Listen to this article Tesla App Mishap: Man Drives Stranger’s Tesla By Accident
Rajesh Randev, a 51-year-old immigration consultant, had just finished dining at a restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. and was returning to his car when he noticed something was off. There was a small crack in his windshield that he was certain wasn’t there before. As he reached for his phone-charging cable, which he always kept in the center console, he realized it was missing. Just then, his phone started buzzing.
Randev pulled over and checked his phone, only to find that an unknown number had messaged him, “Do you drive a Tesla?” When he confirmed that he did, the texter replied, “I think you’re driving the wrong car.” It was only then that Randev realized he had gone to the wrong car, which was parked right beside his white Model 3. In a rush to pick up his children from school, Randev had mistakenly unlocked and driven off in someone else’s car. He had used his Tesla app as a key, which automatically unlocked the doors and permitted driving when it detected his phone. Randev inadvertently drove off in a stranger’s Tesla, and the owner of the car managed to track its location using his own phone app as Randev drove it.
The mishap on March 7 left Randev concerned about the security of his own Tesla. He had reported the incident to Tesla but received no reply, prompting him to speak out about the experience to Global News. “It’s such an expensive technology,” Randev said. “More than $70,000 to get this car. And my family is not feeling safe right now.” Tesla Model 3s can be unlocked using an authenticated smartphone, key card, or key fob, according to Tesla’s website. While convenient, the incident raised concerns about the security of such high-tech features.
Mahmoud Esaeyh, the owner of the Tesla that Randev drove off in, was home at the time of the mix-up. He had loaned his car to his brother Mohammed, who was using it to run an errand. When Mohammed returned to where he had parked the car, he noticed the remaining Tesla had a different interior and wasn’t Mahmoud’s. He called Mahmoud, who was able to track the location of his car being driven by Randev on his app. But when he attempted to remotely lock the Tesla from his phone, it failed. Mohammed was able to access Randev’s car using Mahmoud’s key card. He found medical documents in Randev’s car with his phone number, prompting Mahmoud to call Randev to explain the mix-up.
Randev reported the incident to Vancouver police, but they told him they would not file a report unless there were further issues. He also sent video footage and a description of the malfunction to Tesla’s press email, but his emails bounced back. He attempted to send the message to Tesla’s China press account and received a reply indicating that Tesla had blocked his message. Tesla’s lack of response left Randev feeling frustrated and concerned about the safety and security of his car. He worries that a malfunction or software issue that allowed a regular person to access someone else’s vehicle could potentially give hackers the ability to cause even greater harm.
In conclusion, the recent incident involving the Tesla Model 3 highlights the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity and safety in modern vehicles. While technology offers many benefits and conveniences, it is also important to be aware of potential risks and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. As technology continues to evolve, it is crucial for automakers and individuals alike to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding against potential cyber threats.