Tesla owners locked out of cars because of brief app outage

Some Tesla owners were left stuck outside their vehicle over the weekend after an outage in the manufacturer’s smartphone app.

Newer Tesla cars can be locked and unlocked through the app, which is designed so that owners do not have to carry a clunky key around with them.

However, owners took to Twitter to complain that they had been locked out of their vehicles because of the outage, with one tweeting to Tesla CEO Elon Musk to say they had encountered a “500 server error”.

Musk replied to the owner, based in Seoul, South Korea, saying it “should be coming back online now”.

With the outage rectified, Musk added: “Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

According to the DownDetector website, about 500 people had reported the outage, which appeared to be a global issue.

One car manufacturer saw the perfect opportunity to have some fun at their rival’s expense.

Mike Levine, product communications director of Ford North America, took to Twitter to promote the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Like the Tesla, Mach-E owners can use an app to access their vehicle, but Ford has added a failsafe to ensure they’re never locked out in case of an outage or if the owner’s phone battery dies.

Securicode is a numbered pin code system integrated into the door. Owners can set a code and access the vehicle this way if necessary.

Quoting another user who had tweeted about the system, Levine said: “With SecuriCode, you are never locked out of your vehicle. Know what I mean?”

Electric vehicle sales in the UK continue to boom, but still represent a small market share. Year-to-date figures for October show sales are up 73 per cent compared with the same period in 2020, with over 16,000 vehicles registered.