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Car spontaneously switching to Park from Reverse, Neutral, and Drive

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Rockster, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    #1 Rockster, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
    Over the past week our Model S has been exhibiting an intermittent behavior when my wife has been driving. Here are the steps:


    1. Unlock and enter the car.
    2. Foot on brake.
    3. Switch from Park to Reverse.
    4. Remove foot from brake.
    5. The moment her foot leaves the brake, the car switches back to Park.

    She's assured me that her body isn't leaving the seat. She's even repeated this behavior while being certain that she's not turning even in the slightest in her seat.

    Just a short while ago, she was able to reproduce this by starting the process in Neutral and then again in Drive: as soon as she took her foot off the brake, the car jumped to Park. Note that she tested the Neutral and Drive behavior immediately after the "Reverse to Park" failure mode had occurred. After reproducing the behavior a number of times (from all three gears), she exited the car, locked it, waited a minute or so, then entered the car again and it worked fine. While some people have induced this behavior while raising slightly from the seat, it seems unlikely that she was doing that during all of the time she was sitting in the garage experimenting with this behavior this afternoon.

    All of this happens while first getting in the car after it's been parked for a while. It's never happened at a red light and never during stop and go traffic.

    Thus far, this hasn't happened to me at all and we've driven it about the same amount during the past week.

    Are we looking at a faulty seat sensor? But why with her and not me? (Granted, she's smaller than me and lighter by about 50 pounds. Perhaps that's a factor. I'm porky enough to ensure that the wonky switch is fully engaged and she's not?) If it's not a sensor, is this a 6.2 bug?

    Any ideas?

    Obviously I'm going to contact the SC, but I wanted to post here first to see if anyone else has experienced this and what their resolution was.
     
  2. Puff

    Puff Member

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    Had this happen to me after a launch and quick stop. Thought I broke something. It did it about 3x then I switched from creep off to creep on and it went back to normal operation.

    Ive vey also learned that I can't lift my butt of the seat or else it will go back into park. Pulled out of a parking spot and went to grab my wallet from back pocket.
     
  3. krisg81

    krisg81 Member

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    Likely seat sensor issue, service center will take care of it.
     
  4. Mercury

    Mercury Member

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    Just to be sure, is the driver's seat belt engaged? I noticed my car does some absolutely annoying shifting at super low speed with the seat belt off. For instance, if I just want to back it from the garage to the street, it gets all jerky and pops back into P when I get on the brake at creep speed.

    Of course, it could be my car simply has the same defect - or it's designed that way.
     
  5. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    Mine will switch back to Park if you are in drive with the door open.
     
  6. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Are any doors open? As I recall if you try to reverse with doors open, it puts on the brakes.
     
  7. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Is she wearing her seatbelt?
     
  8. MarcG

    MarcG Active Member

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    +1 (also happens in reverse)
     
  9. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    Strange. I can drive with the driver's door open. I get the warning message that the door is open, proceed with caution. (And the door is open about a foot, not closed incorrectly.) I normally only drive at slow speed like this, usually going up my driveway. I'll see if it kicks into Park if I go a bit faster.
     
  10. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I, too, can drive forward or reverse with the driver's door open. I normally do this if I'm slightly adjusting the car's position in a parking space.

    An update on the original issue of spontaneously switching back to Park from other gears. It's still never happened to me and in controlled experiments (with her seat belt on and with it off) she hasn't been able to duplicate the behavior. We're going to ask the SC to take a look at it, though, just to be sure.
     
  11. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    The ability to drive or reverse while driver's door is ajar (not closed firmly) might be related to software version, and whether or not you have the autopilot sensor gear.

    My car jerks to a stop and I think puts it back in Park, with door ajar. I'm on 6.2 153 (I think?) and have none of the autopilot gear.
     
  12. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    I've been able to drive with the door open on all firmware versions so far. I'm on 6.2.136 .
    I tested it yesterday. Driving forward, I went up to 10 km/hr with the drivers door open. I also reversed this morning with the door open.
    Thinking about it now : It might depend if you have the car in drive at a stop, then open the door and start moving, versus opening the door while moving. Will test it further today.
     
  13. Moonwick

    Moonwick Member

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    I've noticed similar, seemingly intermittent, behavior that's correlated with having the door open. It doesn't do it every time I try to drive/reverse with the door open, but the spontaneous shifting back into park seems to happen when I've got the door open (and only then, as far as I've seen so far).
     
  14. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    In my car, it all depends on three things:

    1. Seatbelt on or off
    2. Door open or closed
    3. Weight on seat.


    I find without the seatbelt on, the car is very touchy about driving with the door open and the slightest thing sends it back to park.

    Peter
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Same here, but I think I have had my seatbelt on.

    Had one scary experience. I was going through one of those car washes that pulls you through by the wheels. For some reason, I felt the need to get my cell phone out of my pocket and when I unbuckled and raised my butt to access my pants pocket, the car went into Park! The car wash roller kept going and gave the car a fairly violent jerk and bang as it pushed it's way under the tire. I got it back in to Neutral before the next roller came along and after a very thorough examination, don't seem to have suffered any damage.

    I kind of wish these "nanny features" weren't quite so aggressive. If I have the car in Neutral, it's for a reason and should stay there until I say otherwise.
     
  16. K5ING

    K5ING MegaMiler

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    I can see a short time delay on the seat sensor as being the answer to this. Maybe 5 seconds after it senses a "butt lift" before it engages park.
     
  17. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Ding..ding...ding.
     
  18. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    is your wife really petite? the car automatically shifts to park when going slow (parking) if it can't detect someone in the drivers seat. even happens to me if I twist and lift my butt up off the seat a certain way when parking.
     
  19. mrjedistud

    mrjedistud Member

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    Thanks for the post. This literally happened a number of times yesterday and today. I was parking in a very tight commercial garage that has numerous pillars to navigate. I usually shift around to make sure all angles are covered since the backup camera can't catch everything. All of a sudden shifts to park and dead stop. Another example of the California bias on the part off tesla. I guess they've never had to park in a NYC parking garage.
     
  20. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Known issue. If you drive without a seatbelt, and lift your weight off the seat, it will switch to park if you are below a certain speed. This is in case you decided to get out of the car and forgot to put it in park first.

    There is an extremely simple fix. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT WHEN OPERATING ANY MOTOR VEHICLE!!!!! This has an added side benefit of increasing your chances of surviving a collision by 47 times... (if you care about your own life that is...) (Ohio study of 300,000 collisions in 2009)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tesla has many California biases, Seatbelt use is not one of them. Just use it.
     

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