Tesla door handles, which sit flush with the car’s body, improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics. However, they’re not great in extremely cold weather, with the handles sometimes getting too frozen to move.
The company did issue a software fix after the door handle problems first came to light, in the winter of 2018, but it wasn’t a complete fix. In 2019, when the polar vortex was raging in the US, some Tesla Model 3 owners still had issues getting into their cars.
Now, Tesla has issued another update that addresses this problem. In the 4.14.0 version of its mobile app, the company added a “quick control to unlatch Model 3 or Model Y driver door,” noting that this should be “helpful if door handle is frozen.” The update also requires the vehicle software to be updated to version 2022.36 or later.
Now, if we could only get a fix for frozen windows…
Credit: Screenshot: Stan Schroeder / Tesla
Note that owners were previously able to unlock the car using the app, but now the door actually unlatches, so they can pry them open with their half-frozen fingers.
As Electrek notes, this update still may not fully fix the issue. Tesla Model 3 and Model Y cars have frameless doors, and the window has to come down a little bit before the door can be opened. If the window is frozen too, it may be hard to do, and you may even damage the car if you force it.
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Still, when the car is frozen shut, and defrosting doesn’t do much, you’ll be thankful for every little bit of help you can get.
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Besides the cold weather-related improvements, the latest version of the Tesla app also adds a screen widget to display vehicle range on the lock screen.