If you drive one of the more popular vehicle models, it’s fairly easy to walk up to the wrong car in the supermarket parking lot, but the mix-up usually ends there. Your key fob won’t unlock the car, and you eventually see someone else’s junk inside before looking for the right car. One Canadian Tesla Model 3 owner got a little mixed up and was able to drive off in a car that wasn’t his.
Rajesh Randev told Global News that a stranger’s Tesla was parked next to his and was the same model and color as his own. Reality started sinking in a few miles down the road when Randev noticed the windshield of the Tesla he was driving was cracked. He called his wife, who said she had no knowledge of the windshield issue, and shortly after, the actual owner of the Tesla texted him.
Randev pulled over and inspected the car he was driving, finding it had different wheels than his. Interestingly, he got back into the car and drove it to pick up his kids before returning to the owner, who said they saw his phone number on a piece of paper in his car. Both parties got a laugh out of the situation, and Randev called the police, but they are not pursuing the matter since nothing happened.
“Worrying” is an excellent word to use for this situation, because it did not involve hackers or bad actors of any kind. That a random person could drive away with a car and ride around town without any warning signs in the car or otherwise is a matter of concern. Also worrying is Tesla’s response, which so far has been nonexistent.
Randev has called the automaker and submitted video evidence, but some emails bounced back, and he has received no response. The company’s inbox seems to be full, and CEO Elon Musk famously cut Tesla’s public relations team, so it appears there’s little recourse for some owners with basic support needs.