Tesla Owners Locked Out After “Server Error 500”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

My question – do you need good cellular internet coverage to be able to drive your Tesla? A surprise new Tesla issue might be a real problem for people in the middle of an emergency.

Server Error 500 sees some Tesla drivers locked out of their MuskMobiles

CEO blames ‘Increased verbosity of network traffic’

Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor Sun 21 Nov 2021  // 23:58 UTC 

Some Tesla drivers who fancied going for a spin on Saturday were unable to do so after an update to the cars’ companion app produced server errors.

Teslas don’t use conventional keys. Instead they require the presence of a fob, key card, or authenticated mobile phone app that links to the electric vehicles over Bluetooth. This is apparently easier and/or more convenient than a key, or something. Heck, everything’s better with Bluetooth, right?

Drivers that use the app to kcikstart their cars reported they could not activate their cars with their apps.

Read more: https://www.theregister.com/2021/11/21/tesla_server_error_500_lockout/

Elon Musk to his credit jumped onto Twitter to personally field questions about the outage (h/t The Register).

Server error 500 is one of the most generic internet errors. It usually occurs when the website software crashes while trying to fulfil your request. On most web servers, Server 500 occurs when level system software captures complete failures of the application software layer, and wraps the failures in a “Server 500”, to try to provide some meaningful feedback to the end user.

My question, where does this unexpected vulnerability leave drivers in an emergency situation? If you need cellular coverage to connect your mobile to your automobile, to satisfy the security system, I’m sure we can all think of plenty of scenarios when cellular coverage might be unavailable.

Even if this problem only occurs during a botched software update, in my opinion it is a concern.

Of course, my experience of a major power outage caused by a big flood nine years ago was cellular tends to die about 48 – 72 hours after the electricity dies, so maybe by the time your Tesla security system internet connection breaks down, you don’t have any charge in your vehicle battery anyway.

It is not just your vehicle security system you have to worry about, if you live in California. California recently passed a law outlawing gasoline backup generators and mandating zero emission emergency equipment, so batteries everywhere.

Thinking about the problems Tesla drivers just experienced over the weekend, I’m kindof glad I can start my gasoline vehicle with an old fashioned automobile key. During the last big outage, my gasoline vehicle had the range to keep me mobile for multiple short trips to the shop and the local gas station.

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bill Johnston
November 22, 2021 10:13 am

Is man’s ingenuity outpacing technology?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  bill Johnston
November 22, 2021 10:24 am

Gee a key should be thrown in with the electronic fob. Or an independent localized (in-car) signal starter – thumb print?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gary Pearse
November 22, 2021 2:46 pm

An electronic fob shouldn’t require any kind of network connection. The phone app seems to be a different story, but that shouldn’t prevent the driver from using the fob instead of the app.

I’m just thinking logically here, I don’t own a Tesla.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Gary Pearse
November 23, 2021 11:24 am

As I understand it, only people who were trying to use the phone app were blocked; the fob still worked.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  bill Johnston
November 22, 2021 3:24 pm

Direct answer to your question: No, only his growing stupidity.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  bill Johnston
November 23, 2021 7:24 am

“Is man’s ingenuity outpacing technology?”
No! Only his stupidity. I doubt if there is cell coverage in over half my home county here in West Virginia. To require cell coverage to start your car is totally asinine (in this case should probably be spelled ass-inine or dumb-ass-inie).

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Crawford
Tom Halla
November 22, 2021 10:15 am

Early versions of Windows demonstrated Murphy’s Law in action. Tesla not having a backup is arrogance.

Jan Twardowski
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 22, 2021 1:15 pm

Every Tesla owner is given two magnetic wallet cards that unlock the car and allow driving it without internet connections. The author of this article didn’t care enough to do that simple bit of research, never once thinking “Hmm. Maybe Elon & Co already thought of this.” Those cards are useful for valet parking and friends driving your car. Simple and easy. If a Tesla driver doesn’t carry the wallet card, the problem in this post is his own fault.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 2:46 pm

I’d have to agree.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 3:06 pm

Human nature comes into play. How many people carry two house keys in case they lose one? How many people carry backup car keys in case one fails? Only those who’ve been caught out and seriously inconvenienced.

I have a £5 note in my car, along with a handful of coins, also a £5 note on my bike. I’ve been caught with no cash when needed far from home. I also carry tablets for migraine in said vehicles. But not two keys for anything. My wife has spare keys, but she’s not always with me.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 4:14 pm

Yes, but how many people no longer carry their wallets either?

It has become that our phones are our life. Hey, there are some cool shiney things I love about owning a phone in the 21st century, but the growing deep dependency is such that if we ever got a lingering network failure we would have people with no idea how to function.

In fact the only thing keeping society from collapsing completely is that food and water still have to be obtained by a 3rd party. If they ever work out how to literally download food and water from your phone using next gen printers then people will die during the next network failure.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 23, 2021 6:06 am

I had this mental image of a huge mouse feeder and water bottle hanging from the side of a house after reading that last paragraph.

Geoffrey Williams
Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 24, 2021 12:36 am

Sorry but you are making excuses for Tesla . .
The access and start up of the vehicle is over complicated.
Keys in my hand work every time !

November 22, 2021 10:15 am

On my 1992 Volvo, only server 500 error I had when fuel pump relay became intermittent, £16 of new hardware resolved ‘software’ failure

Gavin Liddiard
Reply to  Vuk
November 22, 2021 11:23 am

Re-flowing the solder on the relay’s pcb normally does the trick. On my 1997 Volvo I can also diagnose most faults without the need for a computer/internet. There aren’t any modern cars that make me want to trade in my 940…..

Reply to  Gavin Liddiard
November 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Hi Gavin
Mine is also 940 petrol. Yes, done the soldering on all connections and now keep it in the glove compartment as a spare, just in case the new one does it while on the road.

Reply to  Vuk
November 22, 2021 11:25 am

So Vuk, you passed up an opportunity to convert your vintage car to wine & cheese fuel like Prince Charles did?

C’mon man.

Reply to  Mr.
November 22, 2021 1:02 pm

Fossil fuel is always in the tank while wine & cheese occasionally can be found in the hamper in the car boot.

November 22, 2021 10:16 am

Relying on the internet in order to start your car is like relying on the wind to light your house.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  markl
November 22, 2021 1:15 pm

Just one more reason in a long list of reasons NOT to buy a Tesla.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 22, 2021 3:11 pm

Presumably Tesla know where you’ve been how you got there and at what speed? Just like smart meters supply energy companies with all the information about your domestic energy use.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
November 23, 2021 1:18 am

It is rather creepy, all these entities keeping track of what we are doing.

Simple Shy
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 24, 2021 7:50 am

We have no idea what cars are recording these days. With the 2 way internet connectivity, electronic data recorders, the miniaturisation of audio recorders and cameras and the connection of smart phones. This, coupled with the slim profits from car sales and the lucrative market in data collection.
Plus no one will ever know.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 22, 2021 3:17 pm

You did see the part about starting the car with a key card or a fob, no internet connection required, right? Seems to me these make it easier to start than any other car. Another reason to buy a Tesla (if I could afford it…).

John Dilks
Reply to  mcswell
November 23, 2021 4:34 pm

Actually, my car starts with a fob or a key and it’s not a Tesla. No Internet connection needed or available. It also runs just fine after a hurricane comes thru and the power is gone for weeks.

Federico Bär
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 23, 2021 4:57 pm

Agree! Is it unfair to say that it serves those owners right?
I cannot think of one reason to buy an electric-driven car of any brand. Except a nice Matchbox.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Federico Bär
November 24, 2021 12:58 am

Judging from the occasional news stories I see about Tesla owners getting into trouble trying to use some of the “features” of their car, I suspect many of them do consider the Tesla more akin to a Matchbox than a functional automobile.

November 22, 2021 10:19 am

“…do you need good cellular internet coverage to be able to drive your…”

Boring old FIAT Tipo (1.4L)?

No. Just a key

November 22, 2021 10:22 am

wouldn’t the fob still work or it it a fob or app only issue?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Dmacleo
November 22, 2021 12:17 pm

Fob still working apparently. Unfortunately many drivers rely on the app and don’t take the fob with them.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 12:45 pm

we know many drivers are idiots, that just proves it LOL

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Dmacleo
November 22, 2021 2:48 pm


Reply to  Dmacleo
November 22, 2021 3:02 pm

They bought a Tesla. Enough proof.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 22, 2021 7:11 pm

Been in one Jim?

November 22, 2021 10:23 am

Not authorized to charge, not authorized to drive. The path is not without warnings.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 22, 2021 11:33 am

Indeed. This is not a bug, it is a feature.

If you value your freedom never buy anything with a subscription model where you can avoid it.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 22, 2021 3:22 pm

Ready Player One

Got that?

November 22, 2021 10:25 am

If internet/cell service is required to use the car, then it wouldn’t be usable at all for me…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  TonyG
November 22, 2021 12:19 pm

Not required, the fob still working without internet, but many drivers rely on the app and don’t carry the fob. That is their mistake – never rely on internet coverage.

November 22, 2021 10:26 am

“Accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic”

-We started recording every word spoken and sound made in your vehicles before we had the server capacity to handle it.

Reply to  Ted
November 22, 2021 12:30 pm

Don’t let Gropin’ Joe ride in a Tesla, then. The noises that emanate from his nether regions would probably cause another server error. 😵

November 22, 2021 10:29 am

I have some quite new cars, and they also have an app that I can use to start most functions in the car, unlocked it, etc. But I also have a key that works in the car in case I don’t have internet or connection. The maximum that would happen in a cold day is to arrive to a cold car and I would have to wait it to be warm inside.

Reply to  Pauleta
November 22, 2021 10:45 am

I bought a new 2009 Altima with push button start and twice a security system steering wheel lock failed – the emergency key wouldn’t work. Had to have it towed from terminal D parking at DFW airport (required a special tow truck) to the nearest Nissan dealer both times. Even though the warranty had expired Nissan covered the repairs and insurance refunded the towing expenses my wife’s and my inconvenience was not compensated.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  czechlist
November 23, 2021 9:28 am

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Reply to  Pauleta
November 22, 2021 11:32 am

I recommend you read the fine print before signing up for the enabling car apps. I know when you sign up for Fordpass, for example, you allow access to your driving habits (speed, braking force, location, time of travel) in exchange for the ability to start your car from anywhere in the world. I definitely don’t want to give up my data for the conveniences provided with the app. The fob works just fine.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Pauleta
November 22, 2021 12:20 pm

I also have a key that works in the car in case I don’t have internet or connection.

Teslas also work like this. Some drivers don’t carry the fob, so got stuck for a few minutes. This is sheer bollox reporting.

November 22, 2021 10:32 am

And for a stolen Tesla you see “404 – not found”.

Reply to  Karlo
November 22, 2021 10:39 am

They should have an app for that – find my car

Especially useful when you can’t remember where you left it

Reply to  fretslider
November 22, 2021 10:54 am

Drinking too much the night before can cause this.

Reply to  JimG1
November 22, 2021 11:01 am

I’m sure such an app would be popular

Reply to  fretslider
November 22, 2021 3:19 pm

My iPhone knows map app knows where I parked my car.

Reply to  Karlo
November 22, 2021 11:32 am

Easy to find though.
It’s probably out of battery somewhere within a 20k radius of where you left it.

(or the thieves realized what they had just boosted and just abandoned it. I had that happen to me back in the ’80s when our employer changed our fleet to all small bore 4 cylinder engines that wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice custard)

Reply to  Karlo
November 22, 2021 3:19 pm

I guess that’s no worse than a stolen any-other-kind-of car

Reply to  mcswell
November 22, 2021 5:39 pm

If you were a fugitive from justice who stole a car with the intention of fleeing to another state (which is often the case), you wouldn’t want to pull into a gas station on the way to fill up and rob it and then wait around for an hour or so while you charged up your battery to get you another 100 miles or so.
Even felons aren’t THAT dumb.

Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 10:44 am

This is inane. Every Tesla OWNER (not commentators who have never owned one) has a magnetic card in his wallet that will both unlock the car and allow him to drive it if, for example, his phone runs out of juice. Just like an old-fashioned key. That’s also how you allow a parking valet to drive your car. Clearly, the author here did zero research and never talked to a Tesla owner before writing this drivel.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 12:21 pm


Reply to  Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 12:24 pm

You mean intelligent Tesla owners who know that electricity doesn’t magically appear at the socket. That whatever can be backed up by an alternative must be backed up.

If you actually do know that – you are in a very tiny minority (of a very tiny minority). The ones that I know can’t pour sand out of their boots with printed directions on the heel…

Jan Twardowski
Reply to  writing observer
November 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Please forgive me, but I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 4:47 pm

Sigh. Every Tesla owner that I know is an idiot, who believes in magic, completely ignorant of the technology that makes things happen for them. Does that make it clear?

John Endicott
Reply to  writing observer
November 23, 2021 6:38 am

Probably not, I suspect you are trying to talk sense to a Tesla fanboi.

Reply to  Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 1:28 pm

You assume the average Tesla owner is smart enough to figure out what the card is for and will remember to put it into his wallet.

Jan Twardowski
Reply to  MarkW
November 22, 2021 1:39 pm

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Reply to  MarkW
November 22, 2021 3:21 pm

Like Jan says. Your comment is dumber than what you make the average Tesla owner out to be.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  mcswell
November 22, 2021 10:12 pm

I know two Tesla owners. Both are denser than a bucket of rocks. It appears that several others have had similar experiences.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
November 22, 2021 10:32 pm

Well they did buy a Tesla … nuff said.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
November 23, 2021 6:36 am

Or remember to bring their wallet. If they’re relying on their phone app for their car, they’re probably relying on their phone apps for everything else too.

Reply to  Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 2:28 pm

“Clearly, the author here did zero research”

Yes, the author Jan Tw did zero research.

Tesla owner: https://twitter.com/hohocho/status/1461806946978258955 with several others voicing complaints of being locked out.

SEVERAL reports from SEVERAL news outlets can be found with a simple search.

They may have the card or not, but the complaint is being locked out.

Jan Twardowski
Reply to  TonyG
November 22, 2021 2:37 pm

Sorry, mate. You clearly don’t own a Tesla or know much about them. The article you linked to says: “I’m experiencing 500 server error”. Note the word server. The problem was with Tesla remote servers, which is very clear in the reporting and Elon’s apology. The Tesla cards still work without an internet connection; the cards are keyed to the car. You just hold the card near the driver’s pillar and the onboard computer recognizes the card. If you have the card, you are not locked out. This is very simple stuff. Reporters just seized on TESLA OWNERS LOCKED OUT!! Good headline, lousy reporting.

Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 5:02 pm

The card works – IF YOU HAVE THE CARD!

Many years ago (obviously), I met a distant cousin of mine at a family funeral. He worked as a professional locksmith in Los Angeles – and the ONLY thing he did was go on calls for people that had locked their keys in the car. Made quite a good living from it, too.

The Tesla people I know would be HIGHLY unlikely to forget their cell phone – they’ll probably be among the first that will go for implants. But a BACKUP method? Doesn’t occur to them; they NEVER forget their phone, and it will ALWAYS work for them.

You people truly do move in quite rarefied circles, where NOBODY you know has ever had a problem consequent to their own foolishness.

Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 22, 2021 5:18 pm

IF the card works like credit cards, if the servers are down, the cards don’t work.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
November 22, 2021 5:56 pm

Reading comprehension is important. The card is just like a key fob that will unlock doors or start your car.

John Endicott
Reply to  Jan Twardowski
November 23, 2021 6:44 am

That assumes
1) they brought the card with them. Since they can get in with their phone and that is their preferred method of access, many probably don’t even think about the card bringing the card along
2) they didn’t leave the card in the car if they did being it along. Ever hear of people who locked their keys in the car? same issue here.

as for the reporting, the reporter reported the facts: Tesla users did complain of being locked out. That’s factual no matter how much you try to rationalize it away.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Jan Tw.
November 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Then why was Elon Musk tweeting about it. It seems to have caused enough of a problem in the Teslaverse to get his attention. You must also adjust temperatures.

James H
November 22, 2021 10:55 am

I call the old-fashioned mechanical locks and keys “smart locks” or “smart keys”, because it’s the smartest system that always works whether or not power or internet are available. Anything else seems dumb unless it’s ok to wait through an outage.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  James H
November 23, 2021 9:33 am

Have you ever tried opening up one of those old-fashioned locks at 10 below zero in a Chicago winter? People used to carry aerosol spray cans of lubricant to unfreeze the locks. Of course that doesn’t help if you leave the spray can locked in the car trunk …

November 22, 2021 11:02 am

Soon we’ll have flying cars they say.

CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 11:05 am

Just as bad or worse when it happens on your desktop PC…..

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 11:18 am

Well, if you will use Windoze…

Use Ubuntu, or any other Linux distro.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Disputin
November 22, 2021 11:33 am

Just upgraded to Window 11 not too long ago. My PC seems to boot up faster now.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 12:14 pm

Is that of critical importance?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 12:26 pm

Seems to. Seems to.

Microsoft have been making Windows pretend to boot faster for decades. It stilldoes ‘stuff’ after the desktop is shown.

Windows is a basket case. The registry is the main problem because it gets insanely full almost immediately, and continues to grow every day. They literally had problems at one point because it became too large for the system to manage.

They never worked out a better system, and it’s stuck on a track to oblivion. Only corporate market share keeps it alive.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 12:33 pm

Win10 has the same “feature” of fast boot. Sounds like it may have been turned off on your system, and the upgrade turned it back on by default.

How it works is to write the state of the memory for all of the various things that are running when you tell it to shut down to disk. Then, on boot, it just reads that state right back into memory, and those apps don’t have to reinitialize – they go on as though shutdown never happened.

Works great – so long as one of those apps doesn’t crash in such a way as to disable your system EXCEPT for the shutdown/restart.

(One of the first things I disabled when I went to Win10. With an SSD as the primary drive, it boots almost instantly anyway, before I can even turn a monitor on.)

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  writing observer
November 22, 2021 4:37 pm

“Win10 has the same “feature” of fast boot. Sounds like it may have been turned off on your system, and the upgrade turned it back on by default.”

Yes Observer, that might have been true. It never occurred to me to check Windows 10 and see if the fast boot feature was turned off.

If I were to switch to Linux, I wonder if apps on my PC like Google Earth would still work or do I have to switch to a Linux version?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 23, 2021 1:55 am

You probably have to switch to a Linux version, but it’s free.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 22, 2021 3:01 pm

If you use an SSD, it will boot in less than 30 seconds, from a cold start.

Reply to  Disputin
November 22, 2021 2:52 pm

I haven’t run Windows since XP came out and you couldn’t replace anything in your computer without calling Microsoft for an authorization code.

The nice thing about Linux is that, if you have trouble doing something one way, you just install some different software and the job becomes relatively easy.

The other thing about Linux is that it supports older hardware. As a result, I very seldom have to buy a new computer.

Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2021 5:33 pm

General note: Not trying to start an OS war here (Anthony doesn’t want HIS server to blow up!)

I stick with Windows because I was a professional developer for many, many years – mostly in Windows shops. I probably have three or four man years invested in software that just makes my life easier, and I’m not at all interested in futzing around to get them working under Linux. (Or an emulator under Linux – for those thinking of switching, there are several good ones out there, and they will almost certainly work for any widely used app.)

I don’t switch my own computer any more often than ten years – fourteen, for the one I built this year. Once I got Win10 locked down, it works just as well as my last one, which was XP. (I had to get something that would work better for intensive graphics; my new profession is as an indie writer, where I do my own covers.)

specifically – I completely agree that Windows has only gone downhill since NT 4.5. Although better since the days of WinME and Vista…

Tom Abbott
Reply to  writing observer
November 23, 2021 4:19 am

What I hate about Windows is they can’t leave well enough alone. They have to change the user interface I spent so much of my time learning.

I knew XP inside and out. They could have left me an interface option while stll upgrading the software But I guess they think they have to create a new interface as a marketing tool. That’s fine, but leave us an option to use an interface we are familiar with. It’s extremely irritating when they change everything for no reason. Makes a guy want to go to Linux.

John Endicott
Reply to  writing observer
November 23, 2021 6:56 am

“I don’t switch my own computer any more often than ten years”

Same here. My current home PC I got shortly after Win 7 came out, so it’s going on 11 or 12 years now. Still has a few years left in it, so won’t be replacing it anytime soon. My home laptop is newer by a few years, but I’ll likely be replacing that one sooner as it’s starting to show the wear and tear of the years

Wayne Townsend
November 22, 2021 11:07 am

And that makes me sooo want to drive an electric car or any newer car. Any uplink that can be severed, shutting off operations is a horrible idea in this untrustworthy age. Think what the government/woke corporations (but I repeat myself) could do through a “you are too drunk to drive” monitoring system, or simply OnStar like services because, well, your social credit score is just too low for us.

Just for reference, I drive a stick-shift Dodge Dart with no uplink what-so-ever.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Wayne Townsend
November 22, 2021 12:27 pm

Uplink is not required. Idiots who rely on the app instead of carrying the fob got stuck is all.

trailer trash
Reply to  Wayne Townsend
November 23, 2021 9:06 am

>“you are too drunk to drive” monitoring system

This is a new mandate buried in the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. It will be required starting 2026.

“Congress mandates new car technology to stop drunken driving”

Rud Istvan
November 22, 2021 11:09 am

Since Tesla cars don’t make sense, it is consistent that neither does their start functions.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 22, 2021 12:15 pm

Early adopters disagree, apparently!

Reply to  Mike Lowe
November 22, 2021 1:30 pm

Religious fanatics rarely find anything to criticize.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Mike Lowe
November 22, 2021 2:16 pm

Tesla put up a ‘big’ dealership here in FLL last year. Converted an inconvenient Best Buy plot when Best Buy moved to the defunct but very convenient Sports Authority building. Both on Federal highway between Sunrise and Oakland Park. But they don’t sell many even tho South Florida ought to be a big market—lots of money, most round trips under 120 miles (e.g. FLL to Miami or Miami airport or Palm Beach) and no need for heaters. Reason is simple. Most living is high rise condos and no way to charge in the parking garages. My unit is in the second nicest complex in FLL, right on the beach. The garage has Rolls, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis. Mercedes is plebeian, and my BMW convertible is downright pedestrian. There are ZERO Teslas.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 22, 2021 8:16 pm

That doesn’t explain why you think they don’t make sense.

John Dilks
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 23, 2021 4:51 pm

If you can’t keep it charged, then it makes no sense.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 22, 2021 3:23 pm

Can you explain why Tesla cars don’t make sense? I’ll wait.

Reply to  mcswell
November 22, 2021 5:21 pm

They’re electric

Reply to  mcswell
November 22, 2021 7:18 pm

Mark is like the old man who refuses to use the elevator because he can’t see the wires that make it move.

Michael in Dublin
November 22, 2021 11:17 am

What joy getting an infernal error 500 in the middle of a car fire. With these fires being slow you are unlikely to go up as toast.

Tim Gorman
November 22, 2021 11:33 am

One more thing that makes these kinds of cars not usable in rural areas. Lots of places out here in Kansas that there is *NO* cell coverage.

What happens on the Gulf Coast when people are trying to get out of the way of a hurricane track and the cell system is clogged with traffic?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 22, 2021 12:28 pm

Use the fob

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 3:07 pm

Yeah, duh. Why are people commenting here being so stupid??

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 22, 2021 3:24 pm

It’s bad enough that the some of the commenters here are stupid; what’s worse is that they seem to think that Tesla owners are all stupid.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 22, 2021 3:48 pm

To be fair, a vast majority of people are often stupid in certain situations. A friend of mine owns a cobblers shop, and gave me urgent advice regarding my keyless car and a spare battery for the fob. Apparently a customer had called roadside assistance when the battery in his fob failed and he didn’t know how to start the car.

In reality, if you Read The Fine Manual, you discover that thefob also has rfid, and holding it up to the start button allows you to start the car even if the fob battery is flat. I’m certain that this has happened to thousands of ignorant but otherwise quite intelligent drivers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 4:40 pm

I call that willful stupidity.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 4:43 pm

In addition, here in Western Washington State, there are huge gaps in cell coverage. Yet, I have NEVER seen a Tesla stranded on the side of the road, and there are a great number of them around here.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 8:47 pm

“To be fair, a vast majority of people are often stupid in certain situations.”
So true. I work with the public everyday as an appliance salesman. I have dozens of stories of how people loose all their ability to think when confronted with an out of the ordinary situation.

Bernie Roseke
November 22, 2021 11:40 am

Tesla’s stock price is valued more like a technology company than a car company. I guess the reliability of their product is closer to technology than automobiles as well.

John Garrett
November 22, 2021 11:55 am

California recently passed a law outlawing gasoline backup generators…

Big Brother doesn’t lie in the future. Big Brother is here now.
Are there any rights left that Big Brother can’t prohibit?

John Endicott
Reply to  John Garrett
November 23, 2021 7:00 am

1984 was supposed to be a warning, turns out it was an instruction manual.

November 22, 2021 12:05 pm

Did a new Russian hacker team just get created?

November 22, 2021 12:16 pm

I have a backup plan with a normally aspirated V8 Toyota and a key, but not a tax credit.

November 22, 2021 12:30 pm

Meanwhile the Rivian battery is not living up to claims. surprise, surprise

They should have mounted some Solyndra solar “units” on the vans for good measure.

November 22, 2021 12:40 pm

They could carry a fob, or a card, but they don’t, and in the spirit of intermittents, they were locked out.

Greg S.
November 22, 2021 12:41 pm

Speaking of the title photo, the vast majority of the time I see a rollback tow truck driving around with a vehicle on it that vehicle’s been a Tesla. Saw two in just the past couple weeks, and one of them was smashed pretty good in the front end.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg S
Patrick healy
November 22, 2021 1:13 pm

Aw – poor Eric, still living in that hell hole of Californica?

November 22, 2021 1:24 pm

Bluetooth? It’s not very hard to hack Bluetooth nowadays.

November 22, 2021 1:29 pm

I did wonder when something like this would happen. Quite a giggle-snort for today!!!

Thank you!!!

Not enough “glam” in the world to get me near those things… ever!!!!

Chris Hanley
November 22, 2021 1:30 pm

The other day I was denied entry to a store because I didn’t have a vaccination certificate on a smart phone to show the guy on the door.
Echos of living in occupied France: ‘halt papiers!’.
My point is that the internet is evolving from a servant to a master.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 22, 2021 2:13 pm

Not at home in Manitoba now, instead enjoying nice fall weather in eastern Kansas. Read in our provincial news that an MLA (member legislative assembly) was denied entrance to a restaurant because she showed only her paper copy proof of vaccination when the restaurant demanded that she show her QR code which she’d not put on her phone. She complained that she had been into other restaurants without issue but was still refused. So not only do we have to be vaccinated to “eat in” in Manitoba (take out not needed) but you have to have the “correct” government proof.

No one
Reply to  Tomsa
November 22, 2021 6:08 pm

Even having the provincially issued QR card won’t necessarily work. I got to be one of the first ones verified at an event, and the guy doing it couldn’t get his app to read my card. In the end he had to move his table outside, there was too much steel on the building for his phone to work the app inside. Good thing it was nice weather, not like today. It’s a little brisk in Manitoba.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 22, 2021 2:16 pm

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

  • Jefferson

Seems that all our devices now need apps that monitor what other apps are looking for and scraping our details to sell to ne’er-do-wells.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 23, 2021 9:42 pm

Since I was old enough to follow French politics, nearly everything right of Lenin was compared with “les heures les plus sombres” (occupied France, when the Jews were deported).
But now that there are actually comparable policies put in place, comparison is verboten. For fears of trivializing you know what. Not that the Jewish orgs cared when it was actually trivialized (not that any Jew I can find on social media actually cares what the alleged Jewish orgs say or do, either).

Robert of Texas
November 22, 2021 2:11 pm

I use a mechanical non-circuit driver KEY to open my doors if the key FOB battery runs low. Keys have always worked for me, they do not require the Internet or connectivity, and they are very reliable. I don’t want my car connected to the Internet. Literally.

I greatly prefer a map using a disc and satellites for location (traffic conditions never seem to help me as the alternate routes are always worse), I don’t need satellite radio, and when my car is experiencing a problem I connect a small diagnostic computer to it. None of the “modern” advances means squat to me expect to make things more complex and more likely to break down. Cars continuously become harder to work on…you replace entire $1,000(xN) modules instead of replacing a $5 part now.

If Tesla would build an “electric car” that had a small gasoline driven generator in it I might consider it assuming cost was not ridiculous – otherwise their products are just toys to me. I think I would wait for the next generation of batteries anyway as hundreds of pounds of potentially explosive impossible to put out batteries which spontaneously ignite kind of makes me nervous. Call me a worry-wart.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 22, 2021 3:09 pm

If Tesla would build an “electric car” that had a small gasoline driven generator in it I might consider it assuming cost was not ridiculous”

That’s the Volt.

John Endicott
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 23, 2021 7:03 am

The volt is not a Tesla product, so isn’t an intelligence response to any sentence that starts with “if Tesla would …”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Endicott
November 23, 2021 9:19 am

The point was that such a car already exists.

John Endicott
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 24, 2021 9:15 am

The discussion was specifically about what Tesla does or does not build (Notice the sentence, that you yourself quoted, began with “if Tesla would build”) so, sorry, but Volts are irrelevant as Tesla does not and will never be the builder of them (just like they do not and never will build Corvettes, Mustangs, VW beetles, or any other model from any of the other auto manufacturers. They literally do not apply to what Tesla does, could, or would build.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Endicott
November 22, 2021 2:19 pm

If they can turn your car off on accident, they can do it on purpose.

No one
Reply to  Glen
November 22, 2021 5:45 pm

It may even be a different ‘they’ than one imagines.

Reply to  Glen
November 23, 2021 7:04 am

Which has always been one (only one though) of my big concerns about “smart” cars

November 22, 2021 3:26 pm

I wouldn’t worry about this. Musk will fix it; he always does.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  marlene
November 22, 2021 3:57 pm

He did, and very quickly. He gave seriously personal, and quickly delivered, customer support to his customers who were stupid enough not to carry an offline backup method that was provided. I’ve no love for him or Tesla or their products, but this story is wildly misleading and just Tesla bashing. WUWT is normally better than this.

Please desist in this pointless chasing of your short-selling, Eric. It does not make you look good.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 22, 2021 4:38 pm


November 22, 2021 4:09 pm

Connectivity to one’s wheels can take many forms.

Tom in Florida
November 22, 2021 4:19 pm

Perhaps just a simple case of “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom in Florida
November 22, 2021 4:31 pm

so here in WA there are very large gaps in cellular coverage so you can forget this BS on the electric superhighway between perth and broome

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John
November 22, 2021 4:39 pm

You don’t even need to worry about it. Just don’t rely on only the phone app. It’s not difficult.

Steve Case
November 22, 2021 5:58 pm

Are we so @#%& lazy that we can’t insert a key to start the car? And those rear deck lids that you need to push a button that you can’t see in the dark so the &%$#@ thing will take several seconds to close instead of just reaching up and slamming it shut.

The new Ford hybrid we bought has 17 buttons on the steering wheel, 18 if you count the horn. There’s two of them that I haven’t figured out what they do.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Steve Case
November 22, 2021 8:03 pm

Well, you COULD read the manual…but that takes all the fun out of it. I found a button in my 2011 truck after owning it for 6 years I had never used and I had no idea what it was for. I eventually figured it out, then I went to the manual to see if I had overlooked any other buttons! LOL

Reply to  Steve Case
November 24, 2021 10:16 am

Steve my acura manual is over 500 pages, much of which is useless BS or instructions to see the dealership. And then there is a 260 page manual for the Nav system …. just stupid information overload.
And then the stupid heated seats turn off everytime u shut the car down and so if u use the remote start to start in the cold u get into a warm car with leather seats that are still colder than a witch’s t!t. The problem is a result of the previous owner putting in an after market remote start. A frosty -6C here today.

November 22, 2021 8:00 pm

Piggyback carbon emission at the source rather than shared/shifted in the conventional Green mode.

November 22, 2021 8:02 pm

What can be started using an app, can be shut down via an app…

Who knew what fun Tesla vehicles can have?

Once organized crime obtains the critical software, they’ll be shipping more Tesla vehicles and parts to 3rd world countries.
i.e., Teslas accidently started up via an app and drove away to an off the grid, cell signal blocked chop shop.

November 22, 2021 9:57 pm

Gee, my $30,000 Subaru has an emergency key in the fob and my Daughter’s Miata has one in the her card. If only the engineers at Tesla could figure out a way to do that.

son of mulder
November 23, 2021 1:08 am

Because we have a technology doesn’t mean it’s wise to use it.

Ben Vorlich
November 23, 2021 3:19 am

This isn’t going to help move Tesla out of the relegation zone.

Tesla is second-to-last in reliability as Consumer Reports says Elon Musk-led company has its ‘fair share of problems’

  • Consumer Reports released its 2021 Reliability Report on Thursday 
  • It shows Tesla is ranked 27 out of 28 brands ranked in the report
  • Despite Tesla being popular, it has its share of problems that are due to its features that are prone to glitches
  • All of Tesla’s vehicles were rated ‘below-average’ except for the Model 3


Chris Hanning
November 23, 2021 5:20 am

“When technology is master, we shall reach disaster faster” Piet Hein

PT Garrett
November 23, 2021 7:03 am

What a perfect lose-lose scam for the middle class. The taxes of the middle class subsidize the purchase of obscenely expensive electric play cars of the wealthy class so the latter can cruise around town signaling  their superior virtue to each other at trendy spots that are economically off limits for the middle class. Then the virtue signalers go home and recharge their depleted batteries by plugging them into the increasingly unstable fossil energy base loaded electrical power grid caused by political mandates to accept unreliable and unpredictable wind and solar energy production which only drives up residential electricity costs for the middle class.

November 23, 2021 8:54 am

Having a car that requires a computer, several thousand miles away, to be working correctly doesn’t sound like reliable transportation to me.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 23, 2021 9:25 am

FWIW, most recent model cars have an electronic key fob and push button start. My Toyota Avalon key fob includes a backup key which gets you into the car, but won’t start it. The ignition system is supposed to detect a valid key fob is present even if the fob battery is dead and allow you to start the vehicle. I did not test this recently when I began receiving “low key fob battery” warnings occasionally — I replaced the battery instead. I suppose I should be more curious and verify the fob will work with the battery removed.

All of this is entirely self-contained between the vehicle and the key fob; no cellular connection is required. ET does not need to phone home to let you in your car or start the engine.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 24, 2021 10:19 am

I tried it with a dead FOB on my daughter’s 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid and the RIF start technology works fine.

November 23, 2021 4:05 pm

Happened with my NEW Honda Civic with a dead battery in the Key FOB. Car started up fine at home. Went to the mall. after shopping the fob did not work. Tipple A to the Rescue. $15 for a new(?) battery for the fob. Now have a new battery in every car and replace the FOB battery and the “Spare” every year.

Reply to  usurbrain
November 24, 2021 10:24 am

U should be getting 3 to 5 years out of those FOBs …. make sure the FOBs are stored far enough away from the cars that the FOBs aren’t “talking ” to the car constantly. ie don’t have the FOB on a key rack at the garage door or it may be too close.
Also u should get lots of warning of low FOB battery before an actual failure.
Are u paying the extra for a lithium FOB battery which is much longer life?

Gordon A. Dressler
November 24, 2021 10:11 am

Speaking of “Tesla owners”, whatever happened to that modernistic Tesla pickup truck (the “Cybertruck”) that was supposed to be released in 2021?

But then again, many early adopters may be content to be virtual owners of a virtual vehicle.

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