- A Tesla-owner tweeted to Elon Musk that his car’s “dog mode” had malfunctioned, allowing the temperature in the vehicle to climb to 85 degrees.
- Tesla’s “dog mode” was rolled out six months ago, and is meant to keep the car cool to prevent dogs from overheating.
- Musk replied to say he was fixing the bug.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Elon Musk promised to fix a big problem with Tesla’s “dog mode” on Wednesday.
Dog mode was rolled out by Tesla in February after being requested by a Tesla fan on Twitter. When activated, dog mode keeps the air-conditioning going and flashes up a message on the car’s display screen that says “my owner will be back soon.”
Read more: Elon Musk says that Teslas will be able to safely stream Netflix and YouTube “soon”
Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Twitter user and tech CEO Rahul Sood — who heads up esports company Unikrn – said he had turned on dog mode only to find the car reached 85 degrees with his dog inside it.
“Dog mode only works if in auto, if you manually set the fan and leave the AC turns off,” he tweeted.
@elonmusk @Tesla warning about dog mode…
It’s hot as all hell in Seattle. Today I used dog mode and luckily I kept the app open, to my horror the car was 85 degrees and climbing!
Dog mode only works if in auto, if you manually set the fan and leave the AC turns off.
— Rahul Sood 🦄 (@rahulsood) July 31, 2019
Elon Musk replied with “Fixing …”, for which Sood expressed his gratitude.
Enzo thanks all y’all. pic.twitter.com/1AZ30M2RJa
— Rahul Sood 🦄 (@rahulsood) August 1, 2019
Software updates to Tesla vehicles can be rolled out remotely, which is how dog mode was originally brought to the vehicles. Tesla was not immediately able to say whether the fix had been rolled out when contacted by Business Insider on Thursday morning.
When dog mode first came out, animal charities including PETA told Business Insider they would advise drivers against using it.
“We caution that the ‘dog mode’ function isn’t foolproof and could provide a false sense of security, as engines and air conditioning can cut out,” a PETA spokeswoman said. She added that the message in the car’s display might dissuade a passer-by from intervening if the technology did malfunction.
“The safest way for anyone to protect dogs when temperatures soar is simply to leave them at home — with plenty of water,” she added.
You can find advice on what to do if you see a dog in a locked car on PETA’s website. In the UK, the RSPCA’s advice is to call 999 if you see a dog in distress in a car on a warm day.
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