Yesterday, I was surprised to see that people were somehow making a big deal about the fact that the front trunk, also known as the ‘frunk’, of the Model S and X can be opened without the key.
I thought it was something widely known among Tesla owners, but a popular Youtuber made an insipid video about it called ‘Tesla’s Insane Security Flaw‘ and Jalopnik jumped on it. There’s a good reason why the “security flaw” exists.
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There is a hidden release to open the frunk. It’s located in the front bumper for Model X and behind the front wheel for Model S.
It’s only a “security flaw”, as some people are claiming, if owners don’t know not to keep valuables in the frunk, but it’s something that Tesla warns not to do. I have personally witnessed Tesla delivery specialists warning new owners during delivery.
They don’t really explain how it can be opened since they don’t try to publicize the method, but they make sure that they know it can be opened so they don’t keep any valuables in there and use it only as a short-term cargo space, like for groceries.
The hidden release is actually not a “security flaw”, but a “safety feature” necessary for first responders to access the frunk where they can in turn access the cut loop to shut down the high voltage system in the vehicle:
We got a good look at it in our post last year: Behind the scene look at how firefighters disable a Tesla battery while extinguishing a Model S fire.
It’s obviously an important feature to let first responders cut the power if they need to cut through the vehicle. As long as owners are aware of it, it’s hardly a “security flaw”. But if Tesla is not telling every owner (and maybe they missed a few based on some reactions to the video) and people start publicizing how to unlock the trunk without the key, it could become a problem. Though the alarm still goes off as an imperfect last resort solution.
Check this video 10 minutes in:
Here’s the Youtuber’s video that started it yesterday: