One of the most used features of Tesla is the Autopilot, allowing the Tesla smart technology to take over the wheel for you. Even though Tesla has an Autopilot feature you should always pay attention and keep your focus on the road.
The reason why I say that is because anything can happen while driving, even using Tesla Autopilot. One issue you may have experienced is phantom braking, this happens when you are using your Tesla Autopilot.
Your Tesla will suddenly brake for no reason while it is driving, which can be scary and alarming, especially when you are not expecting the sudden brake. This can also be extremely dangerous as well since this is common for drivers who are using Tesla Autopilot on the highway.
In this guide, I will be going over why your Tesla is phantom braking and what you should do to solve the issue.
Why is Tesla Phantom Braking?
When experiencing phantom braking on your Tesla this happens when you are using your Tesla Autopilot.
The most common reasons are issues with Tesla Autopilot or even a glitch with the Tesla Software. This could also be due to a faulty feature on your Tesla, or using Tesla Autopilot while driving on a highway.
Read below to see the most common reason why your Tesla is phantom braking based on what other drivers have experienced.
1. Issue With Tesla Autopilot
One of the most common reasons why phantom braking happens on your Tesla is there could be an issue with your Tesla Autopilot.
The Tesla Autopilot is one of the most used features on your Tesla, so when your Tesla is doing phantom braking while using Autopilot it can be alarming and need to be fixed right away.
There are ways you can reboot or update your Tesla to clear any bugs in your Tesla’s Autopilot that can be the reason why you are expiring phantom braking.
Fix – Reboot Tesla/Check For Updates
When you are experiencing phantom braking and it is due to having an issue with your Tesla’s Autopilot the first thing you can do to solve this issue is rebooting your Tesla.
This can refresh your Tesla and clear any corrupt files that are causing this problem with phantom braking. If you do not know how to do a soft reboot on your Tesla follow these steps:
- Make sure your Tesla is in park.
- Press and hold both scroll wheels on your Tesla Steering wheel for 10 seconds or until the Tesla touchscreen turns off.
- Once the Tesla touchscreen turns back one releases your hold on the scroll wheels.
You should also check to see if there are any available updates for your Tesla software. You can check for software updates under the Controls option on your Tesla, tap on Software and this is where you can see if there are any software updates available for your Tesla.
If there is an update available follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update.
There is another option if you want to get a more advanced driver assistant if you are experiencing issues with your Tesla Autopilot. If you have the extra cash you can purchase the FSD (Full-Self Driving), which will give you more access to more advanced driving assistance features.
The FSD adds traffic light and stops control; most drivers that have this feature state that this has solved the phantom braking. However to add this feature to your Tesla is around $12,000 USD, it is up to you if this add-on is worth it or not.
2. Bug/Glitch With Tesla Software
There could be a bug/glitch within the Tesla Software that is causing the phantom braking with your Tesla.
Whenever there is an issue with your Tesla Software this can cause features on your Tesla to malfunction. Having an outdated software version on your Tesla can cause phantom braking on your Tesla when you are using Autopilot.
Updates are meant to fix and clear any glitches that may be present in your Tesla software that are causing this issue. Thankfully checking and doing an update on your Tesla is easy and only takes a couple of quick steps.
Fix – Update Tesla Software
You can check for software updates for your Tesla under the Controls on your Tesla touchscreen.
Once in the Controls, you will want to go into the Software option, if there is a software update available it will be there. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the software update for your Tesla.
If there is no update available contact the Tesla Customer Support to report the issue, the support team can guide you on what you should do next. You may have to wait for an update to come out to solve this glitch.
There is an option to do a factory reset on your Tesla. However, it is recommended that doing a factory reset on your Tesla should be done by a professional.
Also keep in mind that when you do a factory reset on your Tesla this will clear all personal data on your Tesla and you will have to set up your Tesla all over again, like the first time you purchased your Tesla.
Contact the Tesla Customer Support to get help if you are needing to do a factory reset on your Tesla.
3. Using Autopilot on Highway
As stated above phantom braking happens when your Tesla is on Autopilot which can be alarming when driving your Tesla and it suddenly brakes. Most drivers have stated that the phantom braking mostly happens when they are on the highway using the Autopilot.
If you notice that your Tesla keeps phantom braking when you are only on the highway using Autopilot this is a serious issue and you should stop using your Tesla Autopilot.
Fix – Stop Using Autopilot/ Contact Tesla Customer Support
- As previously mentioned if you are only experiencing these phantom braking when you are using the Tesla Autopilot feature on the highway. The first thing you should do is stop using the Autopilot. The phantom braking could get worse the more you are using the Tesla Autopilot on the highway. You should drive your Tesla manually until you can get this issue solved.
- You have rebooted your Tesla and there are no software updates, and you are still experiencing phantom braking when you are using Tesla Autopilot on the highway. You should contact the Tesla Customer Support and report the issue. The Tesla Customer Support will most likely advise you to go to your nearest Tesla Service Center to get a professional opinion on why this is happening to your Tesla.
4. Your Model of Tesla Has Issue With the Rolling Stop Function
Another thing to consider when you are experiencing phantom braking with your Tesla is that the issue could be with certain features on your Tesla. This could be with the Tesla Autopilot or even the Rolling Stop Function.
When you are experiencing constant issues with features on your Tesla as well as phantom braking can be due to a manufacturer error. Did you know that there have been recalls for certain models of Tesla for this exact problem?
Fix – Check to See if Your Model of Tesla is Being Recalled
Contact the Tesla Customer Support and see if your Model of Tesla is on the list of being recalled.
There are certain models of Teslas that are being recalled because of issues with the Rolling Stop Function, which can be the reason why you are experiencing phantom braking.
If your Tesla is being recalled, Tesla will most likely replace your Tesla with a new and improved model or repair the issue at no cost to you.
5. Faulty Tesla Model
Even if your Tesla Model is not under the recall list, this does not mean that your Tesla is in the clear. There is still a chance that your Tesla could be faulty, especially if the phantom braking is not the only issue you have been experiencing with your Tesla.
Though it is not super common, it is not impossible that the model of Tesla that you purchased is faulty. This can be due to a manufacturer error and will be covered under your Tesla warranty.
Fix – Contact Tesla Customer Support
The first thing that you should do when your Tesla is faulty is contact the Tesla Customer Support and look into getting your Tesla replaced or repaired.
When you are experiencing issues with your Tesla like phantom braking and it is due to a faulty Tesla contact the Tesla Customer Support right away.
This should be covered under your warranty, and most likely you will get your Tesla replaced with a different vehicle.
My Final Thoughts
In conclusion, there is not much that you can do on your own when your Tesla is phantom braking. Always reboot your Tesla and check for any software updates when experiencing issues like phantom braking.
With that being said contacting the Tesla Customer Support should be the first thing you should do when rebooting or updating your Tesla does not work.
This could be an issue that only Tesla can solve, there is even a possibility that the model of Tesla that you own is on the recall list.