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Tesla starts rolling out Model 3 key fob to lucky few owners

We knew it has been coming for a long time, but now it’s finally here.

Tesla is starting to roll out its new key fob for the Model 3.

Model 3 owners are meant to use their phones as the main way to unlock their cars.

Tesla also gives key cards, but the user experience is designed around the phone and Tesla’s mobile app.

In my experience, it works very well, but some owners have been requesting a more traditional key fob, which Tesla already uses with Model S and Model X.

We got confirmation that it is coming last month when Tesla’s FCC application for the device was made public.

In our post about it, we asked Electrek readers which device they prefer and a slight majority voted for the key fob:

Now Electrek has learned from sources that Tesla started rolling out the device to Model 3 owners in its early access program.

Tesla’s upcoming new 2018.42 software update comes with changes to support the new Model 3 key fob:

Your car now supports key fobs, which are available for purchase from Tesla. You can manage which key fobs or key cards have access to your car by going to Controls > Locks. To add a new key, touch the + button and follow the onscreen instructions. Once a key fob or key card is added to the key list, you can edit the name by touching the pencil icon. To remove a key from the key list, which removes its access to your car, touch the trash icon and follow the onscreen instructions. Once a key has successfully been added or removed, you will be notified via the Tesla mobile app.

Price and availability for the wider fleet are still unclear. Tesla declined to comment.

For Model S and Model X, the price of a replacement key fob has changed over the years, but we have most recently heard owners being quoted between $125 and $140 per replacement key.

Tesla has also recently improved its BLE key fob in order to roll out more robust encryption and reduce the risk of relay attacks from thieves.

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