Hit and Run against my Model S caught on Sentri Mode

Hit and Run against my Model S caught on Sentri Mode

My car got into a hit and run today after a car backed up and hit my Model S. My Model S was charging peacefully till the car slammed into it. I was on the curb talking to my friend and I saw it as it happened. I thought the driver would stop as he got really close to my front bumper but he kept going. I heard a cracking sound as his bumper pushed against mine. Sentri Mode got activated. I front headlights started blinking and the alarm went off. I got a push notification on my phone and Sentri Mode got the entire incident on the USB drive. I run after the car and yelling asking the driver to stop and not run away. It was so stressful.

Luckily, I got the face of the driver so I can push for charges; otherwise, my insurance will have to take the burden. Tesla team, I'm so grateful for Sentri Mode!! It's a life changer! Insurance carriers should lower the rates thanks to this feature. Here is the video for your reference. I can follow-up with what happens next if someone is interested.

NKYTA | 09. juni 2019

Glad for you!

My wife’s 3, we are still trying to figure out 77 events per day, because the wind was blowing.

lilbean | 09. juni 2019

Yeah, tell that to the LA Country Sheriff idiot deputy who told me it’s just property damage not hit and run because the vehicle was parked. Smh!

wisam.alrawi | 09. juni 2019

Sorry to hear that! Well, listen to this. The officer was telling me if there is no face then too bad because we can't do anything. I was like what do you mean? The car backed against mine and hit it. That car is responsible for the damage!
He told me if they can't apprehend the driverbin the spot then there is nothing they can do. I stood in disbelief. In Dubai, there is no such nonsense. They will go after the owner of the vehicle and held them responsible. So here in California or maybe the entire US, I don't know, if you don't get the driver then too bad for you. I told him this sucks! He said yes it sucks. So I told him next time I'll chase them with my car. He said he can't recommend but advised to keep distance and call 911. So now I know what to do in case this happens in the future.

So I asked him if I got his face on the video will it work? He said yes. He said license plate only doesn't do much. (Total nonsense if you ask me). At that point I was really stressed out. I was at the mercy of Sentri mode. I didn't know if it got the accident only or the whole thing. But to my surprise it did. I'm calling Geico to inform them.

I get extra incidents too.

[Wish Tesla adds a way to play those Sentri mode videos on the screen directly. I could have showed them to the police officer but I couldn't and my laptop battery was dead]

PrescottRichard | 09. juni 2019

The plate tells you the car info, not the driver. ASSUMING that the owner was driving isn’t always correct.

However- when it comes to insurance you can always make a claim against the owner’s insurance. Unless the owner is saying the car was stolen & the driver was not authorized.

Suppose someone stole your car, ran it into another car and you were arrested because of a license plate...

You’re right, it does suck and I’m sorry that your car was damaged, hope you get their insurance to cover it. I was hit (years ago) by an unauthorized driver and had to make a claim on my own insurance, which cost me a deductible! Luckily I bought another car and insured it with a different company before I made that claim, so my rates didn’t go up.

Good luck!

PrescottRichard | 09. juni 2019

Oh, and when you say you got the face of the driver- if you can ID the driver that would help with charges for sure. I’m thinking that you mean you personally saw the driver vs having a recording. To ID a suspect after something like this you would have to pick him or her out of a line up (photo line up) or something similar, depending on where you live. Sometimes the suspect’s image isn’t in the line up.

This accident report may be a relatively minor thing to the officer, but keep pressing your interest if you can ID the suspect.

Again, good luck! I can understand your frustration and anger with someone being so irresponsible. Of course if the driver is identified he’ll say he was scared of you chasing him and that’s why he didn’t stay at the scene. Sometimes people suck.

wisam.alrawi | 09. juni 2019

Thank you for the in depth information. I learned a lot reading it. | 10. juni 2019

@wisam - Bummer! Thanks for sharing the video. If you can identify the car's owner, it might be worth going to small claims court to get at least your deductible back. If the car's owner is not the driver, he may be forced to say who the driver is in court. Not a lawyer so maybe none of what I suggest will work, but doesn't cost much to go this route. Also your insurance company may have a suggestion.

A while back while two of us were sitting in my S parked, I had a car hit my rear bumper and visually made quite a few paint marks on the bumper. The driver parked next to me and claimed he didn't do anything, despite the white paint from his car clearly visible on my grey S and scrape marks on his car (with many more scrapes from other incidents?). I had my own dashcam (front only at the time) where you can hear the bump as the whole car moved, and then see his car slip in along side of mine. In the end I had a body shop look at it, and they polished it for $25 and looked as good as new. I decided it wasn't worth the bother of getting the insurance involved or even making the guy pay.

Anyway, check how much damage is really done. If it can be buffed out (and no internal damage), it might not be worth the headaches of insurance, etc.

reed_lewis | 10. juni 2019

The video you posted clearly shows the person getting in the car and smashing into your car. The only defense the idiot has is that there was someone else in the front seat when he sat there. He is guilty, and you have his face.

Push it in small claims court. Push it with the cops and show them this video.

PrescottRichard | 10. juni 2019

Wisam- Keep us updated how it goes, I really hope you are able to get things made right without being out of pocket any $$.

Tech is always ahead of law enforcement, but once LE gets used to it they love it!

blue adept | 10. juni 2019


Yeah, unless there is someone in the car at the time of the impact California only consider's it 'property damage', however, subsection 'c' of Chapter 1, section 20002, of Division 10 of California's Vehicle Code states:

"(c) Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine."

What this means is that if you can identify who hit your car, not only can you get their insurance to cover the costs of any repairs, they can be arrested, imprisoned for up to 6 mos., fined, or both!

Tropopause | 11. juni 2019

EV-on-EV crime! What is this world coming too?

lilbean | 11. juni 2019

@blue adept
That’s great! I did my own investigation. I was able to trace the perp in NorCal. I have the camera footage of him getting out to look at the car and he got back in and drove off. He told me he didn’t see any damage. I told him the estimate was $1500. At first he didn’t want to give me his info. I told him I would send the police to arrest him. He didn’t believe the estimate so he wanted me to bring the car to his insurance company to verify it. They wrote me a check. Ha!

The sheriff came back to “follow up” and I said not to worry about it and that I did my own investigation and found the guy, got my money, no thanks to her! She was flabbergasted, couldn’t believe I was more effective than her. Haha!

Tropopause | 12. juni 2019

Good job!

lilbean | 12. juni 2019

Thanks! | 12. juni 2019

@lilbean - Impressive. To think 6 months ago without the dashcams, you'd be SOL.

lilbean | 12. juni 2019

@TeslaTap Yes! I got him on the house cam. The car was my ice and it didn't have dashcams. I interviewed one witness and found two informants. I didn't even have license plate information!

blue adept | 12. juni 2019


Congratulations! Glad I could be of a help.

For those of you unaware, section 20002 of Chap. 1 of Division 10 of California's Vehicle Code states that those responsible for damage to another's vehicle are required, by law, to leave their contact information in a note at the scene/on the car damaged if they are unable to contact the vehicle's owner directly/at the time of the accident.

After the conversation we had here recently about the outbreak of vehicle break-ins in the area and reports of California's governance taking a stand-offish, laissez-faire position on punishing the offenders (for whatever reason) I did a little research for an alternative to the, arguably somewhat excessive (or so I've been told) yet more so gratifying, preferred solution of 'popping a cap' in their asses to effectively put an end to it and came up with a statutory provision that allows vehicle owners to seek reparations for their losses that avoids the sort of complications that can arise from clipping someone with your 9mm (however more pleasing that might be).

Again, glad I could help. :)

supersuperten | 12. juni 2019

That person who hit your car deserves a firing squad at a minimum. How can someone hit a car and pretend nothing happened? Obviously he doesn't care, and wouldn't really care. The person is really a born criminal, just imagine what other sheit he's done, pretty scary. He probably raped or killed a person or a pet as well. No mercy for such individual!!! I really hope He will get his Karma someday!!

lilbean | 12. juni 2019

Totally agree, @supersuperten!! He even had the nerve to say he was going to leave a note but how could he do that from the Bay Area to LA?

wisam.alrawi | 12. juni 2019

@Tropopause That's the sad part about all of this. Very unfortunate.

[UPDATE June 12, 2019] The police were able to track him using the Sentry Mode video. The police officer was impressed by the quality of the video and what the car did. My insurance contacted his insurance and they used the video as evidence. Can't discuss much till the investigation is over. I will update the post when it's complete.

For those who think it was a small bump, Tesla alarm system went off. Here is a video from the left repeater that does the impact more justice. The leaf sign is just ironic given the circumstance.

Reddit Thread (In case you like to reading people comments)

lilbean | 12. juni 2019

Great news!

blue adept | 12. juni 2019

Arguably, the saddest part in all of this is the L.A. county sheriff who wasn't even aware of the very law they're charged with the responsibility of enforcing and protecting!

Our tax payer dollars at work. :(

lilbean | 13. juni 2019


blue adept | 14. juni 2019

lilbean being all Veronica Mars like and such, what with questioning witnesses, tracking the guy down and confronting the perp. to score the win...

Well done!

I wasn't trying to steal your thunder, just provide an alternative to people possibly being inclined to shoot other people who've no respect for others property.

Again, well done, boss lady.

wisam.alrawi | 14. juni 2019

@blue adept don't get me started on the tax money part. California is not working for Californians.

I received a call from the driver's insurance. They accepted the responsibility and they provided me with a claim number. I have the choice to choose the repair shop I prefer.
Sentry Mode brought Justice!

I have an appointment with Tesla Service Center on Tuesday. I'll let them know about this and see if they can assist to figure out what happened and if they can fix the paint marks.
I'll keep you posted.

lilbean | 14. juni 2019

Thanks, @blue adept! :o)

blue adept | 14. juni 2019


Tesla's Sentri Mode to the rescue!

The insurance company has conceded fault and you're in with Tesla now to get your repairs sorted so this whole episode is about over for you.

The only thing that I might be able to offer you now in regards to advice is that I hope you took notice of the excerpt from California's Vehicle Code I posted as there might be some additional relief for you since the guy didn't bother to leave any contact information and just took off instead (in clear violation of the law).

Yet one more thing to be thankful for and appreciative for the validation brought to the choice of your purchase of Tesla for your automotive needs...GO TESLA!!!

blue adept | 14. juni 2019

Your welcome, @lilbean.

lilbean | 14. juni 2019

@blue adept Would you believe the sheriff deputy told me that it was a choice to leave a note and that he didn't have to? Crazy!

blue adept | 15. juni 2019

You should print out a copy of section 20002 of the Vehicle Code in its' entirety, highlight subsection 'c' and offer it to the deputy, you know, for future reference should she encounter a similar situation. ;-)