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Emergency opening rear doors

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by FakeStewartAlsop, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. FakeStewartAlsop

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    From the Model S manual:
    To open the rear doors, fold back the edge of the carpet below the rear seats to expose the mechanical release cable. p. 8

    Has anyone tried this? With power on or even power off? The local Tesla representative had no idea how to do this. I'm wondering if my kids would be able to do this, in case I ever drove into a puddle of water 2 feet deep.
     
  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    It's easy enough to do it, no power needed. As for your kids, I don't know how strong they are, you might want to give it a try first, any model S will work, and with or without power is irrelevant, pull on the cable and the door will open.
     
  3. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I like that they have the emergency release. But it seems like a very scary scenario to try to find it when in a true emergency, when in a panic, and figure out what to do. I would think that they could have designed a more obvious and easily identifiable switch, perhaps low on the door, near the speaker. I can imagine my family members freaking out and not being able to comprehend my instructions on how to open the door. And I could well be disabled and not able to instruct them. Aircraft solved this issue decades ago with lighted icons.
     
  4. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I fully agree. This implementation should be criminal. The front doors are done right, and there is ZERO excuse for the rear doors to be done in this dangerous fashion. (don't give me the child lock excuse, thousands of other car models have done that one safely, and child locks are in use on a minority of cars on the road at any given time)

    Imagine if the fire exits in public buildings were that hard to figure out how open, how long would that be allowed to go on? Why is it ok in a car then? Tesla is far from the worst offender here though, there are Corvettes that are like this too, but at least in the Tesla someone who can't figure out the back doors can crawl over in to the front and escape, in the Corvette it's the front (only) doors that are like this.

    The test for this should always be whether a person completely unfamiliar with the vehicle can exit the vehicle quickly while in a full panic. Tesla rear doors fail.
     
  5. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    I don't think that would be possible -- the physical latching mechanism is in the body, not the door. The emergency release has to be on the body somewhere.

    The door handle only actuates an electrical switch; then the latch on the body side is electrically actuated to release.
     
  6. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    I briefed my son, the primary occupant of the rear seat, on how to work the emergency release. We located the release on both sides and discussed what to do, although I think maybe we need to practice actually doing it a few times. He's only nine years old but he "gets" it. I probably need to go over this with my wife also.

    (I don't want to enter the debate about what Tesla should have done differently in the design of the emergency release. I'm saying what I'm doing to handle the situation in my car.)
     
  7. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    There is no reason the release needs to be in the body instead of the door, that's just what they chose to do here, if they wanted to put the emergency release on the door instead, they could easily design it that way.
     
  8. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    OK, but only if you move the physical latching mechanism into the door, which is a major redesign. With the physical latching mechanism in the body as it is now, you have no choice but to put the emergency release also on the body somewhere. It's actuation cable/lever/pushrod/etc. must be in the piece of the body where the physical latch is.
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Moving the emergency release is a major redesign no matter what you do. Making the car safe in the process is hardly a downside....
     
  10. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    It's true, virtually any of these changes to improve access to the emergency release can be considered major design changes.

    However, moving only the emergency release to a more accessible location on the body only involves changing the location of one mechanical component (the release handle) plus the linkage.

    Moving it onto the door requires moving two mechanical components: the release handle and linkage plus the door physical latching mechanism now has to be moved into the door. On top of that, you now need wiring harness changes to accommodate the relocation of the physical latch mechanism. It becomes a larger, more complex redesign.

    I do agree though that the present location of the emergency release latches is probably not the best choice for accessibility/safety.
     
  11. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Good point on body vs door for the release mechanism.

    I posit two things: Put the release on the B-pillar (body), or even C-pillar (not nearly as accessible), or come up with a different release design for the door. Regardless of the sexiness and performance of the car, safety must always be the number-one design issue. Tesla completely nailed it with the structural rigidity both laterally and vertically. The rear doors need something more intuitive for humans in a panic. Based on how beautifully they have designed such a complex product, I simply cannot imagine that they could not come up with a more elegant solution to this.
     

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