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Imagine pulling your key fob from your pocket, hitting the button, and hopping into your Tesla only to realize a few minutes later that everything in your car is just slightly off. The radio station is different, your Burger King cup is gone, and it smells weird. Well, we can’t say that that is exactly what happened, but something similar happened to a man in Vancouver who accidentally opened someone else’s Tesla Model 3, thinking it was his and drove away. 

A blue Tesla Model 3 EV uses AWD to cut across a wet road.
Model 3 | Tesla

How can you unlock someone else’s Tesla Model 3?

It’s not weird to walk up to a similar car to the one you drive and go for the door only to realize it won’t unlock. Until this story, I haven’t thought much about this, but this has to happen far more often to Tesla drivers. There are so few colors and trim options that most Teslas look like someone else’s Tesla. 

According to CarScoops, a Vancouver man used the Tesla app on his smartphone to unlock what he believed was his car. Immigration consultant Rajesh Randev told Canada’s Global News that the trouble began when he went to get into his car and found it parked next to another Model 3 in the same color. However, the car he got into wasn’t his. He noticed a small crack in the windshield that wasn’t there before he parked. He then realized that his phone charger was gone. 

Can you accidentally steal a car? 

2023 Tesla Model 3 Black
2023 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

As Randev drove his accidentally stolen Tesla Model 3, he got a text from an unknown number asking if he was driving a Tesla. The texter urged Randev to please get in contact with him ASAP. 

The Tesla owner whose car left him for Randev allegedly found a sheet of paper left on the seat with Randev’s phone number. Randev claims that he was hurrying to pick up his kids from school, which is what likely led to the mistake. But since Randev was running late, he decided to drive to his kids’ school and pick them up in his Bizzaro-World Tesla. Once his kids were gotten, he returned to the scene of the not-quite crime. 

“We were both laughing, and I called the police as well,” Randev told Global News. “The police said they have my statement, but they cannot give me a file number because nothing happened.” 

Randev says after the debacle, he reached out to Tesla to alert them to the problem but has not heard back. 

Even locked doors open

A Tesla Model 3's 15-inch center stack screen.
A 15-inch Tesla screen | Tesla

This strangeness of this situation is one that feels like big Tesla energy. These days, Tesla and very smart but faulty tech seem to have congealed into an inseparable stew of headlines. AutoPilot, yokes, steering wheels falling off, phone apps unlocking the wrong car, and so on. The story of Tesla feels far from being over, but the once technology pioneer has become the brand that stays getting egg on its face, then posting photos of it to Twitter. 

At least in this most-recently Tesla mishap, no one died or crashed into an ambulance. This harmless bit of tech hiccup ended well, and both parties got a good story out of it.