A terrifying situation played out last week when the owner of a new Tesla Model 3 was driving down a stretch of California highway when the car’s computer allegedly froze. This caused the electric car to become unresponsive and was stuck going a staggering 83 mph.
ABC7 Los Angeles spoke with Javier Rodriguez of Irvine about the incident. Rodriguez said his Model 3’s main screen froze, and all the buttons and switches stopped working while traveling down westbound on the 10 Freeway through Cabazon. He said, moments later, the car’s accelerator was unresponsive while stuck at a high rate of speed.
“I noticed that it started to get hot in the car, and there started to be a weird scent coming.
“I was nervous that if I were to brake a whole lot that I wouldn’t be able to gain the speed again to keep up with traffic and get around cars. I was nervous somebody was going to slam into me,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez used his smartphone to capture the incident while the car was stuck at 83 mph. He figured out the brakes did work and made a safe and controlled stop off the highway.
The Model 3 was towed to a Tesla repair shop, where technicians were able to troubleshoot and fix the problem. They told him a “poor communication from charge port door caused power conversion system to shut off in order to protect onboard components during the drive.”
However, Rodriguez isn’t satisfied with Tesla’s answer and demands “more explanation.” He’s worried some safety feature on the vehicle could cause the onboard computer to shut itself down with no warning.
Perhaps this is something the National Transportation Safety Board should examine.
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