It’s all over the Internet: Tesla’s “Dog Mode” has a serious bug; it doesn’t work if the AC fan is set to manual. One headline said “Musk vows to fix.” But is there really such a bug?
Dog Mode is a cool feature Tesla added to run the AC when no one is in the car. It displays a image of a dog on the touch screen along with the car’s interior temperature, so passers by won’t be worried about the pet. I’ve used it myself a couple of time and it worked great. Of course any responsible pet owner checks up on the temperature anyway with the Tesla App.
People love their pets, and any threat of them is big news.
It all started on Twitter.
Elon Musk replied with one word “fixing.” I don’t call that confirmation, but damage control, and a commitment to fix a bug if there is one, but here’s what’s on the Internet:
- Business Insider: Elon Musk vows to fix ‘dog mode’ after a tech CEO said his Tesla hit 85 degrees with his pooch inside the car
- People: Elon Musk Vows to Fix ‘Dog Mode’ in Teslas After System Malfunctions
- Electrek: Tesla is ‘fixing’ a potentially dangerous bug with ‘Dog Mode
- Trusted Reviews: Dangerous Tesla Dog Mode flaw could place your pup in peril
- Know Techie: Tesla’s Dog Mode doesn’t work unless your AC is set to Automatic.
- Fox News: Tesla fixing ‘Dog Mode’ after owner discovers potentially dangerous issue
- Mashable: Tesla’s ‘dog mode’ has a pretty bad bug, but Elon Musk is on it
So what’s wrong with this story?
First it’s impossible. With the current version of Tesla firmware (I have 2019.24.4), you can’t put turn on Dog Mode with the AC fan set to Manual. When you turn on Dog Mode, the car automatically sets the fan to AUTO. I tried it. Further, if you do set the fan to Manual after turning on Dog Mode, it still works just fine. I turned on Dog Mode, set the fan to manual, exited the car and watched it cool to the set temperature on the Tesla App. I tested this on a 2018 Model 3 and a 2016 Model S.
None of those stories said anything about confirming it. I consider this highly irresponsible. Maybe there is a bug, but my cars don’t have it. Who knows? Certainly not all the writers of these articles.
Update: The “Fix”
Tesla is rolling out a “Dog Mode” improvement. I got mine today (Aug. 7) in firmware 2019.28.2 along with a Chess game, volume control improvements and game controller support for Beach Buggy Racing 2.
The “fix” is to disable the AC controls (except for temperature) when Dog Mode is enabled. I still haven’t figured out what the problem was is unless it was to prevent the driver from turning on Dog Mode, setting the AC fan to manual, and then lowering the fan speed so far that it couldn’t keep the car cool. I guess we could call this fix “idiot proof dog mode.”