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Gen 2 door Handles and "puddle light"

Hank42

Legacy Supporter
Sep 30, 2012
545
343
United States - NY
I am a long-time hold out from the original S who's door handles ejected 100% and had no "give" or "flex" that emulates the feel of a traditional car.

After a failure of one handle to present, I (reluctantly) agreed to have all 4 replaced with the new(er) gen 2 door handles that present to about 95% and allow one to pull the remaining 5% for that "I opened it" feel.

I just realized that when presented to 95%, the "puddle light" that illuminates the ground from underneath each handle is obscured by the body of the car, and does not actually illuminate the ground like it did with the previous handles. If I pull the handle (as if to open) and hold the door shut, I see the old lighting pattern that I am used to.

I think in an effort so solve one perceived problem, this cropped up as an unanticipated side-effect.

Anyone else notice this?
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
I had all of my Gen 1 handles replaced over a year ago. Jut too many random door openings and other glitches with them. I'm much happier with the Gen 2 handles.

It's true that the downward pointing light is partially obscured when the handle retracts slightly after extending, but I have not found it to be detrimental. I still get plenty of light shining down, and have observed carefully as I pull the handle and it doesn't seem any "better" with the handle pulled out fully.

My car also has puddle lights on the bottoms of all 4 doors that shine down on the ground but, of course, they are only effective when the door is swung open.
 

SabrToothSqrl

Active Member
Dec 5, 2014
3,812
3,226
PA
I noticed it as well, but the Gen II handles work so much better. My friends/family also have a much easier time opening the doors now. they just feel more responsive.

But yes, I noticed less light around the vehicle :(

But, i'd rather have the door handles work like they do now.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,979
SF Bay Area
I noticed this as well, and it bugs me. I guess they would have had to redesign the handles to move the light out a bit, and decided it wasn't worth it. Not quite the level of attention to detail I would like (kinda lame to have the light shining down into the door), but probably didn't make sense to redo their tooling to fix it.
 

strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
3,629
1,001
NE Oklahoma
We also held out as long as possible to have our door handles replaced but the Gen 1's were just too buggy. I find it amusing that Tesla can introduce things like autopilot hardware mid-production but can't fix the lights on the door handles. :rolleyes:
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,025
Yes, the same here. I held out - when my front passenger handle failed, the local service center called the parts depot and 5 other service centers looking for a gen 1 handle, but couldn't come up with one. As a result, I have the gen 2 handles now which mostly obscure the light. I get the sense they aren't considering them puddle lights anymore, but rather "here's where you grab" lights.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
538
Skaneateles, NY
I know someone who had theirs replaced a while ago and I saw it first hand. Only they didn't replace all of his door handles, just one of them. So the front one is full illumination right and the rear one is obscured. It doesn't look right at all. I am sad Tesla hasn't addressed this yet despite all the complaints. I had the original gen1 door handles on mine and I am very clear that I never want them replaced because I don't want mine obscured either. they need to redesign the new handles to not obscure the lights to make then effective again.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
I know someone who had theirs replaced a while ago and I saw it first hand. Only they didn't replace all of his door handles, just one of them. So the front one is full illumination right and the rear one is obscured.

Next time it's dark, I'll see if my iPhone can capture some video of mine. I had all 4 replaced and yes, the downward pointing light is very close to the door edge when the handle retracts ever so slightly after coming out, but it still illuminates just fine as far as I'm concerned. Both the original handles and my new ones would cast a light down the side of the car from the extended handle.

I would not have been happy either if my new door handle lights were obscured, but honestly they seem fine. I'm wondering if maybe some are not being installed or calibrated properly???
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,979
SF Bay Area
Don't think it's an issue of installation or calibration. This issue first was noted years ago when the gen2 door handles first appeared. They didn't change the location of the light so when the gen2 door handles retract the slight bit after presenting, the light is partially obscured by the door. I had my gen1 door handles replaced 2 months ago (The service center was really surprised I still had them), and the new ones put some light on the ground, but not nearly as much. You can hold the door shut, and gently pull the handle out to see how they used to perform.

The new handles are exactly the same, they just have a different mechanism behind them -- this is the issue. They didn't move the light to compensate for the fact that the new handles retract slightly after presenting. They still provide light, but it isn't as good as the originals. The function of the door handles is better, so I don't mind, but it seems like an incomplete solution.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,025
The function of the door handles is better, so I don't mind, but it seems like an incomplete solution.

Perhaps I'm one of the few that disagrees with your statement - I think the handle travel is less elegant. I rather liked just a light touch to open the door.
 

pgiralt

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 16, 2013
1,520
155
Cary, NC
It's actually easy to see the difference because when the door is open, it stays in the fully extended position and you can see how much brighter the light looks. This has annoyed me since the day I picked up my car and like others have said, it's strange that Tesla has not redesigned this. Clearly the Gen2 handles were rushed to market to address the door opening on its own issues that were common early on.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,979
SF Bay Area
Oh, I liked the solid, light, no move feel of the first gen handles better than the bit of movement the gen2 handles have. Seemed more futuristic. Now they behave like every other car door. But the gen2 seem to open and present more reliably. That is what I meant by function.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
Oh, I liked the solid, light, no move feel of the first gen handles better than the bit of movement the gen2 handles have. Seemed more futuristic. Now they behave like every other car door. But the gen2 seem to open and present more reliably. That is what I meant by function.

I'm one that likes the new feel. The original handles felt too "hair trigger" for me with no tactile feedback that anything was happening vis-a-vis unlatching the door. That and the fact that random doors would pop open whenever my handles extended (I believe due to the hair trigger mechanism) just turned me off.
 

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