Consumer Reports Finds Updated Tesla Summon Mode More Safe Than Before

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 15

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Recently, Consumer Reports contacted Tesla after finding faults in the company’s Summon Mode.

The Summon Mode allows the owner to park the vehicle using a smartphone app or key fob, without actually being in the vehicle. The system moves the car into the parking spot while the user watches from within ten feet away.

The way the system was initially configured meant that the operator would press the button on the smartphone or key fob to initiate the movement and then press again to stop the car. Consumer Reports found this to be dangerous since the operator could easily fail to push the button again or drop the device or the device could power off or lose connection. In contacting Tesla, CR advocated for a “failsafe” that would correct this problem.

Tesla agreed to update the software through its “over-the-air” system, to correct the problem. The company followed through with the agreement and Consumer Reports retested the vehicle.

Now, the user must keep a finger depressed on the smartphone button in order for the vehicle to continue movement. The moment the touch is removed, the vehicle stops. Users can no longer Summon the car with the key fob unless they set it up themselves after proceeding through numerous warnings. This is because the software update cannot change the fob to the similar “hold down” functionality.

For this reason, Consumer Reports has updated its stance on the safety of the system, but recommends only using the app rather than the fob.

The fact that Tesla is able to make such quick and successful updates to all vehicles instantaneously “over-the-air” is a highly marketable feature.

Source: Consumer Reports

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15 responses to "Consumer Reports Finds Updated Tesla Summon Mode More Safe Than Before"

  1. Taser54 says:

    It seems like the app is more appropriately described as “Less dangerous than before”

    1. sven says:

      And the key fob is “as dangerous as before” since there is no planned recall.

      Also, there is no mention of whether Tesla has any plans to update the design of the key fob for new cars so that eventually the new fobs will have similar “hold down” functionality in the future.

      1. Big Solar says:

        Right Sven, without your power of seeing the obvious and always stating it we would all probably die.

        1. sven aka Captain Obvious says:

          Yeah, because no Tesla owner’s kid would ever take his dad’s key fob without his knowledge and play a game of chicken with Summon mode.

          http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–bL_IpUWd–/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/hlqvoipu9fq6tuconmxg.gif

          1. Foo says:

            Yes, only Telas has made it possible for kids to take their parent’s car keys and do something bad.

            Clearly this is all the fault of electric cars.

      2. ffbj says:

        And the sven is “as dangerous as before” since there is no planned recall.

          1. ffbj says:

            Very nice, very tight.(Music)
            Rather than stabbing you I was paying you a complement.

            1. sven aka Captain Obvious says:

              No problem ffbj. Et tu comment was actually tongue in cheek. I should have put an winky emoticon after it. 😉

              1. ffbj says:

                I figured that, as both our comments could be taken either way. I got it, but just chose to take it the wrong way.
                Call me Captain Oblivious.

      3. dRanger says:

        Did you know that if you are in a closed garage and your ICE vehicle engine is running, you will die? At this time there are no planned recalls.

          1. Nix says:

            Sven, you can still kill yourself by intentionally leaving your Volt running in your garage. No recall.

            The recall just stops it from doing it accidentally when you didn’t expect it to.

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Apparently Tesla does claim in its instructions that you have to be within 10 feet of the car to use Summon, but some owners have reported being able to use the phone app (not the car’s fob) to activate it from a bit further away — perhaps 20-30 feet — altho not reliably so.

    https://forums.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/problem-summoning-my-2015-model-s

  3. Dan Zorrilla says:

    They could easily (if they haven’t already) just disable Summon with the key fob. I can’t turn my A/C on or change my charge limits with the key fob, so why do I need to summon with it? I rarely use my key fob. The doors open automatically, and everything else I need to do is done in the app. If you think about it, you have your phone on you more often than you have your keys. When I get to work, I throw my keys on my desk, when I get home, I throw them on the counter. But my phone, that’s rarely more than 12″ from me. Seems like a dead, or soon to be dead, issue.