Elon Musk says Tesla "fixes" a problem with its "Dog Mode" feature, which keeps the puppies cool while owners walk away from the company's cars, after a Twitter user discovered a way to inadvertently turn off the feature.  Rahul Sood tweeted late Wednesday that he had turned on Dog Mode, adjusted the fan settings and then left his seven-month-old Boxer puppy in Tesla Model X. When he later opened his Tesla app, he discovered however – to his "horror", he wrote – the car's interior temperature had jumped to 85 degrees because Dog Mode was off. He returned to the car to find that his dog was okay, and then tweeted the incident to both Musk and Tesla, and the CEO (who often calls for suggestions on Twitter) quickly replied: "Fixing …"
Dog Mode was rolled out in February as an extension of Tesla's "Cabin Overheat Protection" mode, which automatically cooled the cabin if it reached high temperatures to keep "babies or pets" safe, according to Musk. Dog mode is a more proactive setting that the owner can choose. It automatically keeps the interior temperature cool and gives a message on the car's touch screen to tell passersby that the dogs are okay and that their "owner is soon back."
Dog mode is activated through the fan settings on Tesla's touch screen. Sood tells The Verge that the problem occurred because after manually activating Dog Mode, he manually adjusted the fan setting to try to keep the car even cooler, since Seattle (where the incident occurred) is in the middle of a heat wave. He said he continued to monitor his car through Tesla's smartphone app, saying that Dog Mode stayed on with the first.
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Tesla is often lauded for adding new capabilities to its cars with software updates from the air, from new driver assistance mode to video games and convenience features like Dog Mode. (And for what it's worth, says Sood "the fact that the CEO responded as quickly as he did is pretty amazing.") Not all of these rollouts go smoothly, as when Tesla had to pull the classic Atari game Pole Position from its cars because it had not secured the rights properly, but the company is usually more cautious about features that could put life at risk, such as how it recently delayed the release of an automatic parking meter odus called "Enhanced Summon."
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. It's not clear when the company will roll out the fix Musk referred to.