Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

My Model S was stolen from the Denver Tesla service lot today... [Update: Car found!]

dkmayer

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
4
32
Carbondale CO
Hello world! This is not a joke, I'm afraid.

I will try to be brief but ultimately I'm looking for help and guidance on how to proceed in dealing specifically with the Tesla dealer (who I recognize is likely in this group).

So, here goes. Long time listener- first time caller...

I'll preface this all in saying I recognize this is first world problems in the highest...but still...

I jumped an emergency flight to MN to take care of my mother in law for an unexpected surgery three weeks ago. We locked up the Model S (2016 90D) in our driveway and left town. No issues. Normal stuff.

This past Sunday, my next door neighbor walked by the car and asked me if the center console light 'the big iphone screen' as she likes to call it' was supposed to be lit up given I was out of town. Of course the answer was no. I tried to raise the car on the app but no luck. It wasn't responding. I called Tesla roadside and they too could not ping the car. So they arranged for a tow to the 'closest' service center, which of course happened to be 4 hours away in Denver, since I live in the mountains in Colorado. So be it- it would be covered by my roadside and it needed to be fixed.

Before I had left town I had noticed a warning on the dash that was something similar to 'car is safe to drive but schedule service for XYZ issue' don't recall the wording but it turned out to be the warrantied 64gm eMMC replacement issue that you've likely heard about at this point. Mind you the car was functioning totally normally.

So- I'm still in MN and I get a note from Tesla on Monday that they ran the codes and it indeed needed the new warrantied part and it was on order and it would be fixed in ten days. How the hell it was going to get back to my house four hours away was an entirely separate issue. Again, seemed like pretty normal stuff minus the distance and annoyance factors.

Today...I called Tesla Denver to see if they might check for something I was looking for (some ski gear that may have been towed with the car) and low and behold - they have no idea where the car is. Two hours later I got a call from Denver Police that Tesla Denver had reported my car as stolen. Nice.

Here's the kicker- the fact that this 'daughterboard' aka eMMC malfunction 'conveniently' involves a substantial issue where the GPS is disabled and there is no way to track the vehicle, including even when the culprit is charging at a super charger....so, my hunch is someone knew that was the case and took full advantage of this unique situation to get the **** out of dodge when they saw the light still on in the dash....OH...and the dealer indicates that 'they could not lock the car either' when it was on the lot...bullshit. It was 100% lockable and 100% locked when it was at my house when they found it before the tow. Tesla says there had to have been another key in the car, I NEVER left keys in the car, ever, and WTF- lock the car when its in your care, and this is on your dealer lot!!! My neighbor gave them the key that was inside our house and the dealer now has the key...and not the car.

So, there you have my fun saga for today. I welcome your thoughts, feedback and ideas on how to bring this to a happy conclusion for all. At the moment, it's far from happy.

--
 

bktiger86

Member
Sep 3, 2016
325
156
West Covina, CA
Wow...first time hearing this sort of thing. Normally nowadays even if they put the key in the car, the SC would take out the battery from the key fob. That is what they did to my key when I picked up the car after hours.

But back to your issue, don't they have security cameras overlooking the premises? Or other Teslas around with dash cam / Sentry mode on?
 

dkmayer

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
4
32
Carbondale CO
oooh I like the sentry mode idea on other cars- yes officially "national office" has the access to the footage so we shall see..messy for sure- thanks for the note
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,698
2,325
United States
Not a lawyer, but my thoughts are as follows.

At this point, I would do the following:

1. When you get home, get your second key and keep it safe, just so that Tesla knows you DO have that other key and that the original key was the one your neighbor gave them. That accounts for all of your car keys.

2. Help the Denver PD as much as possible. Bummer that the MCU failure means it can't be tracked--what are the odds?!?

3. Call your insurance company, perhaps, to get them in the loop early? NOT that I know this will become a claim against your insurance right away, but it might end up that way . . . technically, IMHO, when Tesla SvC accepted your car, the responsibility for the security of your car became THEIR responsibility.

4. Start looking for used or new Model S's, either in Inventory (cheaper) or the new ones arriving soon . . . and see what your old car might have been worth as a trade-in. Look on the bright side: you won't even have to wash it as they already took your car in trade, they just didn't know it:)

5. If valuable, be sure to list the items in the car for what might end up as part of the claim. And if the entire case ends up being a claim against your insurance (which may be the normal course of this sort of event?), you can rest assured that it will be subrogated by your insurance company against Tesla; no effort required on your part as it's part of their job. None of this will impact your rates since you are "at fault" for none of it.

So, in a nutshell, you'll end up with a new, or new-to-you Tesla. Note that in about three weeks there will be a State of the Union address by President Biden which will likely include a request/demand for reinstatement of the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit for those brands that have lost it (GM, Tesla); that may skew your decision toward a new Tesla vs. a used one . . . .
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,400
1,147
USA
Sorry. Frankly, I’m not sure you want it back. stolen cars get beat up fast.

Are you reasonably insured? Is it on your insurance ( or Tesla) ?

Look for a Denver Tesla owners club. You might find an owner or two that had their car there at the right time.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,253
6,767
Canyon Lake,CA
Tesla can issue you Uber credits to get home from the airport.

Hope your figure this out. Tesla has just released a new fob with enhanced security protocals due to clever thieves figuring out how to steal them in Europe.

Imagine this will become an insurance issue if your car is not found.
 

Tesomega

Member
Sep 28, 2017
285
188
Pittsburg, CA
With the Covid-19 Zero touch service last time when I was at service, the key was left inside the car when I had picked up the car. So, I am not sure if this is only when the car is ready for pickup or its the same when the car is in service. Hope you get your car back soon!.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Watts_Up

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
456
Irvine
sounds to me like the Denver service center is totally responsible for your car and its security while in their position....You have a good case for negligence....I am sure they (Tesla) will end up offering you a deal on a new (inventory) car or a used one if available.....they really have their mammary gland in a ringer......I do not see any court or normal person that would say it was your issue....Tesla or their agent came and got the car, towed it to the dealer, Tesla worked on it to determine failure mode and then Tesla did not take appropriate action(s) to secure it in their service center or storage lot.......good luck....please keep us updated
 
  • Like
Reactions: Needsdecaf

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,016
4,939
Wow, that's really bad luck that the GPS was not working, usually these cases are open and shut quickly due to the tracking function. As others mentioned this definitely sounds like an insurance claim, which Tesla may end up paying for ultimately (either directly, from their insurance, or your insurance company chasing them). I believe the term for the insurance repair shops should have is garage keepers insurance, which covers cases like this (including damage after they recover the vehicle).
They require their authorized body shops to have it so I would be surprised if they don't have it themselves:
"Applicant body shops need to meet the following qualifications:
...
Have proof of garage keeper's liability and workers' compensation insurance"
https://service.teslamotors.com/sit...pair_Program_Operating_Standards_20180205.pdf

Best of luck that you get this resolved happily.
 
Last edited:

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,720
6,251
Austin, TX
Lots of good advice above. I’d start with your insurance company. Depending how long it has been gone, someone may have picked it up thinking it was their “touch less” service completed. (My wife got in someone else’s unlocked car at the store once).

You really think they’re going to reinstate the $7,500 tax credit?

maybe, but it would definitely have a max cost and/or income limits.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Needsdecaf

Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
914
481
Oregon
Unforeseen theft is one thing. Still their responsibility as the car was in their official possession. The fact that they told you the car wasn’t lockable means they are negligent because if that were true, they should’ve put it INSIDE at the end of each day, not leave it outside and take their chances. Or just hard disable it via the fireman’s loop if they had to leave it outside until the new daughter board came in.
 

Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,219
2,628
Los Gatos, CA
Unforeseen theft is one thing. Still their responsibility as the car was in their official possession. The fact that they told you the car wasn’t lockable means they are negligent because if that were true, they should’ve put it INSIDE at the end of each day, not leave it outside and take their chances. Or just hard disable it via the fireman’s loop if they had to leave it outside until the new daughter board came in.

Exactly, not to mention it's Tesla's fault that the MCU failed in the first place.

There is really no excuse for leaving cars that can be driven away in the lot with keys inside. It's just pure incompetence.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,168
2,109
In a galaxy far, far away
Today...I called Tesla Denver ... and low and behold - they have no idea where the car is.
Two hours later I got a call from Denver Police that Tesla Denver had reported my car as stolen. Nice.

Here's the kicker- the fact that this 'daughterboard' aka eMMC malfunction 'conveniently'
involves a substantial issue where the GPS is disabled and there is no way to track the vehicle,
including even when the culprit is charging at a super charger....
so, my hunch is someone knew that was the case and took full advantage of this unique situation
to get the **** out of dodge when they saw the light still on in the dash....OH...
and the dealer indicates that 'they could not lock the car either' when it was on the lot...bullshit.
It was 100% lockable and 100% locked when it was at my house when they found it before the tow.
I have been in a similar situation with my previous car while my car was at the shop.
It was suppose to be a one day job and I was supposed to have my car back by the end of the day.
Every time I called my car was not ready and it would take another day.

So one day, I went to to shop, it was almost closing time.
My car was not there and they didn't know where it was.

I immediately called the police and my insurance to make a report.
Well, the next day I received a call earlier morning from the shop telling me that they found my car.

The first thing that I noticed was that my tank was almost empty and the speedometer cable was disconnected.

I am pretty sure that one of the employee used your car to commute home knowing that you were away.
The car must have been in Service Mode so you would not be able to connect to it.

I would recommend to get a lawyer to clarify your situation, so you should be able to get a detail log of the car,
and in particular the time and location of the Supercharger used.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,572
7,381
Visalia, CA
...saga...

It happened on Tesla's property so it's Tesla's responsibility.

Tesla's insurance and your own car's insurance can discuss how they can remedy the situation.

Where's the car's fob now? Is it still with the Service Center or is it with the stolen car?

If the fob is still at the Service Center, it's possible that the thief would use a European relay attack and drive the car away without the fob in the car but when they shut the car down, it wouldn't be restarted again, so that method is only good to drive to a chop shop to disassemble the car for parts.

By the way, if this car was set up for pin-to-drive, then the thief has to find out where the pin is kept in the Service Center (probably in the computer system).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phlier and rickyjb

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,698
2,325
United States
You really think they’re going to reinstate the $7,500 tax credit?

Yes.

There have been multiple media reports suggesting this and many other changes are part of the Biden transition to an administration in which global climate threats are not a "Chinese Hoax," where science (chemistry, physics, etc.) are actually real and legitimate.

It's really quite refreshing after a four-year nightmare.
 

Tiger

Active Member
Oct 31, 2016
1,653
1,226
Estonia
Maybe Tesla just towed it somewhere with some tow service which mixed up cars with teach other ... wouldn't surprise. Hope they make it right!
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top