Key fob deteriorating.

Key fob deteriorating.

I just ran across the latest blog post for the Edmunds long term MS describing how their keyfob fell apart after about a year of use. Kind of curious if this is a common occurrence


d_kaufman | 23 december 2013

Mine did, and the SC replaced it. I didn't ask if the replacement was more durable, and didn't particularly care. They were so courteous about it, and it was so minor that it hardly seemed worth the additional thought.

Chunky Jr. | 23 december 2013

That happened to me recently as well - the top button is now exposed as in the photo (except it is all black). Have had the car since end of March.

jat | 23 december 2013

Mine didn't get that bad, but the SC replaced after about 8 months.

San Diego Tesla | 23 december 2013

Had mine replaced after 4 months. I've used my new fob for 2 months, and it's showing signs of deterioration.

lammersc | 23 december 2013

Mine had both the door and trunk buttons exposed. The SC said they had to order the replacement part, and would call me when it came in. No call yet, and it has been 2-months. I guess I should call them.

xradr | 23 december 2013

I had same issues for both key fobs and they replaced them. The new ones don't have that seam (the the top of mine can be faintly visualized).

I've had one of the new fobs for about 10 months, the other for about 4 months. Both are in great shape and show no signs of coming apart.

Captain_Zap | 23 december 2013

My spouse has a fob that looks like the one on the left. He keeps the fob on a key ring with lots of metal keys, an led flashlight and nail clippers. Mine looks like brand new.

Tesla offered to fix or replace the fob, but he likes it better that way. He says that it's easier to press the button and he likes having the ability to find the button without having to take the fob out of his pocket.

2050project | 24 december 2013
Andrew_OH_70D | 24 december 2013

One of my fobs had the same issue. The Service Center offered to replace it, but you must have both fobs in order for them to make the swap. I told them I would swap it out during my 25,000 service call.

jjaeger | 24 december 2013

similar here - after about 4 months, lost two of the three discs over the buttons. At the one year service just completed, they replaced both fobs. To me, the new ones seem a bit more durable (and a bit more work to get the button pushed). I am betting these last a fair bit longer.

David Trushin | 24 december 2013

Just remember to bring both fobs in for replacement because they program the car, not the fob.

Chunky Jr. | 24 december 2013

Is it OK to use the second fob that was given with the car, or should that be saved for a second driver?

GabrielB | 15 januari 2014

I covered the top of my Key Fob with 3M Scotchgard Film (Paint Armor), left over from the roll I ordered from to laminate and mount my CA HOV stickers. That should keep it shiny and new. The mold line or seam along the top (old Fobs only?)was the perfect guide for trimming with an X-acto knife.

ir | 15 januari 2014

Chunky Jr.: odd question. Both key fobs work the same, both can be used interchangeably. Doesn't matter who uses it. Not like it binds to your fingerprint or DNA or anything.

They do have different secret codes, so it is theoretically possible for the car to recognize one from the other. But there are no features that take advantage of this... yet.

EclecticCitizen | 16 januari 2014

The showroom employees here in Scottsdale spontaneously gifted a Tesla branded neoprene fob sleeve that has a ring too. That does protect the fob but now the sleeve opening has stretched out over the last 2 months that the fob pops out. My primary fob has similar wear as others have described, with the button covers no longer flush/invisible.

tesla.mahedy | 16 januari 2014

New fobs have/are been/being designed. I do not know what ever came of these. Every fob seems to be breaking.

Wouldn't mind actual buttons frankly, a la Panamera.

Schlermie | 16 januari 2014

Mine is 13 months old with nearly daily use, and it's still in mint condition. It's the only thing I keep in my pocket though.

Low CG | 16 januari 2014

I've had 1 fob for 13 months with daily use. It's perfect. Should it degrade, I've got the backup. Should that degrade, I'd bet the nice folks at the service center wouldn't hesitate to supply another.

SamuelNathan | 29 juli 2014

For the record, after 13 months of having my fob, the trunk button cover has now come off and looks like the picture, (but on the trunk button, not the top unlock/lock button).

When i need to go to a SC, i'll bring it in and assume they'll replace.

Mathew98 | 29 juli 2014

Folks, let's not go commando with the key fob. Use protection. Your Service Center will provide the fob sleeves gratis.

EESROCK | 29 juli 2014

After seeing the original post, I proactively stuck some duck tape on top of my fob. Neon pink so it's harder to misplace.

Pungoteague_Dave | 29 juli 2014

No need to protect the fobs with sleeves or tape or anything else that obscures the great form and enlarges the small size. The deterioration comes from INSIDE the fob and is due to pressure from the internal switches. It cannot be avoided. The good news is that they have a ton of replacement FOB shells sitting at the service centers and are happy to give you a good-as-new fob on request. I have thad three so far and expect to get a couple every year. This is a design issue that Tesla will likely solve at some point or for the X or Gen III car.

Sleeves remind me of the plastic covers that old folks used to put on sofas and chairs. They may avoid a few scratches or stains, but defeat the tool's purpose - a comfortable seat in that case, and a cool, small toy in the fob's case.

Mathew98 | 29 juli 2014

@PD - I have had mine in a sleeve for a year and the fob still looks brand new.

How many of us have a hard case for our IPhone which doubled its size but provided desperately needed protection from the crack screen? You can always go commando and replace the screen every time you accidentally crack it or you get a hard case.

To each his own...

TeslaLandShark | 29 juli 2014

I go "commando" with my smart phone because I don't like the extra weight of a cover in my pocket. You just have to be a bit more careful.

My key fob just yesterday shed its roof and now looks like the one in the picture on the left. I like Captain_Zap's spouse's comment about being able to find the button without removing the fob from his pocket. I think I will just keep it this way.

hammy16 | 29 juli 2014

Pretty routine....Service center simply replaces the "shell" took about 2 min.
Second time in 1.5 years we had it done.

2050project | 3 augustus 2014

Another nifty way to hopefully protect the key fob so it won't happen again:

Haeze | 3 augustus 2014

When I bought my Model S, they did not yet offer the fob sleeves. After a few months they handed me a pair of them when I had service done on the car. I originally used the tesla-provided sleeve because the fob had developed the cracks around the button, and found the sleeve had another awesome benefit. It fits my ChargePoint card in the sleeve with the fob perfectly. Now I just hold my fob up to the ChargePoint station and it unlocks the charger.

It looks ugly being in the sleeve, but it has functional benefit for me now. If I ever show someone the fob, I just quickly slide it out of the sleeve and show them.

frankviaje | 3 augustus 2014


I had wanted to buy several extra fobs, bu my SC told me that three fobs are the most you can get without replacing the electronics which interact with the fob. Then, I would assume that your first three fobs would no longer work with the new module. I'll try to get some more info on this when I'm at the SC. Anyone heard definitive info on this issue?

Bighorn | 3 augustus 2014

It's true that there are up to three fobs recognized by the car. Dave was saying that he'd had the outer shell replaced which doesn't affect the innards or the programming link.

Pungoteague_Dave | 4 augustus 2014

@franviaje - you can have as many fobs as you need for free - but you can only get them when you need them, one at a time - the case is just plastic and they swap the innards when one wears out or gets nasty looking. We have the sleeves but run our fobs commando.

Brian H | 5 augustus 2014

So if you need new sleeves, don't let them fob you off. >:p

robgoodin | 5 augustus 2014

Last weekend got my tires rotated and they swapped out my Fob case without me asking, Also nice free wash and detailing at Dania Beach service center.

christalrules | 11 augustus 2014

Check out for fob covers in neoprene (very convenient), silicone (very sleek) and leather (very posh).

i have several colors of the silicone and i switch them out for my mood. Yep, i'm that girl.