Man unwittingly unlocks and drives off in someone else’s Tesla

The Model 3 owner mistook another Tesla for his own and was able to unlock it with the Tesla app on his smartphone and drive it.

A strange thing happened to a Canadian Tesla Model 3 owner from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Rajesh Randev accidentally managed to unlock someone else’s Tesla and drive off in it using the Tesla app on his own phone. The man thought he was getting into his car – which was the same make and color and parked side by side – but he was actually driving someone else’s Tesla.

He told Global news he was busy picking up his kids from school, so he didn’t pay much attention to the car, thinking it was his own.

Randev said he opened the door with his app, got in and drove off. A while later, he began to realize that something was wrong when the car he was driving had a cracked windshield. When he called his wife and heard that she didn’t know about the crack either, he started to get suspicious, especially when he noticed that the charger wasn’t where he usually kept it.

Moments later, the mystery began to unravel when he got a text message on his phone that said, “Hey Rajesh, do you drive a Tesla?” The message was from the actual owner of the vehicle, who informed him that he was driving the wrong car.

After parking the vehicle, Randev noticed that the wheels were different from his Model 3, so he called the person who texted him and acknowledged the mistake.

If you find this surprising, read on because the story gets even weirder. He was actually able to get back into the car and he drove it to pick up his kids from school. He then met with the rightful owner and returned the Tesla. The owner told Randev that he was able to write to him because he saw a piece of paper in his Tesla with his name and phone number.

As you can imagine, Randev says he doesn’t know how this mix-up was possible—and more importantly, how he was able to unlock another person’s vehicle using the Tesla app on his smartphone.

“We both laughed and I called the police too. The police said they have my statement but they can’t give me a file number because nothing has happened, but if something does, let them know and they will investigate it.”

Randev said he contacted Tesla and submitted video evidence, but some of his emails bounced — because Tesla’s North American company mailbox is apparently full — and no one has contacted him so far. Given the serious consequences of something like this happening on a larger scale, Tesla should investigate how this was possible and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A member of InsideEV’s Forum speculates that the vehicle may have been left unlocked and in “Valet” mode, but there is no indication that this was actually the case.

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