Tesla Owner Accidentally Drives Off in Different Tesla Using the Tesla App

Apparently, the two cars looks very similar, but that shouldn't have let the driver unlock and start up the wrong car using Tesla's smartphone app.

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A long row of unsold 2021 Model 3 sedans sits at a Tesla dealership in this photograph taken Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Littleton, Colo.
Photo: David Zalubowski (AP)

A man in Vancouver, Canada was somehow able to get into someone else’s Tesla Model 3 and drive off with it only by using the Tesla app in his own phone. Rajesh Randev told Global News he thought he was getting into his own Tesla since the car he took was the same color as his.

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When Randev was getting into what he thought was his car, there were two nearly identical Model 3s parked side by side, he explained to Global News. He added that he was in a hurry to pick up his kids from school, so he inadvertently unlocked the wrong Tesla and drove off.


I get it, we’ve all been in a rush before and nearly walked up to the wrong car. However, I’d say it’s pretty rare that you can open a car that isn’t yours, and be able to drive away — at least in these modern times.

“Apparently I found some glitch,” Randev said to Global News.

He didn’t realize his colossal oopsie until he was driving. That’s when he noticed a crack on the car’s windshield — something his own Model 3 didn’t have. Randev called his wife to ask if maybe she noticed a crack, but she didn’t… since it wasn’t their car. On top of that, Randev said he noticed the car’s charging cable wasn’t where he usually kept it.

It wasn’t long before the Model 3’s rightful owner reached out.

“After five, 10 minutes I got a text on my phone that said ‘Rajesh are you driving [a] Tesla,’” he explained to the outlet. Randev went on to say the person who messaged him told him he was driving the wrong car. That’s when Randev parked the car and noticed it had different wheels from his own Model 3.


The two Tesla owners made a plan to switch the cars back — after Randev picked his kids from school. That’s right: Randev was able to get into the Model 3 that wasn’t his, and drive away, for a second time.

When the two Tesla owners met up, the rightful owner of the car Randev was driving told him he’d found Randev’s phone number on a document inside Randev’s car. That means, if you’re following along, the other guy was able to gain access to Randev’s Tesla as well. Wild.


Global News says the Tesla app is intended to give access to the owner’s car as long as the phone and the vehicle have connectivity. From there, owners are able to lock and unlock the vehicle, manage the climate control and find charging stations. However, it’s intended to be used with the owner’s actual Tesla, not someone else’s with a similar paint job.

Randev said he attempted to reach out to Tesla with video evidence of the issue, but all he’s gotten from the automaker is radio silence.


Jalopnik would attempt to reach out to the Austin, Texas-based automaker ourselves, but when you call its PR department, all you get is the dial up internet sound.