Tesla Driver Accidentally Drives Off in Stranger's Car

Vancouver resident says he 'found some glitch' in how Tesla's app works.
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2023 4:32 PM CDT
Tesla Driver: App Let Me Drive Off in Stranger's Car
Tesla cars sit at Tesla's Giga Texas automotive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas   (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

A Tesla owner experienced an unsettling issue using the company's app to unlock and drive his white Model 3—it let him unlock and drive someone else's EV instead. "Apparently," Rajesh Randev of Vancouver tells Global News, "I found some glitch." In an interview with the Washington Post, the 51-year-old immigration consultant described unlocking a car virtually identical to his and driving for 15 minutes before receiving a text from an unfamiliar number. The texter told him he was "driving the wrong car," and he was. Randev said he informed Tesla of the problem and decided to speak to the press about it because the automaker didn't respond.

Randev's shock at what happened was evident when he spoke to the Post. His Model 3 is "such an expensive car," he said. “More than $70,000 to get this car. And my family is not feeling safe right now.” At the time of the incident, the driver of the Tesla Randev accidentally took was Mohammed Esaeyh, brother to the car's owner, Mahmoud. Mohammed says the app glitch worked both ways, telling the Post that he was able to use his brother's keycard to enter Randev's vehicle.

If there's a lighter side to the story, it is that once he and Mahmoud Esaeyh were in touch, Randev ended up asking if he could keep the Tesla long enough to pick up his kids from school. "We were both laughing," Randev tells Global News. He adds, though, that he's worried about the hacking implications. At Forbes, Josh Max sounds a similar note of concern. He himself has gotten into the wrong car accidentally before realizing his mistake, "and I bet some of you have, too." Those weren't Teslas, and there was no harm done. "But had I been able to start and drive, I probably would have." (More Tesla stories.)

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