A Canadian man accidentally proved how easy it is to drive away in someone else's Tesla this week after using only the Tesla app on his phone, Rajesh Randev reportedly drove away in a Tesla Model 3 that he mistook for his own.
Randev told Global News that when he got into the car, which was the same make and color as his own, he was in a hurry to pick up his kids from school.
As he zoomed off, he noticed that there was a crack in the windshield he hadn’t seen before. He called his wife to ask about the crack and she knew nothing about it. Then he noticed his charger in a different spot than where he typically kept it.
Perplexed, Randev pulled over and noticed the wheels on the Tesla he was driving were different from his own.
Then, he received a text: “Rajesh, are you driving Tesla?" and a follow-up message explaining that he was driving the wrong car.
The two Tesla owners met up and swapped cars. Randev recalled that although they called the police to assist, both drivers were laughing about the situation.
How did the other driver get Randev’s number?
While Randev spent an hour and a half in the wrong car, the rightful owner was just as easily able to access Randev's Tesla. The unidentified other owner found a printed document in the car with Randev's name and number on it, allowing the two drivers to meet up.
What still remains unclear, however, is how the mix-up could happen to begin with. Randev, who chalked it up to a glitch in the app, said he is looking for answers from Tesla but they have not returned his emails.
The self-driving cars have made headlines in recent months as their safety has come into question. In February, Tesla Inc and its Chief Executive Elon Musk were sued by shareholders who accused them of overstating the effectiveness and safety of their electric vehicles' Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies.
In a proposed class action filed in San Francisco federal court, shareholders said Tesla defrauded them over four years with false and misleading statements that concealed how its technologies, suspected as a possible cause of multiple fatal crashes, "created a serious risk of accident and injury."
Reuters contributed to this report