Was able to open and start another Tesla with my iPhone

Was able to open and start another Tesla with my iPhone

So I was walking to my car in a parking lot and accidentally got into an identical Model 3 that was a few cars down. I didn't realize it wasn't my car until I looked around for about 10 seconds. I quickly got out, but noticed that everything came on and the door unlocked with my phone and the driver no where in site. I could technically just drive off with this person's car. Not sure how big of a deal this is, but seems a bit shoddy that I could open another car with my personal key.

Im thinking Tesla figures the odds of this happening are slim and decided it wasn't a big deal?

Has anyone ever had this happen??


vmulla | 11 avril 2019

Just not possible. The odds of winning the lottery may be better than a Bluetooth lock having the same code.

sfrealtor | 11 avril 2019

I must have hit the lotto or the owner was hiding very close to the car. It happened.

djharrington | 11 avril 2019

It’s much more likely that getting in their car had nothing to do with your phone, but with the fact they left it unlocked. Go see how your car behaves if you turn your phone off, use the key card to get in, and leave the car without locking it using the key card on the pillar.

sfrealtor | 11 avril 2019

@djharrington Possible. Getting the doors to unlock regularly with my Phone are about 50%. Still doesn't explain why the screen and music came on.

CarlEngel | 11 avril 2019

Their phone could have been left in the car, so the correct key was within range to unlock it and power it up, even if the owner wasn't there.

Joho.keith | 11 avril 2019

You are right about the key card. You have to remember to manually lock the car if you use the card.

sfrealtor | 11 avril 2019

@Carlengel Good point. Seems plausible..

sfrealtor | 11 avril 2019

@Carlengel Good point. Seems plausible..

djharrington | 11 avril 2019

If the car is unlocked and you open the door, everything comes on ...

Magic 8 Ball | 11 avril 2019

Thread title debunked. Fake thread title.

Teslanene | 11 avril 2019

Maybe he left unlocked so they don’t break a window and just enable pin-to-drive

jjgunn | 11 avril 2019


Can't drive no matter what.

bengarlick | 11 avril 2019

@vmulla, googling mentions 80bits of encryption for key fob, so if the card and/or phone also use 80bits then you have about 2^52 times better chance of winning the MegaMillions lottery (1 in 2^28) than to match someone else's key code. So, you are more likely to with the MegaMillions lottery *twice in a row* than to match someone else's key code (if they are 80+ bits). Owner must have left it unlocked or left their phone in the car as others suggest

calvin940 | 11 avril 2019


Your thread title is inaccurate. Please fix.

Mikael13 | 11 avril 2019

This would make a great story! However, I highly doubt any of this is true. Nice try!

coleAK | 11 avril 2019

Ok, really. Could it have been unlocked in the first place. Even if it’s unlocked the screen/vents/radio/... all come on when you open the door. Did you put it in drive or reverse? If you didn’t than you can’t say you could have drove it off.

johnw | 11 avril 2019

NOT debunked. It wasn't proven that his phone didn't unlock the car, though it's almost certainly another explanation as everyone is suggesting. It would definitely freak me out if this happened to me!

Carl Thompson | 11 avril 2019

+1 @johnw. Unlikely but not proven false so not debunked.

disapr | 12 avril 2019

You should have tried to put it in drive to see if the token was nearby.

Car was left unlocked or owner left their phone inside.

Case closed.

Bighorn | 12 avril 2019

Check what's connected to BT.

TeslaMarque | 12 avril 2019

3 words, Pin to Drive.

coleAK | 12 avril 2019

Searously do almost none of you have a model 3? Or am I the only one that dosnt use the walk away lock? One of the only things That bothers me about it: When I walk out to the car in my garage, without my phone or key. Open the door to put something in or get something out. As soon as I open the door: Screen/heat/radio all come on. I now leave my passenger window down so I can just put things in that way.

Rt002k | 12 avril 2019

You sure it wasn't a circa 1995 Ford/Lincoln/Mercury? Those things only had like 10 different keys.

derotam | 12 avril 2019

@coleAK, I use walk away lock. For me personally, I think the hassle of having to pull out my phone or key EVERY time I am out somewhere to lock the car would outweigh my inconvenience of having to go get my key to put something in the car or get something out. YMMV though. Everyone's situation is different.

tomasrey88 | 12 avril 2019

Happened to me, too, at a Tesla owners' club meeting. The owner left his phone in the center console armrest, though. That's probably what happened to you. If you had looked inside the armrest, you would've found the owner's phone.

bpaul | 12 avril 2019

FWIW, I did this with a 2004 Prius once. Owner left the car unlocked, and I didn't start looking around seriously until a few presses of the start button failed to start the car. I completely relate to the "I quickly got out" sensation, which tells me that people claiming the OP's story is bogus are wrong.

calvin940 | 12 avril 2019

uhmm hello people, you have to prove it to be true, not false.. It is false unless proven true. That's how proofs work. Make some sense please.

ajbutler45 | 12 avril 2019

I would guess the person left their phone in the car. My wife always does that so we have the security code turned on to drive that car in our Tesla

derotam | 12 avril 2019

@calvin, BE GONE with your logic!

rpc_in_va | 12 avril 2019

@calvin, yeah, +1.

lbowroom | 12 avril 2019

The OP jumped to a quick conclusion from the data he had. Now a far more likely scenario has been presented. Time to edit the title, or delete the thread... The OP has the power to do either.

lbowroom | 12 avril 2019

In the ICE world, the title could read, Opened and was able to start a car that the owner left his keys in, I also had keys to my car in my pocket at the time...

RedPillSucks | 12 avril 2019

Are you sure the car was locked to begin with?

lbowroom | 12 avril 2019

That would be impossible to tell. The car doesn't clunk unlocked or locked, it just allows the solenoid to be powered or not

billlake2000 | 12 avril 2019

If he changes the title, who would read the thread? Do not take away everyone's fun!

My phone has unlocked every single model 3 I have ever entered in my life, and I was always able to drive away in it. How's that for a mighty bold statement?

Rutrow 3 | 12 avril 2019

Phone left to charge in the console?

When you hear hoof beats expect horses, not zebras.*

*unless you're in Africa

EVRider | 12 avril 2019

@coleAK: I would prefer not to use walk away locking on our Model 3, but I use it because it's a bit of a pain to lock the car manually with the app or key card. Even though that means the 3 locks when we park it in the garage, I always have my phone with me if I have to access the car there.

On the other hand, I don't use walk away locking on our Model S because I don't want it to lock in the garage and it's easy to lock with the key fob. Unlike my phone, I don't have my key fob with me unless I intend to drive the car.

roger.klurfeld | 12 avril 2019

I agree with @Rutrow S. I have to admit that on a couple of occasions I have left my phone in the car and walked away. Not because I wanted to charge it. I just forgot it was in the center console. Particular if i close to door so I can't see it.

Carl Thompson | 12 avril 2019

"you have to prove it to be true, not false.. It is false unless proven true. That's how proofs work."

Not sure why you think that's the way logic works. Some things can be proven true and some things can be proven false.

A statement of fact can be either true or false and that doesn't change if it hasn't been proven one way or the other.

For example, I can state: "no human has lived to be a million years old." I believe it to be true and probably you do too. But I have not proven it to be true. And you say that statement is false until proven true.

Your logic is faulty.

Magic 8 Ball | 12 avril 2019

Make the claim support it with proof, otherwise it is bar talk.

BobDobbs | 12 avril 2019

"Make the claim support it with proof, otherwise it is bar talk."

...unless of course it's pro-TESLA, in which case I will naturally accept it without question.

apodbdrs | 12 avril 2019

Not only did OP have the car code on his I-phone, but also the PIN to drive off! What luck?

Magic 8 Ball | 12 avril 2019

Just found a Russian Hill triplex without rent control restrictions for $999,999, should I buy it?

rxlawdude | 12 avril 2019

"If it's not true, it's false."

Nope. If it's neither true nor false, it's indeterminate. So it can not be true but not be false.


billlake2000 | 12 avril 2019

I never tell a lie.

calvin940 | 12 avril 2019

@Carl Thompson | April 12, 2019

"Your logic is faulty"

No. The OP's assertion is faulty. The OP needs to provide proof that the assertion is true (which the individual cannot).

The technology and design for this type of security is documented and can be (and is) demonstrated constantly. The probability that even if there was any chance at all that there is a possible window of opportunity that this could happen to two different model 3's, can you calculate that odds that this would happen to another one that was parked in the general area that he was parked? Please, I give you more credit than that.

calvin940 | 12 avril 2019

@Carl Thompson

P.S. Your statement is of the negative. His statement was of the positive.

Had you said "A man has lived for 1 million years" you would have to prove that to be true.

Carl Thompson | 12 avril 2019

"P.S. Your statement is of the negative. His statement was of the positive. Had you said "A man has lived for 1 million years" you would have to prove that to be true."

Oh, good Lord, Calvin, you're being silly. OK, how about if I used a non-negative statement: "Every human who has ever given birth is at least 2 years old." That's not a negative statement. However, I have not _proven_ it to be true. Therefore, by your logic, it must be false. Absolute nonsense and you know it.

"The OP's assertion is faulty. The OP needs to provide proof that the assertion is true"

There is no requirement that something needs to be _proven_ true in order for it to be actually true. Period.

calvin940 | 12 avril 2019

@Carl Thompson

I don't even understand what your statement even means about being 2 years old giving birth or why you would pick that. Of course there is proof of that in many ways. Our biology cannot support birth nor conceive at such a young age. There is proof of this. In your example you don't have to provide it, it can be provided by many. Speaking of being silly..

So, let's cut to the chase, Point blank. Simple question.

Do you believe that it is reasonable/probable to conclude that the OP was able to unlock another persons Tesla model 3 with his/her phone or rather there was some other more reasonable / probable explanation for how OP gained entry to someone else's Model 3?

Bighorn | 12 avril 2019

Occam’s razor