Why is the location of my Tesla wrong?

We help explain why the location of your Tesla can appear wrong and how to address this.

There are two scenarios that owners report, one is their car suddenly appears to be in the wrong location, typically Fremont, and the secondly is when they access services through the web browser/sim card and the car appears to be in a different country. It can appear worrying or confusing at times but there is a relatively simple explanation and an easy solution to both.

Why does my car appear to be in the wrong location e.g. Fremont?

This issue usually occurs after a software update and can also be accompanied by the incorrect time. Its related to a second issue in that cars that are transported on a low loader do not have their GPS location updated.

The issue is simply that the car has lost its location because as part of the software update or deep reset it may have cleared out any information regarding the last location of the car. In this event it typically defaults back to where it was made, Fremont.

The reason why it does not automatically update on power up, is also the reason why the GPS location of the car on a tow truck doesn't update, its because the car only updates its location when the wheels are turning. This actually has implications for the GPS tracker as a security device as cars lifted and stolen will not report where they have been taken to until they are driven with a GPS signal picked up and a connection back to the mother ship to report their location. GPS receivers can also be fairly slow to determine their location when turned on in a new area.

The fix is really easy, and its to simply drive the car for a few minutes. It should establish its location once its worked out it may be, but as it maybe a long way from where it thought it was this can take a short while. A secondary benefit is that the time in the car is updated from GPS and driving the car should also address any issues with that being incorrect.

There is a second reason the location can appear to be incorrect and in this case it does not update when driven. The fault is associated with an upgrade to the MCU hardware and believed to be linked to incorrect update instructions. During the upgrade Tesla need to set dashw to 4 in the gateway config and perform a redeploy according to @verygreen on TMC. If your GPS is not updating following a MCU update, raise the issue with Tesla as the car owner is unable to resolve this on their own.

Why does the web browser thing I am in a different country?

This is a problem that largely only effects cars in Europe where Tesla adopt a European roaming SIM. On cars built with the old 3G module (up to late 2015), they had a Spanish SIM, and since then they had a Dutch one. As such any internet connectivity in the car through the built in SIM (i.e. not when tethered) will appear to originate from the home country of the SIM, e.g. Spain or Holland.

This was rarely an issue as the only time this was apparent was when using the web browser, and as that was so shockingly bad, very few people ever used it. With the latest change in Version 10 software, the web browser is being used more, regional content is more common and the 'issue' is becoming more apparent

There is no permanent fix, but web sites like google can have their settings forced to tell them both the country you wish them to assume you are in and the language you wish them to use, and this is easy to do.

For Google you can use the following basic structure to tell it what to do:


The website extension, in this case .co.uk can be replaced by the natural country extension of your choice. The hl=?? element is setting the language to use, en being English, de would be German, fr would be French etc. By using a combination of these two elements you can access Google for any country and in any language as the two are independently controlled. This can be especially convenient if you are travelling in a foreign country and need to find a local service, accepting that most of the web sites will still be in their local language. The trick also works on mobile phones.

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