It’s no secret that electric vehicles, and more specifically
Teslas, have rapidly increased in popularity over the last few years. While Teslas benefit drivers with their eco-friendliness, fuel economy, and technology, they also benefit
car thieves—because Tesla wheels are easy to steal and highly profitable.
But Tesla has a solution that just might combat this dangerous problem for drivers.
What’s happening with Tesla wheels?
Tesla wheels and tires are relatively easy to steal and easy to sell, leaving thieves with a quick way to make some major cash and Tesla drivers left in a tough spot. Experienced thieves can take the wheels off Tesla vehicles within minutes, leaving car owners shocked and in a dangerous position.
Teslarati, the problem is particularly bad in Los Angeles, showcased by LAPD posting a photo of a Tesla Model 3 with its tires and rims removed to their Twitter account. They issued a warning with the photo stating, “Tesla owners in Palms and Mar Vista area be aware that Tesla rims and tires are a hot commodity on the black market.” Actor Owen Wilson got the wheels taken off of his Tesla while it was parked outside his home in Santa Monica.
But, the problem isn’t just in California, or even just in the United States.
Car Scoopsreports that at the Tesla Delivery Center in Weiterstadt, Germany, thieves stole a total of 24 wheels from six Tesla vehicles and 20 aero caps from five Tesla vehicles.
The result was a dozen future Tesla owners having to wait until inventory was replenished before they could drive their new cars off the lot.
Wheel thefts aren’t the only problem Tesla owners face
Although wheel thefts are the most recent problem, they aren’t the only issue that Tesla owners face.
In 2019, Tesla break-ins spiked significantly throughout the country, with thieves damaging vehicles and taking the belongings that were inside. Experienced thieves were aware that the Tesla Model 3 was especially easy to ransack, as the car lacks sensors in the back windows, giving thieves easy access to the backseat and valuables in the trunk.
On top of break-ins and wheel thefts, Teslas are also reported to be vandalized more than other vehicles. Many Tesla owners have found their cars keyed, scratched, banged, damaged and more after leaving them outside overnight.
What can Tesla owners do to protect their vehicles?
Tesla’s Sentry Mode is the car brand’s attempt to give drivers protection over their vehicles.
Electrek, Sensory Mode enables cameras around the vehicle to record thieves, as well as activates an alarm and sends a notification to the car owner that something is going on with their vehicle. The hope is that if a thief knows they’re being recorded, they won’t finish the job, or they’ll get startled by the alarm.
In addition to activating Sensory Mode,
Motoriousrecommends drivers park in a secure facility like a parking garage or personal garage at night, or at least in a well-lit area with traffic. Parking on a steep slope also makes thefts a bit more complicated, which can further protect your vehicle.