Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #29 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed the Tesla Cybertruck's expected 1 MW Ultra-Fast Charging capability, the Tesla Semi Delivery Event, the coming Model 3 refresh (project "Highland"), and more. You can watch it now on YouTube.

Tesla Thieves


Active Member
Mar 21, 2017
you realize that just driving the car away is too dangerous - it can be tracked so the superfirst thing you do as a thief is make sure there's no reporting and THEN you drive away.

your insight into what exactly these thieves may or might not have done is reasonably disturbing. They were too dumb to figure out how to remove the charger, i doubt they had the intelligence to do something 99% of tesla owners don't know how to do.
  • Like
Reactions: mrElbe
This month, I was told by the Service Center that I already had 80 bit key fobs after requesting a newer key fob during annual service. Double checking, I found the new key fob they gave me is 80 bit, but the original one is 40 bit. The Service Center programmed both key fobs to work with the 2017 Model S. To have both key fobs at 80 bit, Tesla Mobile service is now scheduled to sell me one additional 80 bit key fob and program them at my residence. Here is what I learned so far.

1. One new 80 bit key fob is provided under warranty for those who have 40 bit key fobs.
2. Additional 80 bit key fobs are $150 plus tax.

To determine if you have an 40 or 80 bit key fob, look under the battery of the key fob. Here is a photo showing both Model S key fobs with the original 2017 40 bit on the left and the newer 80 bit on the right. The number on the lower left is partially hidden by the battery contact, so check by viewing on an angle.

Key Fob 40 or 80.jpg

The original 2017 40 bit key fob on the left has a 1043806 number. Model No: 002 appears at the top.
The 80 bit key fob shown on the right has a 1455940 number. Model No: 0749G12 appears at the top.

(Not shown is a 2012 key fob that has a 1007492 number. Model No: 002 appears at the top.)

Since the Ranger technician said to look at the number on the lower left, I am not sure if the numbers on the top might be different for Model X or for different versions.
Do you know if rooting the vehicle is the only way for a thief to disable tracking.....or pin to drive?

In Europe, thieves have been removing the SIM that permits cellular access. Tesla have countered this by gluing the SIM in the holder, so the thieves apparently prise out the SIM and holder.

Thieves only need to move the car to a transporter and to stop/block tracking until they have disconnected power. A stolen Tesla will likely be stripped down to parts before being shipped to eastern Europe and sold on ebay. [How would ebay vendors in Lithuania acquire so many parts from right hand drive Teslas?]

On a positive note, a member of the Tesla Owners Group UK reported that a thief got into his car but P2D had apparently stopped the theft.


Curious member
Jan 16, 2017
In Europe, thieves have been removing the SIM that permits cellular access
Yes, because of the external sim that's also somewhat easy to do I guess, but that's only in EU and JP and perhaps some other markets, but not in US.

If your concern is THIS - you can always hide an always own wifi access point in the car so that even cutting off the sim card holder would not prevent the car from communicating.
Perhaps it would be smart to clean the screen occasionally. No sense leaving greasy fingerprints where the PIN number is entered. That could help speed the process of guessing a PIN by knowing the numbers pressed. If one finger print is over the number "1", it's time to clean your screen and change the PIN. Use 4 different numbers for maximum security.

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.