Vehicle Safety and Security Features

From their design and physical structure to their strong security, Tesla vehicles are developed with the highest standards of safety in every respect.

Your Tesla vehicle has several enhanced security features that you can activate. To enable any of these features, go to ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Security Alarm

Your alarm will sound and external lights will flash if a locked trunk or door is opened without a valid entry key.

To enable the security alarm on your touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Security Alarm.’ Your vehicle will enable the alarm one minute after you exit, the doors will lock and a recognized key will no longer be detected in or near the vehicle.

To stop your vehicle alarm, unlock the doors using your key fob, key card or the Tesla app.

PIN to Drive

PIN to Drive allows you to set a secure four-digit verification that must be entered before your vehicle is driven.

To activate PIN to Drive on your vehicle touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘PIN to Drive.’ You will be prompted to create your four-digit verification.

If you forget your PIN or want to disable PIN to Drive, go back to the setting on your touchscreen. Tap the link to enter your Tesla login credentials and follow the on-screen prompts.

Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is a feature that allows you to monitor activities around your Tesla vehicle when it’s parked and locked. When suspicious motion is detected, your vehicle will react depending on the severity of the threat.

If a threat is detected, the cameras on your vehicle will begin recording, and the alarm will activate. If the alarm is activated, you will receive an alert from the Tesla app notifying you that an incident has occurred.

To enable Sentry Mode on your vehicle touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Sentry Mode.’ You can also enable Sentry Mode via Voice Command or the Tesla app. Unless at a Supercharger, Sentry Mode will remain active until the vehicle is at or below 20% battery. The Tesla app will notify you if Sentry Mode is disabled due to low battery.

Note: It is your sole responsibility to consult and comply with all local regulations and property restrictions regarding the use of cameras.

Note: Dog Mode and Sentry Mode cannot be active at the same time.

Note: Sentry Mode will not record if your dashcam is not properly installed and equipped with a USB drive. To install your dashcam, follow these steps.

For more information on Sentry Mode, refer to your owner's manual.

Require Manual Entry

An authenticated phone key will use its Bluetooth signal to unlock your vehicle doors as you approach the vehicle.

To allow manual entry only, disable passive entry by tapping ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety’ > ‘Passive Entry’ on your vehicle touchscreen.

Intrusion Sensors

Our security system and Sentry Mode come standard on every new Tesla vehicle; these systems can detect and alert you of suspicious activity around your vehicle. For added layers of protection, all new Tesla vehicles come with intrusion sensing hardware; for some vehicle trims, these systems will be activated with future over-the-air updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sentry Mode

Are the Sentry Mode recordings captured by my vehicle shared with Tesla?

No. To protect your privacy, Sentry Mode recordings are not transmitted to us. For 2018 and newer model year vehicles (with software version 2020.48.5 or newer), recordings are saved to onboard memory and can be viewed directly from the vehicle’s touchscreen. Sentry Mode can also operate in a similar manner without a USB drive installed, with the ability to send an alert to your phone if a threat is detected—however, recordings of the event will not be available.


How do I install my dashcam properly?

The dashcam requires the use of a properly formatted USB flash drive to store and retrieve footage. Once a properly formatted USB flash drive has been inserted into one of your vehicle’s front USB ports, a dashcam icon appears at the top of the touchscreen.

To format a flash drive, simply insert it into a front USB port and tap ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘FORMAT USB DEVICE.’ This formats the USB flash drive as exFAT and creates a TeslaCam folder. For instructions on how to format a flash drive from a personal computer, refer to your owner’s manual.

Note: Choosing ‘FORMAT USB DEVICE’ formats the drive, erasing all existing content. The USB flash drive must be formatted as exFAT, FAT 32 (for Windows), MS-DOS FAT (for Mac), ext3 or ext4. NTFS is not supported. The USB flash drive must also have a base-level folder named TeslaCam.

Are the Dashcam recordings captured by my vehicle shared with Tesla?

No. Dashcam is a feature available if you have a properly configured USB drive that is inserted into one of the front USB ports. All recorded video is stored locally to your USB drive and not transmitted to us.