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Last year, a valet at San Antonio’s La Cantera Resort was the perfect example of why performance cars like the Tesla Model S need Valet Mode and why owners should never forget about this highly useful feature.
During the above-mentioned incident, when the valet was handed the keys to park the Tesla, he couldn’t resist taking the EV for a spin. The joyride did not end well for the valet who subsequently ended up crashing the car. And because Tesla has a whole lot of in-built cameras, the entire episode was recorded. Fortunately, the valet owned up immediately and informed the owner.
This is the not the first time a valet has acted irresponsibly with someone else’s car. Some auto manufacturers could see the value in offering valet keys to limit a vehicle’s speed, performance features, as well as prevent access to areas like the glove compartment or trunk. The one problem with valet keys is that they can be stolen, lost, or hacked, and it’s the inconvenience of having to carry another key around.
Chevrolet was one of the first car manufacturers to come up with the innovative, Valet Mode implemented in the 2014 Corvette Stingray. This version allowed owners to lock the storage areas, deactivate the infotainment system, and set the video to record when the vehicle was handed over to someone else. Other car makers followed suit and started adopting similar Valet Mode features in high-performance models. Tesla wasn’t far behind and in 2015, the US-based EV manufacturer introduced its own version of Valet Mode in the Tesla Model S.
HOW IT WORKS
When a Tesla Model S owner activates Valet Mode, the vehicle’s operating system initiates several restrictions on the vehicle. It limits the speed to 70 mph and cap acceleration to 25% and prevents enabling Autopilot. It also locks the glove box and frunk and reduces certain information being displayed on the Media Control Unit, specifically personal data such as the owner’s home address, phone contacts, online calendars, and more. HomeLink access, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi settings are also disabled.
SETTING IT UP
To activate Valet Mode from the driver's seat, first put the EV in park. Valet Mode cannot be enabled while you’re driving. Once in park, tap your profile name on the display screen to display the drop-down menu. Tap the Valet Mode option. If this is the first time you’re using the feature, you will need to enter your 4-digit PIN code. Once that’s done, the screen will notify you that Valet Mode is now active. When disabling it, you will need to enter your PIN code again. It’s also possible to activate Valet Mode remotely using your Tesla app.
PROS AND CONS
Valet Mode is a winner feature for a number of situations. Not only is it useful when handing your EV over to stranger for valet parking purposes, but it can also be super convenient for giving your teenagers some driving practice. Either way, it offers protection to your personal information and protects your vehicle from going on an unauthorized speeding session. And there’s no worry about losing car keys. While it can be fairly easy to activate and deactivate, it can be a hassle for valet drivers to work out how to start the car when the feature is on.
In the past, Tesla owners Early on, however, Tesla owners had a few complaints that the speed limit couldn’t be defined because the default factory setting for Valet Mode was set at a maximum of 70mph. However, Tesla resolved this through another smart car function in version 8.1(2018.24.1). It released an update where owners could activate a new Speed Limit Mode. This allowed Tesla drivers to set their own maximum speed between 50 and 90 mph.
If you are interested in adding more security in your Tesla experience, you might be interested in our lifestyle accessories for: