WiFi connection is now required!

WiFi connection is now required!

I just got off the phone with Tesla Support and I was told that WiFi connection is now REQUIRED.
Small software updates might still go over LTE but major updates (maps, SW-V9, etc) will NOT be delivered over LTE.
My car hasn't been updated lately for the simple reason that I never connected to WiFi.
They also mentioned that they couldn't force the latest software update to my car until connected to WiFi.

rxlawdude | September 5, 2018

I call "BS" on this. Not you, the poster, but the information given to you. It's simply not true.

bddaughe | September 5, 2018

Check out If you only have standard connectivity, then that information is true:

"Standard Connectivity offers basic maps & navigation, music & media over Bluetooth® and software updates over Wi-Fi. Note: Important safety updates will continue to be available over the car’s cellular connection."

According to that note, anyone who ordered after June 30 will have standard connectivity unless they upgrade to premium for $100/year.

broncochrissy | September 5, 2018

I ordered July 1 and got the premium upgrade free for a month. Got my car on Thursday and already had an update Friday without using WiFi.

Alex_SD | September 5, 2018

They refused to push the latest update over LTE because it contains a major maps update which is very large... Nothing I can do about it... I do have the premium connectivity for life...

lbowroom | September 5, 2018

So connect it to WiFi

mbouchti57 | September 5, 2018

Wait I though the premium connectivity is free for the first year. Isn't that true?

SolidWhite60DX | September 5, 2018

Yes the premium connectivity is free for the first year. Check the FAQs people.

bddaughe | September 5, 2018

Free for the first year for Model S and Model X owners. Or Model 3 owners with Premium Interior. I realize everyone at this time has premium interior, but wanted to clarify for completeness.

PaceyWhitter | September 5, 2018

Anyone else think OP is burying the lead? There is a large update available!? New maps? Is it V9? I'm excited, and connected to WiFi.

Alex_SD | September 5, 2018

Premium connectivity is free for life for cars ordered before July 1st. After July 1st, you get only one year free.

bobgriswold | October 30, 2018

I received my Model 3 in March of this year, and it did not have WiFi enabled at that time - I was told that it would come in a future update. I never received that update, and now I hear that all future updates will require WiFi. WTF??? I need a software update to even enable WiFi, but that software update will not be delivered until I connect to WiFi. What can I do - I have WiFi in my garage, and my Model S has been connected to it for several years. I really don't want to freak out about this yet, but I'm starting to get really angry. Can someone tell me if there is an easy solution to this?

ebm | October 30, 2018

@bobgriswold What software version are you on?

bobgriswold | October 30, 2018

v8.1 (2018.21.9 75bdbc11)

gballant4570 | October 30, 2018

I asked the question using the account page ask a question function. My question was about receiving software updates without WIFI, considering that I have lifetime connectivity. I was told WIFI was recommended and needed for software updates, via an email reply. Two days later, on 27 Oct, I received a notification of available software update, and scheduled it for 2:30 am the 28th, the following morning. I had received 2018 .39.7.1 over LTE when I checked the next day.

gballant4570 | October 30, 2018

bobgriswold, the other part of my email reply I did not mention above was to go to a service center for updates in lieu of hooking up to WIFI. It sounds like you should schedule a service to get caught up, and then hook up to WIFI.

I will need a network extender to connect my car to my WIFI from out in the barn.... I am certain that relying on LTE will end up with my car in a behind position as well, so I'll fix that.

CharleyBC | October 30, 2018

My son finally joined the V9 crowd this past weekend, getting the update over LTE. Where he parks at his apartment he can't connect to WiFi--never has. So while it may be preferred, and may explain why his update was so late compared to others (like mine), it seems it is not absolutely required.

bobgriswold | October 30, 2018

I haven't received ANY software update notices for several months, so I'm afraid I have been left hopelessly behind. I have fantastic wifi coverage in my garage, but terrible cell service. I don't think I will get any software updates over LTE since the cell network coverage at my home is terrible. So, do I now have to take time off of work and bring my car in to a service center just so I can get a software update that should have been installed over the air to my car months ago???

gballant4570 | October 30, 2018

bobgriswold, another option would be to retire, like I did. Not only you never have to take off work again, you never even have to go to work again. I have been enjoying a life of leisure ever since. I would recommend it.

Alex_SD | October 30, 2018

The reason why you don’t get updates it’s because of the poor LTE coverage at your residence. You need to bring your car to a service center. You’re WAY behind with software updates...

EVRider | October 30, 2018

Nobody required WiFi for updates yet, though it will improve your chances of getting one. Once people lose premium connectivity, they will need WiFi for most updates. Details here:

Nakid | October 30, 2018

V9 was installed over LTE, but I can't download the new maps unless I'm connected to WiFi.

SDr2d2 | October 30, 2018

Wifi is not required, i wrote an earlier post on this. I called support and they pushed update to me over LTE. They are prioritizing wifi during initial push save on LTE cost. I found there is a disconnect between there support documentation and reality.
They needed to push a map update package first then new version of v9. The lady on support had direct visibility and control to push to my car.

Hope this helps.

CharleyBC | October 31, 2018

@bobgriswold: That's pretty weird that you've gone so very long. Definitely an outlier case. Sounds like once you do get updated, WiFi will keep you happy going forward. But you've got to get there first. Perhaps a call to Tesla to see what they recommend in your scenario...

mmorg85 | October 31, 2018

I'm a noob here, but couldn't you set up your cel phone as a hot spot and make the car think it's connected to Wifi?

millerwb | October 31, 2018

Same situation for me as @bobgriswold. Wifi in my garage. Zero cell coverage where I live. I have had my car for a month. I have never received an update.

Kathy Applebaum | October 31, 2018

@bobgriswold Since you don't have good cell coverage at home, the solution is clear. You need to take the car for a long drive this weekend in areas with cell coverage. You'll get an update and a grin!

If that doesn't work, call Tesla and ask them for a solution that doesn't involve going to a SC.

CharleyBC | October 31, 2018

@mmorg85, yes you should be able to use your phone as a hotspot. The trick is you have no idea when it's going to be your turn for an update. You probably don't want to leave your phone acting as a hotspot for a week or two while you wait--assuming you have infinite phone battery.

calvin940 | October 31, 2018


Call customer service. A very helpful individual knew my current firmware status and also knew my car wasn't in the current job queue but I imagine when seeing your circumstance should be able to arrange to escalate a push out. Plenty of people received V9 over LTE that you should be able to get resolution.

bradbomb | October 31, 2018

@calvin940 Did you read @bobgriswold post? He is stuck on 21.9 which was before the update that even enabled WiFi on the car. His issue is that his garage has no LTE coverage, but great WiFi coverage. However, he can't connect to WiFi without being updated to 24.6 or higher. Without LTE coverage while the car is parked for an extended period of time, he won't get any update. I never received any of my previous updates over LTE while the car was driving, only when it was parked and had entered sleep. I did receive 39.7 over WiFi the one time I was able to park somewhere and get my car connected on WiFi. Haven't received 42.2, but I have not had my car connected to WiFi since I received 39.7

calvin940 | October 31, 2018

@bradbomb yes, I read his post. I suggested nothing about receiving the update via WiFi. I am saying that the car can get it over LTE (as others have received) , but the vehicle is going to need to be left it in an LTE friendly location in order to do so (maybe friend's or relative's place that has better LTE). The other option that is available is the visit to the service center.

gwolnik | October 31, 2018

The wifi signal in my garage is very weak, so I mail ordered an extender, but it hasn't arrived yet. I got the notification that an upgrade was ready yesterday and suspected it was version 42. I volunteer at my church and have access to the church office and its wifi, so I went there last night and parked in front of the office door and got a strong wifi signal! I started the upgrade, then went into the office to do some work and waited 45 minutes. I kept peaking out the window hoping to see the headlights flash, but either they stopped doing that on the software upgrades, or I missed it. When I checked the car, it was on 42! However, I don't know if the maps updated, is there a way to tell or to force that upgrade?