UPDATED: Our Lucid Air Locked Me Out, How and Why

UPDATE: Right after the publication of the underneath post, we’ve experienced a sequence of conversations with representatives from Lucid that presented more clarity as to why I was still left locked out of our Air Grand Touring. This integrated a conversation with Michael Bell, Lucid’s SVP, Electronic, who is responsible for the technologies. The objective of this update is to provide more tips for Lucid owners/drivers.

Lucid recommends three solutions of entry — and that more than 1 approach really should be on your person at all occasions — to unlock the car or truck: the crucial fob (employing Bluetooth and radio frequencies), the valet crucial (utilizing in the vicinity of-subject communication or NFC, equivalent to Apple Shell out on an Apple iphone), and the cellular essential (also via Bluetooth).

The cellular essential IS various from the Lucid cell application. The latter depends on an active cellphone network to talk with the auto and is hence not proposed by Lucid as a responsible implies of opening the doors. The mobile key (also referred to as “mobile cellular phone as important”), by contrast, is established up employing the lessen display screen within the auto together with the application. It calls for a separate Bluetooth link than the 1 employed for phone calls/audio. It also involves additional app permissions, this sort of as the capability to accessibility your locale at all periods.

I was carrying the crucial fob (1 of the 3 advised methods) and making an attempt to use the Lucid cellular application to unlock the vehicle. The critical fob, even with a lifeless battery or the battery removed, must even now let you to open up the vehicle’s doors, and that system malfunctioned in this scenario.

Lucid claims our battery was very likely from a defective batch from a supplier, which clarifies why it failed following significantly less than six months. The automaker states it rectified the issue for new automobiles and assures us that a battery ought to now last a year.

For house owners, we would endorse carrying the valet essential and anybody driving the auto regularly must also have out the mobile essential technique. It will take about two minutes and, yet again, calls for the PIN code for the automobile. The cellular essential is intended to operate as the key fob does when the battery is functional: On technique the car doorways unlock, and immediately after you park and wander absent, the doorways will lock quickly and a PIN is not demanded to generate.

Concerns about the incident do continue being. Lucid is not able to determine why — after some interval — the car or truck managed to wake up and regain a connection to the cloud community even though it had not moved. It’s also disappointing that equally the vital and the key’s redundancy method unsuccessful in this scenario immediately after just a number of months of possession. In our expertise, EV entrepreneurs do not commonly have several techniques of accessing their automobile.

Our guidance to not only Lucid Air house owners, but these with Teslas, Rivians or other autos that make it possible for you to accessibility the car by means of an app, is to carry some alternative approach of unlocking the auto on you any time feasible.

We have a great deal of autos in our very long-expression fleet that would make for high-quality road journey companions, from the Chevrolet Tahoe with its means to swallow up people today and cargo with simplicity to the BMW X3 with its cozy trip and intuitive technological know-how. But for a extensive trip more than the Thanksgiving weekend to the San Francisco Bay Location from our workplaces in Los Angeles, I experienced my sights established on a thing a little bit far more out-of-the-box: our new very long-expression Lucid Air.

The trip would pay for us a possibility to examination the car’s extended-vary overall performance and give me worthwhile seat time guiding the wheel of just one of the most popular and most uncommon EVs on the industry. The fact that it required a lot of miles put on it so we can keep on to see how the Air’s large battery holds up about our time was just icing on the cake.

So, I “volunteered” to consider the Lucid Air on a extensive holiday getaway tour and commenced my 7 days with the automobile with wonderful anticipation, psyched to commit a great deal of time at the rear of the wheel of a massive, deluxe sedan. It turns out the Air is a delightful cruiser with its copious electric power and sleek journey, as properly as flippantly massaging seats, for the 6-hour drive in either direction.

But what I was not geared up for were the many velocity bumps I would strike together the way, including overbearing driver aids, difficulties with closing the doors, and satellite radio that stopped operating about 15 minutes immediately after it was installed through an above-the-air software program update. But the largest hurdle turned out to be additional like a brick wall: finding locked out of the motor vehicle for about a few hrs.

Locked out with someplace to go

On the Saturday night immediately after Thanksgiving — the evening right before I was thanks to travel the Air back again to our places of work — I went to visit a college or university buddy for evening meal and parked the sedan throughout the road from his townhome in Oakland. Immediately after plenty of pizza and frivolity, I went to go away at 9:10 p.m. I did not leave at 9:10 p.m.

I was carrying on my particular person two of the 3 approaches that can unlock the car: the Air’s critical fob and my smartphone. The important fob had been flaky all 7 days (we’d later uncover that it experienced run out of batteries following only a number of months of possession), so I had been typically dependent on working with the cell app. When I opened the app as I acquired to the auto, I observed a concept that study, “Very last up-to-date: 2 hours ago.” Usually, this concept disappears and the car wakes up. But not this time. I tried out hitting the unlock button on the application and my telephone would try to link to the automobile, but it only confirmed a spinning ball up coming to a information that claimed “May perhaps choose up to 30 seconds.”

Even though waiting around for numerous minutes for the auto to wake up, I furiously tried out the key fob to no avail. It was time to get in touch with the Lucid consumer treatment line.

2022 Lucid Air front

On the telephone with Lucid

Certainly, Lucid operates a company line that you can connect with if you’re an owner and enduring issues with your car. Just one of the benefits of buying from a person of these emerging automakers is that it’s essentially very uncomplicated to get someone on the cellular phone if you are possessing issues. I had known as this amount the moment earlier in the course of the 7 days when the entrance driver’s door wouldn’t shut (you go through that proper), so I punched it up in my latest phone calls and linked with a agent at 9:21 p.m. I described the problem and she began troubleshooting by sending commands to the auto for it to unlock remotely, but it rapidly grew to become distinct that the auto had disconnected from the cellular community that powers the cellular app and the command center’s connection to the Air as perfectly.

She then requested me if I experienced the crucial fob and walked me via a few actions to unlock the car or truck utilizing that. I go via a technique which is meant to function even if the vital fob is without the need of battery electric power. This includes pushing in the doorway tackle on the driver’s doorway then keeping the fob up to the B-pillar underneath the camera, but nevertheless no luck. At this position, the operator asks if she can speak to an additional employee about possible possibilities to unlock the automobile and states she’ll connect with me back again. About 30 minutes later on, I get a return call confirming that there is just not nearly anything else that can be performed remotely to unlock the car or truck. The motor vehicle is locked and I am caught, and this is when the interesting discussions started.

“We are prepared to rent you a automobile”

Having fatigued the offered unlocking applications, the Lucid agent and I start out discussing choices. In the rapid upcoming, the agent says the auto may will need to be towed to Lucid’s support heart in Millbrae, California, but it won’t open right until Monday early morning and provided to cover the cost of a ride-booking company to get me home (about 30 minutes absent). I requested what the auto would be doing until eventually then and she gave me the selection of waiting for the tow business to get there that night to give them the vital fob, then they would hold onto the car or truck as a result of Sunday and get it to Millbrae on Monday morning. Or — because it truly is unclear how extensive it would choose for the tow to arrive at 10 p.m. on the Saturday following Thanksgiving — I was told I could depart the crucial fob in the wheelwell. That seemed like a very good way to get fired, so I rapidly dismissed that thought.

I had mentioned earlier on the connect with that this was a organization vehicle and I was owing in Los Angeles on Monday for function and to return the car or truck, and Lucid’s counter was intriguing, to say the the very least: They’d pay out for a rental motor vehicle so I could travel back again to Los Angeles, and then ship the Lucid from the automaker’s service centre down to our places of work in LA soon after presumably it was fixed.

It failed to look like leasing a auto promptly was an solution provided the time (by now approaching 10:45 p.m.), so we agreed that I would just take a journey property that night and assess in the morning. If the auto still desired to be towed, there was no hurt in executing it then. The agent recommended me to hold checking the application mainly because there was a possibility the vehicle could reconnect on its have — a circumstance the agent experienced knowledgeable with another owner’s Air. She also indicated that she would continue to examine on the car or truck as lengthy as she was on her shift.

So I called a Lyft and took a experience property, arriving at 11:22 p.m.

It really is ALIVE

I received household and plopped down on the couch, although frantically producing down notes to doc the night so much. When that was concluded, I opened the Lucid app at 11:45 p.m. to check on the automobile. There was a new information at the top rated of the display: “Past updated: 14 minutes back.” Praying to the automobile gods that this solved the issue, I termed my mate and requested him to consider a peek at the motor vehicle out of his window whilst I sent commands as a result of the application to unlock the motor vehicle and flash the headlights. “It is lit up like a Christmas tree,” he instructed me. The Air was again on the web.

I woke up my father to travel back again with me to the car, although periodically checking the application to make guaranteed it was even now linked. On the way, I received a connect with back again from the Lucid agent who excitedly informed me, “Mr. Wong, I noticed that your car or truck is responding now!” I enable her know that I observed as well, and that I was on the way to go get it. We picked up the motor vehicle and I drove it home, in which I deemed not locking it that evening for evident factors.

2022 Lucid Air charging

So, what occurred?

Obtaining locked out of your almost $160,000 vehicle is a maddening practical experience, even if you take into account it to be element of the developing pains that come along with acquiring a new automaker’s initial vehicle. It was essential for us to get to the bottom of how and why this could have happened and to much better recognize the redundancies that Lucid has in place for circumstances like this.

After achieving out to Lucid, I learned that the spot in which I parked the vehicle (which was about fifty percent a mile from the freeway in Oakland) happened to be a small dead zone for AT&T, the provider that the Air employs to electrical power its cloud relationship. My friend’s residence is part of a housing growth that was once a rock quarry, so it has large mountain partitions close to it that can block cell indicators. Immediately after hearing about my ordeal, Lucid drove an additional Air all over the space I bought trapped in and noticed an intermittent cellular link in the spot (although evidently if I might been parked a person block nearer to the freeway the relationship would have been really solid). I use a various provider for my private cellphone, which points out why I was in a position to dial out to Lucid in the 1st spot.

As for why the vehicle would spontaneously connect yet again at a later on time … there is just not definitely an explanation for that. At some point the pings took place to get via and the auto woke up. It’s a mystery as to when and why that happened.

We also acquired that the essential fob I was carrying should really have worked even with a lifeless battery. There is an unlocking process that the contact middle walked me by that should really do the job even without the need of a battery in the fob, but it was not doing work that evening and we had been unable to get the approach to operate constantly in our subsequent checks at our place of work. A single of our other editors got it to function, but I was unable to do so on various instances, with the automobile the two entirely asleep and woken up currently (and irrespective of getting video clip showing how to do it from Lucid). On the cellphone, I was told that it wasn’t doing the job simply because the method requires the car or truck to be related to the cloud but Lucid afterwards confident me that this is not the case.

The closing method of receiving into the automobile would have been by using one particular of the valet keys, which can be applied to unlock the vehicle, right after which you enter a PIN to travel the motor vehicle. If I close up getting our Lucid again for a week, I will unquestionably be carrying one of the valet keys in my wallet as nicely.

It would seem that my acquiring locked out required a number of different systems to are unsuccessful, but none of these failures have to have any stretching of the creativeness. Let’s say you took your Air out on a tenting vacation or a cabin in the mountains where by it doesn’t have reception, or your cell phone died and you could not accessibility the automobile that way. Those people are normal use situations that folks have with their motor vehicles and the Air would seem unwell-equipped in these situations, especially considering the fact that the important fob entry strategy was not responsible.

What we suggest

With the crucial fob approach functioning inconsistently, I will not sign out the Lucid without having one of the valet key playing cards in my wallet. That way if I occur to park the automobile in an underground garage or a further spot without having reception, or if my telephone runs out of battery, I will have some recourse. In our screening, the valet critical playing cards were being the best option when we ended up not able to rouse or unlock the motor vehicle by means of other implies.

Lucid is just not the only automaker to have problems with the locking/unlocking of an EV. Just last year, Tesla had an application outage that prevented some proprietors from unlocking or driving their motor vehicles for a number of hrs. For proprietors of Tesla, Lucid and other cars that use apps like our lengthy-term Rivian R1T, it really is in all probability a very good strategy to have some form of redundancy (or even various types) at all times and to attempt them out to make absolutely sure you know how they run.

Discoveries like these are the motives why we shell out our very own funds to invest in these new and relatively high priced EVs as they appear to current market. Numerous of the expanding pains is not going to display up in a quick-expression personal loan. Dwelling with the car day-to-working day is the only way to get a deeper feeling of the possession knowledge. My knowledge was a minimal way too deep for my liking, but we learned anything else about our Lucid Air — and at the very least I obtained to turn it in the next 7 days for a little something a bit far more low-tech.

[Editor’s note: Lucid reached out to us after the original publication of this article and asked that we highlight one more method of entry to the Air — the mobile phone key. We note that this is different than the mobile app method described in the article above, as it functions via a Bluetooth connection that does not require a cellular signal. The mobile key is still set up through the Lucid mobile app and does not require a PIN code when used to access or drive the vehicle. Setting up your phone as a mobile key does require you to enable location services for the app at all times, and creates a separate Bluetooth connection to the one used to operate the phone/media functions. We would strongly recommend that all owners activate this feature on their mobile devices, as it is one of three recommended methods for unlocking the Air (valet key, key fob and mobile key).]

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