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Emergency Lock Bracket Disconnected

Oct 22, 2011
Reston, Virginia
If you have not tried your emergency lock under the driver's door for some time (or maybe never), it is prudent to do so. I found out the hard way.

When the VMS went out in my Roadster last month, it kept my door locks from functioning. The windows were closed and my car locked. So, I thought I could just use the emergency key lock under the door. It did not work. I had to get AAA to break into my car.

When I later opened up the inside of the door to diagnose the issue, I found in the bottom of the driver's door there is a bracket with the key lock latch mechanism that attaches a cable, which is supposed to be affixed to the bottom of the door at two mounting points, to allow for the key turning to pull on the cable. There are two glued connections for this bracket and both had failed. The bracket was just hanging there on the cable. I am sorry I do not have photos but I am not sure they would be of much help anyway -- if the bracket is disconnected, it is immediately apparent.

To affix the two mounting points of the bracket to the bottom of the door, I could have drilled holes and put in bolts, I suppose. But that is a last resort (it is arguable that bolts through the door are the mountings Tesla should have used -- the bracket is instead affixed to two bolt mounts which are then glued to the inside of the door). I used this steel epoxy (https://www.lowes.com/pd/J-B-WELD-S...-Adhesive-Actual-Net-Contents-2-fl-oz/3389024) to affix both mounting points of the bracket back to the bottom of the door. A month later, so far it appears to have held.

As an aside, I do not think I had ever tried the emergency lock before. And, I remember when picking up the car new in 2011, the Tesla salesperson tried to show me the emergency lock and then exclaiming that it did not appear to work (and not doing anything about it -- as for me, I was too excited to be picking up the car to give it another thought then). So, I suspect whatever Tesla used in my car to mount this bracket to the bottom of the inside of the door immediately failed for whatever reason. So, try your emergency lock if you have not done so for a while.


Jun 23, 2017
Middletown, NY
Oh that door lock, yes I actually ended up using it once because the first key I used didn't work that well and I got tired of trying to unlock the door. Now with OVMS it's a non issue but at least the emergency lock does work.
Oct 22, 2011
Reston, Virginia
I would recommend a different kind of glue than what you used. The original JB Weld is about 4x stronger and holds up to long-term exposure to moisture a lot better than the 5-minute epoxy that you used. The original formula takes more like 24 hrs to completely cure, but it's worth the wait.
That is very helpful. I ended up using what I had in my "glue bin" at home but when/if the bracket pops off again, I will use the original JB Weld (as I would recommend to other Roadster owners). Thanks Henry! It is knowledge like this of all kinds that makes this forum so valuable.
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