 15, 2013

Picked mine up on Friday the 13th. Same problem. I started questioning my purchase decision.

JPPTM | September 15, 2013

Mine is a May delivery and I am on V. 4.5 and have no GPS issues.

nickjhowe | September 15, 2013

I spoke to Ownership about this issue and pointed them to the two threads discussing it. It was escalated to engineering and I got a note back to say Ownership should be contacting those who mentioned their problems in these threads.

wolfpet | September 15, 2013

I'm not sure whether it's a 5.0 problem. I've been driving my S85 with v5.0 for 10 days and haven't had any GPS issues.

romainiacWV | September 15, 2013

Have had some of the traffic update issues described. On 4.5. Otherwise good position on GPS. My biggest complaint about the GPS is the lack of ability to choose alternate routes, would be fine if the nav selected better initial route, but it seems to navigate to places using odd routes, at least for me

ice crusher | September 15, 2013

Picked ours up today and was told gps not working. Parts needed.

Thomas N. | September 15, 2013

What? You were told GPS is not working and you just picked up today? Picked up from the SC or picked up as in brand new?

I get mine in a few days and that would suck if they told me the GPS is not working and they need parts.


mnguyen | September 15, 2013

I took delivery of my Model S in Torrance on 9/12 and am having the exact same problems. The navigation system has been completely unreliable since my very first drive. It loses my position almost every time I use it. My car has software version 5.0. I have tried rebooting the touchscreen, but that has not helped. I also frequently get grey boxes on the nav screen when when it resizes and my brakes squeak regularly. Other than those issues, I am loving the car! I hope Tesla will fix this soon because the navigation seems like it would be great if it worked properly.

Captain_Zap | September 15, 2013

Anyone check for solar flares?
It sure messed up our boat's GPS last year.

sdukker | September 15, 2013

Update #1, didn't get the downloaded patch promised. Called again tonight, was told again, easy fix and I will get it tomorrow by download.

Shot a video of my GPS map spinning in circles, showing my Tesla doing pirouettes down I80. Put it on my facebook. A big hit!


jfewins | September 15, 2013

Mine was delivered this week. Gps is real bad. I will watch the map spin in circles. It loses position quite often. Do I need to contact Tesla or is posting here enough? Will video next time it happens help?

jfewins | September 15, 2013

Mine was delivered this week. Gps is real bad. I will watch the map spin in circles. It loses position quite often. Do I need to contact Tesla or is posting here enough? Will video next time it happens help? It is version 5

Captain_Zap | September 15, 2013

If you get wierd stuff on your displays you can press and hold the lower right button on the steering wheel for about 5 seconds and it will capture a screen shot for Tesla. Then you can send a message to Tesla's OE tell them that you captured a screen shot of the wierdness. You'll have to notify them of the time and date of the screen shot and provide any other details that may relate to the incident.

It sounds like they are on top of the GPS situation now, but the screen shot trick is a good thing to keep in mind in case something else comes up down the road.

AndreJ | September 15, 2013

GPS is a desaster, indeed. It totally blanks out several times a day, can't find locations. The service guys in Switzerland where I picked up my Model S on August 23 keep on telling me that I am the only one with this kind of problem... We already tried resets several times, without success.

Otherwise a great car!

sdukker | September 16, 2013

Update #2

Ugh, its getting worse.

Now told car has to go in for service.

Posts show Tesla seems to have a line epidemic, but no word for users. Early adopter blues!

Worse, although Tesla offered to "pick up my car from my home and give me a loaner", part of what they call "the industry's best customer experience", very nice, but they offered September 27th, almost 2 weeks away to pick it up. And more customers postings show that this a growing epidemic and they continue to deliver cars! I really like the car, but Tesla does demonstrate it has some serious growing pains.