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Door Handles: Warning! Random Door Opening While Locked!

W8MM

R1.5 #325 + Mdl S #01380
Jan 5, 2007
202
1
Cincinnati, USA
Our Model S (VIN 1380 - 4.1 - 1.19.31) had the same thing happen while inside our garage last weekend. In our case, it was the right front door that was ajar and the handles were extended with the puddle-lights illuminated. It happened about 10:00 AM after having exited the car about 9:00 PM the previous evening.

Since it was the front passenger door, I thought it might be related to the NFC fob receiver located at the base of the windshield which is how one opens the car as a last resort. Now, hearing of rear doors of either side, I can't think it has anything to do with the NFC fob receiver.

Memory leak gone wild?
 
This sounds very concerning. But I have not seen anyone ask this yet so just to cover all bases: is it possible that the fob was accidentally hit when you were even farther away from the car? Could you have been carrying something and bumped it so that the car unlocked before you got close enough to notice the extended handles? Just wondering if your witness saw them pop out. Timing might be helpful in troubleshooting as a fob that is too easy to trigger is one possible issue (a problem that you may have some control over) vs random interference or car generated malfunctions (that you have no control over--much worse).

Obviously the handles presenting is one thing (A), and the door actually popping open is another (B). If the door won't open without the handles presenting though, then figuring out why they presented is the first order of business since A seems to lead to B and without A then perhaps B would not occur.

Hope this gets resolved soon.

Cheers
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,347
Ottawa, Canada
This sounds very concerning. But I have not seen anyone ask this yet so just to cover all bases: is it possible that the fob was accidentally hit when you were even farther away from the car?
Not a chance. First of all it's pretty hard to accidentally hit the buttons on the Model S FOB. It's a very nice design.

Secondly I have the doors configured for auto-lock, so it would have relocked itself.

Could you have been carrying something and bumped it so that the car unlocked before you got close enough to notice the extended handles?

I was only carrying a Starbucks cup. Plus my witness told me the door had been open for a while. Plus per above I think it's highly unlikely I could pocket-dial it.

Just wondering if your witness saw them pop out. Timing might be helpful in troubleshooting as a fob that is too easy to trigger is one possible issue (a problem that you may have some control over) vs random interference or car generated malfunctions (that you have no control over--much worse).

No. He said he saw the open door before he parked his van, and it was part of the reason he didn't park beside me. Also he was pretty astonished when I retracted them.

Obviously the handles presenting is one thing (A), and the door actually popping open is another (B). If the door won't open without the handles presenting though, then figuring out why they presented is the first order of business since A seems to lead to B and without A then perhaps B would not occur.

Hope this gets resolved soon.

Cheers

Indeed. Tesla seems to be all over it.

I don't think your "two failure" A then B scenario is likely. I've never had a door pop when the handles extended on purpose, so having it happen twice on an uncommanded unlock is extremely unlikely. More likely the door popped for some reason, and the door opening caused all the handles to extend. B then A.
 

derekt75

Member
Jul 16, 2012
622
34
San Jose, CA
My left rear door has opened itself twice.
Once I walked away from the car expecting it to lock itself, and when I came back I noticed it was open before I got within range of the auto-present handles.

The other time, it opened itself while the handles were auto-presenting. I haven't reported it to anyone, yet.

I wonder if the act of pushing the handles in or out can somehow make the door think that someone has pulled on the handle?
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
The other time, it opened itself while the handles were auto-presenting. I haven't reported it to anyone, yet.

Tesla Service Manager told me that's a problem with the pressure sensor (I had the same problem) and they're replacing the door handle.

- - - Updated - - -

Other have reported doors opening while under way...

I searched and couldn't find anyone reporting this (although maybe that's just my search). On that serious an issue, do you have a source or a post link please?
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,928
529
Skaneateles, NY
I do have it set to auto-present; however, this time I had a witness who had observed the open door before I arrived.

I really doubt stray RF or another FOB could cause this. Canada has stringent requirements on how the FOB coding system operates. It would be a miracle.

On several occasions, I have had my car remote unlock other cars around me or turn on and off other people's car alarms. I always find it so strange that I sit there for a few minutes locking/unlocking, turning off/turning on the other peoples alarm (playing like a kid would). After doing it 20 times in a row there's no doubt it's my remote doing it. So it's definitely possible that other people's remotes can be triggering something in the Model S.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,347
Ottawa, Canada
On several occasions, I have had my car remote unlock other cars around me or turn on and off other people's car alarms. I always find it so strange that I sit there for a few minutes locking/unlocking, turning off/turning on the other peoples alarm (playing like a kid would). After doing it 20 times in a row there's no doubt it's my remote doing it. So it's definitely possible that other people's remotes can be triggering something in the Model S.

What brand of car?
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,867
Toronto, ON
On several occasions, I have had my car remote unlock other cars around me or turn on and off other people's car alarms. I always find it so strange that I sit there for a few minutes locking/unlocking, turning off/turning on the other peoples alarm (playing like a kid would). After doing it 20 times in a row there's no doubt it's my remote doing it. So it's definitely possible that other people's remotes can be triggering something in the Model S.

I was in a meeting today, and out of the blue a guy told me this: Apparently this morning, someone's car in their parking lot would start honking its horn incessantly whenever anyone else used their fob to open their own car. The offending car was somehow interpreting any other key fob press as its own "Panic Alarm" and sounding off.

- - - Updated - - -

I searched and couldn't find anyone reporting this (although maybe that's just my search). On that serious an issue, do you have a source or a post link please?

One example at the top of this page (posting by radinator).

- - - Updated - - -

Update: Tesla service is coming tomorrow to replace my door handles.

Very good. I hope this resolves it, but in my mind there are two things going on here: a) car mysteriously unlocking itself and b) handles accidentally opening doors when they extend. I'll be very interested to know if replacing the handles fixes a).
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,867
Toronto, ON
Here's the correct link. OK, that was one example where the door unlatched while parking but didn't open. Really not good, but if that's it did that really warrant the dramatic?

Wasn't trying to be dramatic. Simply said the door opened while the car was under way, which is exactly what happened. The OP's phrasing of it being "very scary" is a lot more dramatic than anything I said.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
Wasn't trying to be dramatic. Simply said the door opened while the car was under way, which is exactly what happened.

OK. Just happened that I misunderstood "doors opening underway" as doors being flung open on the freeway and that sparked me searching for 30 minutes. All is forgiven.

Tip for everyone: if you're quoting/referring to a post in another thread it's really helpful to link directly to that actual post. Right-click on the original post number (top right corner of the post) and select "Copy link address", you can then include the link in your own post using the normal URL link globe button.
 

Todd Burch

Voltage makes me tingle.
Nov 3, 2009
7,909
29,473
Smithfield, VA
I suspect Tesla's replacing the handles out of an abundance of caution and a first attempt at a fix, but to my ears this sounds more like a software memory corruption issue.

5 days ago my front passenger door handle didn't extend. I locked the car and unlocked again, and it came out. Happened a second time later that day. I then rebooted. Hasn't happened since. I'm on the memory corruption 4.1 version (although I haven't had many problems). Seems like a software issue to me.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,526
2,992
Tip for everyone: if you're quoting/referring to a post in another thread it's really helpful to link directly to that actual post. Right-click on the original post number (top right corner of the post) and select "Copy link address", you can then include the link in your own post using the normal URL link globe button.
Or just quote something from the original post and the >> links are provided for you. :)
 

ken830

Model S 85, Model 3 Performance
Jun 19, 2012
1,111
365
San Carlos, CA
This was caught on video in Ben Goodwin's "Unlocking the Tesla Model S" video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N40BzTSEwzg) back in October.

Seems to be an issue where the car thinks someone is tugging at the handle. So, as soon as the handle is presented, the solenoid pops the door open. Could be a hardware issue. Could be a software issue.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,347
Ottawa, Canada
@ken830, in that video, it appears the door handle pressure sensor is stuck "on", so when the door unlocks it pops. That's pretty straightforward, repeatable, understandable, and easily fixed.

I don't think this is the same situation. If the door is locked, it ought not to open regardless of pressure on the handle. Otherwise someone could pry the retracted door handle with a credit card or something, and it would pop open. This is no different from the Roadster, which has electric outside door switches. If you press the switch while the door is locked, it doesn't open. Simple as that.

So this has to be some other problem. Maybe it is indeed a hardware glitch and replacing the door handle assembly is all that is required. At this point I am keeping an open mind.
 

MikeK

R#129, TSLA shareholder
Jun 29, 2012
1,133
1
San Francisco Bay Area
I can't fathom how replacing the door handle would be the correct solution to this problem. Let's assume for the moment that the handle's pressure sensor was sending a spurious signal to the car. If the fob isn't nearby, this should be ignored. You should be able to yank on that handle all day with no result until/unless the fob is brought nearby.

Personally, Doug, I'd ask them to explain to you how they believe this will solve the problem. I say that because I had a door handle replaced due to a problem with the chrome plating. Now I'm hearing a little bit of a rattle from the area of that door on certain types of rough pavement, and I can't help wondering if taking the door apart and putting it together again left it in less than factory-tight condition.

Meanwhile, this morning when I came downstairs, my car was sitting in the driveway with all four windows open. My construction crew said that the car had been sitting like that since they got there. Now, I know that the windows can be lowered by pressing and holding the top of the fob, and it's possible that I did this accidentally (my bedroom is above my garage, so the fob would be within range to send that signal). But I'm skeptical that I accidentally pressed that button for long enough to open the windows. It's possible, but I would be surprised. I'll be keeping an eye on it for sure. Glad it was a nice day!
 

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