Last year as the Model 3 was getting more popular on the streets, there was a disturbing trend happening. It seemed like an almost daily tweet about someones Model 3’s rear quarter glass getting smashed. Thieves were smashing the small rear quarter glass so they can easily pull the seat lever down to look in the trunk for valuables. It was very quick and easy to do.
There seem to be hundreds of examples with reports from all over, but the majority were happening in the San Francisco Bay area. Images like these below:
There had been a few conversations going around how to best prevent this. Some were talking about a super strong protective film that is currently on the market which makes it difficult to break the glass. The film doesn’t prevent the glass from being broken but it does slow it down considerably. But the best option seemed to make it so no one could pull the seat down if they did break the glass. A highly visible lock and a warning sticker on the glass would inform would be thieves that the seats were locked.
Raj, aka “Tesla Raj”, a Tesla model 3 owner saw this happening right in the area he lives in. Many months of watching these reports being posted online and he decided to figure out a way to help prevent this from happening. @tesla_raj set out to create a unique and easy way to lock the rear seat. It started with an idea by Raj who said he had to do something when the final straw for him was seeing so many breakins around Christmas 2018. He took the design idea to his friend and neighbor, Perry, who is also a Model 3 owner. Together they went through a lot of prototypes to get it right; they had to print it on their 3d printer, install it, make adjustments, reprint etc.. They went through about 60 prototypes before they were able to get it right. According to Raj, Perry was “instrumental in the creation of the product as he knew how to plot and 3D print my idea.”
Now with the droplock, thieves are less likely to break the window, but if they do, they will not be unlocking the rear seat.
Below is an interview with @tesla_raj
[TS] Do you remember when you first heard about Tesla?
[Raj] When The Model S was released. It had a huge monitor in the dash and was filled with tech…being a tech guy it was a dream to own!
[TS] Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?
[Raj] When I first drove a Model S 60kW from get around. It was my first time driving a Tesla and felt instant torque. I was enamored. But only got to drive it for 15 minutes
[TS] What were your thoughts then?
[Raj] It was something out of the future! Never had I ever seen a screen that big with maps and internet. Then the speed of the car was icing on the cake.
[TS] How long did you have to wait before you could get a Tesla?
[Raj] I waited exactly 2 years
[TS] What model of Tesla(s) do you have?
[Raj] Tesla Model 3 LR RWD (Long Range Rear Wheel Drive)
[TS] How long did you have your car before you knew you wanted to create this seat lock?
[Raj] 8 Months of watching picture after picture of broken windows.
[TS] Why did you create it?
[Raj] I created it to help my fellow Model 3 drivers not feel scared to drive their cars around. After spending so much on a car it sucks to be scared to take it places. Thus the concept was born
[TS] What was the biggest challenge you had going from concept to reality?
[Raj] The biggest challenge was learning how to create, pack and ship products.
[TS] How long have you been doing this?
[Raj] We started selling Jan 13th and started shipping since Feb 1st 2019.
[TS] What kind of reaction have you had from the Tesla community?
[Raj] People have been very appreciative of the product and the response and orders has been insane and made it a challenge to keep up with. However as of today we are officially out of backorders and are shipping within 2 days.
[TS] Any specific stories or experiences you would like to share about what you are doing or about any individual experiences with your product?
[Raj] We actually went to random shopping centers to talk about DROPLOCK with Model 3 owners to get their initial thoughts on it before we started production.
[TS] How has doing this changed you, either this product or just being a part of the Tesla community, how do you see this whole experience has changed you?
[Raj] This experience has given me a whole new respect to small business owners and the work and the hustle they do to get the products to customers. As a customer you only see one end and have no idea how these products are put together in someones house.
[TS] If you could meet with Elon Musk for lunch, what would you want to talk about?
[Raj] How can Tesla expand past the consumer market more than just SEMI. Whats next for the business/enterprise market.
[TS] What about you, what inspires you?
[Raj] Visionary’s. People who create ways to enhance our lives in different ways than the norm. People like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, etc.
[TS] Do you have any advice for any other budding entrepreneurs wanting to do their own thing?
[Raj] don’t give up, focus on the product and make the best product and deliver the best customer experience. Create a product that solves a problem.
[TS] Is there anything else you would like to share so people know a bit about the human behind the DROPLOCK?
[Raj] There are 2 humans behind DROPLOCK. Tesla Raj and Tesla DIY. It is built, created, packed at our homes. We both have 9-5 jobs but DROPLOCK is our 6pm-2am job. Many nights were spent packing and shipping; like the 6-midnight hour watching TV packing locks, wifey helping with the assembly line, and having my daughter find the stash and pull out all the envelopes.
I think the key is here is small biz. Made at home by a regular person with a job and a family
Solving a problem. And I’m happy a lot of people bought it. More than I imagined, Perry has had 2 printers running 24/7 since we began
[TS] What is the best way for people to find you and about The DROPLOCK?
Description of the droplock they designed and created are in the video below
Tesla Social is mostly about the social aspects of the Tesla community. There are many stories that bring the community together and have fun. Do you have a story to share? email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any potential new Tesla owners can get free supercharging by using the following link and referral code wade34296
Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Wade Anderson is a Model 3 performance owner, he runs the Tesla Social website and YouTube channel.