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Liftgate (rear trunk) trying to eat my mother-in-law

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by highfalutintodd, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. highfalutintodd

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    I'm posting this in case anyone can help me understand why my Model S seems to want to eat my mother-in-law.

    Short version: The rear liftgate has closed automatically on my wife and mother-in law several times without explanation.

    Long version: Last weekend, my wife took my Model S out on her own for the first time so that she and her mother could go shopping. They came back with stories of how the rear liftgate tried to "eat" them by closing on them automatically. I figured they must have accidentally hit the key somehow or the jump seat button in the trunk (I have the third row seats) and didn't give it a lot of thought. I was honestly just happy that my wife was finally starting to warm up to the Model S after three months of ownership.

    Skip to today - my wife and mother-in-law take the Model S shopping again. They made multiple stops throughout the day picking up stuff for my mother-in-law's new house without incident. When they get back to her (mother-in-law's) house, however, and attempt to unload their purchases all hell broke loose. While trying to unload their bags they say that the rear liftgate beeped and closed automatically on them several times. They had to keep opening the liftgate because it closed on them "at least ten times" according to them.

    Unfortunately, I've yet see this behavior myself and we haven't been able to reproduce it.

    I thought that perhaps the car was thinking that the key had gotten too far away and was trying to close and lock the car, but I haven't been able to make that happen.

    My wife had the Tesla key in her bag along with her phone, so I thought that perhaps the phone could have been causing some interference but, again, haven't been able to reproduce.

    I've grilled my wife for any variables that might have been different during these episodes, but she swears that all she's doing is putting the car in park, closing the door, opening the trunk via the rear liftgate button, and that's it.

    For the moment they've nicknamed the car "Christine," and I'm totally flummoxed. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd appreciate it.

    (And, for the record, my mother-in-law is a perfectly lovely person whom I wish no ill will towards. So no, this isn't me attempting to get rid of a problem relative. ;-) )
     
  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest contacting service, but try to reproduce the problem first. It'll be tough to diagnose if you can't demonstrate it happening.
     
  3. highfalutintodd

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    Believe me, I'd love to be able to figure out how to reproduce this just to see it in action. It's never once happened to me in over 3,300 miles of daily driving, and I'm in and out of the trunk fairly often.
     
  4. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Can you shut off the power hatch so that it has to be manually opened and closed as a workaround? I would want to do this when they use the car until I was absolutely sure the problem was fixed.

    GSP
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I'd pay a lot of money if they can retrofit this feature to my car!

    Actually, it's most likely to be something pressing on the key in your wife's handbag.

    (P.S. I'm serious about the retrofit!)
     
    • Funny x 1
  6. highfalutintodd

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    Normally I'd agree, but I'd really like to see this in action myself so I can get a sense of what might be causing it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I thought the same thing except that 1) the key has to be double-clicked to close the trunk and that seems unlikely to happen multiple times in a row when shifting around inside a bag, and 2) my wife swears the "beep" the car makes when it automatically closes is different than the beep it makes when you trigger it yourself.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I know my wife has occasionally done weird stuff when some weight has pressed on a car key in her handbag. I've had her bag call me when something has pushed multiple buttons on her cell phone - hint, never carry your phone in your back pants pocket either.
     
  8. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    #8 PeterW, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2013
    If she is locking the car with the key in her handbag rather than closing the trunk, would it close the trunk? does it make a different noise?

    I think key or phone in handbag is the most likely answer, if she has the handbag on her and is reaching into the trunk.
     
  9. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    I've noticed similar behavior when the car is parked on a slope...the fact that the car is not level seems to alter the mechanics of the lift enough that when it reaches the top, it senses something wrong, beeps, and then shuts.. think about the events, and see if the car was level or not. Either way, it can be pretty dangerous.
     
  10. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    A common variable in your stories is shopping. Perhaps the RFID tags on the items your wife bought (I'm assuming some clothes) is causing the trunk sensors to become confused? I don't see how, but..

    I would have your wife reproduce everything. The bags, the items, and the LOCATION. Maybe RF interference? Nearby cell tower?

    A
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Is your car passive aggressive?:smile:

    That is an odd problem. Shouldn't Tesla be able to tell from the vehicle logs what triggered it (they could say the key fob was pushed each time). Maybe have her write down the exact time next time it happens and e-mail ownership so they can look into it (or call service).
     
  12. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    it's a common issue. Happened to me. The fix is: open the trunk to the max, manually if you have to. lower it by about an inch. Then press/hold the trunk close button on the trunk to set memory for that location. this is what i did and it stopped trying to eat people.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to add, for me, it only happened when i used the console to open the trunk. when i used the fob, it wouldn't happen. that couldbe why you can't recreate it consistently. and when it would "auto close" it would fully open, then start beeping repeatedly (like a truck in reverse) as it closed. whereas it doesnt beep like that when it closes on demand.
     
  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The car will not attempt to close the rear liftgate to lock the car, neither using the "one-click" lock on top nor walking away. Closing the liftgate is accomplished in one of only 4 ways:

    1. Double-clicking the fob
    2. Using the button on the underside of the liftgate door
    3. Using the button on the underside of the parcel shelf (if 3rd row is installed)
    4. Using the "trunk" button on the center, 17" screen

    I have never had my car close the liftgate in any other circumstance. I do a lot of car shows where I leave the liftgate open while walking out of range, demonstrating the fob, etc., so I think I can say this with a lot of confidence.
     
  14. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    you stated the normal scenarios that would close the liftgate. however, there is a bug/issue where the behavior the OP experienced happens. I know cuz it happened to me.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    If it were a "common issue" as you noted, surely it would be more of a problem and a safety hazard?

    Perhaps you and the OP have a loose switch in the tailgate, such that a minor shift of the car while the gate is open will cause it to attempt to close. That will also cause it to beep strangely as it is the equivalent of pushing the switch a significant number of times.

    You also get a different set of beeps if you try and block the liftgate from closing once it has started.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I have had this exact problem. And have been able to replicate it. I parked almost perpendicular (slightly trunk down slope) to a very (20%, yes really this steep) grade slope. The trunk would open normally, when fully open it would do the *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* error sound then start closing.

    I have not heard about this solution but it sounds like it could very well work. I had hypothesized that the slope was causing the trunk lid to flex ever so slightly that it was hitting it's hard stop before it could reach the position sensor spot. By bringing the lid in another 1/2" or so would allow the roof to always go a little beyond where it normally would on a flat, thus most likely fixing the problem.


    And I first noticed this behavior at our Vet's office. Trying to get my dogs out of the back tailgate. It required about 3-4 trunk cycles before my greyhound would jump out.
     
  17. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    I haven't seen the OP's problem, but something else: yesterday I went out to the garage and found the hatch open. Fair enough: I'd opened the hatch the night before with the touch screen, when I parked for the night, and may have forgotten to close it. But it doesn't look like it's open quite all the way.

    Double-click the fob to close the hatch, hear "Beep-Beep-Beep", but no movement. Repeat several times: same behavior. Walk over to the car and push the switch in the bottom of the lift gate: same behavior. Press and hold the switch for several seconds: no response. Manually raise the lift gate to the stops, then briefly press the switch: "Beep-Beep-Beep", no movement.

    Finally, I close the lift gate manually, wait for it to lock, then double-click the fob: the lift gate opens normally to the fully-open position. Push the button on the lift gate: it beeps once and closes. Back to normal.

    Why? Has anyone else seen this?
     
  18. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    But that is on opening, with the car thinking that the liftgate opening was blocked, yes?

    That's different than the OP's case, I'd imagine, where presumably it's been sitting open for a while and just decides to close on its own.
     
  19. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Perhaps. My Tesla did try to munch on the top third of my body. But I was actively trying to get into the trunk to collect my dogs' collars so they didn't wander all around the Vet parking lot trying to meet and smell all the other dogs.


    I often lean/reach into the trunk while the lift is opening. But now that you mention it I don't think that behavior is all they common.
     
  20. jammerdjc

    jammerdjc S Owner/Member

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    There is another thread on this. If the hatch is left open over night you need to manually close it to reset it.

     

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