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Tesla Model 3 Now Available With A Key

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The keycard is proving tricky to use, so you can now buy a key fob.

When Tesla first rolled out the Model 3, it made an interesting decision to ship the car without a key. Much like the rest of the auto industry, Tesla was quick to assume drivers would prefer to get rid of their cumbersome and expensive key fob and just use their smartphone instead. Tesla did include a basic hotel-style key card just in case you lost your phone or if the battery died, but now admits this decision may have been a mistake.

ven CEO Elon Musk was quoted saying "We really need to provide a normal key to the customers of the car." Now, a key fob for the Model 3 has been made available via Tesla's website. Unfortunately, there are a few catches.

The key fob is currently for sale for a rather affordable $150, which is inexpensive compared to many replacement key fobs from other automakers. Don't rush to Tesla's website to go buy one though because the key is already sold out and the current shipping estimate is three to four weeks from date of the order, meaning you won't have it for the holidays.

Like other Tesla keys, the Model 3 key is a miniature version of the car, with the Tesla logo inscribed on the hood. Tesla will even package the key in a lovely gift box with the Tesla and Model 3 logos. To use the key, just press once to lock the car, twice to unlock it, twice on the front or rear trunk to open, or a long press on the rear trunk to open the charge port.

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Aside from being sold out, the Model 3 key fob does have another disadvantage. Tesla says the fob will not support passive entry. This means the car will not open when you walk up to the car and put your hand on the door. Instead, owners will have to take the key out and press the button to unlock the car, then take it out again when locking the car. This is incredibly basic and a bit of a disappointment when compared to Tesla's other innovations. Perhaps given enough time, Tesla will eventually find a way to add passive entry to the new key fob.