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California FasTrak Positioning Requirements

Discussion in 'Model S' started by berkeley_ecar, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. berkeley_ecar

    berkeley_ecar S 90D (fully loaded) delivered 18 Mar 2017

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    Berkeley, CA
    I realize that there have been multiple discussions about positioning the CA FasTrak toll tag (transponder) properly for the Model S, but here I raise a slightly different issue. Many earlier owners experienced problems finding a location to place
    the toll tag, probably due to metallic coatings on their windshields. I find that in my 2017 Model S, there is no such problem, and I am able to place the toll tag anywhere on the windshield. The Bay Area FasTrak* Customer Handbook
    seems rather loose about placement, and I am inclined to place it to the left of the rear view mirror base. I've also thought
    about making a thin black plastic case to mount there, allowing me to easily slide the toll tag in and out of the case, making the whole thing less gaudy looking from the outside. Is anyone aware of more stringent placement/visibility requirements (for example, must the FasTrak logo on the toll tag be visible from the outside)?
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. ucmndd

    ucmndd Member

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    There are no more stringent requirements that I'm aware of. I don't live in the Bay Area but travel there frequently enough that I keep a Fastrak transponder in the car. When I need it, I pull it out and set it on the alcantara portion of the dash so it doesn't slide around. Works fine, no issues. I note the same behavior in my 2016 MS, whatever interfering "coating" was on the windshield of the older cars is no longer there.
     
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  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Don't have a Tesla yet, but I do the same thing in my ICE car. When I need it, I throw it on the dash. I don't think there is any official placement requirement. If the transponder is detected, it beeps, if it is not, they fall back on the license plate.

    The fastrak website only has suggested mounting locations on the windshield because mounting it in certain areas violates California law prohibiting mounting objects on the windshield (other than very specific allowed exemptions, of which the suggested transponder mounting locations are a part of).
    FasTrak® - Keeping the Bay Area Moving
    Law section

    However, if you don't mount it, then obviously those laws don't apply.
     
  4. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    If the CHP is looking for the tag, you want it in the specified locations. Upside down to the right of the mirror is working for the switchable FasTrak with the 2017 MS.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  5. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    This is what I did (from recommendation from TMC) and have always had good results.
     
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  6. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    FWIW, I hate the look of the all white FasTrak transponder through the window. I have wrapped them in black vinyl electrical tape and used black Velcro or black 3M VHB double sided tape to mount. Nearly invisible.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  7. DLM270

    DLM270 #7773

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    Fremont, CA
    I have not found a FASTRAK Transponder mount location that works in my 2013 S85. This is not a problem with the Bay Area bridges as they read license plates and charge my account. But when I drive in the Express lanes, which should be free, I am charged the usage fee. Fastrak has credited my account when I call them, but say they will not be doing that anymore. I need to find a place to mount my 3 person transponder. Anyone have a solution for this issue on a 2013 Model S?
     
  8. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    While the position to the right of the rear view mirror mount worked in the 2012 Model S and the 2016 Model X, the 2017 Model S is tricky. While it has worked more often upside down, the 3 position switch model now works 100% of the time by attaching it lower. From the driver point of view, it is attached behind the rear view mirror so the driver cannot see it. It is not upside down. It is extremely visible from the outside of the vehicle and by a passenger.

    The 2012 and 2013 windshield has a slight pink tint and may require more experimentation if the above suggestions don't work in the 2013.
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    So you see from my sig below, we have 2 Model S. My May 2013 S85 has the windshield with the asymmetrical speckled area to the right of the inside rear view mirror. I have the '1st gen' FasTrak Flex transponder (more or less square/slightly rectangular) positioned in this space but turned 90 degrees with switch to the left. Works great. My wife's June 2015 (AP1) build does not have the speckled area, and I could find no location alongside the mirror to get the transponder to work. I did try every location and orientation in the windshield, and tried the pano roof. No good. I finally settled on mounting it to the rear liftgate glass at the bottom edge, so that it would not be in the line of sight looking into the inside rear view mirror. Works great.

    FWIW I like to keep a 'spare' transponder in the glove box of each car, in case I get a loaner or the like (the transponders mounted as above are very securely fastened with 3M high strength double sided tape). The latest 'spares' I just got are the next gen variety of FasTrak Flex, quite a bit smaller (more of a candy bar size). i have not tried these yet, and maybe the antenna position inside the housing will be different. YMMV.
     
  10. EVCarGUy

    EVCarGUy Member

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    I mounted mine in the upper corner of the rear window. Yeah, it's not legal, but it gets read correctly. March 2017 S 85D
     
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  11. bmah

    bmah New Moderator, Model S / Model X Forums

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    I did this on my April 2015 S85D because that's all that worked. Earlier this year the car needed a windshield replacement. While annoying and expensive, the end result was a new windshield with the shaded area to the right of the rear window mount. Putting the transceiver upside-down next to that area works for me now on bridges, toll lanes, and parking garages (SFO International Terminal).

    How's that again? o_O

    Bruce.
     
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  12. OilSucks

    OilSucks Member

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    Everyone in this thread should count your lucky stars though... I have the new FastTrak tag that screws in to your front license plate and it looks TERRIBLE. Plus the screws seem to only go in just a few mm's.
     
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  13. Fusion

    Fusion Member

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    Picture??
     
  14. DLM270

    DLM270 #7773

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    Thanks for the replies! I will try these locations and hope to find one that works, this time. It has been over 4 years since I last tried with no success. Maybe the system has improved.
     
  15. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Why do you need/want the license plate version?? It is not a Flex and you will have issues getting charged $$ on the new NoCA HOV/pay-per-use lanes (like 580/680).
     
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  16. DLM270

    DLM270 #7773

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    JPP Thanks! After many different positions, I finally tried your recommendation to position the unit to the right of the mirror and rotated 90 degrees....and it worked great. SUCCESS!
     
  17. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Excellent. BTW, do you have the 1st gen square FasTrak Flex, or the new 'candy bar' one?
     
  18. bmah

    bmah New Moderator, Model S / Model X Forums

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    "Candy bar"? I haven't heard of that one (except possibly in one of your earlier posts). The only Flex picture I see on the FasTrak Web site is the square-ish one, which I have. Is the one you are describing an internal tag or external?

    Bruce.
     
  19. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Here is a photo of the new 'candy bar' shaped new one:

    IMG_1751.jpg

    Longer than the original square one, but thinner.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. CuriousG

    CuriousG Member

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    The last time I disputed the charges in the Express Lanes it was a big hassle. I first tried to do it with the online chat option like second time I disputed charges and they took it off on the spot. I was told I needed to fill out the webpage to dispute. By the time they got around to my request someone called me back to tell me they were to forward it to some other department. Another week plus goes by and someone else calls me to tell me it's going to another department. At this point I was going to give up. I later receive a letter linking to tesla.com forum page about FasTrak but I never looked at it and assumed they denied my request. Another week or so goes by and I get another letter that I have been credited back the charges.

    Granted most of the time I didn't have the transponder in the proper place and other times I just figure I could dispute it later. Given my latest experience with FasTrak, I have it mounted by mini suction cups now in the designated Tesla approved location. Certainly not worth the hassle to dispute.
     

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