Tesla Model S Car Logs Show Valet Service Extended Joy Ride – Videos

OCT 18 2016 BY JAY COLE 26

Often in the past we have seen Tesla’s in vehicle car logs and GPS data lead to a stolen car being found, paint a more accurate portrait of an accident, or even assess whether or not the company’s Autopilot was active during a crash.

Tesla Model S performance too tempting for Houston valet service (via KHOU11)

Tesla Model S performance too tempting for Houston valet service (via KHOU11)

But this time, as KHOU 11 demonstrates in the above news report, the vehicle’s stored data shows an extended 5-6 mile, high performance joyride by the valet service employed at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse in downtown Houston.

Perhaps this should serve as a friendly reminder to Tesla Model S (and X) owners, to turn on that “Valet Mode” that was added to your software suite over a year ago with Firmware update 6.2.

Valet mode limits the car’s output  to that of a Toyota Prius, caps the top speed at 70 mph – while enabling the owner to track the location of the car at all times.

“Valet Mode conveniently and discreetly limits Model S’s driving performance and restricts access to certain settings and personal information. With the touch of a button, owners can place a limit on speed, lock the glove box and frunk, and disable personal information like driver profiles and homelink settings.”

Video (below): YouTuber Jorgen Winther-Larsen gives a “Valet Mode” walkthrough

KHOU11, hat tip to GeorgeK!

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26 Comments on "Tesla Model S Car Logs Show Valet Service Extended Joy Ride – Videos"

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Something similar happened to me earlier this year when I used valet parking at an Amsterdam hotel with my i3. I arrived with enough energy to reach the nearest Fastned charger when I go back home plus a little buffer (I think it was around 35% SoC). When asked about their parking, they did not mention it was 6km away from the Hotel, I assumed it would be just around the corner or somewhere close by. I did ask if charging was available (it wasn’t), so they were aware it was an EV. When I check the iRemote app after the car was taken I noticed that the car is already quite far away from the Hotel, and driving with around 3-5x the energy consumption I usually have. After it was returned to me, the battery was down to a few percent (they used 30% on 13km total). I have no idea how that was even possible, even when doing a couple of quick launches I never get close to that energy consumption, and was obviously very annoyed about this inconvenience and the joy-ride. Lucky for me it’s easy enough to find street-side charging in Amsterdam, so I was able… Read more »

Perhaps they forgot to turn it off?

and forgetting to turn it off will result in ridiculous energy peak consumption, right?

You can leave these cars idle for AGES and if there’s nobody inside and the doors are shut, it turns itself off.

No, the app shows the consumption for the last drive, so I could actually see that they had used 15% shortly after taking the car.

For my S90D, anytime I’ve had it valet parked I’ve left Valet Mode turned off and let the valet know they are welcome to take a joy ride. I’ve also often let total strangers that have approached me asking about the car to take a quick joy ride (both with me and without me in the car) to see for themselves how awesome Model S is. Yes there is a small risk in doing that but part of reason I purchased the S is to do my small part in promoting benifits of EV…no better way than letting someone sit in the seat and take it for a spin…butt in seat sells EV.

Where do we meet you for our joyride?

I give plenty of rides, but I’m not as comfortable as you are when it comes to letting strangers drive my vehicle. Also, it’s a bit smarter to be in the car in case they have questions. You miss a selling opportunity there.
The one time I’ve valet-parked, I rode with them. I told them my phone was the fob. It was. Good ruse and all, but in the end, I don’t trust valet services. They may have insurance, but good luck getting information on it and making a claim.

Its pronounced like “valay” NOT “val et”.

Hmmm… Did you realize the story was mispronounced when you read it, or… ??? 😉

He was referring to the (excellent) video at the end of the article detailing the Valet mode. I had not heard all the details of what it does.

Really well thought out by Tesla.

But Scott, give the guy a break, he was obviously not a native English speaker. Even said he wasn’t sure the proper pronunciation in the video.

Obviously, they haven’t seen Ferris Bueller’s day off.

“caps the top speed at 70 mph”
Still seems a bit high for Valet parking. Shouldn’t it be something like 25mph?

I think some use Valet mode for “my teenager needs to borrow the car” mode.

I think Kdawg has a point why not give it a range 25-70 mph, depending on conditions. Make it a variable, not a set speed.

I will split the difference for 50 mph. Maybe, for legal reasons they set it at 70 mph. Not sure, why they chose 70 mph.

I have eaten at V&A’s there in downtown. (Mental note to never valet there or with “State Parking Services”)

The dude should have immediately filed a police report that the valets had stolen and returned his car. There are traffic cameras everywhere, one of which might have captured the driver’s image.

What’s up with these Tesla owners not wanting to get the police involved immediately? Just a couple of weeks ago another Tesla owner had his car stolen and went to retrieve the car by himself using the car’s GPS to locate it, and allowing the car thief to get off scot free. The police might have been able to lift finger prints from the Tesla and identify the car thief if he was already in the system.

I’m not sure that would hold up in court.
It’s an interesting and unusual question though.
Clearly the guy did not steal the car, as it was given to him to park. He violated the trust placed in him to take the car for a spin, a mini joy ride. You need intent.
I suppose you could find a few precedents to support the claim the car was stolen.

I think this one would be prosecutable, as intent is obvious and the duration a number of days.

Have you ever actually dealt with the police?
In the states being helpful is not in the job description.

No, but my friend Jerry had to deal with the NYC police after his apartment was robbed. 😉

Well, reports like this are exactly why Tesla cars have a Valet Mode.

But I find it more than a bit puzzling that Tesla has a 70 MPH speed limit for that. Why would any valet need to drive a car at freeway speed? Seems like the speed limit should be something like 40-45 MPH, to allow for driving on surface streets to a parking lot and back.

Ya but does Valet mode give you video evidence of what the valet’s did like the Vette does 😉

Does the Tesla display tell the valet that the car is in valet mode (e.g., state the top speed, reduced power, and let them know their movements are monitored)? That might help curtail joyrides.

It might also help the let them know their tip is inversely proportional to the speed and distance the car is driven.

Complaints like this show up periodically on the owner boards. Perhaps the valet did take it for a joy ride, but a spike like that, early in the drive can also happen if the car is doing something like the conditioning the battery while the car is not moving very fast. The Y-axis on the graph is Wh/mi and a huge draw while the car is moving slowly can show up as a huge spike. It looks like he has the energy app set to “average” as opposed to “instant” which further muddies the water.

An ordinary odometer also provides proof of an extended joy ride.

I have no sympathy for those who choose to waste money on valet parking.