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.

wmckenzie | September 29, 2013

Picked up my MS 85 last night (5.0). Map GPS is erratic similar to what people are describing.

I had read the forums prior to delivery and asked my delivery specialist if he was aware of the issue. He said he usually reads the forums regularly but has been working 6 days a week and hadn't seen or heard of this. When we did the walkthrough the GPS looked to be working normally.

I put my home address in Nav and drove off. Less than a mile away, the GPS display showed me running parallel to I-75 heading south from the dealership. I've only used it a couple of times since and it is definitely sketchy. Showing the car off road blocks away, etc.

Hoping they come up with a fix fast. If this were any other car I'd just ordered, I'd be even more disappointed and pissed.

Biggest bummer so far (since I haven't driven anywhere I actually needed directions) was showing the car to a friend who was really impressed overall but was appalled at the Nav problem.

T3SLA | September 29, 2013

I just picked my model s up from the factory on Friday. I have not had any GPS issues. Yes, I have used it several times. The directions are good and the location of the tesla on the map is very precise. The tesla employee told me some cars had the issues but most do not.

kmalloy | September 29, 2013

Just a heads up - when you have this GPS problem and do scheduled charges you need to make sure the GPS knows where you are when you plug in. When the GPS is working it knows I'm at home and schedules the charge as entered last time I was there. When the GPS is lost it doesn't know you're "home" and won't automatically schedule the charge. If you drive a lot each day you could wake up in the morning to an un-charged car. I sent a fairly passionate and desperate email to customer experience begging them to fix this issue!!!

N_Tesla | September 29, 2013

Picked up my P85 on Friday, also running 5.0. No issues with the GPS, seems dead on.

kmsadler | September 30, 2013

my two week old Model S has this problem -- system fails to maintain the correct position/heading of the vehicle.

rather surprising for a $127,000 car.

brian sullivan | September 30, 2013

Got delivery on 9/11. Experiencing the same problems map spins occasionally and cursor drifts.

AJMitch_85 | September 30, 2013

We too delivery of our TMS85 on Thursday Sept 19 and immediately did the same thing as others folks are describing. Not all the time though. Sometimes it is accurate and other times the GPS will loose the car's position no apparent reason. Often the car in the middle of a field or several blocks over. I experimented by getting directions from work to home and visa-versa and if I followed the directions given I'd end up driving all over the place versus the most obvious and straight path. I use my iPhone 5 as a backup until Tesla upgrades the GPS software.

perf_guy | September 30, 2013

I have to avoid showing navigation to friends and onlookers and to those that see the wonky navigation i have to say "a fix is on the way".
As of today there is no fix that i know of and i have not been contacted by Tesla ownership nor the local service department for a fix. My wife is a Realtor but has to use a phone to navigate if she is in the car.
Please make this a priority Tesla. (We are hoping for a fix soon.)

tcoyle | September 30, 2013

1 Week old MS 60. I have had the problem from day one. Reported to Tesla on 9/29/2013. The rep told me I would be put on a list and an update would be pushed to the car when a fix was ready. I assume this may be an intermediate fix as it seems it is a hardware issue since not all 5.0 folks are having this problem.

AmyOo | September 30, 2013

Picked up my MS 85 Friday, Sept. 27. Was incredibly anxious about the GPS problem and asked my DS to check it out before delivery. Most relieved that so far it has been right on target. It seems like a functional GPS is a crap shoot. Glad I won this time!

SBerg | September 30, 2013

I get in zones where I don't get 3G and nav will lag, but so does nav on my iPhone. Get back in 3G land and all is well.

sdukker | September 30, 2013

Looks like 3 weeks+ since this problem has surfaced and there is no fix, but Tesla is still shipping vehicles.

Profoundly disappointing. Lots of misinformation with no corporate statement to us users and hanging the poor customer service folks out to dry when dealing with frustrated customers.

Love the car, am still awed by Tesla's accomplishments, but find this totally unacceptable behavior for a provider of $100K+ cars with a mantra of "unmatched customer experience".

I think Tesla should make a statement, they owe it to us, (regardless their lawyers counsel.) We are reasonable first adopters but deserve feedback, clarification and expectations for resolution.

Brian H | October 1, 2013


jfewins | October 1, 2013


Agreed. Tesla should give us more information on this. Their silence is not consistent with excellent customer service on an issue that makes the GPS completely unreliable. Now I must admit that their point of contact people have been very pleasant. However, some CONCRETE estimate on how and when this issue will be resolved from the engineers or corporate folks is not much to ask given that we are driving around with a broken navigation system

Jonathan 123 | October 1, 2013

Same Problem here picked up my car wednesday 9/25 from NJ service Center, tried to route myself home and it was a disaster. VErsion 5.0 P85+. Need a fix FAst!!!!

sdukker | October 1, 2013
scott | October 1, 2013

Picked up my Model S P85+ Sept 21. GPS has the same problem as the others noted above. Car icon randomly leaves the road to travel through fields, lakes, houses, etc. Main issue seems to be when the GPS loses the car position when I go around a curve. Today I traveled west, after turning from a southbound direction. Car icon continued to travel south for over a "virtual" mile while I actually traveled west. GPS randomly does show the correct position of the car.

As in the other issues, my MS is running version 5.0 software. After contacting TESLA help 3 times over the past week, I was finally told there is an issue with version 5.0. I was surprised since a problem with the GPS antenna, or accelerometer positioning gyro seems more likely. While the people who man the help phone are pleasant, the fact that there is an issue and they are less than transparent in communicating both the problem and the steps that have been taken to correct the problem, is rather upsetting. Given the purchase price of the vehicle, I am very surprised that the vehicle wasn't checked out more carefully before I drove it away. According to the costumer service rep I spoke with, he said that the problem was a software issue and that the tech people are working on a software patch. Unfortunately, he could not give me a reasonable time frame as to when the software would be ready. I can only hope that TESLA lives up to the high standard Mr. Musk set for his company. Thus far, I am not very impressed!

WayneH | October 1, 2013

This past week I went to the Santa Monica, CA showroom to take a look at a Tesla. I asked the salesperson about the issue of GPS problems I had read on this forum. He said he was not aware of such problems. He said all I had to do after buying the car is taking it to the service center at the end of 12 months for routine maintenance.

mna123 | October 1, 2013

Have you observed a common trend? When ever you bring a problem in tesla notice, they say they have not heard about it at all and then you come to forum and find a thread created about similar problem last month?

Why so much deception Tesla? Own your faults, fix it, don't play us stupid in era of internet.

They wont have search function on this forum (Ever saw any well-established forum without search functionality ??) so people cant find about it. Luckily we have external search engines.

This is now really ticking me off, I am on fence now, earlier I was determined to order model X.

Dramsey | October 1, 2013

Information or disinformation?

Are you implying I'm some sort of Tesla shill?

Brian H | October 1, 2013

mna needs a glimpse of sunlight; the sun don't shine where his head is.

mna123 | October 1, 2013

@Brian H, once again please stop calling names. You are not adding any value to discussion. Please stick to the topic and stop trolling.

pakalito | October 2, 2013

Problem has been solve :), from Dania Beach:

We have opened a case with engineering on your behalf and they have instructed for us to replace the Media Control Unit in order to correct the navigation concern. We have ordered the unit from California and they will expedite it to us so we can replace it as soon as possible. The part should be arriving tomorrow or on Friday

tcoyle | October 2, 2013

Just spoke to someone in Springfield, NJ service and he said they received an email from Tesla yesterday about the fix. He said a temporary software fix will come out next week followed by a replacement of the Media Center (17" screen) when they have enough in stock.

NKYTA | October 2, 2013

I wouldn't ask technical questions at a Telsa store. Go to your nearest Service Center and talk to the manager.

"This is now really ticking me off"
I've had nothing by excellent service (I do not have any issues with Navigation). Last time I was in to service for two service bulletins, when I got the car back, they had done 6 sbs!

One added note, in some cases in life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but it is generally uncomfortable for all. A smile and pleasant demeanor will get you farther.

"I am on fence now, earlier I was determined to order model X"
Contrary to what some are saying on these fora, this is still early adopter stage, IMHO. If you have any qualms, this isn't the car you are looking for.

skister | October 2, 2013

I got my car in April, and the GPS frequently stopped updating starting around August. Twice it showed me in erroneous locations, in the South Atlantic Ocean between Antarctica and Argentina once, and another time in the Arufura Sea between Australia and Papua New Guinea. I took it in for service, but they couldn't find the issue. Since then it has gotten worse, and about half the time the GPS does not update and my current location stays stuck on a recent location.

I contacted the service center again, and this time they said they were aware of the problem and were working on a fix and hopefully it would be able to be fixed by a firmware update.

acerap | October 3, 2013

Brought my two week old Telsa S with crazy unusable GPS into the Rockville MD service station last week. Folks there mentioned that "a few" people had the nav problem, but that they were not aware of any fix available. "Called California" and could not get a fix update. So I was left with the "we will let you know when we develop a fix for that". Shitty way to deal with an unusable nav IMO. Issue a technical service bulletin, replace the units, get on the ball.

acerap | October 3, 2013

Just a follow up to my rather negative previous comment. I think the thing that is frustrating many tesla owners is the lack of acknowledgment and communication on the issue. It seems as though we are each reporting the issue to Tesla for the first time, and the folks at the service centers have no information. Clearly it is a widespread problem with new vehicles that are being delivered now. Even if a fix is months off, go ahead and send a notice to every service station and rep. Let customers know that this is a known issue, and that a fix is being prepared. Put them on a call list and give them an estimated timeframe to rectify the problem.

If it is more than a month or two off, offer the customers a portable gps unit to use in the interim. Yes, we are all early adopters and know what we are in for here, but for a >$100k vehicle you kind of expect that the nav is "table stakes" and is going to work.

L-I-B | October 3, 2013

I'll add one more comment. Picked up my Model S on Monday. The GPS believes the car is in Fremont and it never moves. Unfortunately, my car is in Washington. Also, my nearest service center is 280 miles away.

palle-n | October 4, 2013

Picked up my P85 in Oslo on the 16th Sep. Driving out on the local highway I was told by the GPS to make a u-turn. GPS position is way of and sometimes suddenly it is back on track. Today I have received the Rev 5.6 software for the car - hope it will fix the GPS problem - will test it this weekend. I was told last week by the friendly service call center in Holland that engineers are working on a software fix that will be made available in about a month (end Oct).
The car it perfect in all other aspects.

darthbeldar | October 4, 2013

I talked to Service Center today and they have my car P85 received August 30th on list to replace MCU, there is a PCB contact that is failing causing GPS to go screwy. A temp fix is being developed in firmware that should help, but permanent fix is to replace MCU. Estimate is couple of weeks, will report back when it is resolved.

jsmith | October 9, 2013

my GPS location is frozen. I rebooted but this did not fix the situation. The map works fine but it shows my location in a frozen state. I tap on the location icon but it does not change my location. You would think that a reboot would fix this but it does not. Will try again today.

polyphase | October 10, 2013

I had the wonky GPS problem with my early September delivery MS P85+ (ver 5.0). I emailed 3 days ago. Yesterday evening I got in the car to see a software update notice and a phone call from Tesla to notify me as well. This AM the GPS seems to be working fine.

CoreyM | October 10, 2013

Same as polyphase, my September delivery MS had these GPS problems.

I'd been emailing with about the problem over the last couple of weeks including pictures and video of the problems, then yesterday got the update notification. Installed update v5.6 (1.45.32) last night and got a follow-up call this morning.

So far I've only driven one trip with the new version, but the GPS didn't exhibit any of the problems it had ever since I took delivery.

Communication still seems to be an issue throughout the company, but I've been impressed with every 1-on-1 interaction (and their follow-up) I've had with anyone at Tesla (Corporate, Store and Service Center).

leon.gelernter | October 10, 2013

Great news that 5.6 solved this major problem. Enjoy guys.

jfewins | October 10, 2013

I had an update yesterday. The GPS was useless before. Now (at least on the drive to work today), it seems just fine. We will see if this is a patch or a definitive fix. Tesla, are you there? Any thoughts on this from Freemont?

CoreyM | October 10, 2013

@jfewins-I asked that question of the Service rep who called me as a follow-up to the update. He told me that the hope is that this firmware update resolves the issue, but they are still waiting to determine if this does fix it or if there are other measures (e.g. replacing the MCU) required. He said that he has a few cases with the GPS issue and so far every one has been fine after the update.

He also said that this update was not just a patch and is the release that is going to be rolling out to everyone (not just those with GPS issues).

I'm guessing if you talked to someone else at Tesla you might get a different answer, so take it for what it's worth.

MichelF | October 15, 2013

I have a European Signature which was produced in September with exactly the same problem en version 5.6. Technical support here are looking into it but sofar no improvement.

FatNinja | October 22, 2013

Fremont Service Center fixed my GPS/NAV problem. GPS system was not working right since my initial delivery of car 9/6/13. Called service center and they tried remote diagnostics to fix (did not fix). Then they called to schedule an appointment for me on 10/17/13. Ended up replacing Media Control Unit (MCU). Problem fixed! Had my S back in less than 24 hours.

The team there also took care of a couple other service bulletin items while they replaced the touchscreen.

Only disappointment with the service experience was no Tesla loaner available while my S was being worked on.

mnguyen | October 22, 2013

For those of you who have had your MCU/touchscreen replaced, did you lose all of your customized settings (e.g., driver profiles, radio presets, homelink, etc.)?

rbgliny | October 22, 2013

After a few calls to the SC and to ownership the SC called me and the S is in for an MCU replacement. Car was delivered on Sept 21st. and went in Oct. 20th.

FatNinja | October 22, 2013

Driver profiles and homelink setting were retained. Radio presets/favorites, iPhone links were not there.

mnguyen | October 23, 2013

Thanks, FatNinja. I'll make sure to record all of my radio presets/favorites before my service appointment. I'm getting my MCU replaced on Monday. It will be nice to finally have a functional GPS/NAV system.

FatNinja | October 23, 2013

FYI, Service Team also did preventative work on C Pillar and replaced 12V battery for newer (deep cycle?) one.

sdelucia | October 24, 2013

How I set to N up? I have 4.5

jennifer.denys | October 24, 2013

We had the same problem on our Nav for our new P85. Our Ranger ordered a part (antenna?) and is supposed to be installed next week to fix.

darthbeldar | October 24, 2013

I had to call Ownership in order to get firmware update expedited installed yesterday was on 5.0 now on 5.6 and GPS works correctly 100% of the time.

mnguyen | October 31, 2013

Instead of replacing my MCU, the service center decided to update my software to version 5.6 instead (I was previously on 5.0). My Nav/GPS is now working perfectly. I'm glad 5.6 worked because I was a little nervous about the service center taking apart my dash to install the replacement MCU.

JimAlger | October 31, 2013

This strikes me as a WAAS correction issue. Shouldn't be too difficult to fix.

JimAlger | October 31, 2013

Looks like 5.6 might have done it?