Failed Update

Failed Update

I had a message today that an update had arrived (day 5)

So, to be safe, I started the update in the yard, to ensure optimal reception.

I pushed Immediately, and had 2 minutes to evacuate the car.

No charging, of course. Gear in Park.

The update was supposed to last 2,5 hrs.

3 hours later I went to the car. Message: Update couldn't start. Pls reschedule.

I look in the Manual. Nothing about rescheduling, but it says that if the Update couldn't finish, contact Tesla.

Well, it didn't even START.

What do I do now?


Alex K | October 8, 2013

1. When the car tells you that it has an update available, it means that it has already downloaded the updated, so you don't need to relocate the vehicle to a good reception area. I leave my vehicle attached to the charge connector in the garage.

2. You don't need to leave the vehicle during an update. Many people sit in the vehicle while the update is going on (out of curiosity).

3. There should be an alarm clock icon at the top of your screen, which when pushed, will give you a chance to perform the software update again. If the alarm clock icon is not present, you'll have to wait until the software is re-downloaded and the clock reappears. Some people have reported that in some instances they were not presented with the alarm icon, which was due to Tesla deciding to push an even newer version of the software out at a later date.

4. You could contact Tesla and have them force the update to your car. In that case, it's probably better to be in a good reception area to receive the update - you can still go back into the garage to actually install the software.

Captain_Zap | October 8, 2013

I postpone my updates by using the clock until there is a time that I don't have to be anywhere. I do this just in case it doesn't download correctly. That way, if the need arises, I have time to call Ownership so that they can out push a new one to my car.

robert | October 8, 2013

Thank you, both.

No alarm clock. I take your point, but it says clearly in the manual that charging can not happen and that the car must be in Park.

Anyway, I will contact Tesla and ask them to re-download whatever it was.

But if the update is alreay downloaded, why can't the car try to re-instal?

Oh well, computers...


J.T. | October 8, 2013


Did you eventually hear back from tesla on the black dash problem.. I believe that was problem 84 for you. :-)

Alex K | October 8, 2013

@ | OCTOBER 8, 2013: But if the update is already downloaded, why can't the car try to re-instal?

Probably due to the update either being corrupted (thus not being able to be installed) or a newer update is now available. A remote possibility is that there was a problem updating some of the various "computers" in the car. You may also want to check to see if the update actually did install. The first update I ever did on my car said it did not install when in fact it did. You would need to know what version of software you had previous to the update.

NKYTA | October 8, 2013

Touch the Tesla T at the top of the LCD and it will show you what version is installed (and release notes link).

Make sure to note not just the software version, but the firmware major.minor.patch version as well.
e.g. Software 5.0 (1.35.98)

nickjhowe | October 8, 2013

Even if a download has happened, it seems like Tesla has the ability to prevent it being installed. This happened a few months ago when they discovered a bug in a version that had already been set to download to a large number of cars (mine included). So if you see a 'can't update' message, it could be because the download is corrupt, but it could be because TM don't want you to install it.

Reboot the screen to clear the download message.

Robert22 | October 8, 2013

If a download occurs and there's no one around to see it, did it really happen?

Captain_Zap | October 8, 2013


I've experienced that. It did really happen.

The screen reboot is done by holding both scroll wheels down on the steering wheel for several seconds.

robert | October 8, 2013

Good morning (here),
thanks for all the advice.
To start from the top:

- Black Dashboard: no, I haven't heard back.
- Went down to the car to look at the "T". Same message: You have an update. Please instal it. Problem: it is supposed to take 2hr30, and I need to drive. But at least we can safely assume it did NOT instal! I will start it when coming to work and then hope that I won't be required to move the car within those 2,5 hrs.
No, not quite at problem 84 yet, but sometimes I do wonder, if the cars have been pushed onto the market a tad early and that we are (unpaid) beta testers. I mean, for 150 grand one should have the right to expect a faultlessly working vehicle. And the conflicting messages from Tesla officials as regards TPMS and winter tyres (see that thread) are as embarrassing as the fact that a Tesla person must be present when a wheel is exchanged for the car to work properly...
I know that the main profit in cars is in the service after the purchase, but that....


robert | October 9, 2013

Ok, am in office. Started the Update.

Message: Update unable to start. This is now the second time...


J.T. | October 9, 2013

@Robert It's disheartening that Tesla hasn't contacted you about your blackout. Some times incredibly bright people can act so stupidly. Their record on communication is dismal.

With your permission I will write to ownership on your behalf (is your handle also your Tesla contact email?) and implore the rest of this community to do the same. Maybe after they get a couple of hundred emails about you they'll wake up.

I'm hoping that the kinks will all be ironed out soon for you and you'll be able to enjoy your Tesla without the nagging concerns.

robert | October 9, 2013
Actually, I kind of like the guy in Denmark that is "handling" me. He is, I think, doing his very best, but there are at least 2 things:

I write a LOT of mails, asking this or that. Just to read them takes a long time. I know this, and I don't like to spend so much of his and my time to communicate, BUT, the manual, thick as it is, doesn't have ANY trouble-shooting chapter - it is assuming that the car works 100% all the time. That means that, if something awry is going on, there is no way for me to know what to do about it. Impressive as the Manual is, it is worthless if a problem occurs. The Manual attitude "we're perfect" is unprofessional. You want the Manual when something has gone wrong, after you learned the handling of the car. I am also - although being a technical nincompoop - extremely systematic and logical, and therefore things that someone else would just hike their shoulders at do disturb me. If I don't understand the logic behind something (and there's a LOT of that in the Tesla) I react. For instance: in countries with legal winter tyres requirement, why cannot the Tesla remember 8 TPMS? If a car can do 200+ km/h, why does the analogue speedometer stop at 170 (never mind that I don't drive that fast)? Etc, and so forth.

Secondly I am not so sure that my handler in his turn is getting the feed-back he needs to answer me. It would seem that not even the Tesla Service Managers know what is what - see the thread about Winter Tyres and TPMS where they contradict each other.

I'd say, let the poor bloke have his chance at sorting out these first irregularities - then, if the problems persist, and no feedback is coming, let's hit them with all we've got.

I do appreciate your willingness to help and the general comradeship on this Forum. I suppose owning a Tesla says rather much about people as individuals and that the camaraderie here therefore is greater than on other Fora.

Best - Robert

PS. But there's something you perhaps could tell me:
Under the speedometer you have the odometer which shows the mileage from Day 1. How can you read - and where - the energy consumption from Day 1, thereby enabling me to calculate the lifetime energy consumption and the lifetime average? The trip meters don't give that info.

J.T. | October 9, 2013

Short answer: I don't know.

There have been numerous threads about energy consumption, % of battery power available, how to calculate Wh/m and though I appreciate the time and effort these posters spend to quantify this for us, it doesn't really concern me. I never really cared about mileage in my ICE so I'm not that concerned about range in my MS. Volkerize lifetime energy use and you might find your answer.

as for the comradeship, there was a poster whose car died while in traffic more than once. And a few posts later he said that he's updating the info just in case anyone is following the thread. I responded "Are you kidding? EVERYONE is following this thread."

Every problem you've had, and you've had your share is a problem one of us might have later today. Yes, I understand your reluctance to be a beta tester, but you are one. It's a filthy job but someone has to do it.

This forum is here to help each other and in turn to help provide Tesla with the feedback they need to make not only future cars better, but our experiences better, as well.

Maybe in 2015 my wife and I will be visiting the Nordic countries. Maybe I'll be able to rent a Model X in Sweden and stop by for a visit. Also, it's possible Tesla would have strightened out your problems by then.


redacted | October 9, 2013

Okay, I can't help it:

"I look in the Manual. Nothing about rescheduling, but it says that if the Update couldn't finish, contact Tesla.

"Well, it didn't even START.

"What do I do now?"

A: do what the manual says?

robert | October 9, 2013


yes, it comes through as somewhat humorous, I agree :-).

However, the Manual says "if Update couldn't FINISH" and my point was that it didn't even START. Semantically, if it didn't start, it of course didn't finish, but, to a logical but computer-idiot person these are two different things and could have different reasons.
The Manual ought to have said:
If the Update didn't succeed, contact Tesla. That covers everything. Small things but precise.

Of course I have contacted Tesla, but there was no answer or reaction, and it is afternoon here on a week-day.

So I called Denmark.

1. They don't have any outgoing Internet, just incoming (sic!).
2. They don't know. Without Internet, they cannot dignostisize.
3. Fair enough, but why didn't someone make a call to ME, telling me that? They have my numbers. Or
4. Why didn't they call Holland SC and asked them to take over? After all, I am the customer, and I should be answered, not ignored.

"It is in real life that theories are tested".


Alex K | October 9, 2013 | OCTOBER 9, 2013: How can you read - and where - the energy consumption from Day 1, thereby enabling me to calculate the lifetime energy consumption and the lifetime average? The trip meters don't give that info.

Unfortunately, the only way to do it now is to make sure you have not reset one of your trip meters (A or B) since you took possession of your car. On my car Trip B is within 25 miles of my total mileage and I have never reset it since I took possession of the car.

robert | October 9, 2013

Yes, that's the way I figured it out as well. I just hoped against hope that there would be another way. Again a miss from Tesla.

Unfortunately the diff is about 50 km:s, but as I drive that will not mean much, or anything.

Thanks - Robert

wcalvin | October 9, 2013

Advisory screens in software are usually about actions to be take: Try again. Call us. Sometimes they add a few words of explanation for one scenario, but then use the same advisory in another context.

Brian H | October 9, 2013

About the service profit, SCs are under instructions from Elon not to operate as profit centers, but to just break even. Complete reverse of all other car companies.

aaronw2 | October 10, 2013

I had an update fail as well due to a failing 12v battery. Fortunately I already had scheduled to bring my car in for service and they replaced it. I'm still waiting to upgrade beyond 4.5.

AmpedRealtor | October 10, 2013

@ robert,

I understand the desire to be critical of Tesla when something goes wrong, however I don't consider the lack of a lifetime Wh/mile rating to be a "miss" from Tesla. This is something you can easily do, and is not a feature that was ever expected or promised. Also, your update woes and possibly other issues may stem from a single problem - your 12v battery - so other issues will likely resolve themselves once your battery is replaced. Tesla had a bad batch of 12v batteries produced by a third party. There's not much you can do about that other than replace the defective batteries.

robert | October 10, 2013

No, no, no!
I have no DESIRE whatsoever to be critical of Tesla. I still consider this to be a helluva break-through, and I have screamed from the rooftops about this car.

But I also have a - justified, I think - expectation, when the car does arrive, after sixteen (16) long months' wait, that the VERY first thing I notice should not be a warning sign, the underlying problem of which may or may not be the cause of a whole series of other real or imagined problems. The reason that I have been tormenting you with them are threefold:

- the Manual doesn't give a clue;
- the community is exceedingly helpful and
- the SC in another country, extremely pleasant as they are, can do very little about them.
Anyway, they're coming on Monday. They don't think it is the Battery as such, but something else, which makes me even more nervous.

I wasn't planning, at my age, to be a beta-tester, and I have certainly not been given any advantage to be that; I expected to be a satisfied customer, just driving, and driving, and driving well into the blue yonder.

When I sell something, I make really certain that it is perfect and take full responsibility, in the rare case it shouldn't be; I expect no less from others.


NKYTA | October 10, 2013

@robert "(16) long months' wait"
Imagine the agony of 3.5 years wait! Looking at mockups of the car which you couldn't even interiors. No test drive until 1.5 years before acquiring. Didn't even know about SuperChargers, that was a hugely pleasant surprise.

AmpedRealtor | October 10, 2013

This is the first year production of a new vehicle and drive train design that has produced fewer than 20,000 cars. How can we not be beta testers? LOL

willyang326 | April 13, 2016

I'm getting this error and it's 2016... on and they still don't know what's going on. Not to mention the receptionist answered the phone when I called instead of a technician or at least a service specialist.