It’s no surprise this futuristic vehicle incorporates complex technology right down to its door handles. With a flush design,
Tesladoor handles reduce aerodynamic drag and detect movement with automated sensors.
eco-friendlyvehicle, this interactive entry to your car may seem luxurious, but it doesn’t come without controversy. Tesla is known for an ongoing battle with its door handles, but can they really be blamed for auto-related deaths?
There are different ways to get inside a Tesla
Did you know there are multiple types of Tesla door handles? Let’s take a look at how some recent models function.
Though at first, you can’t see the handle, the
Model Smid-size sedan senses when its driver approaches the vehicle. A light touch on the door handle pops it out, and if no one enters the car, the handles automatically retract. To push the handles back out, simply press on them and wait for them to be elegantly presented once again.
The Model X also has a flush finish, but when the handles are pushed, the door springs open on its own. And when you press on the rear door handle, the Model X wing doors rise up like when dropping off a celebrity at a red carpet premiere. It’s currently the only Tesla that has automatic opening and closing doors featured on its premium package.
Are the sleek handles functional or are they just a gimmick?
It's hard to ignore the attention to detail on these vehicles, but are these complicated mechanisms reliable?
The engineering of these sophisticated doors puts them at high risk of failure, and even Tesla owners don’t want to shell out large amounts of cash for a replacement. Even back in 2015,
Consumer Reportsnoted that broken door handles were the most common problem for the Model S.
It’s also important to remember that these vehicles rely on a 400V main battery as their life source. If not charged in time, a secondary 12V kicks in temporarily. But if the 12V dies, good luck getting those Tesla doors to open.
Why are people calling Tesla door handles controversial?
The “key” to Tesla’s innovative door technology is the car’s ability to sense the presence of the key fob before entry. If the car can’t detect the fob or the Tesla app on your phone, it may prove to be problematic in emergencies.
After he slammed into a palm tree, a police officer was unable to open the doors to help, because the handles were retracted. A wrongful death lawsuit claimed that due to the “inaccessible door handles,” there was no other way to rescue Awan from the burning flames inside the vehicle.
However, we don’t know if the motorist tried to unlatch the manual release from the driver’s seat, or what other factors were at play. As far as escaping a Tesla, models with tempered glass windows will shatter with force. And doors with laminated glass will crack, which allows the glass to be kicked out or pulled in.