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Valets Getting The Tesla Grin

So I went to a fancy restaurant last night and didn't want my guests to walk so I used the valet parking. When I was driving home I happened to glance at the energy graph and saw a big spike that wasn't there before. The next morning I made the same trip driving in a similar manner to the night before. Basically the drive from my home is all uphill to the restaurant, which is only about a mile away. The white letters A-B-A show the energy used for my "test" trip.

Valet Issue

Using those distances I figured out what happened after I handed over my fob to the valet. Even though the garage was right around the corner, he went for about a mile test drive, and pretty much floored it as much as possible.

For perspective, here's my last 30 miles of driving. Guess what Mount Rushmore is.

Valet Issue 02

So if you don't want some kid driving your S around like a maniac, it's best to tell the valets up front that you can monitor their driving remotely, there's a log you can pull up in the car, and you don't want him getting the Tesla Grin. Fortunately my car's fine, but next time I will be reading them the riot act as I hand the fob over (and I'll reset Trip B and take a look at the mobile app while he's parking it).

Speeds are capped during test drives to 80 mph by a hidden configuration setting. There's been speculation in other threads this flexibility may be made available to owners in the future to allow "grin" limiting of both valets and teenage children.

I will never hand over my P85 to a valet for exactly this reason. I'd rather walk or make my fellow passengers walk - it's good for your health anyway, esp. after a nice dinner:-)

So, no desire to go back, show the the valet the chart, and ask what he'd do if someone drove his car like that?
A commendable example of restraint.

I can already see the headlines:

"A Detour on the Road to the Parking Garage"

"Stalled out on the Valet Career Ladder"

"A Most Peculiar Valet Park"

"Problems with Precision and Judgement, plus free dessert"

I was thinking more along the lines of:

"Pushing the limits of Off Road Performance- One valet's perspective from inside the Frunk.

I would just give the valet $20 tip and ask for park the car myself. Usually they will give you a front row space too.

I did go back and talk to the manager. I just told him that this is the wrong car to joy ride in - too much data.

@Got Amped

Did he offer you anything by way of apology?

Yeah I got a bit of an apology. I have a 60, but I'm not sure an inexperienced driver could handle a P85 if they really mashed the go pedal without knowledge of what was going to happen.

This is exactly why I have never allowed a valet to park my car. I always park it myself and just give the valet a tip for allowing me self park in a valet only spot.

I would contact the restaurant, and file a formal complaint with the owner!

The last place I went to that had a valet lot, I kindly asked the valet if I could park my own car, and he said "no problem". I gave him a nice fat $$ tip after 'I' parked my MS.

You will find that most valets are race car drivers with more than enough talent to handle some ole electric car; just ask them.

Seriously people, you are really surprised when you hand the keys to a new toy over to a valet making a few bucks an hour and who lives for the opportunity to drive some rich dipstick's expensive car like he stole it and he does just that????? (sorry for the long sentence but it just would not be the same if broken up into coherent thoughts)

If a valet runs the snot out of your car there is only one person to blame; the person that gave the valet the keys without getting their nuts in return. It is like getting stung by a scorpion while playing with it. It is in their nature.



If this story doesn't make you NEVER want to valet your ride again, well, all I can say is... best of luck (you'll need it)....

@lolachampcar Totally disagree with your reasoning. Same as I don't expect every bank employees to steal money form there. They are not supposed to do that and wrong if they did.

I'm not saying they are right in doing what some of them do nor am I saying that all of them do it. My point was simply that it is a know risk when using valet services.

I agree with you that they should not and are wrong when they do.

I read an idea on another thread that works for me. I just tell the valet that my insurance won't allow him to drive the car and they seem fine allowing me to self park. Of course, I still give a tip.

I just had the same experience with a valet. I was at a location where the only option was to valet and I was late to a business dinner so I couldn't easily take the time to "self park" with the valet.

Telsa, if you are reading this forum please add a valet mode soon. I have about 3-4 miles of really high acceleration runs.

lolachampcar | May 20, 2013

If a valet runs the snot out of your car there is only one person to blame; the person that gave the valet the keys without getting their nuts in return. It is like getting stung by a scorpion while playing with it. It is in their nature.

Hey dude, I made my post to warn other owners and solicit ideas (like the Valet Mode, which is a good one). What's the reason for your post? Make me look stupid? Make yourself look smart?

Really, if you don't have anything positive to add to a thread, just stay off it, thanks.

not my intent at all.... I apologize if I offended you. My goal was simply to point out that, although not right by any means, this behavior is to be expected.

That being said, I'll stay off your thread.

This must happen to all brands of cars. I owned a Delorean for years and yes, I am aware that the valet probably tooled around the garage (or maybe even town!) in my car before parking it. I know of one Delorean owner that had an oil change place have girlfriends and regular customers open the doors and sit in the car, delaying the service time. One repair place actually damaged my Delorean by letting a mech have a "test drive" and he hit a steeply sloped road too hard - the Delorean is a *very* low slung car. I made the shop repair the damage at their expense, and have since said "no test drives, no car washes, I'm watching the odometer".

I must agree with GotAmped...his misfortune was not to be expected. I don't blame myself if I get ill eating at a restaurant, I blame the establishment for not doing their job. I think he should be commended for sharing his experience with others, I certainly makes me think twice about leaving my car with anyone.

APR has a very nice setup with their VW / Audi tuning software, where you can put the car into valet mode by holding down the cruise control switch. Of course the thing is, if the valet knows about this trick they can put it into a different mode. So APR also has a feature where you can set up a way to protect against changing the mode.

One nice way Tesla could implement this feature would be to add performance degradation to the driver profile system, then set up a valet profile that ships with the car. That way, if you wanted to enable performance degradation for anyone else in your immediate family, you could do it.

I haven't let a valet take my car yet, but it's just a matter of time before I'll need to somewhere in downtown Houston. My plan is to show them the energy meter and take a picture of it with my phone while the valet is in the car. I'll then let them know that I can also track the car on my iPhone and show them the app.
In many cases the restaurant contracts the valet service, so when you complain, they tell you the valet doesn't work for them.

I had to valet it at a fancy restaurant the other day, but felt better because there was another Model S in the valet lot at Canlis. Didn't stop me from checking the app to make sure he wasn't tooling around, though!

If TM monitors this, a Valet Mode would be very useful. Please degrade the acceleration, top speed and raise the car (if so equipped) as in urban settings the valet lot may be in a nearby parking garage with a steep entry or exit.

Thank you all for your comments and ideas. Remember to raise the height of your car in addition to your discussion with the valet.


I respectfully disagree. If I give the keys to my car to a valet, I expect they will demonstrate the same self-restraint I demonstrate when someone gives me the keys to their server room. In our jobs many of us have ample opportunity to either abuse other peoples' gear or to demonstrate why our employment should continue.

Customers should never be concerned that their car is getting trashed.

@Jewsh I'll assume you make more than $6.25 / hour and have a much more fulfilling job than parking cars. The key point being missed here is many valets feel that they will NEVER have an opportunity to own something as nice as a Model S. As a result a joy ride in many cases is their only chance to experience such a car.

I have found out that the Tesla employees also like to get the "Tesla Grin". I guess I can't blame them.

OOOps. Tesla employees, not the Tesla employees...

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