Tesla driver stuck in the desert after losing cellphone signal

Bradley Wint
Jan 18, 2017 12:50am AST
Photo: ryannegri/Instagram

Ryan Negri learned the hard way that it’s not a good idea to drive his Tesla Model S in areas where there is no cellphone signal.

He decided to take his family to the deserts of Nevada to take photos of the freshly fallen snow on the mountain tops. As some of you may know by now, the Telsa Model S can (among other Tesla models) can be started with the keyless app. Once it’s synced to the car, there is no need to carry the car’s key fob.

Unfortunately for them, when they were six miles into their journey, Ryan shut off the car to adjust his children’s seats, but could not restart the vehicle as their was no cell service. With no key fob, they were stuck in the middle of Red Rock Canyon.

Stranded 6 miles from home, 2 miles from cell service; our Saturday morning. The thought was to go for a quick drive to take some photos of the freshly-fallen mountain snow. Having only my phone in my pocket, I unlocked and started the car with it, and we left. 6 miles down the road we decided to turn back, but before that, had to adjust Mozy & Millie’s car bed, so I exited the vehicle…bad idea. Need to restart the car now, but, with no cell service, my phone can’t connect to the car to unlock it. Even with cell service, the car would also need cell service to receive the signal to unlock. @amymnegri, the hero she is, started running to reach cell service height. After about 2 miles she reached signal and called a friend for a ride to the house to grab the key fob. The key that will always be with me (now) when I drive that car.

As documented in his Instagram post, his wife ran two miles to get cellphone service to call a friend to deliver the car’s key fob.

Tesla requires that both the car and linked cellphone have active service as the start request has to be processed via Tesla’s servers, and not directly between the car and phone.

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At least they got a nice photo.

This morning's journey started out beautifully.

A photo posted by Ryan Negri (@ryannegri) on

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