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Does Door Unlock Mode/Driver Only always work?

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,295
1,978
DEDHAM, MA
I noticed something about my Model S’s door locks a few days ago, that might be a defect, or might be a software glitch.

Tesla told me to bring it in but before I do, I’d like to see if there is really something wrong with my car, or if other people have the same experience.

I decided to try the setting to have only the driver's door unlock, instead of all doors unlocking. I thought it might save wear and tear on the door locks.

Here is what the Owner's Manual says (text is from the latest version of the manual in the car. I have software version 17.11.10)

"You can choose whether you want all doors, or just the driver's door, to unlock when you approach your vehicle carrying your key. To do so, touch Controls > Settings > Vehicle > Door Unlock Mode and choose Driver or All."

I tested the Door Unlock setting twice. First I tested it with Auto Present door handles set to OFF.

I set it to Door Unlock/Driver (only) and tested it by walking away until the door handles retracted and the lights flashed. When I walked back to the front passenger door and touched the handle, I expected it to stay locked. But all the door handles extended and I was able to open the door. I re-locked the car with the key fob and tried again, same result. Note: this worked only with the front passenger door, not the rear doors.

So -- Is this the correct behavior? Or am I misunderstanding what it means to have only the Driver's door unlock? This seems to be inconsistent with the Owner’s Manual and not consistent with what an owner would expect. What happens on your car?

I also tried this test with the option set to have Auto Present handles ON. It that case, the Door Unlock behavior is as expected -- only the driver's handle extends. And, pressing on the other door handles does NOT open them, so they are truly still locked. I did not have a second person with me to test if the other doors could be opened with a press of the handle once I was inside, but I suspect not. The lock indicator on the center display showed "Unlocked" but none of the other door handles were extended. Double-clicking the Lock symbol or clicking on the Park button extended the door handles (and presumably unlocked the other doors) as expected.

My conclusion is that the Driver's-door-only setting applies ONLY if you also select to turn On the Auto Present handles. This is not clear from the Owner’s Manual. So is it a glitch in my car or is it a more universal glitch?

I sent a note to Tesla Service Help NA, and they responded that the passenger door locks should not work when the setting is for “Driver only” in the door Unlock mode, regardless of the Auto Present Handle setting. They suggested I reboot the main screen and power the car and then restart it. I did so, with no change in behavior.

So does your Model S behave like this? If you set it to Driver Only, with the Auto Present handles ON, what happens? Does touching the passenger door handle unlock the car?

If anyone can tell me about their own car, it would be helpful.

PS: I posted this a few days ago in another thread about door lock behavior and got no responses, so I thought a separate thread might be useful.
 

f-stop

Active Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,489
1,456
Vancouver BC, Canada
just did a quick test on this for you...
I normally have Door Unlock Mode = Driver, and Auto-Present Handles = On

With these settings, if the car is locked and I approach the car from the rear or passenger side:
- if I touch either rear door handles - nothing, the car stays locked
- if I touch the front passenger handle, ALL the door handles pop out (I hadn't noticed this before and was at first surprised by this, but I guess it makes sense, the car is unlocked by my proximity and then touching the handle tells the car passenger(s) want to get in)
If I sneak up slowly to the driver's door from the rear of the car, the driver's door handle doesn't pop out until I touch it.
Of course, if I approach the driver's door normally, only the driver's door handle pops out as I approach, as expected.

If I instead set Auto-Present Handles = Off
- same behaviour as above for all doors, with the exception that if I approach the driver's door normally, it doesn't auto-present, but only pops out when I touch it.

[ ... ]
So does your Model S behave like this? If you set it to Driver Only, with the Auto Present handles ON, what happens? Does touching the passenger door handle unlock the car?

so in my case, yes, touching the passenger door handle unlocks the car and presents all handles, regardless of the Auto-Present setting
 
  • Informative
Reactions: David29

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,295
1,978
DEDHAM, MA
just did a quick test on this for you...
I normally have Door Unlock Mode = Driver, and Auto-Present Handles = On

With these settings, if the car is locked and I approach the car from the rear or passenger side:
- if I touch either rear door handles - nothing, the car stays locked
- if I touch the front passenger handle, ALL the door handles pop out (I hadn't noticed this before and was at first surprised by this, but I guess it makes sense, the car is unlocked by my proximity and then touching the handle tells the car passenger(s) want to get in)
If I sneak up slowly to the driver's door from the rear of the car, the driver's door handle doesn't pop out until I touch it.
Of course, if I approach the driver's door normally, only the driver's door handle pops out as I approach, as expected.

If I instead set Auto-Present Handles = Off
- same behaviour as above for all doors, with the exception that if I approach the driver's door normally, it doesn't auto-present, but only pops out when I touch it.



so in my case, yes, touching the passenger door handle unlocks the car and presents all handles, regardless of the Auto-Present setting

Thank you! Sounds as if the behavior is not unique to my car.
 

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