2021 Tesla Model Y Charge Port Error cp_a050

I knew Tesla vehicles were notorious for problems that caused them to be undrivable, but I never expected it to happen to me. I suppose that’s what everyone thinks.

We have a 2021 Model Y, picked up in February 2021. We drove the car about 150 miles on 7/16 evening without problems. The battery drained from 80-ish percent to 25-ish percent. Everything seemed normal.  I got in the car on 7/17 and the screen displayed an error – “cp_a050” – and displayed text to the effect of “DC fast charging or supercharging may be unavailable.” 

Uh oh.

I tried to plug in the 110v Tesla charger to a nearby wall outlet, and noticed that the charge connector locking pin was stuck in the raised position. This prevented me from inserting the connector into the port. 

I used the manual release cable in the trunk to lower the charge pin. I plugged the connector into the port again. The charge LED turned blue, but the charge locking pin actuator never actuated, the LED never turned white, and the car never started to charge.

I tried:

  • Rebooting the car three times.
  • Pressing the “start charge” button on the touchscreen after inserting the connector.

Nothing.

I contacted Roadside Assistance. The rep was very kind. The free tow option would bring the car to a service center 89 miles from our current location, and 113 miles from our home.

The rep said Tesla would give us Uber credits for the purposes of getting to and from the service center, but those credits wouldn’t cover quite _that_ distance. They also said Tesla covers $50/day for a rental car, but it’d be a huge hassle for us to get and return the rental car.

So instead, the rep helped us book a tow from our current location to the service center closest to our home (25 miles from home). Unfortunately, the service center close to home is 45 miles outside the “free” tow range, so we’re going to have to pay $270 for the extra range.

One major frustration for me is that the rep couldn’t tell me how I was supposed to get our car back, besides giving us the info about the rental car and the Uber credits. They said that the process of getting our car back is called “reuniting” (lol) and that the procedure is up to each individual service center. So, I don’t know if, after repair, the service center would drop off the car at our home, or if we’d have to go get it.

So, we’re going to pay the $270 and ride with the tow truck driver tomorrow morning to the service center 25 miles from our home, then Uber from the center to home, and vice versa using the Uber credits. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to talk to a stranger.

I’m guessing that the repair will involve repairing or replacing the actuator which controls the charging port locking pin, but I don’t know that for sure.

I wanted to share my story for anyone else who Googles “cp_a050”, since there’s only one other result for that query right now.

All in all – this isn’t a huge deal. I’m glad I’m not stranded. I’m glad this isn’t going to be a super expensive fix. However, this easily could have been a big issue if this problem happened at a Supercharger, hundreds of miles from home. This experience has shaken my trust in my car and in Tesla, but I’m glad to be safe and lucky to be in a position where this isn’t a huge deal.

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