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Has Tesla ever explained the emergency door handle design choice?

Vespa

Member
Nov 30, 2020
24
27
California
40 years ago when you pulled on the outside door handle of your Pontiac 7000 or whatever, the window rolled down a little and you got in and drove off. And this magical sophistication wasn't limited to just the exterior door handle, even the interior handle had this amazing ability thanks to the incredible power of 1980's computer technology. With no errors on the touchscreen!

But since Jimmy Carter left office cars seem to have lost the ability to roll down the window when the interior handle is pulled -- these days only the exterior handle still retains that ability. Now, I understand how we lost supersonic airline travel and moon landing technology, but how did our species manage to lose the basic technology that makes interior door handles work like the exterior ones?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Stickers, passenger training, 2021, etc. That's not my question. And don't make up theories about slow windows or weak cables or laws of physics only non-Teslas can violate. I'm wanting to know if anyone has ever explained how/why this happened. It just seems like at some point in the design review process someone must have raised a hand and said: "Wait, so the door handles won't work right? And the only way to exit properly is by pressing a secret unlabeled button like you're in some sort of escape room?"

Even if the answer is simply that cost reduction efforts left the "emergency" handle without a sensor to trigger the window that still wouldn't fully explain it. Why would Telsa add the tremendous cost of a fancy motorized door opening mechanism to slightly improve ergonomics only to create a legendary ergonomic screwup by omitting the 10-cent sensor from the regular handle? It just doesn't make sense.
 

jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,041
1,055
Florida
The windows DO roll down an inch when the manual release is pulled. Has since last year. Yes, it still pops the error message on screen, but try it for yourself...pull the manual release and you’ll see the window go down (and the error message).
 
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JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,915
3,742
Atlanta
40 years ago when you pulled on the outside door handle of your Pontiac 7000 or whatever, the window rolled down a little and you got in and drove off. .....
But since Jimmy Carter left office cars seem to have lost the ability to roll down the window when the interior handle is pulled -.....
A quick understanding:

Framed doors DON'T need to lower the window.
Frameless doors do NEED to lower the window.

It doesn't have anything to do with the time period but everything to do with what type of car door your car has.
 
Last edited:

Vespa

Member
Nov 30, 2020
24
27
California
Ah, I think I might have figured it out. It's not the interior handles that are weird, it's the exterior ones -- they are purely electronic.

So the emergency handle is actually the only one with a mechanical connection, the other 2 are just buttons. This saves the cost of a second cable and mechanical solenoid to lock the doors. That might not fully offset the cost of the motorized latch but there are at least 4 other benefits: First, doors can potentially pop open after a crash to avoid rescuer confusion with the handles which might even be a legal requirement. Second, electronic handles have a nice effortless feel. Third, locking/unlocking is silent. And fourth - perhaps most important - the windows can roll up much tighter than that 1980's Pontiac ever did because the computer can fully control the timing.

Still doesn't explain the escape room styling with the unmarked button (and unmarked emergency handle), but at least the mechanical engineering seems to make some sense.
 

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Redbrick

Member
Jun 27, 2020
216
149
Babylon 5
40 years ago when you pulled on the outside door handle of your Pontiac 7000 or whatever, the window rolled down a little and you got in and drove off. And this magical sophistication wasn't limited to just the exterior door handle, even the interior handle had this amazing ability thanks to the incredible power of 1980's computer technology. With no errors on the touchscreen!

But since Jimmy Carter left office cars seem to have lost the ability to roll down the window when the interior handle is pulled -- these days only the exterior handle still retains that ability. Now, I understand how we lost supersonic airline travel and moon landing technology, but how did our species manage to lose the basic technology that makes interior door handles work like the exterior ones?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Stickers, passenger training, 2021, etc. That's not my question. And don't make up theories about slow windows or weak cables or laws of physics only non-Teslas can violate. I'm wanting to know if anyone has ever explained how/why this happened. It just seems like at some point in the design review process someone must have raised a hand and said: "Wait, so the door handles won't work right? And the only way to exit properly is by pressing a secret unlabeled button like you're in some sort of escape room?"

Even if the answer is simply that cost reduction efforts left the "emergency" handle without a sensor to trigger the window that still wouldn't fully explain it. Why would Telsa add the tremendous cost of a fancy motorized door opening mechanism to slightly improve ergonomics only to create a legendary ergonomic screwup by omitting the 10-cent sensor from the regular handle? It just doesn't make sense.

New generation of whipper-snapper see the need to reinvent the wheel.... Very funny post. Exactly...why have two ways to do the same thing....pressing that button doesn't seem to prevent cancer....neither does pulling a lever shorten my life any...I think....
 

subieworx

Member
May 29, 2020
113
66
ohio
Many cars do this actually. All GM cars for example with electronic door actuators do the same thing with not rolling down the window for manual release. I'm sure it is a cost cutting measure.
 

jsurpless

Member
Feb 20, 2020
107
10
Massachusetts
The windows DO roll down an inch when the manual release is pulled. Has since last year. Yes, it still pops the error message on screen, but try it for yourself...pull the manual release and you’ll see the window go down (and the error message).

So does this mean that it's not harmful to use manual release?
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,212
1,529
Syracuse, NY
40 years ago when you pulled on the outside door handle of your Pontiac 7000 or whatever, the window rolled down a little and you got in and drove off. And this magical sophistication wasn't limited to just the exterior door handle, even the interior handle had this amazing ability thanks to the incredible power of 1980's computer technology. With no errors on the touchscreen!

But since Jimmy Carter left office cars seem to have lost the ability to roll down the window when the interior handle is pulled -- these days only the exterior handle still retains that ability. Now, I understand how we lost supersonic airline travel and moon landing technology, but how did our species manage to lose the basic technology that makes interior door handles work like the exterior ones?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Stickers, passenger training, 2021, etc. That's not my question. And don't make up theories about slow windows or weak cables or laws of physics only non-Teslas can violate. I'm wanting to know if anyone has ever explained how/why this happened. It just seems like at some point in the design review process someone must have raised a hand and said: "Wait, so the door handles won't work right? And the only way to exit properly is by pressing a secret unlabeled button like you're in some sort of escape room?"

Even if the answer is simply that cost reduction efforts left the "emergency" handle without a sensor to trigger the window that still wouldn't fully explain it. Why would Telsa add the tremendous cost of a fancy motorized door opening mechanism to slightly improve ergonomics only to create a legendary ergonomic screwup by omitting the 10-cent sensor from the regular handle? It just doesn't make sense.

What?

Why would you need to roll down the windows a little when the door has frames?
How does a mechanical roll down window "roll down" when you open the door?
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
605
899
Sacramento
Depends on the design of the vehicle's body and the door. My '95 Mustang had frameless windows. But due to the design of the car's body and the window, when the door was opened the window did not need to be lowered.
’bout to say my ‘03 Cobra doesn’t go down either. :shrug:
 

Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
612
525
NORWAY
They wanted to be different when they designed it, and they don't want to spend money changing it.
Funny post though, hit the nail on the head.
 

Vespa

Member
Nov 30, 2020
24
27
California
Weird that everyone keeps bringing up "framed" windows. What do window frames have to do with door handles?

And before you answer, Google "car". Click on "advanced search" and choose 1908-2021 as the year range.

Anyway, back to door handles. It seems Tesla sought to reduce noise by cinching the windows up tighter than other cars and was able to do this by using electronic handles all-around. GM has been doing this since 2006 and likely other brands have as well. So perhaps all that makes the Tesla door handles "weird" is that the emergency handle is located in an intuitive location, as it should be, but easily distracts from the foolishly unlabeled (<2021) release button.

IMO a better design would have used a slight pull of the emergency release to electronically trigger normal operation with a *very* long pull of the handle for emergency escape.

1960-pontiac-bonneville-sport-coupe-is-the-definition-of-retro-cruising-photo-gallery-95832_1.jpg
 

Mrbrock

Active Member
Mar 26, 2020
1,066
740
Napa, CA
Steering wheel buttons only have little arrows on them, what do they do???

What do the 4 unlabeled rocker type switches on the driver door handle do???
 

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