1 week old Model 3 stopped on the road - Message "Cannot maintain vehicle power"

1 week old Model 3 stopped on the road - Message "Cannot maintain vehicle power"

Was driving my Model 3 home today when suddenly I received a message stating "Cannot maintain vehicle power - Car may stop driving or shut down." Car slowed to a stop within 20 seconds and was unable to be turned on, luckily I was on a street and was able to pull over and not on the highway. Hit both knobs on steering wheel to reboot system but the message persisted. Then another message would say "Vehicle systems are powering up - Shift into D or R after message clears" but was never able to shift out of P. Had to call Tesla and had the vehicle towed to a service center. Was a scary experience since the car seemed to work perfectly fine for the first week and had 160 miles without issue. It wasn't a drained battery as I had 252 miles left on the charge and had not been using car for anything else, no dashcam installed that would have drained the 12v. Anyone hear of this happening or have any idea what could have gone wrong?

AMAZEU | 28 mai 2018

If any thug like that happens again find the white wire and wiggle it. That will usually fix electrical devices. Unless you have let the smoke out.

carlk | 28 mai 2018

I usually kick it a couple times to make it to behave.

sduck | 28 mai 2018

No, no, no. That advice won't help. What you NEED to do is poke it with screwdrivers and look at it funny. If that doesn't fix it (and it should if you've done it right) just take it to someone who actually knows what they're doing.

billlake2000 | 28 mai 2018

turtle3, hope you can report back about what service found and what they did to fix it.

willowtip | 28 mai 2018

my god, i am just dreading all the dirty looks and shit i will get from the ol ball and chain if something like this happens after convincing her to get this car. i understand this can happen with a new model car and new tech all too well, others don't.

"you spent how much on a car that isn't as reliable as a honda civic"

afrandx | 28 mai 2018

Mos, what are you adding to these forums? You are starting to annoy even me, every post I read, I see you or shock just sputtering non-sense. Get a life.

Tyme Traveller | 28 mai 2018

Turtle3 I’m so sorry to learn of the trouble with your new car. I’m glad to learn that you are safe and the car wasn’t damaged. Please let us know what the service center determines the cause is.

mos6507 | 28 mai 2018


And what's your contribution to this thread? You think this incident makes a positive case for Model 3 reliability?

afrandx | 28 mai 2018

I'm not just speaking about this thread, I'm talking about the Forums in general. Just give it a rest, PLEASE!

pranfire | 28 mai 2018

im gonna side with afrandx on this one
also thats scary turtle3, hope it doesnt happen to mine, also did they find the problem?

PessimiStick | 28 mai 2018

I've had two separate cars die while driving ('02 Sentra SE-R grenaded the motor by losing butterfly screws into the intanke, and my '06 Evo had the transmission lock up and seize completely in 5th gear). If my P3D dies while driving I'll get it repaired like every other car I seem to own.

My guess is that your car is just an outlier. Someone has the be the lucky one with the weird problem, today it was you.

gar1116 | 29 mai 2018

Mos never disappoints. I look forward to his posts. Thanks for the effort mos.

wiboater4 | 29 mai 2018

Turtle3 It could be something as simple as a switch. I think they have something called a contactor. There was a You Tube Video a quite awhile ago by a model S owner. They just put a whole new battery pack in his since the contactor was in the pack itself . They can change battery packs very fast . I've had things go wrong with other makes of cars when new also like PessimiStick and it's going to happen once in awhile. Hopefully they get it back to you soon.

carlk | 29 mai 2018

Yes nothing can be more entertaining when someone is trying so hard to prove his stupidity.

Iwantmy3 | 29 mai 2018

Please let us know what they find. That is an unfortunate way to start ownership of a new car.

As for the rest of you, I think I have to side with mos on this one. turle3 shares a bad experience where the car is clearly at fault and the first three comments are from regulars making fun of him. That's just sad. It isn't even fanboyism. It's just sad.

wiboater4 | 29 mai 2018

@Iwantmy3 I don't think those first 3 comments were meant to make fun of the poster. I think it was just meant as what people do in general when something doesn't work , just a little humor. That is the way I took it anyway.

hzb | 29 mai 2018

can someone please make mos go away. or how about 20-30,000 m3 owners post him a message every day when their car works perfectly. of course any forum collects all the things that go wrong but as a percentage of the experiences people are having the number is almost trivial. teslas are more like a computer or other electronic device that an ICE car, things that go wrong usually go wrong early if they are going to but then work great for years.

SO | 29 mai 2018

@afrandx - just flag their posts. If enough people do it, their post will disappear. They are obviously trolls who will never buy a Tesla product.

SO | 29 mai 2018

@turtle3 - did you hit a bump just prior? Wonder if something jarred loose.

wpibum | 29 mai 2018

@the people pissed at mos6507

How is what he is doing any less constructive then the usual suspects on here who write long diatribes that always excuse Tesla as infallible? Word count does not equal value.

The truth is both are about as value-able and move the needle about the same distance.

SO | 29 mai 2018

@wpibum - how long have you been on this forum?

This is far from an isolated event. Judging based on a couple threads is far from a complete picture.

RedPillSucks | 29 mai 2018

Was there a follow up from OP? It's important to understand if things like this is an issue or an outlier.
With no reply from OP as to any response from Tesla (I would assume he called the service center immediately),
I would call this fakery. Not that I don't think this can happen, but it looks more like a grenade toss than an actual incident.

spuzzz123 | 29 mai 2018

Couldn't find any other posts from Turtle3 -- doesn't mean its necessarily fake...but it does support to the assertion that the majority of Tesla owners don't post here unless there's a problem. Honestly I don't know why I'm still sticking around here. I'm not waiting any longer for my car. I'm not having any problems with it. I'm not a troll. So I guess I'm a forum rubbernecker enjoying all the tips, good news, and banter.

mos6507 | 29 mai 2018

"This is far from an isolated event."

Heretic! Leave the forum! This is for "enthusiasts" only!

wpibum | 29 mai 2018


I did not say what mos is doing is isolated in fact I know it is not. Same as the people I refer to in "the usual suspects on here who write long diatribes that always excuse Tesla as infallible?" are not isolated either.

Again both add about the same amount of value that any extremist will.

n2scuba | 29 mai 2018

This is the second new one I’ve read about needing a tow in the last two days. I’m wondering if they’re now rushing these cars out too fast. I’ve been driving for 58 years and have never had a car die on me. I’m currently driving a 1994. I’ve also never had a $60k+ car. I understand high tech brings with it expected problems. I reserved at 12:10am on 4-1-16 and am impatiently awaiting my invitation to configure. I appreciate the negative posts as well as the positive posts so that my expectations are in line with what I may experience. If I’m among the lucky ones with no problems, so much the better. But again I appreciate a realistic picture of what to expect, both good and bad.

bernard.holbrook | 29 mai 2018

@n2scuba - The other 3 that was towed was setting a distance record on one charge and was run past empty... Issues were expected there. It when 606 miles before it died so that's pretty far.

n2scuba | 29 mai 2018

Bernard.holbrook, that’s not even one I knew about. The second one I was referring to belonged to a woman who has had it only three days. It was simply dead on the third day, and Tesla couldn’t start it. They had to tow it. Still no answer yet on what the problem is.

gar1116 | 29 mai 2018

You go Mos! Give it to 'em!

Haggy | 29 mai 2018

In the time I've been a Tesla owner, I have needed road service a few times, but it's never been for a Tesla. I never ran out of charge, but have had batteries go dead in an ICE a number of times. My son ran out of gas once and I had to go get him. My daughter needed road service several times for flat tires, and one time when some road debris punctured her oil pan.

I'm not saying that the Tesla has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. In terms of the raw number of repairs, the Model S might be the least reliable, but in terms of inconvenience it was minimal. Nothing ever stopped me from using the car, and most things could be taken care of when I needed to bring the car in anyway for something like a tire rotation. Some of the things Tesla took care of are ones where I'll just have to take their word for it that there was even a potential problem.

In terms of actually breaking down or leaving me (or somebody using a car registered to me) stranded, it happened way too many times in other cars. If you count when my son got locked out of the car and needed to call road service, the only thing comparable was the time I was too lazy to go back to get my fob, used the phone for the Model S, left it in the car, which locked itself, and had to call my wife to use the app to let me back in.

For the Model 3, there was one problem that I knew about, not counting software related issues that went away on their own. I had an airbag warning. Tesla replaced the airbag cover. For me, the consequence was a message on the screen and not something that affected my use. There were also a number of other things that Tesla has swapped out since I got the car. Mine was an early one (from December) so I knew it was more likely. But if anything was wrong with any of those things, I never knew about it. It might have been that diagnostics showed a potential to fail or that Tesla simply had newer revisions and wanted to replace older ones, but it was transparent and Tesla came to my house when needed.

I do have one remaining "problem." My window regulator supposedly could cause problems and Tesla wants to swap it out at some point. For now, it works perfectly and probably still will until it gets swapped out, which will most likely happen at my home.

In other words, the biggest problem I have is that Tesla keeps improving my car. They redesigned the suspension after mine was made, and I took it in to have suspension components replaced, but there was nothing defective. It was simply a free upgrade.

johnyi | 29 mai 2018

I'd like to hear what happened too. Also curious to know if the car coasts to a stop (as if in neutral) or regen kicks in when the system fails and stops quickly?

I hate to throw suspicion onto someone who may just be reaching out for help, but there are so many out there actively wanting Tesla to fail that regulars on this forum have a right to be suspicious. So I'm hoping the OP gives us an update and what the root cause was. Otherwise, this just looks like mos registering another account and causing FUD - he certainly jumped on the thread rather quickly for being a non-owner.

Shock | 29 mai 2018

"a right to be suspicious. So I'm hoping the OP gives us an update and what the root cause was. Otherwise, this just looks like mos registering another account and causing FUD"

That isn't suspicious; that is conspiratorial. All the accusations of OP lying simply because you don't like what he has to say.

Frankly, you guys look like a bunch of tools. Mos makes one post and it's like chum to a starving sharks. I really believe a lot of you people enjoy bitching about it, and my name comes up when I hadn't even entered the thread. Get a hold of yourselves, you're acting like children.

Re. isolated events, let's look at facts. A quick search of this forum produces multiple flat bed threads (here are just a couple of them)

mos6507 | 29 mai 2018

The reason why I jump on these threads is we have at leat one new personal anecdote of build-quality issues daily, which are systematically ignored while fanbois continue to assert that these issues are rare. One incident is an outlier but at some point the collective weight of these reports represents a quantifiable pattern, something that deserves to be addressed and not denied or brushed under the rug for fear of tarnishing Tesla's halo.

You have to understand that if there are systemic problems at the factory that Tesla's problems will only multiply if they blindly ship cars with defects at 5,000 a week or more.

If anyone is concerned with Tesla's viability, they should be banging plates like I am and not trying to filter out and stifle the chatter.

It's not to make Tesla look bad. It's to get them to finally identifiy these issues and solve them at the source.

Personally, when push comes to shove, I would be able to tolerate small cosmetic issues but the one showstopper for me is the phantom touch because I have tinnitus with super sensitivity to loud noises. I will not touch the Model 3 if I feel there's any chance the stereo is going to suddenly go on at full volume like what happened to the guy at Edmunds which literally caused his ears to ring afterwards (hopefully they've stopped by now). It's inexcusable that that problem persists with new cars leaving the line today and if you guys think there won't be another thread started here about that through this year's hot summer when the display is heat-expanding against the base you're deluded.

Powertrain defects like the one reported in the OP I suspect are far more uncommon, but they are hugely embarassing, reminding me of the GIF from an old Michael Keaton movie where the wheels come off the axles. Tesla does not want even one incident like that to go viral because it screams "lemon".

Remember, the whole hype about EVs is they're supposedly so much simpler, mechanically, than ICE cars. But with this sort of reliablility, Teslas are in the shop more often than a typical ICE car. That they tend to be small issues doesn't change the fact that they're issues that keep requiring you take the car in for service again and again in Fix-it-again-tony style.

johnyi | 29 mai 2018

Let's do some math. 30,000 M3's on the road now. Let's say on average 2 new issues pop up on this forum every day, 365 days a year. And only 10% of M3 owners (currently mostly MS/X owners too) know about this forum to talk about it. Given how many signed up for the VIN tracker, that seems about right. That's a rate of 24 problems per 100 vehicles per year. Now let's turn to JD Power's initial vehicle quality survey. It looks at problems found in the first 3 months of ownership, so their numbers don't represent a full year and will be lower. What's the best they found? 72 problems per 100 vehicles! The average looks to be about 100.

I'm not trying to prove the M3 is more reliable than these other brands. Just pointing out how silly it is to see a few problems on a forum and trying to extrapolate that to mean the sky is falling. Using the above assumptions, we'd have to see 3000 complaints on this forum just to be average. mos, let us know when you've counted 3000 complaints here.

turtle3 | 29 mai 2018

I normally never post on Tesla forum but have read about it to learn new info about my cars. I am more active on the tesla motors club website and the tesla subreddit. I thought being on the official tesla website I would get some more constructive responses rather then joking / accusatory statements. I have a X and loved the 3 even more from the time I took delivery. Cars aren't perfect but when new cars stop while on the road it is a stressful situation that should not be taken lightly. Tesla service has been great and arranged my transportation home yesterday and will be dropping off a loaner today, still dont know cause of what happened but will update when I get more news.

Here is a pic I took of the error I got on the screen. Again I was driving and did not hit anything, actually was driving car home after it had been installed with xpel ppf on front. Car had not issue before yesterday and I thought the paint, fit and finish was much better then the X.

As for being an isolated incident I think few others have had similar errors happen this month on recent deliveries. Here are links to similar incidents:

spuzzz123 | 29 mai 2018

Munching popcorn, watching the show. Turtle I feel for you, the true trolls here have once again steered attention away from your issue and made it about themselves. Obviously your issue is beyond anyone who isn’t a Tesla engineer so please update with a resolution when you find one. Oh and when you do, change the title to include the word update or reaolution. I don’t usually check old posts as it’s typically back and forth between fans and trolls with no useful information.

RedPillSucks | 29 mai 2018

@turtle3 Thanks for responding. Did you create an issue with Tesla service, and did you get a response?

billlake2000 | 29 mai 2018

turtle thanks for coming back and for keeping us updated. Did you ever see the movie "Northshore" with Nia Peeples?

chuck | 29 mai 2018

Here is a simple fact: Tesla cars, being the product of human minds and human hands, are not and never will be perfect.

My Mercedes once stopped right in the middle of the road. i managed to get it off the the side. It turned out that the fuel pump had failed. Mercedes sent a roadside assistance unit immediately. They flat-bedded my car to the dealer and got me to my office. It was not a good situation, but they did well.

What matters here is how Tesla handles it.

Atoms | 29 mai 2018

This is an isolated incidence. No way Tesla could handle even 1 out of 100 cars with failing power train. The failure rate is likely less than 1 per 1000. Even this is very high. If people only knew the complexity of the technology these cars are built on. It is astounding that they are this reliable. There are many power transistors in the inverter and they have to handle extreme power cycling. Tesla likely does 100% burn-in of every power train before assembly. But they can’t burn-in the equivalent of weeks of driving. But the burn in at least takes care of the majority of infant failures. Statistically a few get past all the testing and result in a car failure. As the yield improves, the failure rate will fall even further. It can take years to solve many of the causes of failures. This is difficult engineering. But the current failure rate is acceptable and will only get better.

jjgunn | 29 mai 2018

mos666 | May 29, 2018
"This is far from an isolated event."

Heretic! Leave the forum! This is for "enthusiasts" only!

Seriously though, Glad turtle3 is ok - It definitely sucks when your brand new car just dies & leaves you stranded. I feel for ya. Thanks for the links. We appreciate you telling the forum.

I agree with Chuck. It sounds like Tesla took care of you as they should have. Please give us an update when you find out what happened & the resolution.

My pea brain sees that message ("Cannot maintain vehicle power - Car may stop driving or shut down.") & I think the DC / AC inverter went out.

Coastal Cruiser. | 29 mai 2018

turtle3, thanks for the report and the update. There have been a handful of "car won't go" type threads. I've never heard of yours before though. Of the car won't go threads I have followed all were resolved, but none that I'm aware of (and I'm not aware of everything) came back with a specific cause flagged. Rather, the motor or major system is swapped out and no further explanation was given to the owner (or at not reported here).

Again, this is just the similar posts I've noticed. Good luck with your issue. If you do learn anything further please do share!

mos6507 | 30 mai 2018

"Let's do some math."

I'd welcome some concrete statistics about these sorts of issues, sort of like the leak about, what was it, 40% error rate on parts getting rejected and/or needing rework? Unfortunately these questions weren't asked at the last earnings call. If they were, I would expect Musk to try to avoid answering.

Until then, each person spins the numbers in their head based on whether they're an optimist or a pessimist. What I have noticed, however, is the rate of personal anecdotes being put onto this forum has accelerated to the point where fanbois are starting to have to spin rationalizations on a daily basis (i.e. let's do some math here!). The positive spin argument carries less weight and seems increasingly strained as time goes on.

Shock | 30 mai 2018

^^ Turtle has come back to the thread, so no more nonsense about him being an alt account or making it up, please.

Ericzlot | 30 mai 2018

My drive unit also just died after a little over 1k miles. Car was parked. When I returned to it...she was dead. They're still investigating other possible issues with other parts in addition. Very disappointing and leaves me concerned about the car's reliability and longevity

Ericzlot | 30 mai 2018

My drive unit also just died after a little over 1k miles. Car was parked. When I returned to it...she was dead. They're still investigating other possible issues with other parts in addition. Very disappointing and leaves me concerned about the car's reliability and longevity

tanveerg | 30 mai 2018

One thing Musk could do to alleviate reliability concerns is to extend the drive warranty for everyone to 7 years (not sure what it is right now).

turtle3 | 30 mai 2018

Got the message today that my car is ready for pickup They ended up replacing the drive unit and pyrofuse. Was surprised they were able to complete the car in less then 2 days. Hopefully don't have to experience an incident like this again.

Xerogas | 30 mai 2018

@turtle3: Congratulations! The drive unit is designed to be easily swapped.

calvin940 | 30 mai 2018

@turtle3 sounds like you had a faulty unit to begin with . Unfortunately that will happen. Glad it looks like you'll be on the road again soon .