3G-only Teslas to lose connectivity due to AT&T. What you can do

By Nuno Cristovao

First, we have to start off with the positive here, as this isn't Tesla deprecating older vehicles. It's due to AT&T turning off their 3G network, which Tesla uses.

Huge props to Tesla for maintaining cars for so long. Unlike many other tech companies, they don't add vehicles to a vintage or obsolete list. Tesla still delivers updates to the original 2012 Model S cars today. For free. 9 years later.

Early Tesla vehicles to lose cell connectivity

And support isn't ending yet. Tesla will continue to support these vehicles with software updates over WiFi.

There's no other manufacturer on Earth that would do that. We as consumers are always pushed to the newest models. Not always because of hardware advancements, but because manufacturers often only make new features available on new models.

The reason some older Teslas are losing cellular connectivity isn't any fault of Tesla's. It's a matter of technology just moving on. In the US, all Teslas connect to AT&T's cellular network. It has been this way since the original 2012 Model S. Back then 3G provided some of the fastest speeds over cellular and most cellular connected devices used 3G modems, including the modem in early Teslas.

Unfortunately, starting in February next year, AT&T is turning off their 3G service across the country. Cellular data will only be available on LTE and 5G.

This problem isn't unique to Tesla. Any device unitizing AT&T's 3G network will fail to connect come next year. This includes other devices like older cell phones and cellular iPads.

An always available data connection is one of the big reasons Teslas are popular and exciting. You can stream music, browse the web, turn on your climate remotely and receive real-time traffic. It'll even notify you if any doors or windows are left open. So when this connection goes away, it does take away part of the appeal the car initially had.

Luckily for owners, Tesla is giving owners plenty of options here, some free, some not so free, but a good value nonetheless.

Connect Via WiFi

First, your car will not be obsolete, Tesla will continue to provide updates to your vehicle. The cellular modem may be outdated and unable to connect, but your car will still be able to connect via WiFi to your local network.

All the functions your car was able to perform over it's cellular network will still be able over Wi-Fi, which includes downloading software updates. Of course, WiFi doesn't do you much good if you want to stream music while driving.

Connect Via Hotspot

With software update 2020.48.37.8, Tesla added some new capabilities to help with this transition and give owners more choice. Teslas normally turn off WiFi once you shift into Drive or Reverse, since it's no longer needed. However, with this update, Tesla introduced 'Remain Connected to Wi-Fi in Drive', a mouthful of a name, but a great feature. This allows your car to keep WiFi on after shifting into Drive. This will allow owners to share their phone's data connection with the car via a hotspot.

Using a hotspot connection will give your Tesla the same capabilities it had when connecting over a cellular network since these cars have a lifetime subscription to Tesla's Premium Connectivity package. Even though you'll be using a hotspot to connect, you'll remain with access to satellite-view and traffic visualization, which is normally not available when using a hotspot (when you're not subscribed to Tesla's Premium Connectivity).

Modem Replacement

Since it's only the cellular modem that is outdated, Tesla will be offering an option to get it replaced with a LTE and presumably 5G capable modem, giving your car many more years of a cellular connection, which is likely to outlast the car.

Tesla will be offering the cellular modem replacement for a very reasonable fee of $200 in the US.

Upgrading MCU

Lastly, there is another option that Tesla is offering that will give you more than just a modern modem. You'll be able to upgrade the MCU in the vehicle and not only upgrade the cellular modem, but also the WiFi chip, and the processor that powers the media center.

At this point, technology has evolved quite a bit and using the touch screen on a MCU 1 vehicle has become quite slow. Upgrading the MCU will provide a much better experience on par with the latest Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

Upgrading to MCU 2 will also bring a slew of new features that haven't been available in MCU 1 vehicles because of its limited processing power. Adding the MCU 2 introduces features such as Tesla theater, many games such as Sky Force Reloaded and Cuphead, improved driving visualizations, Tesla Caraoke, an improved web browser and more.

The price of upgrading your MCU is quite a bit more expensive, but you do get a whole lot more as well. Although all the new features are nice, the biggest is the improved performance and responsiveness of the touch screen.

The cost to upgrade the MCU to MCU 2 is $2,000, which includes parts and labor.

Which Cars are Affected?

Only vehicles equipped with a cellular modem that is only capable of a 3G connection are affected. If your vehicle has an LTE or LTE and 5G modem, then you remain unaffected. Tesla used 3G-only modems up until 2015.

If your Tesla was built before June 2015 and you haven't upgraded your MCU, then you may be affected. You can reach out to your local service center to confirm whether AT&T's decision to disable its 3G network will affect your vehicle.

View Your Cellular Modem

In update 2020.48.37.8 Tesla is also displaying additional information about your car's modem to you. If you navigate to Controls > Software and tap 'Additional Vehicle Information', your car will now display what kind of modem your car has installed and which cellular networks it's able to connect to.

We hope this will be a feature that will be rolled out to other vehicles as well. Some vehicles feature LTE only modems, while others contain 5G modems as well. Letting owners know which modem is in their vehicle and which networks it can connect to is a worthwhile addition.

Tesla will now automatically reroute you to less busy Superchargers in 2022.16

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla will now reroute you to less busy Superchargers
Tesla will now reroute you to less busy Superchargers
@cybrtrkguy/Twitter (Edited by NATA)

If you don't have enough range to reach your destination, Tesla’s in-car navigation system will automatically calculate where you should stop in order to charge.

If the Supercharger you’re set to arrive at is suddenly too busy, Tesla's navigation will now reroute you to another Supercharger location that's within range.

This was first noticed in the 2022.16 update by @greentheonly, but owners are now seeing it in action.

According to a recent tweet by @cybrtrkguy, which shows a picture of their trip planner and the message, “Rerouting to a less busy Supercharger” in Sheffield, Ohio.

Tesla drivers will now know when a Supercharge station is congested and will have the option to change their route to reduce their total travel time.

Not only does Tesla know exactly how many vehicles are charging at each location. It also knows the charge level of each vehicle and it could estimate the wait time for a Supercharger based on how many Teslas are nearby with a low state of charge.

Based on all of this information Tesla can come up with great suggestions on the best place to charge to reduce your overall trip time.

Tesla’s Supercharger rerouting feature will be useful, especially as Tesla starts opening its Supercharger sites to non-Tesla vehicles.

Tesla recently chose to open up the Supercharger network to other car brands, which could add additional Supercharger congestion.

Update 2022.16.2

Installed on 26% of cars
495 install(s) today
Last updated: Jun 29, 10:46 pm

In fact, Tesla now plans to add CCS (Combined Charging System) plugs to US-based Superchargers in order to make them even more compatible with other EV manufacturers.

With over 30,000 Superchargers (3,500 stations) reported at the end of 2021, Tesla undoubtedly operates the largest and most successful fast-charging networks.

While Tesla plans to solve Supercharger congestion by tripling the size of its network in the next few years, this new navigation feature will certainly help alleviate some Supercharger congestion.

This isn’t the only recent change to how Tesla calculates your route. In the 2022.16.2 software update, Tesla added forecasted crosswind, headwind, humidity and ambient temperature to improve its range calculations even further.

Tesla Model 3 lands in the Top 10 best sellers globally

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla Model 3 is in the Top 10 best selling cars of 2021
Tesla Model 3 is in the Top 10 best selling cars of 2021

Tesla’s Model 3 has landed a spot as the ninth best-selling car in the world for 2021, which is up 40% from 2020, according to Fiat Group World. The Model 3 accounted for 508,000 unit sales in 2021.

According to the data provided by Fiat Group World, the Toyota RAV4/Wildlander came in at number one, which is up from the second spot in 2020. The Ford F-150 pickup truck landed at number seven, down from the number 6 spot in 2020.

Toyota and Honda have four vehicles in the top 11 spots, while Nissan, Ford, and Tesla only have one spot.

Fiat Group World notes that the Tesla Model 3 continues to rise within the list and is expected to rank in the top five by the end of this year.

Additionally, the author adds that the Model Y is expected to outsell the Model 3 by the end of 2022, which means both the Model 3 and Model Y would both sit in the top five spots. The Model Y currently sits at the 19th spot on the list, which means the Model Y accounted for 392,000 sales in 2021. It rose from the 262nd spot, or 412%, from 2020.

It’s worth noting that the Model Y began its deliveries in 2020, which explains the significant jump in 2021. Earlier this year, it won U.S. News’ Best Luxury Electric SUV award.

Of the 110 vehicles included, the Model S and Model X did not make the cut. This is most likely due to their higher price tag.

With this data available and Fiat Group World’s insights, it’s entirely possible for the Model Y to overtake the Model 3 this year. And with Tesla constantly adding new features and bringing back ‘Enhanced Autopilot,’ consumers will likely jump on-board.

Tesla brought back Enhanced Autopilot to the US and Canada last week for $6,000 (USD), half of what Full Self-Driving does.

The Model 3 and Model Y may soon get a rear display for entertainment. A tweet from Tesla enthusiast and software developer @greentheonly discovered that Model 3s and Model Ys with the new AMD processors have the bandwidth for a second display, like the new refreshed Model S and Model Xs have.

Tesla is currently battling global supply chain restraints, and Musk said at Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum that these restraints are a bigger issue than competition from other competitive automakers.

“Our constraints are much. More in raw materials and being able to scale up productions,” Musk says.

Upcoming Release

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.2.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release


We expect version 2022.20 to be released imminently.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.


Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.