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Model S Locking System Just Doesn't Work As Well as the Rest of the Car

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by rrkessler, May 5, 2014.

  1. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    So, we came from a Prius and their locking system was so easy to use that the locking system in the Model S just doesn't cut it. I have one software tweak idea that might help, but I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas. Here are the various failed scenarios:

    1) My wife puts her purse on the floor of the back of the car with the key inside. The car autolocks. She has to dig out her cellphone and unlock the MS.
    2) My wife is unloading the MS, hauling stuff into the house and the car autolocks on her. She has to go back inside, get her purse, haul it by the car, to get it to unlock.

    There are more, but variations on the above. Bottom line - autolocking is not what we need.

    Of course, turning off autolocking means that she has to dig through her purse and find the fob and click it. The small button on the door handle of the Prius was infinitely better.

    It is a little easier on me, as I carry the fob in my pants pocket and so the MS detects that it is in the car (in the front seat) and is easy to click in my pocket to lock.

    Fixes that Tesla should consider:

    a) Make the detectors stronger so it can recognize a key in the back seat.
    b) Have some kind of way of locking the car from the outside without pushing a button, as long as it recognizes that a key is present.
    c) A software fix - if autolocking is turned on, DO NOT AUTOLOCK when the MS is at your HOME location. This would be an easy software fix with an option that you could turn on and off. Whether it works in practice (like what if you park it outside of your house and not in the garage), I don't know, but it seems like it would solve our problems.

    Any other ideas?
    Bob.
     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Have you replaced the fob battery lately? That might help with the recognition of the fob in the back seat.
     
  3. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    Could it be that her phone is in her purse as well? Phones block the signal from the fob. I know if I have my phone in the same pocket as my fob, my car does not unlock when I approach.

    You can do this by pressing the top button of the fob (but that’s a button.. if that’s what you meant?)

    That’s not a bad idea.

    My only gripe with the locking so far is that walking up from behind the car to unplug the charger does not unlock the car, and I have to either manually unlock it, or start to move towards the driver’s door then back. If they could fix the ‘walk up’ areas, that would be awesome. They probably would need to install more sensors, so I’m not sure that’s going to be fixed with a software update.
     
  4. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    Nope, she carries that in her pocket.

    The problem is access to the fob. Buried in her purse. The button on the prius was on the handle of the car.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No, but we just got our MS at the very end of October. I find it hard to believe that it is dead in a few months.

    SPEAKING of software change suggestions - is there some place that we can submit ideas? I have a couple of others (for example, it bugs me to get into the MS and see it say: Car off. It sounds so pedestrian. I'd rather have a field to put in her name (Coco) and have it say something fun like Coco resting :) ).

    Bob.
     
  5. tomp

    tomp Member

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    I'm actually a bit confused about the locking behavior also. I've gathered that this is how the car works:
    1. If I don't touch any buttons on the key fob, the car locks when I walk away.
    2. If I unlock the car via the key fob, it remains unlocked EVEN IF I WALK AWAY. To get the car to lock, I have to lock via key fob or mobile app.

    Could someone confirm that this is correct?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Zextraterrestrial

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    #6 Zextraterrestrial, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
    correct

    same as if you use the touch screen. push lock, the doors are locked. unlock and it will stay unlocked
    put on the e-brake manually(on touch screen) and car stays on.
     
  7. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    Fix one. Keep your key on your person. Pocket, etc

    No pockets? Learn / understand how the car works and modify your personal procedure to work with what the car does.

    It must have been very inconvenient for women without purses or pockets to carry traditional car key when car keys first came out.
     
  8. wamochi

    wamochi Member

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    i am a little worried about the locking feature myself. our mercedes and lexus don't have the the "button" like the prius, but it's just an indented area on the handle that, when touched, lock the doors. i have used this type of locking forever, so i will probably end up disabling the auto lock of the MS when i get it. i like to leave our cars unlocked in the garage when i get home because (1) the kids often get to the car in the mornings before i do and (2) i often leave crap in the car when i get home and get it a few hours later when i need it.

    @Zextra - are you saying that if you use the touchscreen when you get home to "unlock" the car, it will stay unlocked until the next time i use the car?
     
  9. Zextraterrestrial

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    sorry, don't think so. but it will stay unlocked if you are driving, then if you stop someone can push on the outside and the handles will extend.

    I always keep my fob in my pocket and never lock my doors manually, this makes the push to lock style (BMW, merc, etc )a very annoying extra step, like 'push to start'

    of course, you can unlock the car w/ the app after you get home and it will remain unlocked then it does't matter where the fob is, but it is an extra step, like standing there to lock a door ;>
     
  10. wamochi

    wamochi Member

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    thanks for the reply. just out of curiosity, what happens if you get out of the car and leave the key on the roof? does it still lock or does it think you are standing there and remain unlocked?

    also, is there a way to turn the car "off" and leave the key in the cupholder and walk away? my detail guy comes every other week and gets my cars out and washes them and puts them in the garage and leaves the key in the car after turning them off with the push-button on/off.

    it sounds like i'm just going to have to turn off this auto lock feature altogether just to be safe. i don't want my keys, phone or kids to be locked in accidentally ...
     
  11. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    This is a great idea.

    I usually leave the door not fully closed to keep it from locking while I am loading/unloading stuff or if the kids are playing around inside but not sitting in the driver's seat.
     
  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    The locking/unlocking behavior is indeed unusual. I went through a huge tutorial on all the special cases when the techs were diagnosing a problem with mine that only occurs in my garage. The manual goes into a little bit about the special cases, but there are also a number of undocumented cases. It's surprisingly complex.

    For example, upthread the following was noted:
    This is true, but there's an exception. If you open and close one of the doors, it will then lock when you walk away. Or if one of the doors was open when you hit the unlock button, then you close the door and walk away, it will lock.

    So there's this labyrinth of exceptions we had to navigate during diagnosis. Quite complicated.
     
  13. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    This should stop the walkaway locking, since it detects the fob within range still. BUT, since the car will be constantly interrogating the fob, it will also greatly reduce the battery life of the fob. And I'm not sure the car would ever go to "sleep" with the key present.
     
  14. tliving

    tliving Member

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    I hope this isn't unrelated, but i've been struggling with this for the 2 weeks i've owned the car. Daily ritual is drive to a coffee place with the kid in the car, I get out to grab the coffee and leave the kid in the car (teenager), but the fob is in my pocket (I never touch the thing) and the car locks/shuts down/kills her music. Sometimes she's able to keep it awake by touching the screen, sometimes she misses her chance. Once she tried to get it to come back on by opening the door and the alarm went off.

    How do I get the car to stay on with music etc while I walk away with the fob for a few minutes?
     
  15. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    #15 caddieo, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
    I have the opposite problem. Over 10 months of ownership, my wife and I gave ingrained the habit of always taking the fob when we leave the car. We are more bothered (in public) by the interval (20-25 seconds) it takes to auto-lock and we keep turning around to look at the car to make sure nobody is taking advantage of that interval. Quite often, we end up locking the car manually with the top fob button. We find this less stressful than having to lock/unlock during unloading trips from and back to the car. The only time we consistently want to leave the car open (fob on roof) is when unloading in the garage. I guess we all have different tolerance levels for different things.
     
  16. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    D'oh, I was unaware that manual unlocking means it won't auto-lock...what genius built that into the system? Sigh. I don't use the manual unlock much, but I need to file this away for the unusual times I do. I think this explains one or two odd things over the past 15 months.

    In other news, if they make it not auto-lock at home, as suggested by the OP, it had better be an option! I park just outside my garage and I sure as heck want it auto-locking. ;-)

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.S. In general, I'm happy with the auto-locking system as is. I'm paranoid enough to manually lock it when at 7-11 or some other busy, public place, if I have something I'm nervous about leaving in the car (out of sight or not)...yes, I'm lazy and might leave my iPad only partially hidden when I go into 7-11 for 2 minutes (so I manually lock it)...yes, Model S owners go to 7-11, quit judging me.... ;-)
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #17 cwerdna, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
    FWIW, Toyota has moved from the black buttons to lock to ridges that you can push/squeeze to lock. The behavior of touching the back of the door handles remains unchanged. On Priuses, the change began w/Gen 3 (2010+ model year).

    Gen 2 (04-09) had the optional smart key system (black buttons to lock, touch back of front door handles or pull on the trunk release switch to unlock). Both systems are totally intuitive and don't have any complicated auto-lock/unlock behavior.

    About the only exception is that on Toyotas w/SKS, if you unlock the door via any key fob button or the above steps, if no doors are opened after a certain amount of time (30 seconds? 60 seconds? don't recall), the car will auto-lock itself, by design.

    Sounds like the Model S has an odd/complicated auto-lock/unlock system.
     
  18. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    If you close your door just to the first "click" without closing it all the way, everything will stay on inside.
     
  19. bsd

    bsd Member

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    It all depends on what you're used to. I'm renting a Prius at the moment and I find the locking and car systems totally unintuitive. I spent 4 minutes trying to figure out why it wouldn't lock on my first day: it has a key fob and only starts if senses the presence of the fob, but I need to explicitly power off the car, even when I've walked away from the car. Why can't it detect that I'm outside of the car and clicked the lock button on the fob and power off?

    A good read if you're into UI design:

    What Makes a Design Seem 'Intuitive'?
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Toyota's system for powering on and off is pretty much like everyone else's, AFAIK, at least if you look at pure volume # of vehicles shipped. Tesla's is the oddball one.

    The conventions used by the Prius have been on the Prius since the 04 model year. But, I doubt it was the first application of such a system on any car. It probably was the first application on any car in the US in its price range.

    Toyota's door lock/unlock implementation is better than Nissan's.

    On Nissans (e.g. my Leaf and my mom's Altima Hybrid), instead of touching the rear of the door handles to unlock, they overload the single button on each of the front door handles to lock and unlock. Touching the rear of the door handles does nothing as they didn't put sensors there.
     

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