Tesla suffers network outage disabling vehicles’ mobile app

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Tesla Inc. appeared to suffer a network outage that left owners of its electric cars unable to connect to their vehicles via the company’s mobile app.

People filed hundreds of complaints on the website DownDetector.com saying they can’t use their mobile apps or get through to Tesla’s customer-service lines. One owner said he accidentally locked his keys inside the car and couldn’t open it.

Robert Vogt, a Model S owner from Ann Arbor, Mich., confirmed that his mobile app was down around 11:30 a.m. EDT.

“If you’re unable to unlock your car and drive, that’s a problem,” he said.

Other users tried to bring the issue to the attention of CEO Elon Musk via Twitter.

The company’s stock plunged as much as 9.7 percent to $383 following news about the outage. It traded at $390.76 as of 12:43 p.m. in New York.

Tesla shares already were sinking Wednesday morning after the company’s highly anticipated Battery Day presentation failed to wow Wall Street. Musk laid out a plan to build a $25,000 electric car in three years and cut battery costs in half, which battery experts hailed.

But the longer-term horizon for the strategy and lack of specific product updates disappointed investors. Some industry observers expressed doubt about Tesla’s ability to manufacture its own battery cells at scale.

Tesla didn’t respond to an inquiry about how many customers were affected by its network outage, what caused it or when it expected full service to resume. The outage was first reported by Electrek.

Tariff lawsuit

In other Tesla news, the company sued to block the Trump Administration from collecting tariffs on parts it imports from China.

Tesla filed suit Monday in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York, seeking an order declaring the duties unlawful and a refund, with interest, of amounts it has already paid.

The company is challenging actions by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is named as a defendant in the case. Lighthizer’s office last year denied Tesla’s bid to avoid tariffs of 25 percent on the Chinese-made computer and display screens it uses in its Model 3 electric car.

At the time, Tesla complained the increased costs imposed by the tariffs would cause it economic harm.

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