Auto Unlocking proglem

Auto Unlocking proglem

Last night I left my keys in the car. I was working late and had made several trips from my office to the garage and left the key in the car. A couple of weeks ago, intentionally, I left the keys in the car and couldn't open it. I was told by ownership since I left the keys in the console, the signal was blocked. If I wanted to leave the keys in the car and still have the door handles appear when I touched them, I should put the key in the cupholder. I did that last night, intentionally, but I left my phone in it by accident. When I got to the car, it was locked and no matter how many times I pressed on the driver's door handle, it wouldn't pop out. Fortunately, the liftgate responded and opened. I tried to open the car doors and nothing happened. I had to crawl into the hatch, put down the rear seat and retrieve the key from the cupholder. I'm not old enough to be called "spry" but I'm damn close. And I had to do it in a suit. Anyone have any ideas? I'm going into service today but as is routine, my guess is that when I go to demonstrate the problem, it will not repeat. It only happens late at night when my phone's locked in the car so I can't use it to open the car. Or, maybe that's the only time I notice it.

redacted | October 24, 2013

I'm not young enough to be called a whippersnapper but I'm darned close. My suggestion is to keep your fob in your pocket and not take it out in the car. I do so consciously in order to avoid just such a situation.

info | October 24, 2013

@redacted: I could have avoided the problem, and intentionally caused it, but my actions shouldn't have caused the problem. It is my understanding that the handles should appear when touched if the fob is left in the car, as long as it's not in the hatch or the area under the touch screen. If this isn't the case, then tell me. If it is the case, it should work as indicated.

And about the "whippersnapper", think you stop being one at about 12, then you become a teenager and then simply a smart-ass. It appears that you've advanced at least that far. :)

carolinagobo | October 24, 2013

This is an issue than can be solve with software. My Jaguar does not lock, if the key is inside the car or trunk "car off of course" in fact if you try to lock it beeps, if the key is in the trunk and you locked it opens itself and beeps. This issue is just a software update, I hope Tesla notice it.

ssarker | October 24, 2013

My understanding is that the car should not lock with the fob inside. I haven't tried all the different places you can leave it, but have left my purse with the fob in the trunk as well as in the console and the car did not lock. Let us know what the Service Center guys say. | October 24, 2013

Actually, it is doubtful it can be fixed in software.

The S has at least six antennas to pick up the FOB. The problem is if the FOB is in a dead zone where none of the antennas detect the FOB, then the car has no idea the FOB is inside the car. No amount of software can fix this!

Dead zones are likely present in every car, not just the Model S. It may be that there are fewer dead zones on some specific non-Tesla cars, and some cars may have added extra antennas to reduce the dead zone areas.

jbunn | October 24, 2013 you leave your keys in the car so the car remains unlocked? And anyone can climb in, put the car in drive, and go on their merry way?


and you think there should be a fix to allow you to do this?

HUH? | October 24, 2013

Yes, if you leave the keys in the car, it should remain unlocked. This is true of every car (Lexus, BMW, etc.) that offer a key-less entry system.

Now if you have a old key style car, how do you lock it without the key if you leave the keys in the car?

If you were able to lock the FOB inside the car (which is possible if you leave it in a dead zone), how do you expect to get back into the car? Why leave the keys in the car in the first place?

No fix needed - it works logically and is reasonable. Best plan- don't leave your key or FOB in the car when you leave!

DallasTXModelS | October 24, 2013

The fob left in the car within shot of an antenna keeps in constant communication with the car so it is ready when the car detects your body weight in the driver's seat. Because of this constant pinging between the car and the fob the fob's battery runs down faster. When the fob's battery is run completely down or so low that no antenna can detect the fob in the car. At that point only laying the dead fob over the spot on the windshield on the passenger side will open the door locks.

sdstrat | May 9, 2014

Short of leaving the FOB in the car, is there any other way to leave the car unlocked and stay unlocked while I'm away with the FOB?

I left my wife in the car while making a short stop at CostCo. Apparently the car locked; so when she opened the door from inside, she set off the security alarm.

Not good; I got a what-for when I returned.

So I need to have the Tesla S stay unlocked when I leave someone behind in it. How's that done? Is leaving FOB in the cup holder the only way?

tes-s | May 9, 2014

Walk-away locking is an option. You can turn it off.

If you walk away and the car locks, I think if you (or the passenger in the car!) unlocks it with the app it will stay unlocked. You may also be able to walk away, let it automatically lock, then unlock it with the fob - I have not tried that.

CU OPEC | May 9, 2014

EASY software fix for the passenger issue:

IF (weight detected in any seat) AND (fob is walking away) AND (auto lock setting is active)

Honk the horn 3x quickly to warn walking away driver that the car will NOT lock itself (or at least not arm the alarm!)

Problem solved :)

Oh and yes, I do program automotive control units for a living and yes, there have been countless times where I scratched my head and thought "who wrote that firmware" and "who approved it in the end???"


tes-s | May 9, 2014

And IF there is a package on the seat, my damned car is beeping at me and I have to go move the package so my car will lock.

Perhaps that is why Tesla doesn't let the control unit programmers do the design.

PhillyMomof4 | May 9, 2014

The OP issue is exactly what I brought up awhile ago here, which was what I do if I accidentally lock my fob in the car (with my phone). Not talking about intentionally trying to keep the car unlocked by keeping the fob in the car but accidentally leaving it in the car and having the car auto lock with no easy way to open it. It happens. Maybe less often with men who are less likely to have their fob in a purse (briefcase or man purse) but if I throw my purse that contains fob and phone into the front passenger seat, close it, buckle in a kid or two in rear seats, close rear doors, then walk to driver door and find it won't open then I'm stuck. I know pressing on the handle should make the handle pop out but if fob is in a dead zone then it's possible that handle won't present and I'm locked out.

J.T. | May 9, 2014

@PhillyMomof4 Did you ever lock your keys in any of the ICE cars you owned? How is what you describe any different? I've certainly had to break one or two windows when I was careless.

akikiki | May 10, 2014

Folks, try this to confirm. Even when the fob is not close enough to the car to release the handles, even when its inside the car and the doors seem locked, try opening the truck. It almost always will open when the fob is simply nearby. No, it might not be easy to climb in through the truck, but that's why you have rugrats isn't it?

hcwhy | May 10, 2014

All this makes me even happier that I don't have the tech package and lock the door with the fob, so it's never an issue.

dallas.dunlap | May 10, 2014

Actually this came up for me this week, I wanted to lock the keys in the vehicle at an airport parking, minimizing the chance of having the key stolen or lost on an international trip. Using the app, I locked the fob in the car, and walked away, came back and in opened (unlocked) without the fob(by touch). I wish they would change the logic so the iPhone app could override the fob.. My Infiniti was like that if there were two keys involved.

Bighorn | May 10, 2014

Another option available is to use the app on your iPad to unlock the door, if the phone and fob are locked inside.

Brian H | May 10, 2014

yore spelling of problem in the heading is a proglem.

the MS has a trunk, but is not a truck.

Yeah, the coathanger trick prob'ly wouldn't work on an MS! I wonder if anyone's resorted to the hammer.

michael1800 | May 11, 2014

Was the phone left next to the keyfob?