It seems like we learn something new about our Model S everyday. Sometimes the new information is fun and interesting to discover and sometimes it is frustrating and requires an email or call to Tesla to get an answer. We thought we would start a thread where we could all share our stories with one another and hopefully only invent the wheel a couple dozen times rather than a couple hundred.
We’ll start with our most frustrating experience to date. The short version is we locked both our key fobs inside the car. Our Model S had to be towed via Tesla Roadside Assistance to the LA Service Center in order to have the car unlocked. For more details on this debacle, read on.
My wife and I play Ultimate Frisbee. We left our house Sunday afternoon for a local scrimmage game. We unlocked the Model S using one of our key fobs as we approached the car. Then we opened the lift gate by pressing the switch located under the lift gate’s handle. We then put our key fobs in our athletic bags, put both athletic bags in the truck, and closed the lift gate. We then opened the front car doors, got in. The car started normally, as we expected, since our key fobs were inside the car (in the trunk). At the park, we retrieved our bags, closed the lift gate and locked the Model S using one of the key fobs. After our game, we walked up to the Model S and opened the lift gate by pressing the switch located under the lift gate’s handle. The lift gate opened, indicating that it sensed the presence of the key fobs since we left the car in a locked condition. We then put our bags, each containing a key fob, in the trunk and closed the lift gate. As we approached the front doors, the handles would not extend upon our touch. We then returned to the lift gate and found that the switch would no longer open the lift gate either. The end result was both of our key fobs were locked in the trunk of the car and the car would not open.
We contacted Tesla Roadside Assistance and were informed that, at this time, the car cannot be remotely unlocked and that it would have to be towed to a Tesla Service Center where they had the necessary equipment to unlock the car. We waited until Monday morning to talk with the LA Service Center directly and make sure they couldn’t send a Tesla Service Ranger to our car to unlock it. The Service Center made a few calls and confirmed that the car indeed needed to be towed to the Service Center.
According to our tow-truck operator we were only the second Model S ever to be towed. An operator that had completed intensive training at Tesla about how to safely tow the Model S towed the first one. Our tow-truck operator was the first run-of-the-mill operator to tow a Model S. But, the Tesla Roadside Assistance Program works pretty well, because our operator was on the phone several times talking directly to the operator who had undergone the training and completed the first tow. He did a great job, and followed the Model S towing instructions in the Guide for Owners and the Roadside Assistance Card to the letter.
The LA Service Center was able to unlock the car. However, no one from Tesla has yet told us if this is normal, expected behavior or an unexpected circumstance that is not well integrated in the car’s software logic. Tesla engineering is currently investigating the root cause of the situation.
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