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.

Dripps | October 31, 2013

5.6 does help the problem greatly but I was told what it did was disable the use of the gyro data. I still think the MCU replacement is necessary to correct the issue.

TeslaMD | October 31, 2013

@ Dripps - the data fully supports your theory. There are plenty of people on 5.0 who have no navigation issues whatsoever. That proves it's not a problem with 5.0 software release or all 5.0 folks would have navigation issues. And there are other owners who had navigation issues with 5.0 that had the problem fixed immediately after their MCU was replacement.

5.6 simply puts a Band-Aid on a proven hardware issue, and it's most unfortunate for those of us that can't get the MCU replacement approved.

lorip | October 31, 2013

I've had my car since early May, and this has been a fairly frequent problem. I had it in the Menlo Park service center for a week, and the technician took it out on a 20 min test drive, couldn't replicate the problem, and returned the car to me with the issue unresolved. Very annoying. It still happens. No pattern. Nav just loses my position randomly, sometimes it's back in minutes, sometimes it can be up to 30 mins.

redacted | November 1, 2013

I tested out the 5.6 fix last night and the GPS seems to work quite well now. I had a discussion with the Villa Park service manager who explained that 5.6 fix either interprets or recalibrates the part so that it won't mess things up, and yes, it's as good as every other MCU and no, they ain't going to replace it unless the problem persists.

I would really like to see the trouble ticket and the programmer's solution, because I think Tesla is probably saying "we can make it work well enough without replacing the MCU." Which is true, but disappointing. I image the undamaged MCUs are far more responsive and come with ponies. too.

gill_sans | November 1, 2013

We're on 5.0 (no tech package) and have had zero problems with the Model S's on-board GPS. In fact it has always been right, whereas frequently our Android phones' Google Maps navigation has been confused about our location or direction of travel.

skister | November 1, 2013

I've had my Tesla in for service twice and they couldn't fix it. I also emailed ownership and asked for a software update, and never heard back. I finally called their support. They said they could no longer push software updates to individual vehicles, but that 5.6 was rolling out everywhere now, and should be available to everyone within a week.

Brian H | November 1, 2013

phone cam video?

Hart | November 3, 2013

Same GPS problem in my Model S, picked up 10 days ago in Denver. Driving on the interstate it instructs me suddenly to make U-turn, that I am on a dead end street, etc. Happens repeatedly and frequently. Was told it would probably be "fixed" in future update. When?

Iriritating accompanying problem: I now have a second charge station fix on my screen with a fictitious addressone block east of my home. Apparently I must have plugged in when getting to my garage, but GPS had wrong coordinates at that time. Anyone know how to erase one of those incorrect markers?

Hart | November 3, 2013

If update to 5.6 would truly fix this GPS issue, why would it not be provided automatically by TESLA to all of us? My Model S, delivered 10 days ago, comes with version 5.0 - who do I contact to get the 5.6 update?

dfoxhw | November 11, 2013

I too have the GPS problem. I was told by Tesla service that Tesla suspects that the gyro on some boards is "shorting out" thereby confusing the GPS system. As previously mentioned, the problem is fixed with release 5.6 which doesn't use the broken gyro. I assume that they simply use information about the movement of the car to determine which direction you're heading. I don't know if there are any inherent disadvantages in doing this. I'll re-post about how well the fix works once I have some mileage with 5.6. Tesla also disables the gyro as part of the fix. I don't know if this is to reduce power consumption or to avoid potential hardware issues. I guess disabling the gyro is like taking out your appendix, just a piece of hardware that's not really needed.

TeslaMD | November 11, 2013

The problem is that if they are in fact disabling the gyroscope it will hinder the dead reckoning ability that is required if you venture into areas where the GPS signals are blocked. As when you drive into the city with skyscrapers all around you. That's a bad time to get lost and can lead you into a really bad part of town.

To test this, one of us that preciously suffered with the spinning GPS screen ordeal will have to drive into the city and watch the fixed 5.6 GPS screen. If it suddenly fails to detect the turns from city block to city block when surrounded by tall buildings it will reveal that the gyroscope has been disabled in order to "fix" our broken hardware. This would indeed be bad news for those of us affected.

MarioA | November 11, 2013

I am the original poster and figured I should update my own situation. I now have a perfectly running GPS. My local service center replaced the MCU (after getting approval from Tesla) and now the GPS works perfectly. Still running 5.0 software but the GPS is now spot on. Initially there was some talk about just doing the software update but for whatever reason my local SC was successful in getting them to agree to replace the entire MCU. I am very satisfied with the result and the excellent work done at the service center. I noticed on the service sheet that they also checked for a few other known issues without having to ask. So in the end I am very satisfied with Tesla's response to the problem and the service I received.

Brian H | November 11, 2013

You might want to stop using the appendix example. Turns out it's a "safe house" reservoir for pro-bacteria which have been overwhelmed or poisoned, etc. Gets inflamed when its invasion barriers break down and the bad guys get inside.

dfoxhw | November 12, 2013

Brian H, I think the appendix example is still appropriate. Tesla, like the doctors, would have us believe that the gyro isn't needed and can simply be removed when it is infected. But, as others point out, it's a safehouse for the navigation system when the GPS signal is overwhelmed by concrete blockages. Also, sort of like the appendix, the driver gets inflamed when his/her GPS is not working properly when navigating around the city.

Brian H | November 12, 2013

Inflamed drivers are a mortal danger!

dfoxhw | November 12, 2013

Can an inflamed driver cause a Tesla car fire? :)

On a serious note, I'm a little disappointed that Tesla has chosen the "cheap" route to fix this problem by disabling functionality. I predict that it will only make matters worse as drivers with the "fix" discover that it doesn't completely fix the problem. The gyro issue is a hardware defect and therefore the hardware should be repaired under warranty.

skister | November 17, 2013

I got the 5.8 update and it didn't fix my problem. Looks like I'll need to take it in for a 3rd time, and demand they change the MCU this time. My GPS has been broken since August.

gautam2 | November 18, 2013

My GPS was fine and the update broke it. It's terrible now.

perf_guy | November 19, 2013

I have the same issue. 5.6 fixed it but I would seem some issues once in a while.
With 5.8 it's just worse. As soon as I am under a bridge, my position starts to rotate.

DJSN | January 31, 2014

I picked up my Tesla Model S on 9/29/13 and have had the same GPS problem erratically but daily since that time. The software version is up to date, but the problem persists. Have tried all sorts of possible tricks to narrow down the problem, but to no avail. The direction of travel; the North view or directional view; weather, etc. The positioning red icon is dead center on the screen but the map itself randomly wanders and gets offset from the correct location by a 50 to 1000 yards. Occasionally the map twirls for 10 - 30 seconds; quite disconcerting. Most of the time the GPS map will snap back into a the correct position after 1 - 2 minutes. It appears that it must be a bad chip, firmware or MMU control unit!?? Still awaiting a solution.

Winnie796 | February 1, 2014

My GPS has been bad since day one. No updates have fixed it. Not only does it lose location but the screen image just spins around and around. Annoying.

rbgliny | February 1, 2014

First S85 had no gps problems. Our second one's gps was absolutely useless. I think everyone with erratic gps problems need to have the MCU replaced. They swapped out the MCU on our second one and have had no problems since.

Lycanthrope P85 | February 1, 2014

Well Elon said on Thursday that there'd be a big GPS update in V6.0, which he said would be release in a "matter of weeks"...