With the major production bottlenecks appearing more in the rearview mirror, Tesla is starting to launch small updates for the tens of thousands of Model 3 owners in North America.
One of the strange decisions that Tesla made with the low-cost Model 3 sedan was to give owners only two ways to unlock the doors of the car: with a credit card key or with their smartphones. But the company changed course and, on Friday, began selling a $ 150 model keychain on its website. (The keychain is quickly sold out.) We have asked Tesla when they will be available again, and we will update when we hear from you again.)
The keychain of model 3 is different from those for model S and X more than its specific shape. Furthermore, it does not allow "passive entry", which is a setting that unlocks the machines (and opens the driver's side door) when the keychain is within a certain range, offering the illusion that the car sees you're coming.
This can become a problem if, for example, a team of dedicated thieves spends an hour or so walking in the driveway in the middle of the night trying to intercept the keychain signal so you can access your Tesla. And if you do not have Tesla's "PIN to drive" enabled, which requires the driver to enter a two-factor code before the car can be driven, it is possible for someone to jump into the vehicle. (Otherwise, it's a comfortable feature.)
With passive entry absent from the new fob, buyers will instead be able to use only the physical buttons of the Model 3 button to unlock or lock the doors, open the boot and "frunk" (front trunk) or open the door car charging. Passive access will continue to work with an associated smartphone, although some users (especially Android smartphone owners) have reported intermittent problems with this feature.
The other update that landed on Friday was the "track mode" that Tesla started promoting at the start of this summer. Available on all the "performing" versions of the Model 3 through a software update, the track mode more actively manages the stability of the car to improve performance on circuits or in autocross settings. The power will move in real time between the front and rear engines to make sure that the car has the best chance of crossing a corner without problems, while other functions such as proactive cooling ensure that the battery pack suffers the least amount of abuse possible.
Both additions are examples of how Tesla is trying to improve its latest – and cheaper – model that this year has started to seriously hit the road. That said, Model 3 still sells for a price that is well above the $ 35,000 originally advertised. That version of Model 3 is still planned for the first half of 2019.