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Door crushed on my 3yo daughter's hand, door handle failure to release lock, STUCK

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by yobigd20, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    #1 yobigd20, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    Door crushed on my 3yo daughter's hand, door handle failure to release lock, ...

    My 3yo daughter had her hand crushed by the passenger door today. Note that I am not talking about retracting handles, I am talking about the door itself.

    I took a photo using a stuffed animal to replicate the incident.

    image2.JPG

    Basically here is what happened. My daughter was standing by the front passenger door and opened it. Not to go in or anything. She was just outside with me as I was getting some items from the car. I was behind her and had opened the rear door to get some papers in the back. My daughter closed the front door and was just standing there as I reached into the back to get the papers. I did not take notice of my daughter as I closed the rear door. I walk past her again thinking nothing when she starts to cry. I turn around and immediately notice something wrong and see her hand caught. As I reach towards the handle of the front door I take notice that see she didn't close the front door all the way. You know, it was only slightly shut, but enough for the electromechanical lock to catch. The first thought that pops into my head was ok she just slipped her hand in there after the doors were closed but she didnt fully close the front and it just got stuck. No big deal I think. Shes just being dramatic. If she can slip it in she can slip it out. I grabbed the still extended front passenger door handle with my right hand and give it a tug.

    NOTHING.

    Pulled harder.

    NOTHING.

    Then I see the pain on her face and she starting to really cry in pain I knew it was worse. I then looked at her stuck hand and trying to see if I could slip it out. Her hand was crushed inside there right down the center of the palm.

    Did I get it wrong? Did she slam the front door on her own hand and I didn't notice?? I pulled much harder on the door handle. SH*T THE GOD DAMN DOOR IS STUCK. Classic MS door handle problem.

    I immediately dropped everything I was carrying and put both hands on the door handle and put all my weight into pulling on it. DAMMIT NOTHING. Not a budge, nada, there is no forcing this door open. At this point my daughter is screaming bloody murder in pain . The next thought that popped into my head was that I am going to have to fully close this door to get this electromechanical lock to fully engage so I can unlock it. But this is going to further crush her hand and probably break her hand and fingers if they weren't already.

    I can't do this. No way I was going to do that.

    Then I realize I am carrying a crowbar in the trunk. I don't give a crap if this car cost me $100k, my daughter's hand is crushed and possibly broken, I'll take the god damn jaws of life to it if I have to to get my daughters hand out of there.

    As I race past her towards the trunk that's when It suddenly clicked: holy crap, she didn't get her hand stuck, she didnt slam the door on her own hand. she had already closed the door and was holding the jamb with her left hand as I closed the REAR DOOR (with force) and CRUSHED her hand on there when the front tip of the rear passenger door pivoted back outwards crushing it against the front door. OMG I can't believe I did this.

    I race to the rear door handle and yank it. Door opens and my daughter's hand is released. I glance at her hand and there is a huge indentation/crease across both sides of her hand and then her hand and fingers start turning blue. We race her inside and immediately sandwich two bags of frozen vegetables on her hand and then start monitoring her reactions and responses for a few seconds to gauge the damage and pain that she is in. She is all shaken up and crying hysterically as I quickly gather my thoughts on how to get to the nearest hospital. Part of these racing thoughts are that I just moved into this house a month ago in new town in a new state and I have no idea where a hospital even is.

    Besides all those thoughts racing a few moments pass and she starts calming down. As we keep peeking at her hand its all swollen up but I observe her opening and closing her hand to fist and opening so my senses were telling me her fingers are not broken and her hand is not broken. After about 10 minutes of icing the color was returning to normal and the swelling really went down and she seemed fine actually. the pain went away and she was back to herself. but OMG that was definitely an immediately onslaught of tragic incident thinking that I just crushed and broke my daughters hand and her fingers. The total amount of time between when I closed the rear door and when I opened it up again was only about 20-30 seconds but when you're daughter is screaming in pain that 30 seconds feel's like an eternity. It was totally an accident. She's in bed now and i'll check on her in a bit and in the morning again to see if her fingers and hand are ok. Maybe they'll be black and blue but she doesn't seem to have any pain right now when opening or closing her first or when you touch her hand or fingers in any way so nothing seems broken and I think all is good.

    But this really points out a major flaw in the design of the door handles: there is no mechanical external release. Most of us on here are familiar with the classic door handle stuck issue. These door handles have had there fair share of multiple problems but never did I imagine I'd have an emergency type situation like this where I needed it to release and it wouldn't. It is also worth noting I have the original 1st general handles. But AFAIK all generations are still fully electromagnetic and have no mechanical release from the outside. It did not occur to be to go around the car through the drivers side to pull on the passenger door handle from the inside. Again it was really only 20-30 seconds that passed with her hand crushed in there. Also partially the reason this was not worse than it could have been was because that front door was not fully closed. If it was fully closed I don't see how her hand or fingers would have escaped being broken. But therein also lies the other problem - its very easy to get the door to stick like this when it is not fully shut. opening and partially closing the doors a bunch of times can easily replicate this.

    I do know that from the inside there is both a mechanical release as well as an electromagnetic release because when I had the aluminum corrosion issue on the side mirrors the service center forgot to plug back in the wiring harness for the door handle and mine was actually falling into the mechanical release mechanism from the inside for months until my next service visit where they told me they screwed up and forget to connect it back in. That tells me that there is both a mechanical release and and eletromagnetic one but the flaw here is that from the outside its only the electromagnetic one that triggers. when that fails, there's no opening up the door. you're screwed as you were in my case.

    I don't know what to expect posting this on here. I just wanted a PSA really to make others aware if this ever happens to you (technically this generally would apply to any car, except that in this case it was the failure of Tesla's door handles that caused her hand to be crushed for much longer than they needed to be), but at least now you also know that you should also be able to open the door from the inside if you need to for any reason.
     
  2. jlucero

    jlucero Member

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    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO sorry to hear that. poor girl. ive gotten my hands stuck in the handle and it hurt like hell. hope your daughter is ok.
     
  3. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear of this, but glad to hear that it sounds like your daughter is going to be OK.


    The nearest really good hospital for your daughter (assuming you're in or near Skaneateles) would be SUNY Upstate, in downtown Syracuse. (SUNY Upstate Medical University) It's the only hospital in the area with pediatric surgeons and a pediatric trauma center. If you were to go anywhere else, for anything major they'd wind up transferring her there anyway. I'm guessing driving reasonably fast, from the center of Skaneateles it's probably about a 20-25 minute drive. (Just checked. Mapquest says 23 miles, 27 minutes.)
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    thanks yea I assumed syracuse, in fact I've driven into syracuse a few times before and I know I saw hospitals - but really there seems to be many pieces of it and medical schools and stuff too and basically I have no idea which building and where the ER is. so new up here I've yet to even register things like this to my brain yet
     
  5. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I just want echo everyone's thoughts that we are happy to hear that it seems your daughter escaped having her hand broken. I also want to commend you on remaining as calm as you did even in the panic you experienced.

    As a side note, if she does end up have a black and blue hand, consider putting a bandage or wrap around her teddy bear's hand so she has a healing companion. Sometimes it's the little things that make them feel more at ease.
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common for many cars, and Tesla isn't the only manufacturer that uses electric door latches. At least Tesla has the failsafe pulls inside the car, there are several that don't have failsafe latches at all. I'm glad you had the presence of mind to walk through it - it must've been tough through the crying and screaming.
     
  7. Muzzman1

    Muzzman1 Member

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    Wow....that must have been crazy scary for you! I have a 2 yr old and a newborn so I can totally relate. This would probably be a great time to popularize the fact that the mechanical release for the front door is using the inside handle. So God forbid this happens to anyone, know the way to release it is from inside. Personally I am aware of this info as before I took delivery of my car I read the manual front to back.
    Again, I'm so stoked your baby is ok. Just reading your post had my heart racing!
     
  8. bwa

    bwa Member

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    #8 bwa, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
    I trust Google less and less now, but after 3 failed attempts on Siri, I tried Google, then clicked a few times and have:

    Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital | SUNY Upstate Medical University

    On that website it shows the following address:

    One Children's Circle
    Syracuse, NY 13210

    Phone: 315 464-KIDS
    Toll Free: 866 543-KIDS

    The first address worked in both maps.google.com and Mac OS X Yosemite's Maps application.

    Note: I can't attest to the quality of this facility.

    In my personal experience, nothing beats knowing someplace that I've been to before, so I'd take it upon myself to take a test drive to the various possible emergency contingencies that one might come across in a new location. I recently did this to one new area I moved to, and the default locations were the low class dumps where you can't expect good service, and I was my own advocate and discovered uptown had the best places, and I had to ask for them every time. You might even want to trigger a database update so that checkins happen quicker; it helps to have the computer match the people who might visit. Sometimes triggering this update is expensive, like doing an appointment or something dumb, but if e.g. you can take care of some stupid thing like one immunization shot there and the place isn't crawling with diseases for your loved one to catch that might be a good way to "primer" the location. It's actually a good idea to NEVER get yourself in the database of the "low end" hospital and clinic system, so that way an ambulance would see your database entry for the nicer hospital and just drive you there in some edge case situations which are wobblers. The main advantage I see to a nicer facility besides better average outcome is that being your own advocate (or a family advocate) is easier and gets serviced with less hassle; the low end places don't cater well to self-respecting people.

    If you have a four-person self-drive to an ER, I'd recommend (besides the injured and the person doing first aid in rear seat) one driver, one navigator (front passenger -- sometimes it can be the first aid person on mobile call to 911 who asks dispatch to get the hospital to expect them) who calls ahead to the hospital to get their personnel expecting you to come in so you know how to bypass some of the usual guard slowing you down stuff (sometimes it's faster to call 911 and get an ambulance than to drive there even if it takes longer for the ambulance to arrive just because they are integrated into triage better). I have found knocking on the bullet proof window of the triage nurse and asking politely and loudly for "WE NEED TRIAGE PLEASE" actually works and helps. I have found as long as I don't physically or verbally threaten the guard, just ignoring him as a vagrant is really effective (if he tries hard to get your attention and succeeds, a quick "I don't have any change -- beg someplace else!!" ought to disorient and rebuff him for enough time for you to communicate more with triage). Remember: if you can follow the instructions of the (very ominous and insistent) guard(s), then you don't need emergency service. "Don't lay down" should be ignored. "Fill out this form" should be ignored. "We have rules and procedures": break all of them. Admitting (a.k.a. billing & bilking) will try to pretend they are triage: tell them go to hell, you need triage. Then once you have met with triage, then you can make a feigned attempt at starting some "guard procedure", as much as is comfortable, and the guard will feel like you've "paid your due" and ignore you, and ditto for "admitting": do as much as you comfortably have time for, nothing more. The minutiae can be taken care of after emergency service commences completely.

    A trial run every 5-10 years seems like a good idea. Along with other stuff like a good wrench for the gas line, rubber mat so you can turn off house electricity without getting electrocuted, fire extinguishers, reading the fire extinguishers instructions slowly, checking them for regular service (annual or so), which way to open every window and screen to crawl out of it (this might result in unexpected teen pregnancy so beware of how to approach this), flashlights that you test by turning all the lights off and letting people grab them, etc. If nothing else, when you need a flashlight for some mundane purpose, you'll save time remembering where it is.

    Sorry -- the apartment manager in me came out and started babbling. Excuse my patronizing tone. It's just one of those "liability" things that I err on the side of caution.
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    ...although you might also want to talk to Tesla, as the front door *should* have released when you pulled on the handle. Could it be the typical problem that is seen where the handle gets confused if you try to pull on it at the instant it gets extended?
     
  10. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is the facility I suggested upthread. You found the name of the children's hospital division of SUNY Upstate.



    His daughter is three years old, he's still worried about her hand, and you're gonna get him started worrying about teen pregnancy? I think he's got a little time on that one! :)
     
  11. wamochi

    wamochi Member

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    Wow- so sorry about the situation. Glad she and her hand are ok ; thanks for sharing the story. And dont
    feel bad. I've smashed my son's hand in the door of our Mercedes GL (big door!) by accident, same kind of mishap, but without the door handle problem. I felt terrible , but the good news is that I'm a FREAK now about my boys having fingers and hands near the doors, and they (and I) have been much more careful as a result !
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I'm really glad your daughter is okay. I could feel your daughter's pain (and your corresponding pain) reading the story. With kids, their pain is our pain and there's nothing worse than watching them in pain, and feeling helpless to do anything about it.

    Thanks for sharing and for alerting us about what to do if this ever happens to us.
     
  13. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    #13 David99, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
    Wow, that was painful to read. So glad she is fine! I know the pain, I had my fingers in a door and someone closed it fully on me. After reading this I had to go out to my car and recreate to make sure I know what to do should this happen to one of my kids and what to look for to avoid it.

    OK i just tried to replicate it. When I close the passenger side door half way, where it locks but isn't fully closed, the door handle instantly pulls back in a few millimeters. At this point I can release and open the door by pulling on it. I also tried to open and close the back door to see if that makes any difference, but it doesn't change anything. As soon as the door locks into the first position where there is still a gap, the handle pulls in a little getting read to be pulled and unlock the door. So I'm surprised how your door did not do this.
     
  14. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    I hope I am stating the obvious, but don't forget to share this experience with Tesla.
     
  15. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    My handles don't pull in slightly because I have the original 1st gen handles. They don't do this and are very sensitive and very glitchy. Tesla has gone through at least 3 revisions of the handles.
     
  16. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    FYI my daughters hand is fine this morning.

    I'll probably report the issue to the NHSTA. While this incident was minor, stuck doors can be very dangerous if the situation had been different. When it comes down to it, it really is a safety issue.
     
  17. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Glad to hear she's doing better, yobigd.
     
  18. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Really glad to hear that your daughter is okay. Obviously getting a door slammed on your hand can happen in any car. Although you have first gen handles, I think the issue would be the same for second gen as well because they don't pop back in that 1/4" until the door is fully closed.

    All thst said, is this really any different than if you had a car with regular door handles and the doors were locked when the door was slammed on someone's finger? In that case the door handle would not work either. I think it would have been the same scenario - the only recourse is to go from the inside and unlock the door then open it. These days with keyless entry on most cars you'd be able to use the fob to unlock as well, but the point is you'd still start off in a situation where the door handle would not open with someone's finger stuck in the door.

    I wonder if Tesla could put some pinch strips like they have for the sunroof and tailgate to automatically release the door latch if a situation like this were to happen. Would be a way to lead the way in safety instead of just being no less safe than others and is something that could only be done with electromechanical latches.
     
  19. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I was painful just to read this story. Glad your daughter's hand is ok!
     
  20. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Except that in this case all 4 door handles were fully extended and "unlocked"....
     

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