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Salvaged Tesla with no Keys

mmuhi

Member
Apr 26, 2021
15
1
FL
I bought a salvaged 2019 Model 3 from an auction and it came with no keys. I was able to add the car to my tesla account but I can not enable my phone as a key without the actual keys.

Tesla will not work on it. Does anyone know how to program a key? How hard it would be to do it myself? Any info would be appreciated.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,675
18,805
Riverside Co. CA
I bought a salvaged 2019 Model 3 from an auction and it came with no keys. I was able to add the car to my tesla account but I can not enable my phone as a key without the actual keys.

Tesla will not work on it. Does anyone know how to program a key? How hard it would be to do it myself? Any info would be appreciated.

You need a key that is considered the original key to program keys. We know that "tesla will not work on it" but does that include selling you a keycard? You would not even have been able to move the car (or start it, etc) without some sort of key.

Regular end users need an original key to program keys to their car. Other than that, you will need to buy one from tesla (which usually is not considered "working on the car" so contact them with proof of ownership and see if they will sell you a keycard matched to your car.
 

mmuhi

Member
Apr 26, 2021
15
1
FL
Shouldn’t you have looked into this before buying the car? Tesla does not provide much support to salvage cars.
From what I understood that there are some people who can do it remotely, I just need to get a hold
You need a key that is considered the original key to program keys. We know that "tesla will not work on it" but does that include selling you a keycard? You would not even have been able to move the car (or start it, etc) without some sort of key.

Regular end users need an original key to program keys to their car. Other than that, you will need to buy one from tesla (which usually is not considered "working on the car" so contact them with proof of ownership and see if they will sell you a keycard matched to your car.
I did buy new key cards (blank) and I was able to add the car to my Tesla account as well. So I can lock it, unlock it...etc from my phone. But to start the car you need to enable the phone as a key, and to do that you need the original key.

Now there is a way to program a new key to the car without the help of Tesla. Not sure how to do it exactly but I think it may involve rooting the car? That's what I'm trying to figure out. Either do it myself or find someone who can help me with it.
 
I did. And they said that they sent the keys with the car to the bodyshop. Bodyshop say we sent everything to the auction. Auction say we never got the keys.
Yep, that sounds about right.

So let’s ignore the salvage scenario for now: how does the original owner get a replacement for a lost/damaged key card? And why can’t that process work here?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,675
18,805
Riverside Co. CA
Yep, that sounds about right.

So let’s ignore the salvage scenario for now: how does the original owner get a replacement for a lost/damaged key card? And why can’t that process work here?

A service center would be able to easily make a duplicate keycard in that situation once ownership was proven. What I dont know or understand is, why doesnt that work in this case. I cant tell if OP is saying that tesla refuses to even sell him a key even if he proves he is the owner of the vehicle.

I know they wont work on it, but, OP, as a direct question to you, have you tried to buy a keycard from tesla after proving ownership, and what exactly were you told?
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
18,302
45,364
Oregon
I know they wont work on it

But Tesla will work on salvage vehicles. They have a very clear policy: Privacy & Legal | Tesla

Until Tesla can confirm that the vehicle is in compliance with Tesla’s safety standards and vehicle specifications, Tesla does not perform or support repairs involving the HV (high-voltage) battery systems in the vehicle because of the potential for the salvage vehicle to have sustained damage that:
  • Makes the vehicle unsafe to drive
  • Makes the vehicle unsafe for any repair technicians that might work on the vehicle
  • Might damage Tesla equipment, such as Superchargers
When a vehicle is classified as a salvaged vehicle:

  • Any Tesla limited warranties and extended service agreements for the vehicle are void.
    NOTE: Repairs due to recalls will be performed unless the safe repair of the vehicle is prevented either by the condition of the vehicle or by vehicle modifications not installed by Tesla. If the Tesla Service Center determines that the vehicle is not safe to repair, the recall-related repair will not be performed until the customer has returned the vehicle to a condition that the Service Center determines is safe to repair.
  • Supercharging is permanently disabled.
  • Parts availability is not affected. Any Unrestricted or Over-the-Counter part may be purchased for a salvage-titled vehicle.
  • A “Salvage-Titled Vehicle HV Safety Inspection” may be performed (at the customer’s expense) on the vehicle to determine if the HV-related components are safe to work on or access.

So they should have no problem programming a new key card since that doesn't involve the HV battery systems.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,675
18,805
Riverside Co. CA
But Tesla will work on salvage vehicles. They have a very clear policy: Privacy & Legal | Tesla



So they should have no problem programming a new key card since that doesn't involve the HV battery systems.

The important point for this OP should be "parts availability is unaffected", so I have no idea why they could not get a replacement key from tesla after proving ownership of the vehicle.
 

mmuhi

Member
Apr 26, 2021
15
1
FL
A service center would be able to easily make a duplicate keycard in that situation once ownership was proven. What I dont know or understand is, why doesnt that work in this case. I cant tell if OP is saying that tesla refuses to even sell him a key even if he proves he is the owner of the vehicle.

I know they wont work on it, but, OP, as a direct question to you, have you tried to buy a keycard from tesla after proving ownership, and what exactly were you told?
So I didn't ask them if they can send me a card that is pre-programmed for the vehicle. I will call and ask that question. But I was able to get parts for the car from Tesla and I was able to buy the key cards as well but they are blank cards.
 

mmuhi

Member
Apr 26, 2021
15
1
FL
But Tesla will work on salvage vehicles. They have a very clear policy: Privacy & Legal | Tesla



So they should have no problem programming a new key card since that doesn't involve the HV battery systems.
Good information brother. I will call and ask again. Do you know by any chance if they can sell you a pre-programmed key card?

Also, when I spoke to someone in the Tesla "leadership" whatever that means. He pretty much said it's impossible to get a key for it and was rude about it. Short answers and couldn't wait to hang up. He told me my only option is to have it inspected by them and once approved then they can work on it. The inspection price is between $10k-$20k or something ridiculous like that.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,675
18,805
Riverside Co. CA
If you have app access to lock and unlock, can you use the app to remote start the car? It’s called keyless driving I think.

Yes, you can use the app to remote start the car, which is not the same as phone as key. Remote start that way wont work anywhere there is no cell signal, whereas phone as key uses local bluetooth (bluetooth LE)
 

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