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

Sentry Mode: Video Unavailable After Impact : /

Hi everyone!

Someone backed into our Model Y in a parking lot and then departed without leaving a note. I was nearby and managed to capture a clear shot of the licence plate with my phone (thank you app notifications and 2x optical zoom!), and security footage from the lot confirmed the impact. Sentry Mode was active at the time of impact but failed to produce usable video footage. Instead, we were greeted with a "Video unavailable, please select different footage" message. Attempts to retrieve the footage otherwise failed. I've seen this same issue periodically but haven't figured out what's causing it. The car is obsessed with peeping on people minding their own business so I'm disappointed that it failed when we very well may have needed it.

- 2021 Model Y AWD, long range
- Version 2022.4.5.17 (but this has happened with all versions)
- Alarm was triggered, panic state, horn blaring, and messages from the app
- Video files were saved to internal storage instead of the Tesla USB (expected behaviour)
- I was able to save the video files to the Tesla USB
- Video files are corrupt; can't be viewed on Tesla display or laptop
- Video recording began at the right moment but the files are only like 300 KB each (too small to be useful)
- The video files show a still image of me, arriving at the car 10-15 mins later
- I have previously formatted the USB via the car
- It could be a faulty USB, but remember that in this case it wrote to the internal storage first

I often have little clips of me approaching the vehicle and, I'm not sure, but I suspect this may be related. For example, could it be something like Sentry Mode realizes it's me and deletes what it originally thought was suspicious activity to spare the driver from always seeing themselves getting into the car — does it do that? It took me over 10 minutes to get to my vehicle after the alarm sounded (yes, even though I was able to take a photo), so there should have been plenty of time to write the video footage to storage.

My question: Has anyone encountered this? And if so, were you able to fix it? Tesla says we should bring the car in, which we will do, but I wanted to check with the community first, in case it's just a matter of restarting the flux capacitor or applying enthusiastic percussive maintenance.

The damage isn't bad (likely under $2,000) and we'll be covered by insurance. I'm not bothered by the car being damaged (it's par for the course) but I'm annoyed that the people chose to leave the scene, attempting to pass the problem off on others (yes, they were very aware they had hit another vehicle) and making things worse for everyone, themselves included. But I suppose this is incredibly common, and thankfully it wasn't a hit-and-run involving injury.

Apologies if this topic has already been beaten to death but I didn't find many references to it here or elsewhere.


Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
I've seen these kinds of reports here and on reddit several times before. The car seems to make all kinds of great recordings of unnecessary events, but fails to provide video for an actual issue. So far I have not seen a reason or solution. Have you done much searching on this forum? I know I've seen these events in posts before.
  • Like
Reactions: sieler


Active Member
Dec 4, 2019
Riverside, CA
remove the media (flash drive etc) from the car and try it on your computer. If it works -- great. If it doesn't but there's a file that doesn't seem to play or is corrupted, I've had luck fixing them with some online services (free). They usually require you to upload the corrupted file as well as a file that DOES work from the same capture device (your car) and they can often salvage the video. Good luck.
  • Like
Reactions: whisperingshad


Active Member
Dec 4, 2019
Riverside, CA
Thanks @LoudMusic, @iamnid — I’ve checked the forums here but the issue doesn’t seem widespread. Looking at the USB stick is on my list, thanks for the suggestion.

So do most people here use Sentry Mode and don’t get “Video unavailable” warnings regularly? If so, that would point to something being not right at my end.
I actually had the same warning a few times. There would be a few videos on a list of sentry events that would refuse to play. I've since reformatted the drive via the car's interface and it hasn't cropped up again. I find that if I allow the drive to accumulate a ton of videos, I start having problems. Most notably, the entire interface and dashcam viewer grinds to a crawl. So I've started formatting about once per month to keep the drive relatively empty and the interface speedy. For this reason alone, it was foolish for me to get a 500GB drive -- anything approaching even 1/4 full and it takes a minute (or two) for the dashcam viewer to even load up.

Products we're discussing on TMC...

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.