Faulty Tesla App Resulted in Owners Being Locked out of Their Own Cars

Faulty Tesla App Resulted in Owners Being Locked out of Their Own Cars

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Technology linked to apps has become the norm nowadays, where you most likely use an app on a daily basis. Now imagine that you own a Tesla, which you typically open through the Tesla app.

Next, imagine that for some technological update or fault, the app goes down, and you're unable to open your car's doors, and drive to your meeting, family gathering, or flight!

That's exactly what happened to some Tesla owners this week.


Do Tesla cars not have any keys or fobs as backups?

We rely on our phones, apps, and technology so much these days that we tend to forget or leave behind physical parts, and extremely useful devices or tools.

For example, many use a SatNav or Google Maps to help navigate through the roads to get to your destination. What happens when you lose signal over a remote part of the country, or your phone battery dies? You are stuck unless you have a printed map somewhere in the car. Now imagine when you can't open up your car doors at all and have to find alternatives to go about your day.

It's totally understandable that some Tesla owners were a little disgruntled when they found that they couldn't get into their cars as the app was supposedly down for maintenance purposes.

Tesla's app support wasn't proving very useful either.

Many vented their frustrations over Twitter, or shared the news to warn other owners, as you can see here:

The @Tesla app is down! Server broke? Hacked? People's cell phone apps are claiming that they no longer have a car associated with the account, or cannot log in...

— Tesla lover (@AllElectrified) September 3, 2019

A little heads up:

— Stephen Ellison (@sj_ellison) September 3, 2019

Some were pretty stuck:

@Tesla what’s the status of the network? I’m stuck at a supercharger, plugged in. Trying to get home with a dead key fob, was using the app to run the car. Now the system’s down for 3 hours. Help!

— Kristian Kicinski (@kkicinski) September 3, 2019

No answers from Tesla were frustrating for some owners:

@Tesla the app has been down for hours. Will somebody fix it?

— Dave Smith (@MailDave) September 3, 2019

So, what happened?

A website that monitors the status of different online services,, reported that the first lockouts happened around 4:30 AM ET.

However, there is back up if the app ever goes down. Tesla owners do have the option of using a fob, a key card, or the app without needing the Internet.

That said, if the owners for some reason didn't have access to any of these keys or fobs, and were logged out of the app, then they were left in a tricky situation, as many were.

This isn't the first time Tesla owners had this issue, as we can see through Tesla's Twitter post a year ago:

We’re aware the Tesla app is down for some customers and we’re working to restore functionality ASAP

— Tesla (@Tesla) April 21, 2018

We should all be prepared when technology fails us and has a few shortcomings now and again. So carrying a 'physical' back-up, such as a map or in this case, a key, is always a good idea.

Watch the video: This Tesla Model S Owner Repairs His Own Car (July 2022).


  1. Jokin

    I am am excited too with this question.

  2. Mazukasa


  3. Athangelos

    You are absolutely right. There is something in it, too, it seems to me an excellent idea. I agree with you.

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