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Unable to drive - Authentication required

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
I just replaced the keyfob batteries and no dice.

Keyfob can communicate with the car with manual button press input on he keyfob but the door handles no longer present themselves or allow me to open the trunk by pressing the button on the trunk. To start the car, I need to unlock with a keyfob button or when I press the brake pedal to turn the car on," I see the message below.

Whatever is happening to my car seems odd and unusual because there is only one google result that comes up for this message... "Unable to drive - Authentication required."

I have an unrelated service appointment next week, so I'll just have them add this issue to the request.

20191113_211028.jpg
 

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
Mystery solved.

It was "Passive Entry" somehow being turned off in the car. I have no idea how this got turned off, as it's not easy to access the setting. You actually need to have the car in Park and press the brake pedal to toggle this setting so this is why it wasn't obvious. The option to auto present door handles was already selected but is overridden by the "Passive Entry" setting.

The thing is I don't remember ever toggling this setting so I wonder how this happened. Could it have been a software update?

This has got to be the most confusing error message in the Tesla software though. Rather than...

Unable to drive - Authentication required
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App​

It should say...

"Passive Entry" convenience features disabled.
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App to start car or enable "Passive Entry"​

For more details of the side effects of "Passive Entry" being disabled, accidental or not:
Do Not Disable Passive Entry!

On the plus side my keyfob now has brand new batteries and anyone else having this issue will know what to do when this thread is indexed by Google.
 

Joelgjr

Member
Mar 24, 2018
429
538
Westlake Village, CA
Mystery solved.

It was "Passive Entry" somehow being turned off in the car. I have no idea how this got turned off, as it's not easy to access the setting. You actually need to have the car in Park and press the brake pedal to toggle this setting so this is why it wasn't obvious. The option to auto present door handles was already selected but is overridden by the "Passive Entry" setting.

The thing is I don't remember ever toggling this setting so I wonder how this happened. Could it have been a software update?

This has got to be the most confusing error message in the Tesla software though. Rather than...

Unable to drive - Authentication required
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App​

It should say...

"Passive Entry" convenience features disabled.
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App to start car or enable "Passive Entry"​

For more details of the side effects of "Passive Entry" being disabled, accidental or not:
Do Not Disable Passive Entry!

On the plus side my keyfob now has brand new batteries and anyone else having this issue will know what to do when this thread is indexed by Google.

do I get to say told you so
 
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Reactions: PhilDavid

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
do I get to say told you so

Yeah it was a tricky thing to find because I already saw that Autopresent door handles was on.

In order to do anything with the Passive Entry setting, you need to be on park with the foot on the brake so that's partly the reason I didn't notice it earlier.

Interesting how Passive Entry has much to do with the magic of getting into your car and driving away!
 

NorthofYYZ

Member
Nov 22, 2017
27
23
Ontario
Exactly the same problem with my X. Support could only come up with the “Have you turned your off and then on again”, which did nothing.

I’d never noticed the Passive Entry option, nor do I think I ever toggled it off, but it was off.

This started after the update to 36.2.1. I’m wondering if something in the update “flipped that bit”.
 

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
Exactly the same problem with my X. Support could only come up with the “Have you turned your off and then on again”, which did nothing.

I’d never noticed the Passive Entry option, nor do I think I ever toggled it off, but it was off.

This started after the update to 36.2.1. I’m wondering if something in the update “flipped that bit”.

Glad you found the post helpful :)

I am pretty sure that I did not change that setting so it seems the Passive Entry bit somehow got flipped after an update.

Like I suggested earlier, I feel they should change the error message displayed to something more useful.
 

Iz

EVs are here to stay
Nov 22, 2006
1,080
22
New York
Thank you for posting the solution. Had the same issue with my S.
Do not recall toggling the Passive Entry option.
 

WrappedP85D

Member
Jan 28, 2020
9
2
Ponte Vedra, FL
I’ve got the same issue. Started happening around late November / Late December. Tried updating the keys and replacing batteries. Gonna just have to bring it to the service center and see what they say. Doesn’t appear to be a common issue, since this is the only forum where it’s mentioned. Weird.
 

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2015 85D

Member
Sep 9, 2017
42
25
Santa Barbara, CA
I also had this error message present itself to my 2015 model S85D out of the blue last December (2019). "unable to drive - Authenticaton required Press key fob or unlock with Mobile App". I had it towed to the dealership. They stepped on the brake and hit the FOB twice and problem gone. But only once. I had to do this every time I got in the car. Nothing I tried fixed it, so I just lived with it. Now I see DCEV's post about passive entry being disabled causing that message. I enabled passive entry and the problem seems to be gone! Thank you, sir!
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
863
365
Tea Gardens
My S has always had this "feature". It only comes up with the message when there's more than 30 seconds between unlocking the car and attempting to drive - I suppose it's a security feature. If I unlock then go round the back, take out the charger or load the boot then get in after a minute or so the message comes up and a couple of fob presses get me going.
 
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2015 85D

Member
Sep 9, 2017
42
25
Santa Barbara, CA
Does it have anything to do with the fact that maybe the key was in your pocket when you visited the rear of the car? The car might think you were forced out of the car and a thief may be trying to take over driving. Possibly a safety factor in the passive driving option? Just a thought...
 

Battpower

Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2019
1,992
1,953
Uk
+1

Agree with this exactly. 2019 MS R.

Not a fault. If you get in to the car, quit fussing and fiddling and drive right away, not an issue. And if you are over 30 sec faffing, just press the fob and you're good to go.

As I read Tesla's advice, best not to enable Passive Entry unless it's of critical importance to you.
 

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
Thank you for posting the solution. Had the same issue with my S.
Do not recall toggling the Passive Entry option.

I also had this error message present itself to my 2015 model S85D out of the blue last December (2019). "unable to drive - Authenticaton required Press key fob or unlock with Mobile App". I had it towed to the dealership. They stepped on the brake and hit the FOB twice and problem gone. But only once. I had to do this every time I got in the car. Nothing I tried fixed it, so I just lived with it. Now I see DCEV's post about passive entry being disabled causing that message. I enabled passive entry and the problem seems to be gone! Thank you, sir!

You are welcome! As you can see with the post chronology this really confused me for a while because the error message they show is so cryptic.

That error message should really say: "Enable Passive Entry in Settings or press keyfob/unlock with Mobile App to start car."

On the plus side, you can just about make sure no one steals your car by turning off Passive Entry given how the resulting situation even stumps most owners. :p
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
863
365
Tea Gardens
My rear trunk will only open with the trunk button if I first double-press the unlock car fob twice then double press it again! This started a month ago and is now a "feature" a la Micro$oft. Weird.
 

paystf1

New Member
Jul 29, 2020
4
0
Las Vegas
Mystery solved.

It was "Passive Entry" somehow being turned off in the car. I have no idea how this got turned off, as it's not easy to access the setting. You actually need to have the car in Park and press the brake pedal to toggle this setting so this is why it wasn't obvious. The option to auto present door handles was already selected but is overridden by the "Passive Entry" setting.

The thing is I don't remember ever toggling this setting so I wonder how this happened. Could it have been a software update?

This has got to be the most confusing error message in the Tesla software though. Rather than...

Unable to drive - Authentication required
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App​

It should say...

"Passive Entry" convenience features disabled.
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App to start car or enable "Passive Entry"​

For more details of the side effects of "Passive Entry" being disabled, accidental or not:
Do Not Disable Passive Entry!

On the plus side my keyfob now has brand new batteries and anyone else having this issue will know what to do when this thread is indexed by Google.

Thanks. You saved my life. I had this error popping up since picking up my car from service.

Any chance you can add this to the 1st post so it's easier to find?
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
863
365
Tea Gardens
I have on several occasions seen that settings on various things have changed during updates - it's the sort of thing you don't notice until one day you go into settings and find they are different to what you think they are.
 

andrewdtran

Member
Jun 10, 2020
107
60
Houston, Texas
Mystery solved.

It was "Passive Entry" somehow being turned off in the car. I have no idea how this got turned off, as it's not easy to access the setting. You actually need to have the car in Park and press the brake pedal to toggle this setting so this is why it wasn't obvious. The option to auto present door handles was already selected but is overridden by the "Passive Entry" setting.

The thing is I don't remember ever toggling this setting so I wonder how this happened. Could it have been a software update?

This has got to be the most confusing error message in the Tesla software though. Rather than...

Unable to drive - Authentication required
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App​

It should say...

"Passive Entry" convenience features disabled.
Press keyfob or unlock with Mobile App to start car or enable "Passive Entry"​

For more details of the side effects of "Passive Entry" being disabled, accidental or not:
Do Not Disable Passive Entry!

On the plus side my keyfob now has brand new batteries and anyone else having this issue will know what to do when this thread is indexed by Google.
Just took delivery of a '21 Model X a few days ago and it has the same problem for some reason. Thanks for the solution!
 

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