HomeNewsDMV Examiner Purposely Failed Tesla Model 3 Driver in Driving Test

DMV Examiner Purposely Failed Tesla Model 3 Driver in Driving Test

A professor who teaches at the University of California wanted to get a new driver’s license due to offline classes starting again in California. Having extensive driving experience he was fairly confident to successfully complete the driving test in his family’s Tesla Model 3.  The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) was to take this test. So, he headed for the driving test in his Tesla Model 3.

DMV Tesla Model 3 Driving Test

DMV Examiner Purposely Failed Tesla Model 3 Driver in Driving Test

The easy test turned difficult

When the professor finished the driving test, he was confident in passing it. The DMV examiner told him that he has failed the test. On hearing this the professor was shocked. The reason given by the officer was “technology in the car was not off”. He didn’t understand what the examiner said and asked for more explanation. The officer replied that the Model 3’s acceleration should have been in “Chill Mode” and the steering settings in “Comfort”. The professor didn’t give up and asked if he could try again.

He then chooses to give another test at the LA DMV due to the popularity of Teslas in Los Angeles. During the second time, the professor ensured that the Tesla’s acceleration was in “Chill Mode” and its steering settings in “Comfort” before starting the test. The Model 3’s automatic engage made the professor fail the test this time. The officer said that she could feel the brake being pressed even when the physical brake pedal was not being engaged when an explanation was asked.

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Tesla Model 3 Driving License

The professor and his wife were furious this time as the Tesla Model 3 comes as standard with regenerative braking. This tech makes it easy for the driver during driving. It also increases the range of the vehicle without the need of plugging the vehicle in. Almost all electric vehicles come standard with this feature and it is not connected to the Tesla Model 3’s autonomous features. The couple then addressed their concerns with the DMV. They were informed by the manager at the DMV of the LA office that there is no way for them to disable the Tesla Model 3’s automated features. The couple then asked the manager where she got this information from. She told them that she heard it from a customer who visited the DMV. The manager at the LA DMV later told the couple that she had an offer.

Third attempt

The offer was that the professor could retake the exam the same day if he could bring in a traditional rental car. There was still some hope left in the family and they decided to take the offer given to them by the manager. So they rented a Toyota Camry from a rental company which was an hour away. When they reached the DMV’s office to retake the driving test, the car was rejected by the DMV since it was not under the examinee’s name i.e the professor.

Even when the DMV’s office recommended the professor to rent a car they didn’t allow him to use the rented car for his test. Then why recommend a rented car in the first place if they knew that the test car should have been in the professor’s name? He was given an option to rent a car from the LA DMV office which would have cost him $140. This was $40 more than what he paid for the Toyota Camry. Unfortunately, this resulted in a failing score for the professor. This was a fail in the driving test for the third time for the family.

What happened later…

The professor’s wife later stated that her husband would not give up so easily. He would most definitely try to get the driving license by giving another attempt. The professor also told Teslarati, that by the third attempt some of the DMV staff were already irritated. This is quite surprising as Tesla accounts for 43% of Tesla’s new car registrations in California. In 2020, California accounted for 37% of all Tesla’s sold in the country. The professor was given a failed test remark in the first two tests and had to take the third test due to the Tesla.

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) protects the public from the harmful effects of air pollution. John Swanton from CARB communication informed Teslarati that their agency could work together with the DMV. This would happen if these issues are more common and could hinder the bigger goals of California’s transition to Zero-Emission vehicles. He then added that these driver-assisted technologies are becoming more common in EVs. These technologies are accepted as they enhance the safety of the automobile.

Our thoughts

When the professor brought in the Tesla Model 3 for the test. He should have been told what all settings needed to be changed by the user before giving the test. He should have not been given a failed test remark just because he drove a Tesla Model 3 which has automated features. The DMV’S office should have noticed that they have a Tesla Model 3 waiting for a test. They should have appointed an appropriate officer who has experience with a Tesla Model 3. When he gave his third attempt the officer in charge should have known. That almost all electric cars come with a brake regeneration system and it cannot be disabled.

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Soham Sawant
A Mechanical Engineer who is interested in everything related to mechanical and technology.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Regen braking feels the same as engine braking in a car with a manual transmission. If you take your foot off the gas in a gas car with a manual transmission, it does the same thing. Also, *this is not automation*.

    The amount of power steering assist is adjustable on many cars, this has nothing to do with the car being a Tesla or being electric. And “Comfort” mode is more power steering assistance from the car, not less.
    Also, *this is not automation*.

    There is just so much wrong here.

  2. My wife recently took her driving test at a DMV in SoCal with no issues at all. They didn’t mention anything about the features and was able to pass no problem.

  3. That’s because of shitty workers at DMV. They can’t afford Tesla(or any other good car) and they are jealous about it. That happened to my girlfriend(wife now) . She was licensed in Ukraine and had 1.5 constant driving experience. We came for her driving test in 2011 (she was 20 years old)at one of the Chicago’s DMV. I had 2 years old ML 350(black on black). It was very nice car. 1st attempt failed. My wife told me that examiner lady said from the beginning when she got in seats are very uncomfortable in this car. It was probably end of that examiner shift and I say her driving off in a old rusty dodge caravan. Next day we went to different DMV and she failed again. Examiner lady said my wife was sitting too close to the steering wheel thats why she failed her. She showed me how she sits in her ford pick up truck and added they had almost same height with my wife. There was 1 BIG difference my wife was very skinny but examiner lady was very fat cow. I told examiner about that(without cow). She was screaming as a pig on whole DMV – he called me fat, he called me fat. I said I am sorry but this is your sad truth and we left. Third day I decided to go to the DMV on the south side of Chicago. An African American young lady examiner jumped in and said nice car let’s go for the test and passed her without any problems. First 2 examiners were white American ladys in mid 40s with unhappy life and weight problem. They saw young immigrant couple with nice car. I like Bently but I can’t afford it. I don’t blame people around . Instead I always think what should I improve to make it happen.

    • Yes it doesn’t rent out cars, but this article stated that they didn’t allow him to give a test in a rented car, even though the previous examiner *suggested* giving the test in a rented car.

  4. This is really just a case of the CA DMV being run by idiots. Regen feels the same as engine braking. And registration? My mom’s car wasn’t registered in my name when I took my test 20+ years ago. What a bunch or morons!

    The fact that this car has any driver aids is secondary to the stupidity of the CA DMV.

  5. There’s a lot of BS here, is right.. If you can’t take a test in a car that isn’t in your name, how does nearly every high schooler take the test?

  6. IM UPSET WITH CA.D.M.V. IM 64,ON LIC.SO 2 HRS.ON BIKE,STAND IN LINE,NOICE,COMP.HANG UPS.IM TIRED OF THE RUN AROUND,PERFICT RECORD.ONE SEAT BELT TICKET IN TEN YEARS.LUNGS PROUBLEMS, BLOODS WEAK,ITS A WORK OUT THE CRAP THEY DO.

  7. IM UP AGAINST A PROBLEM AT 64 I HAVE A MED.CON.THAT THEY DONT KNOW OF.HALF A LUNG ON ONE SIDE,AND LIVE WAS CUT IN HALF.MY BLOOD IS WEAKE WITHOUT ALIC.I RIDE A BIKE WEARING ME OUT AND STANDING IN LINE.I HAVE A PERFICT HISTORY FOR TEN YEARS.ONE SEAT BELT TICKET IN TEN YEARS.THERE NOT HELPING ME BASED ON MED.CON.SET DOWN,QUITE AREA,ON RECORDED LINE,AND WRITTEN TEST.

  8. Pure tesla haters.. I hope he sue That particular DMV for discrimination.. it’s clear that the people in that DMV hates tesla or are being paid to do such thing to tesla owners.

  9. I have never taken a driver’s test in a vehicle registered in my name. Twice in Jamaica, in my father’s name. Once in Georgia, in my uncle’s name. Once in Florida, in my fiancée’s name.

    It ought not matter. When I was in Georgia, many of my friends took their DMV test in my vehicle.

    This is plain prejudice, and malice.

  10. You people are idiots if you actually believe this story.

    Red flag #1. No dmv employees is going to know about minute details about one specific car like chill mode.

    Red flag #2. CA DMV does not rent cars.

    Spreading false stories about outsider persecution against members is typical cult behavior btw.

  11. Licensed to drive since 18 and fast approaching seven decades, I was required to take a driving test when I was 25 for a government driving license, in my car. As soon as the inspector sat in my 2dr sports car (5-speed) he was ecstatic about my car. Needless to say, I passed. It’s one thing to drive an automatic, but a little more involved driving a stick to coordinate everyday driving skills with added left/right footwork negotiating clutch/gas pedals with gear shifts at various speeds.

    I’m not sure why California requires the vehicle registered in the driver’s name for the driving test. That implies no one else can use the vehicle for their test drive.

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