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My Key Fob Opened Someone Else's Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Owner, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    Cross posted from my blog. I haven't heard any reports of this happening to someone else. If this problem was common, it would have occurred at Teslive.

    I came out of a store in a small shopping area, and saw a grey Model S nearby. I walked over to the car and the passenger door handle did not retract. I was planning to throw on the seat the small items I had in my hand. Since I am an environmentalist, I always say "no bag please" when I buy a few items that I can carry.

    I took the key fob out of my pocket and shook it a bit. I opened the door and looked inside to find on the black seat an odd outer garment of some kind. The coat was black with some trim. I did not have a coat on the seat. The water bottle also looked unusual.

    I looked around and then realized. THIS IS NOT MY CAR! The car had identical colors inside and out along with the 21" wheels. My car was parked not very far away in this small parking lot. I looked around to see who owned this car, and the one person I talked to gave me some strange looks.

    I was quite surprised that my key could open another Model S. I have been experiencing a series of strange intermittent problems: self opening doors, rare electrical noises, occasional bluetooth connection issues and a flakey tire pressure gauge. Perhaps these are somehow related? I am planning to blog about these other problems soon but they are minor and I have not had the time. My car is going in for service in August and I do have the VIN # of the other Model S.

    In this area there are a lot of Teslas on the streets, but I have not seen any reports of this issue. I did not try to drive the car. I vaguely remember another car manufacturer having similar issues in the past.
     
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Would've been nice to note the VIN to ownership and basically prod them to see if there is some recycling of fob keycodes.

    ... tho...

    What if your car and its twin there were in the same build batch and you've got cross-linked components? IE: what if your strange intermittent problems are because some of your car's components are shared with the car you just came across? Could solve two strange car issues with this one chance meeting.
     
  3. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    The VIN of this second car is a little more than 1,500 cars newer than mine. I did note the VIN and am going to report it when I get my service done.
     
  4. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Isn't it possible that the other car was simply unlocked and so had nothing to do with your fob?
     
  5. imherkimer

    imherkimer Member

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    Are you sure the other car was not already open for some reason, e.g. the owner did not have walk-away door lock selected?
     
  6. dflye

    dflye S Sig Perf 414, VIN 814

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    Well, I know that I've had multiple cases where pushing the button on the end of the charging cable has opened the charge port on cars adjacent to mine, usually while charging up at a Tesla store while on a lengthy road trip.

    That at least is a less serious problem than unlocking the wrong car!
     
  7. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I don't think the door was parked unlocked. When I approached the car, the handles did not present themselves to me. I touched the door handle to see if that would trigger it, and it didn't. Relatively often with my own car, I need to take the fob out of my pocket before the door handles retract. I did so and shook the fob a bit when the door handle presented itself.

    I'm assuming if the odd chance that the car was unlocked, the door handle would have presented itself upon touch and the owner would have been close by?
     
  8. Silenus136

    Silenus136 Member

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    Happened to me several months ago. Walking through parking lot at our local golf club. As I passed a Model S on the way to mine (about 6 or 8 Model S owners at this club), handles of the car i was walking by presented. I know without a doubt the other owner was nowhere nearby. I called Tesla Service to report, and they were highly skeptical it had happened, saying it was impossible. I have zero doubts about what occurred.
     
  9. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    Thanks Silenus! I'm glad to know I am not the only one who "saw a ghost".:eek:

    Since I did take the VIN# down, perhaps they can follow this one up.

     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away...
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    If this happens again to anyone, please try something like opening the trunk via the fob. If you feel a bit uncomfortable about having thusly jostled someone's vehicle you could leave a note saying you did so as a test to further evaluate whether the car was reacting to your fob.
     
  12. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Maybe a slightly delay from when you tried to touch the handles to make them present? Just a thought. I occasionally have a slight delay from touch/press handles (and from walk-up).
     
  13. smd

    smd Member

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    You should have sat in the driver seat and see if the car would start by pushing the brake. That would have shown if your fob really was linked to that Tesla. The owner could have turned off the auto-lock when walking away and forgot to lock the car, so it was sitting unlocked and waiting for someone to push on the handle.
     
  14. jammerdjc

    jammerdjc S Owner/Member

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    This is a known situation. The button on the charging cable is generic and not coded to any specific car. When I was chatting with one of the rangers he commented it was interesting when he was in a warehouse of Teslas and went to open the charger port from the charge cable button. It was kind of like tipping over the first domino in a series.....
     
  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    When you walk into the Bellevue Service Center you'll also see all the charge ports of all of the cars are open. They've stopped bothering trying to keep them closed :).
     
  16. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    The fob for the other cast could have been left in the car.
     
  17. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    It's also quite possible that the owner was messing around with you remotely. Probably getting a good chuckle.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When Teslas become a bit more common I can see you plugging in at home and the Tesla driving by opens its charge port.
     
  19. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I experimented with 2 of the 3 suggested possibilities outside of hardware/software/firmware problem.

    1. Fob left in the car. I tried this with my own car in the garage. Let it sit for about 45 minutes mimicking the amount of time my car's twin was likely sitting. In the location the car was, the person driving my twin car would very unlikely be there for more than one hour, if that. Door handles retracted quickly upon touch.
    2. Car door left unlocked. I think this is highly unlikely as it is a pain. I try to do this sometimes when the car is in the garage but the menu items both in the car and the app are not at the top level. I would love it if my car knew it was home and remained unlocked in the garage! Anyways I did the same experiment and after a similar amount of time, my car was still alert and responded quickly to touch.
    3. Someone playing a practical joke on me. That person would have to have been super clever! Bored out of their mind waiting for someone to walk up to their car at a distance and unlock their car through their app?

    I am not saying that these are out of the impossible spectrum, but my guess is still on the obscure perhaps non-reproducable hardware/software issue.
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Same thing happened at TESLIVE. One port door command opened the taillights on several nearby cars. Was kind of handy since they were all waiting to get charged.
     

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