Model S Stolen

Hi everyone!
My Tesla Model S was stolen yesterday from my driveway in Saarlouis, Germany. The thieves obviously know what they were doing as I didn't notice until the morning and, of course was not able to locate the car via the app. After contacting police, I called Tesla Service in Germany and asked if there was anything that they could do to locate the vehicle, to which they said they couldn't. They did, however, give an email address for Tesla's Digital Privacy Office to which I reached out but have not heard back.

My issue is, I'm seriously wondering if Tesla might have some "lower-level" telemetry. I.e. it's clear that the thieves at least disabled location and app tracking and if they somehow got rid of the LTE modem or were physically jamming the signal then I'm SOL. But if they only disabled location and app, then I'm wondering if Tesla might have vehicle identity based telemetry that is not necessarily tied to my Tesla identity, e.g. for autopilot QA or whatever.

Anyone have any experience or information relative to that?

Thanks in advance! Really appreciate any input!


  • Sorry about your loss. What a pain. One reason so few Teslas are stolen is the value is not all that high. Without cellular, so much of the car doesn't work - no maps, no streaming, no updates, and quite a bit more. My guess is it will be parted out. I wonder if they towed it out of your parking spot. Any chance you or your neighbors have a front door camera that might have recorded the event?

    I don't see how some "low-level" telemetry would work. Aside from running into privacy concerns, once the cellular signal is blocked, either by antenna disconnection, disconnecting the battery, or putting the car in a Faraday cage, there is not much Tesla could do if they wanted to.
  • Sorry for your loss.
    "LoJack is operational in more than 30 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe and Africa."
    This might be a consideration for others.
  • All they have to do is tow it. GPS location doesn’t update unless the car is being driven.
  • Thanks for the responses! Really appreciate that!
    And yes, for the next one (Tesla or otherwise) I'll definitely enable any security option there is and get something like LoJack.
    In my case, I do think the thieves used the key fob vulnerability and just drove off with the car after disabling app and GPS. And that's why I'm wondering if Tesla might have some sort of lower-level telemetry data (e.g. for autopilot training data or Supercharger activity or whatever), assuming they did not jam or physically disable the LTE modem.
  • That is too bad. Also consider PIN to Drive. Doesn’t stop a flatbed but.... I believe Tesla provided PIN to Drive due to previous thefts in Europe. Hope they find your car.
  • Should they be able to track to the Tesla in all situations?

    If they spoofed the bluetooth FOB, the car can be traced.

    If they towed the car, the owner should have able to wake it up via the phone app.
  • Thank you for your opinion fish
  • So i read that the thieves can’t unlink your cell from a tesla, so you should be able to limit speed and honk horn [repeatedly] remotely with the app?
  • And turn on the climate control
  • > @Cousin_Eddie said: > So i read that the thieves can’t unlink your cell from a tesla, so you should be able to limit speed and honk horn [repeatedly] remotely with the app?"

    In @pahilt's case, he could not access the car via the phone app. So question is why? What was done to disable it?
  • Unless the thieves have you Tesla account credentials, they can not turn off Remote Access.
  • > @jordanrichard_629778 said:
    > Unless the thieves have you Tesla account credentials, they can not turn off Remote Access.

    So what happened in @pahilt's case? Did he have something deactivated?
  • Ask pahilt…..

    Remote Mobile Access is set by default and can only be deactivated by entering one's account user name and password. A "scanner" like those used to ghost FOBs can't get that info.
  • Most likely, like most European car thefts, the OP's car was quickly loaded into a truck (faraday cage) and rushed to eastern Europe where it was chopped up for parts. It probably took all of 2 minutes to put dollies under the wheels and winch it up into the truck.
    The best defense against this is to not park in a place where it is easy to get a truck in front or back or to roll it forward or backward (like a wall or bollards in front and back). Such places are rare.
    A strong signal like Lojack might have been able to penetrate the truck but GPS would undoubtedly have no chance.
  • I don't wish to explain other ways, but I can think of at least three other ways to disable cellular in under 2 minutes without turning off remote access from the display, once you have access to the car. Really not that difficult, and no Faraday cage required. Techniques can work for any brand of car that has cellular access (GM Onstar, etc.).

    Lojack is a reasonable solution if you live in a high-theft area and have no way to restrict physical access to your car and you have smart thieves.
  • Can one pop the hood and disconnect 12V battery?
  • Well that confirms FishEV's ownership status.
  • > @FISHEV said:
    > Can one pop the hood and disconnect 12V battery?

    I'll just repost this for posterity.
  • "Can one pop the hood and disconnect 12V battery?"

    Of course, just open the frunk and pop the panel that covers the air intake off. Pull straight up and the battery posts are accessible.
  • Thanks for the discussion... and for wanting to help.
    @FISHEV , @jordanrichard_629778 , nothing was disabled in my Tesla; full remote access and GPS for autopilot etc enabled. So connectivity was physically disabled somehow, either via a Faraday cage or a signal jammer or whatever.

    In the meantime I have some more info: a neighbor's camera recorded the car driving by around 3am; so the perps drove the model S away, rather than loading it onto a truck, though they might have done just that in a more private location close by.

    And, unfortunately, I'm afraid @"Earl and Nagin 08 RDS 359" is right... was probably stripped for parts and taken to Eastern Europe. And of course, the border to France is only about 5km away from where I live... so it's super easy to just drive across the border (= bureaucracy firewall) and then take their sweet old time from there.
  • There’s a video out showing some thieves spoofing the signal to car from the owners FOB (?) and being able to drive away with the car.
  • Yes, I saw that as well @FISHEV ... unfortunately just this week though; otherwise I would have enabled "PIN to drive" and made sure to keep my keys in a metal box. Honestly, a warning from Tesla about the key fob vulnerability would have been great :-|
  • Tesla has a new FOB as well that is more resistant to various attacks. They include them with new cars, and if you are in a high-risk area, you can consider buying them to replace your old FOBs. Almost all other brands use FOBs with the old design and don't even offer a FOB upgrade. Still PIN to drive is a great deterrent.

    Sort of amazing that Tesla has made various upgrades like PIN to drive free to every owner, going back to 2012.
  • Sorry to hear that Pahilt.
    My Model S was stolen two nights ago from outside my house in London. CCTV from further down the street shows a man walk up the street at 4.45am, duck behind a car when a van passes, shield his face when he passes the camera that picks him up (so he obviously knew it was there) and then thirty seconds later my car drives back past the same camera.

    I keep my fobs in faraday pouches and had PIN to drive active. I can only assume my fob was spoofed prior to the theft and the PIN to drive was obtained by being watched at some point or there is a vulnerability we aren't aware of. The car was offline from 4.04am according to Tesla Service dept who only have access to basic info, and has been offline since so the app is useless. Contacting Tesla and getting any info from them has been PAINFUL. I am still waiting for the DPO (data protection dept) to respond with the log to see exactly what happened or maybe share some more info they can see that isn't available generally. DPO never responded to any emails and i have to repeatedly call/email Tesla Park Royal (London) to get any updates. Their only response is they have requested info from DPO and are waiting on it. I assume the car is completely in pieces by this point (a day and a half later). So much for a near impossible to steal car :(

    update: Just received an email from DPOTesla asking for me to fill in a form to be sent the log. After filling it i got an auto-response email saying they have received the request and it will take up to 30 DAYS to get it!
  • second update: Actually got the Data from Tesla but it was just my personal information and info about the car. No logs at all. Spoke to Tesla again, resent the request for logs and received a message there was no activity available for the span i requested (day before to day after the theft. Doesn't seem that Tesla is that concerned about a stolen Model S that had the Pin code bypassed and looks like at this rate, won't be recovered
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