Tesla Driver Learns The Hard Way About The Importance Of Key Fobs
Don’t leave them at home under any circumstances, kidsby Kirby Garlitos, on
A Tesla Model S owner got stranded in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas after intentionally leaving his car’s key fob at home, all because he wanted to try out Tesla’s new control app. Turns out, the smartphone feature that allows drivers to remotely monitor and control their Teslas without their keys only works as far as the smartphone has a signal. Ryan Negri found that out the hard way when he and his wife went for a drive without the key fob to test out the feature. Chalk this one up to an experiment gone bad.
As Negri himself told the tale in an Instagram post, he and his wife, Amy, tested the new feature by going on a quick drive to “take some photos of the freshly fallen mountain snow.” The whole experiment was running smoothly until Negri had to adjust “Mozy & Millie’s car bed” (most likely their dogs). Negri then went out of the car to do just that, but just as he was about to get back in, he found himself locked out of the car, unable to not only get back in, but just as important, to restart the car.
Apparently, Tesla’s keyless smartphone feature has one pretty important requirement for it to function properly: cellular signal. Since they were in the middle of the dessert, six miles away from home as Negri recounted, cell phone signal was about as scarce in the area he was in as a golden goose laying golden eggs. Fortunately, Negri’s wife Amy (the heroine of the story) took it upon herself to run two miles to get cellphone signal before calling a friend to hitch a ride back home to get the Tesla’s key fob.
Not surprisingly, Negri directed some of his ire towards Tesla for not having contingency plans in place to prevent incidents like the one he and his wife found themselves in. More importantly, though, he also promised to have the key fob with him every time he drives the Model S, as he should have in the first place.
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Hard to blame Tesla for this one
As much flak as Tesla has received over the quality of the products and features it’s been selling to customers, it’s hard to place the blame on the electric car maker for this particular episode. Granted, Ryan Negri has a point that Tesla should be clear and specifics about the requirements of its features, but at the end of the day, Negri put himself in the unfortunate position he found himself in a number of different ways even before he got out of that car to fix his dogs’ car bed.
For one, the decision to drive to the desert, a place that has a notoriously poor cell signal because it’s a desert, was a bad idea. If he wanted to drive the Model S without the key fob to try out Tesla’s new wireless key technology, how about do it around the block a few times, or at least somewhere close to home so that if the experiment goes south, it’s easy to rush back home to retrieve the keys.
Second, supposing the car bed was in the trunk so he really had to get out of the car to fix it, why not just leave it at home before you took out the car out for the experiment? Surely, that wouldn’t have been too much of a hassle, would it? Then there’s the part about putting too much faith on a technology that, even by Tesla’s standards, is still relatively new. I get it that he was only trying to test it, but that goes back to the first point. Do it near your house so if something goes wrong, the wife wouldn’t have to run two miles just to get cell phone signal to call a friend and hitch a ride back to the house just to retrieve the key fob.
A lot of things could’ve been done to avoid this embarrassing episode. Fortunately, nobody got hurt because of it and we can all chalk it down to an experiment gone bad. Live and learn, right? C’est la vie.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model S here.