New Tesla Model 3 key fob unboxing and passive entry test.

Unboxing the new Tesla Model 3 key fob and testing ‘passive entry’

Almost a year ago Tesla launched the Model 3 Key Fob, a more traditional option for Model 3 owners besides the more modern Key Card and Tesla Mobile App. Since its arrival, the Tesla Model 3 key fob was missing the ‘passive entry’ feature that the Model S and Model X key fobs had built-in out of the box.

The latest version of the Tesla Model 3 key fob includes ‘passive entry’, that lets the owners walk up to the car and it automatically unlocks, Model 3 key fobs with the printed ‘TESLA’ logo on the flat side have passive entry enabled, the older Model 3 key fobs came with the ‘MODEL 3’ printed at the bottom.

Tesla did not raise the price of the new passive entry Model 3 key fob, it is available at the same $150 price tag from the Tesla online store.

Tesla Model 3 key fob in its beautiful black and red opened box.
Tesla Model 3 key fob in its beautiful black and red opened box.

At the time of initial introduction of the Model 3 key fob, it also lacked the ‘summon’ function, although it still cannot perform the latest ‘smart summon‘, the simple perpendicular driverless calling of the car out of a tight parking space or garage is nonetheless pretty neat.

At the Model 3 key fob official support page, Tesla describes the key as:

The Model 3 Key Fob – shaped like a miniature version of your Model 3 – offers an alternate way to access your car. It is ideal for owners who don’t use the Phone Key feature on their smartphone.

If your Key Fob is equipped with Passive Entry, your Tesla will automatically lock and unlock when the Key Fob is within three feet. Same with the trunk. If not equipped, press the top once to lock your Model 3 and twice to unlock; press twice on the front or rear trunk to open them.

DLTESLA / YouTube channel just received their new passive entry enabled Model 3 key fob and they already had the previous version of the key fob as well, they both look visually the same except the printed logo at the bottom which identifies the newer/older models as described above.

Upon receiving the new Model 3 key fob, it needs to be paired with your car in order to function (see / read instructions here).

This new convenience feature would be attractive for Tesla owners but it comes with a caveat, the Tesla Model 3 becomes more prone to ‘key fob relay attacks’, a method where high-tech thieves amplify the key fob signals with a device that tricks the car in thinking the key fob is near and it unlocks.

Tesla last year introduced the PIN To Drive feature to fight the key fob relay attacks, don’t forget to add the PIN to your Model 3 to save yourself from the irony of a stolen Tesla Model 3, you can also limit the signals by some simple methods explained by Bjorn Nyland here.

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Iqtidar Ali
[email protected]

Iqtidar Ali reports on the latest happenings at Tesla and Electric Vehicle forefront. With over 1 decade of experience in website development, he's our IT resource as well.

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