Elon Musk apologises for Tesla app outage that left hundreds of drivers locked out of their cars for around FIVE HOURS

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  • The mistake was attributed to an accidental network change made by Tesla employees
  • This left users relying on physical keys – if they were lucky and had to hand them over
  • Drivers around the world tweeted complaints that they were unable to go
  • The outage refers to a similar incident that happened in September last year

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Elon Musk was forced to apologize on Friday after a problem with the Tesla app left hundreds of drivers temporarily stranded, unable to unlock or start their cars.

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The blame, attributed to an accidental network change by Tesla employees, hit around the world, with complaints tweeted from countries including the UK, US and Korea.

Drivers reported being unable to connect their vehicles in-app for about five hours, until the fault – a repeat of a similar outage last year – was addressed.

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Tesla can be accessed using a physical key. Yet the fact was little consolation for drivers who had become accustomed to the app who didn’t have such a hand.

Elon Musk (pictured) was forced to apologize on Friday after a problem with the Tesla app left hundreds of drivers temporarily stranded, unable to unlock or start their cars.

Mr Musk connected directly to the problem online in response to Jahwan Cho, a South Korean driver who flagged off the outage with the Tesla CEO via Twitter as a picture

Mr Musk connected directly to the problem online in response to Jahwan Cho, a South Korean driver who flagged off the outage with the Tesla CEO via Twitter as a picture

The mistake, attributed to an accidental network change by Tesla employees, occurred worldwide, with complaints (such as the images) tweeted from countries including the UK, US and Korea.

The mistake, attributed to an accidental network change by Tesla employees, occurred worldwide, with complaints (such as the images) tweeted from countries including the UK, US and Korea.

a recurring issue

Friday’s problems aren’t the first time Tesla users have been left with nowhere as a result of an app outage.

A similar incident – attributed at the time to a complete network outage as a result of an internal break in the firm’s application programming interface – occurred in late September last year.

It also saw Tesla’s internal systems go offline, leaving the automobile firm unable to process orders and complete deliveries as expected.

However, compared to last week’s incident, the outage was relatively short, affecting users in the US and Europe for only an hour.

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Mr Musk connected directly to the problem online in response to Jahwan Cho, a South Korean driver who flagged off the outage with the Tesla CEO.

‘I’m experiencing a 500 server error connecting my @tesla model 3 to my iOS app in Seoul, South Korea. It seems that this is a worldwide issue. @elonmusk,’ Mr Cho tweeted.

‘Checking…’ Mr Musk replied within three minutes of the original tweet.

After about five hours, he said, ‘Should be back online now.’

‘It looks like we accidentally increased the verbosity of network traffic. Sorry, we will take measures to ensure that this does not happen again.’

The network outage released a new update to Tesla’s mobile app early last week — adding more customization options and widget improvements, along with features for shoppers to speculate that events may be added.

David M (@poseyedon) tweeted, ‘It would be one thing if I had a hobby of mine.

He said: ‘But I’m stuck an hour away from home because I usually use my phone to start [my] car.’

Meanwhile, Twitter user Johnny Cohen (@NINJ5) lamented that ‘thousands of Tesla owners have been kicked out of their vehicles because Tesla’s servers shut down two hours ago…’

‘I am one of them. We’d help the environment by owning an electric vehicle, but “walking” wasn’t on my mind,’ he quipped.

‘You can’t rely on the phone app to start the car because it depends’ [an] Internet connection (and Tesla’s server,” noted Twitter user Peter Thorson.

Other users were more emphatic in their comments. @WholeMarsBlog said @elonmusk the server powering the Tesla app should never be down.

The network outage last week released a new update to Tesla's mobile app (pictured within the tweet above) — which includes customization options and widget tweaks, along with features for shoppers to speculate as to whether events will occur. can be added

The network outage last week released a new update to Tesla’s mobile app (pictured within the tweet above) — which includes customization options and widget tweaks, along with features for shoppers to speculate as to whether events will occur. can be added

David M (@poseyedon) tweeted, 'It would be one thing if I had a hobby of mine.  He said: 'But I'm stuck an hour away from home because I usually use my phone to start [my] car'

David M (@poseyedon) tweeted, ‘It would be one thing if I had a hobby of mine. He said: ‘But I’m stuck an hour away from home because I usually use my phone to start [my] car’

'You can't rely on the phone app to start the car because it depends' [an] Internet connection (and Tesla's server,

‘You can’t rely on the phone app to start the car because it depends’ [an] Internet connection (and Tesla’s server,” noted Twitter user Peter Thorson

Tesla can be accessed using a physical key.  Yet the fact was little consolation for drivers who had become accustomed to the app (pictured) who didn't have such a hand.

Tesla can be accessed using a physical key. Yet the fact was little consolation for drivers who had become accustomed to the app (pictured) who didn’t have such a hand.

'It looks like we accidentally increased the verbosity of network traffic.  Sorry, we will take measures to make sure this doesn't happen again,' Mr Musk tweeted as an explanation

‘It looks like we accidentally increased the verbosity of network traffic. Sorry, we will take measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again,’ Mr Musk tweeted as an explanation

Economist David Bailey of the University of Birmingham – whose research has focused on the automobile industry – told the BBC after personally experiencing Friday’s outage: ‘To some extent, Tesla is a victim of its own success.

Tesla, he said, ‘encourages its customers to use cutting-edge technology it creates and sometimes it goes wrong.

‘While, of course, you can also use a key to open the car, the natural tendency of many Tesla drivers – who are buying one of the most high-tech models on the market – is to rely on technology.’

@WholeMarsBlog said @elonmusk the server powering the Tesla app should never be down.

@WholeMarsBlog said @elonmusk the server powering the Tesla app should never be down.

Drivers reported being unable to connect their vehicles in-app for about five hours, until the fault - a repeat of a similar outage last year - was addressed.  Image: Tesla Logo

Drivers reported being unable to connect their vehicles in-app for about five hours, until the fault – a repeat of a similar outage last year – was addressed. Image: Tesla Logo

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