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How does the hood latch operate?

RKCRLR

Member
Apr 13, 2020
434
168
Garden Valley, CA
Not a Tesla car owner. Popping over from the energy forum. There is a debate on another forum on why hoods are accidentally opening while driving.

How does the hood latch mechanism work on Teslas?

My understanding is a single button push will fully release the latch on a Tesla. There is no secondary latch lever that you manually need to release, correct?

Is there an interlock that prevents you from accidentally driving away with the hood open even if you don't see warnings or hear chimes?

Will the weight of the hood automatically engage the secondary safety latch or do you need to let the hood drop or push it down?

Thanks
 

RKCRLR

Member
Apr 13, 2020
434
168
Garden Valley, CA
I just watched the video again. It was a 2013 Model S. I misunderstood what the guy said. A warning comes up on the infotainment screen that you need to dismiss. However, it doesn't prevent you from driving if you don't dismiss the warning.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,518
3,360
Sparks NV / GF 1
It would be very serious to have the hood fly up at speed. I'm surprised it's just a warning.
Sure, we would not want that to happen, but it is also highly unlikely. By coincidence I was watching some pressure tests being performed on the Tesla frunk many years ago while I was dong something else at the car. The results were interesting.

Most people think about what can happen in an ICE car, but as you know, the Tesla is different in some regards. First, the frunk is a contained compartment, so there is no means to get upward air pressure from under the frunk like there is on many ICE cars where there is some open space all the way to the ground from the underside of the hood. There can be "some" upward pressure at higher speeds. And some cars seem more vulnerable with air flow coming up under the grill.. Then, the hood slopes down unlike some of these box shaped cars and older cars. I noticed at higher speeds, there was actually more downward air pressure on the frunk.

I suppose it could happen that a Tesla frunk could fly up while driving, yet seems unlikely due to the design.
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
828
165
El Paso, TX
There should be a manual release to open the 'frunk', like on Porsches with mid/rear engines. I don't feel it's safe the way Tesla does it. If for any reason, the hood was to open from inside, it'd fully open, I guess. Yes, there's a secondary latch, but the electric motor opens it completely, rendering it useless IMO. But if the latch was to mechanically fail somehow, I guess the secondary latch should hold it in place. Why not put the manual latch, like virtually all other cars, is baffling to me. But not a big deal to me.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Gasaraki

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,844
1,147
Syracuse, NY
1) I don't think you can open the hatch via the computer while moving
2) There is a secondary latch to prevent the hood from flipping up while moving.
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
828
165
El Paso, TX
If the 'computer' was to malfunction, it'd absolutely open the frunk IMO, because it's the only way it opens (long enough to bypass the secondary latch). Having said that, the only way it could potentially happen (if at all), is thru the app, since the hood 'button' disappears while moving. I always keep the app in the background, to minimize any chances of inadvertently activating something. I haven't checked the app while moving, but will ask my wife to do it one of these days, and see if the hood and trunk buttons disappear there as well. Finally, I'd have gladly pay the dollar or two extra to have a much safer manual release lever :).
 

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