several humiliating months for Elon Musk and Tesla, the company
may have just set a new standard for embarrassing itself when one
of its Model 3 vehicles was allegedly stolen from the
Mall of America by a 21-year-old, using only his smartphone.
what will likely come as a blow for confidence in Tesla's software
security and deeply troubling set of circumstances for the folks
at Tesla customer service, The Drive reported that
the car was stolen after
Tesla customer service, over the phone, reportedly "handed
the thief the keys" by allowing him to add the car, by VIN
number, to his Tesla account. The alleged thief
it 1,000 miles before being caught.
inside, the thief disabled the car's GPS tracking system and
nearly got away scott-free. After stealing the vehicle, he was
found days later in Waco, Texas and was only able to be
tracked by monitoring where he was accessing Superchargers along
the way. The Model 3 was owned by a Tesla rental company named
Trevla, that has store space inside of the Mall of America. The
alleged thief had rented vehicles from this company at least
six times prior to the theft taking place and the owner of
Trevla vaguely recalled that the same person had bragged in
the past about how well he knew Tesla security systems. This made
him a prime suspect after the vehicle was reported missing.
leads to an obvious assumption: somebody who can disable
Supercharger tracking, and who wouldn’t be foolish enough to brag
about their ability to thwart Tesla security, may have easily
gotten away with the theft.
of course, just like in many Autopilot accidents, Tesla claims it
was somebody else's fault - not theirs. Tesla claimed
to electrek that the
thief had already authenticated the car through his smartphone
prior, ostensibly during a time that he had rented it in the
past. This would shift the blame to
the rental company. However, the owner of the rental
company said that this wasn’t the case, and that he had
disabled access to the vehicle after the alleged thief's prior
would shift the blame back to Tesla.
us, this sounds like Tesla is trying to cover up the fact that its
"secure" and "convenient" method for allowing people to access
their vehicles actually just makes them easy targets to be stolen.
primary way that customers get into and drive their Model
3s is by using a smartphone. There is a back up key card that
can also be used in case of emergencies. But as of now, Tesla
owners need to make peace with the fact that apparently any person
who is capable of calling Tesla customer service and simply lying
to them may be able to steal their vehicles.
has been trying to stave off occurrences of theft by adding a PIN
number that drivers must use in order to drive a vehicle. Instead,
this just adds another step for drivers before they can get
on the road - and it seems to make the "convenience" of
accessing your car with a smartphone pointless, in what appears to
be yet another dead-end "innovation" from the Tesla path-forgers.