Tesla's Model 3 Key Fob Doesn't Allow Passive Entry

Usually when you purchase a new car it comes with a key fob to allow easy access, and the higher-end cars include a passive entry option. If you buy a Tesla Model 3, passive entry is available using your phone or you can instead gain entry using the supplied key card. However, this week a Model 3 Key Fob launched, but it doesn’t allow passive entry!

Tesla's Model 3 Key Fob Doesn't Allow Passive Entry As with most things that appear for sale on Tesla’s website, the Model 3 Key Fob sold out almost immediately. I suspect those paying £150 for this fob probably didn’t read the note at the bottom of feature list, though.

It clearly states the key fob does not support passive entry. Passive entry is great. Access is granted based on proximity, meaning you can approach your vehicle and the door will unlock without having to dig out the key fob and press a button.

The Model 3 allows access via your smartphone and a Tesla mobile app or via a key card. As Electrek reports, the app can be problematic on some phones, which resulted in owners asking for a fob instead. The reason Model 3 owners would expect passive entry to be a standard feature of the key fob is because the app already offers it.

As there’s complaints about the app not always working well, a key fob providing the same functionality was desirable (and likely expected). So Tesla made the fob, but decided not to include the feature owners want, and want to work 100 percent of the time. To me, this suggests that the problem people are having with the app may actually be a problem with the passive entry system.

In the FAQ for the key fob one of the listed questions covers why there’s no passive entry, but the answer is quite generic. It doesn’t explain why it is missing, just that it only works with an authenticated phone. Does Tesla view passive entry as a security risk, then?

Hopefully Tesla explains more fully the reason for its decision soon, or it may update the fob if enough owners start returning them with “missing essential feature” as the reason.

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