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Failure to unlock remotely

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,499
2,143
DEDHAM, MA
I had the occasion a few days ago to move my Model S out of its usual parking space in my condo parking lot (to make room for company). Later in the day I went out to retrieve the car but found I had the wrong set of keys. No problem, I thought, I could unlock the car and start it with the phone. But it would not unlock. When I pressed the lock icon on the app, it showed the unlocked symbol for a few seconds, and then reverted to showing it locked. The door handles never presented. To check if the car perhaps had no connectivity, I tried flashing the lights, which worked immediately.
Later, after fetching my keys, I paged through the car settings and could not find anything set incorrectly that would prevent the phone from remote access. I do not have PIN to drive set, either.
This happened to me once before a few months earlier, but at that time I chalked it up to lack of connectivity.
Does anyone know -- is this feature still functional on older cars? And is there something I may have overlooked that is preventing its use?
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,499
2,143
DEDHAM, MA
I believe you must have cellular connections to your car for certain security functions, for privacy and security. Unlocking is one of those. Flashing the lights would likely work without much authentication, and would possibly work over only a bluetooth or WiFi connection..
I'll have to test it again some place where I can see the internet connection is strong. I doubt the headlights flashed over Bluetooth -- the car was far from my home so it would not have been within range.
 

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