Tesla's New Software Update Finally Makes It Harder for Thieves to Steal Cars

Tesla's new update requires owners to enter a password to disable the mobile access feature.

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla’s latest software update for the Model 3 includes a simple but promising anti-theft feature which will require a username and password to disable mobile access. The new safety measure aims to repel tech-savvy car thieves.

Mobile access essentially allows Tesla owners to remotely locate their vehicles. The feature was previously accessible through the Tesla app without re-submitting a user’s password, which led to numerous incidents of facilitated car theft, as resourceful thieves would merely have to clone a key fob and know the car’s location to successfully commit grand theft. 

Earlier this year, numerous Tesla thefts saw thieves savvy enough to disable mobile access after commandeering the vehicles, as seen in this video. Though some instances in the U.S. saw owners and police successfully use mobile access to track the stolen vehicles and thieves down, the latest software update aims to prevent future situations from even reaching these stages. Hopeful hackers will now have to actually know an owner’s Tesla Account log-in info to know where their car is parked and subsequently boost it.

“For additional security, your Tesla username and password will be required when disabling mobile access,” the update’s release explains. “To adjust the car’s mobile access setting, go to Controls>Safety>Allow Mobile Access.”

Tesla hopes this initiative will successfully deter criminals while retaining the intended benefits of the feature. In this age of personal data and information, multiple mobility companies are finding ways to increase security for their customers' peace of mind—Tesla, as well as Uber, is one of the most common targets for breaches.

Three Minute Tesla Show: Crisis Averted
The Drive