Tesla Model S - Unlocking When the Key Doesn't Work

If Model S does not unlock when you walk up to it, or when you double-click the unlock button on the top of your key, the key’s battery may be dead. Even if this is the case, you can still use the key to unlock and drive Model S.


Note: Although you can still use your key, you should consider using the mobile app to remotely unlock and start the vehicle. Then, replace your key's battery when convenient.

To unlock Model S (and disable the security alarm) using the key, first position the key near the base of the passenger side windshield wiper. Then press the front door handle on the right side of the vehicle. If Model S doesn't unlock, try adjusting the position of the key and try again. The key must be in the correct position for the vehicle to unlock.

Note: The following illustration assumes a left hand drive (LHD) vehicle. On a right hand drive (RHD) vehicle, the locations are mirrored.

 To drive Model S after gaining access to the cabin, place the bottom of the key against the center console, immediately below the 12V power outlet, then press and hold the brake pedal to start Model S.

 Note: Unlocking Model S using this method disables walk away locking. You must manually re-enable walk away locking after replacing the key’s battery.

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