New Key Fob

New Key Fob

I just read an article that Tesla is going to release a new Key Fob for the M3 that has passive entry built in. Sorry if this was mentioned before, but searching this forum is impossible. The source is Electrek

hokiegir1 | 2 oktober 2019

Link for the google challenged (and then I'll go read it):

lilbean | 2 oktober 2019

Haha! Thanks, @ hokiegir1!

Pepperidge | 2 oktober 2019

It is available for order

No hands required. Locking and unlocking your Model 3 has never been easier. Keep your key fob in your pocket and simply pull on the door handle for easy entry. Same with the trunk. Your key fob is automatically enabled when you pair with your vehicle.

walnotr | 2 oktober 2019

Already sold out.

ClearWrap | 2 oktober 2019

I thought model 3 isn't equipped with RF sensors. I guess the new key fob sends out bluetooth signals every few seconds?
Does anyone know?

Frank99 | 2 oktober 2019

The car, I believe, uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals for communicating with your phone for lock/unlock. This is a relatively recent addition to the Bluetooth standard, which is why older Android phones tended to have issues with lock/unlock. I'm sure that the fob uses the same thing.

I don't know the specifics of how BLE works, but it's more likely that the car is transmitting a signal every few seconds, and the phone/fob is simply listening - but I could be wrong. BLE was designed specifically for this kind of use, so even the tiny battery in the fob should last for many months (a year? Two years? Who knows).

gorillasooner | 2 oktober 2019

That sold out quickly.

andy.connor.e | 2 oktober 2019

Bluetooth 5.0 has a low power mode. This is probably why initially there were connectivity issues, because people have phones that have every version of bluetooth all the way down to 3.0.

dwakelee | 2 oktober 2019

I word of caution - Tesla goofed this up before - with the purchase page detailing passive entry functions. This was an error, and they corrected it. This could be a repeat, as the support page directly linked on the purchase page is still says that the fob doesn't do passive entry. Owners manual also not updated, and no direct announcement or mention from Tesla. This could be a issue of documentation catch up, but there is critical info lacking like what firmware version supports this, and does already released Model 3 fob support this?

I am holding out hope, and will be very pleased if this is true. But we have been down this road before.

RichardKJ | 2 oktober 2019

Model S/X fobs have used Bluetooth since 2016.

rxlawdude | 2 oktober 2019

Note that the quoted text from Tesla talks about locking/unlocking. It doesn't mention starting the vehicle, although that would be incredibly dumb if it didn't.

dmastro | 2 oktober 2019

For those of us whose phone proximity unlocking is an issue, this is welcome news. I'm going to wait a while for positive feedback on the new fob before taking the plunge. Or maybe my new phone will resolve the issue - it would be awesome not to buy and carry a fob.

andy.connor.e | 2 oktober 2019


What phone are u using right now?

MTF16 | 2 oktober 2019

I'm using a 1st gen Google pixel. About half of the times the car won't unlock if I just keep my phone in my pocket. The phone's Bluetooth seems to be "4.2, A2DP, LE, aptX" Not sure if a new phone helps.

andy.connor.e | 2 oktober 2019

It could. If you get a truly new phone, it will have bluetooth version 5.0 minimum.

bjrosen | 2 oktober 2019

@MF16, The Pixel 4 is coming out in a couple of weeks, you might want to consider an upgrade. I have the Pixel2XL and the only time I've had any problems with the Tesla was when it ran out of battery. I'll be upgrading to the Pixel 4XL just as soon as they announce it, looking forward to the zoom lens, that's the only thing that was missing from the 2XL.

dmastro | 2 oktober 2019

@andy.connor.e: I'm using iPhone X with 13.1. This phone has been unreliable with each different iOS version - I was hoping upgrades would force some kind of fix.

The issue I experience over 90% of the time is that my screen needs to be on in order for proximity unlock to work. The phone doesn't need to be unlocked, just have the screen awake. So I end up digging into my pocket to fish out my phone and tap the screen.

It doesn't affect proximity lock in any way - that always works.

rchau28 | 2 oktober 2019

+1 @dmastro: I have the same issue digging into my pocket and waking up my iPhone X to unlock the car. So if this keyfob will allow me to just walk up to my car and unlock it without any interactions with my phone, it is a must buy.

andy.connor.e | 2 oktober 2019

Wow im surprised such a new phone has so many issues. FOB is the way to go. Phone is a good backup plan.

OC.M3 | 2 oktober 2019

The car shouldn’t unlock all doors as soon as the driver opens the door. This is basic safety as anyone can get in right after the driver!

The car/app or whatever needs to be updated to have ability to unlock the driver door separately from the other doors.

For a 50k+ car I expect a basic safety feature to be included and not have to buy it. Ricockulous!

andy.connor.e | 2 oktober 2019


i am almost completely sure that is a setting to only unlock driver door.

95dawg | 2 oktober 2019

+1 for Pixel phones. I have Pixel 3 XL and haven't had any issues.

crmedved | 2 oktober 2019

@MTF16 I had a first gen pixel too and it sucked. Got a pixel 3 a couple months ago and it is flawless. Works 100% of the time.

However, Tesla's use of GPS is another story... my pixel 3 doesn't really work with summon / enhanced summon. Phone GPS is fine, but the Tesla app mangles it somehow.

airpor41 | 2 oktober 2019

Pixel 3A is also flawless for me. Cheaper at $400.

dwakelee | 2 oktober 2019

It's legit - the support page has been updated. Total bummer though, this is a new fob - the original fobs won't support passive entry...

Not clear if this authenticates for driving the car or just unlocking - not mentioned anywhere. Also conflicting info about walk away lock - says it won't, and says it can.

Mike83 | 2 oktober 2019

Pixel 3XL works every time. I also believe the FOB will do summon like our MS FOB. I'll get one for my wife.

OC.M3 | 2 oktober 2019

No, as soon as I open the driver door the whole car unlocks. Not safe.
The app should allow me to unlock driver only or all doors (this is basic)
I shouldn't have to buy a fob after spending, I'll say it again--50k+, for the car.
Shouldn't be this way for a basic safety feature. Psht!

RP3 | 2 oktober 2019

It doesn't look sold out to me...I went all the way to the payment screen, but I decided not to get one since my iPhone is working fine for me.

MTF16 | 2 oktober 2019

@bjrosen, @crmedved, and others, Thanks you all so much for confirming my issue is probably due to my 1st gen Pixel phone. I was looking at this new Model 3 key fob but I guess I'll try to upgrade my phone first. BTW, enhanced summon works for my phone, even when I sit in it :)

rchau28 | 2 oktober 2019

It does seem like a waste of money to purchase the fob when your phone functions as keys. However, 30% of time I have to wake my iPhone to unlock the car.

I was able to purchase the fob today and based on @dwakelee’s comment, I’m worried that the fob is not passive entry. Can somebody chime in on that?

Sweetride | 2 oktober 2019

Can anyone confirm that the new keyfob will start the Model 3 without your phone?

dwakelee | 3 oktober 2019

I would also love to see confirmation if this will authenticate passively for driving.

Yes, the new fob has passive entry. All new model 3 fobs that say 'TESLA' on the bottom will support the function. If it says 'MODEL 3', that's the original fob - and passive entry is not possible. The support site for the fob says this in the current text, which was updated mid-day yesterday.

But there is this conflicting info which makes no sense...

"If your Key Fob is equipped with Passive Entry, your Tesla will automatically lock and unlock when the Key Fob is within three feet. Same with the trunk."

and then...

"Why doesn’t my Key Fob automatically unlock or lock my Model 3 when I walk towards or away from it?
Walk-Away Door Lock for Model 3 operates only when using an authenticated phone. When you walk towards or away from your Model 3 carrying your Key Fob, your car will not automatically unlock or lock."


EVRider | 3 oktober 2019

@syclone: Searching this forum is not impossible, you just have to learn how to do it:

howard | 3 oktober 2019

andy.connor.e | October 2, 2019
It could. If you get a truly new phone, it will have Bluetooth version 5.0 minimum.

My iPhone X was unreliable. My new iPhone 11 is unreliable.

I am seriously thinking it has more to do with the Bluetooth hardware/software on the car. Why do some work flawlessly and others are very irritating? I have followed all the suggestions and have enabled everything including full-time tracking which Tesla says will improve things.

Joshan | 3 oktober 2019

maybe the problem is with the user...

howard | 3 oktober 2019

I'll chalk it up to flawless BS because we all know that the phone interface is not flawless, but you sure like to claim it is. Did I actually print BS? Sorry, it just slipped out.

Spif | 3 oktober 2019

My Pixel 2 works well for walk-up unlock and also walk-away lock. There is an occasional delay where I have to hold the handle open for a second or two. And maybe once every month or two it's so slow that I dig out out my wallet with the key-card, or open the app and unlock the car

I would call all of this unacceptable compared to other cars, BUT I *LOVE* not having a key fob in my pocket. Combined with keypad locks on my home doors I can completely ditch the key ring.

I may get the fob for my wife though

dwakelee | 3 oktober 2019

Back in stock. Get um while you can.

Mike83 | 3 oktober 2019

Thanks dwakelee. Just ordered one. Free shipping. Passive entry is nice. Although my Pixel 3 XL works great this fob will be useful for valet and such.

Rutrow 3 | 3 oktober 2019

I bought one mainly to have for family/friends who borrow my car. The card key is sub-optimal if you're trying to show off the convienient technology of a Tesla. Passive entry is so much better. The advantages I'll enjoy will be being able to open the frunk with a double click without having to take my phone out of my pocket, unlocking the phone, opening the app and hoping that I don't have to switch over from my wife's car, wait for connect, THEN punch the frunk button. All of that can take a full 10 seconds while you stand like an idiot in front of your car.

2015P90DI | 3 oktober 2019

Didn't read the posts, but all I have to say about this is....It's about damn time!!!! One of primary reasons I couldn't wait to get out of the Model 3 and back to Model S was the constant issues just trying to get in and drive away. Happy for Model 3 owners.

For those of you that have dealt with the current options for quite some time, you'll feel the same way I do after using the passive entry fob for just a week, maybe just a day!

Maybe this will finally end the endless posts about people having issues simply getting into their cars!

bckator | 3 oktober 2019

But, ... I shouldn't have to buy this. If my phone doesn't work 100% of the time, Tesla should give me a fob that does or buy me a new phone.

Wilber | 3 oktober 2019

After I read the Electrek article yesterday (Oct 2) morning i ordered the new fob. In the afternoon i got an email saying "your order had shipped". when i clicked tracking it said it would arrive today (Oct 3). Well, it didnt arrive and tracker now says it hasnt even been picked up yet! anyone have better luck and actually get it and use it?

MTF16 | 7 oktober 2019

Just want to check if any one got the new key and if passive-entry works with it. Thanks

Wilber | 7 oktober 2019

OK folks - my new key fob arrived at noon today. And i got it paired with the car, by t rying to follow the instructions on the cars screen. I cant remember exactly what i did, but at one point my current key fob disappeared from the disply, so i i hit the plus sign to add another device. and the car seemed to recognize the new fob that i had sitting behind the cupholers. So, i gave it a new name and picket it up and got out of the car. Once i had walked about 20 feet away it automatically locked! (even tho the info on the website says it does NOT do walk away locking?!?!). And, then returning to the car eveything unlocked and opened up,. I repeated this two more times during errands and it worked! At least so far!
Sorry if the font of my text is too small. For some unknown reason the font shrank for me a few days ago just on this forum! does anyone know how to fix?

rchau28 | 7 oktober 2019

So I received the key fob today and so far it's working great. I had only the key fob in my pocket (no phone or keycard) and the door unlocked with no issues. Auto lock worked as well as I was leaving my car. Haven't tried driving the car with the key fob but I presume it should work. Will report back if it doesn't.

MTF16 | 8 oktober 2019

Thank you @Wilber & @rchau28 for confirming this. Traditionally I always kept my key fob (from other car brands) in the small "fifth" pocket in my jeans and just grab the door if the car has keyless access or press the lock/unlock area of the key outside of the pocket as I move away/towards it. If the cell phone works for me it would be fine but it has been not. It has been very annoying for me that it doesn't recognize my phone about half of the times and I keep a key card in the center storage area just to start the car which is not safe... It's about time for me to get a new phone and it's good to know if it doesn't work, I can get a key fob.

Mike83 | 8 oktober 2019

Just set up the FOB and it works great. passive entry, unlock frunk and truck.

Pepperidge | 8 oktober 2019

Disabled Bluetooth on my phone and the new Key FOB worked as it should be. The PCB and FCC certification numbers are the same as 1st gen FOB. Probably firmware only update?

billlake2000 | 8 oktober 2019

How much do they give as trade-in on your old fob?