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Modest Comparison of Window Security Warning Labels


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  • Purchased Tesla Enhanced Anti-Theft System for early 2021 Model X. Previous posts about that system are included in these threads:
    • April 24, 2021
    • April 30, 2021
    • This optional additional-security system (only available for Models S and X) is installed by Tesla mobile or service center staff.
    • Two small warning labels are provided by Tesla. The adhesive is on the face of the labels, so they must be positioned inside the car on the inner window surface, facing outward.
  • Models S, X, 3, and Y can now also take advantage of Sentry Mode, which will sound the alarm, record video, and alert the driver (via the Tesla App) in the event of serious security incidents.
    • Several Internet vendors and individuals offer window labels warning that Sentry Mode is in operation.
  • So I have hands-on experience with threetypes of window labels:
    • The original Tesla Enhanced Anti-Theft System warning labels. (Adhesive on the front of the label.)
    • Custom, enlarged, 3rd-party version of that Tesla EATS label. (Adhesive on the front.)
    • One kind of Sentry Mode warnings (sold here: Sentry Mode Activated Labels). (Adhesive on the back.)
  • Of the three, I am here to report that only the third type (these) has proven to be useful or effective on my car. Why?
    • Window tinting. (Yes, I know. I'm not very bright sometimes.)
  1. your car is has original Tesla factory window tinting, or
  2. you have installed after-market tinting...
you may find that stickers applied to the inside of such deeply tinted windows are virtually invisible under most conditions.

In comparison, warning labels applied to the outside of the windows (adhesive is on the back of the label) can at least be seen more easily. For example:

Enhanced Anti-Theft System Warning Label.jpg Closeup of Type 2--the enlarged EATS warning label. The warning label itself is fine. Factory window-tinting prevents visibility.

Left Side Rear Window Left Side Windows - 1 Left Side Windows - 2 Left-side windows. Can you spot the three warning labels? Only the exterior Sentry Mode warning label is truly visible.

Ride Side Windows - 1 Ride Side Windows - 2 Right-side rear windows (Sun in opposite direction). Same conclusion.

You will have to take my word for it, that the (Tesla) small and (3rd-party) larger interior warning labels were present (respectively) inside the small, non-movable rear-most windows on both side and on the inner top of the rear-seat-row windows. (Applied towards the inside-top of the glass so that the labels would not interact with the weather seal when the windows were fully lowered and then raised.

These photos were obviously taken in full (afternoon, California, February) sunlight. At night, or in dark shade, the interior labels would be even more difficult to see. Perhaps if the interior lights were on fully at night, the interior labels could be seen outlined from the outside. That occurrence would not apply to a potential security situation.

Also, interior labels would probably show up better on the front windshield. However, I understand that most smash-and-grab thefts occur through side windows.

Of course, the application of fairly heavy factory window tinting on side and rear windows may have two purposes: (a) teperature control and (b) improved security. I have not read this, but I imagine that having windows semi-blackened-out helps reduce theft (making warning labels perhaps less important). I hope that is the case.

Conclusions: If you have window tinting (like me), don't bother with most interior labels applied to the inside surface of the windows. Instead apply exterior labels, that may be susceptible to removal but at least can be seen.

However, cars without heavy tinting may do fine with (3rd-party large or Tesla small) security system warning stickers that adhere to the inside of side windows. (See labels temporarily applied with Scotch tape, for demonstration, to the inside of a Model S window, below.)

Large and Small EATS Labels
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