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Model S door handel failure

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Knightowl, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    Thought I would share this and did not find a thread for door handel failures on the model s.

    Ive been reading these forums for a year now and just never created an account till now - when I have an issue of significance wich adds credence to the fact one is much less likely to post when all works well.

    I bought my midnight blue rear wheel drive pre-auto pilot 2014 model s back in mid may from an owner who upgraded to an all wheel drive version. I had several issues fixed under warranty before hitting 50k miles, I am the 3rd owner of this car so no chance at ext warranty. I have driven almost 15k miles since getting the car.

    Well im out of warranty now over 50k vin is 302xx

    Ive had my driver door handel fail on me now so i have to climb in through other doors and open the door from the inside to get in the driver seat for the last week and a half.

    I asked how much it would cost to get it fixed and inquired if any other handels had been prevously replaced in warranty on the car before I bought it, the two passanger side door handels had been replaced with gen 2 and the driver side both are still gen 1. I was told it would be around $285 if only the microprocessor needed replaced and close to $2,000 to replace the door handel assemply if it needed it since both driver side door handels would need to be replaced since the passanger doors were already gen 2. After I picked my jaw up off the floor (so much for low cost of operation) I thanked the Denver SC guy and left to mull it over.


    After some internet research and due to the behavior just before total failure and the way it failed I have a 99% certainty that it is due to a wire having come loose in the assembly and it is a pretty well known issue it would seem. I know there have been gripes that this should be a recall item but that aside since im savy and a tech guy I decided I would just fix it myself and be done with it.

    See this youtube video i found on the issue:


    So I ordered the part needed for $37 and am waiting for the SC to let me know when they have it so I can pick it up, hoping I am right on the point of failure cause if not I will be continuing to use my low tech soultion to solve my high tech problem - a string tied to the inside door handel so I can pull it to open the door without crawling all through the car.

    Dissapointed in the failure but still love the car. Im also a share holder in Tesla and solar city, and believe Tesla has a great future.

    And yes I did try pulling the fuses - powering down the car and rebooting both systems all to no avail.
     
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  2. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that mate. Let us know how the suction turns out. Personally I think Tea should goodwill all Gen 1 door handle failures but that's just my own opinion.
     
  3. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    I was hopefull they would goodwill it but no, it is what it is; its a business not a charity. I will update on the issue once I have the part and have taken the door apart and pulled the door handel assembly. From what I have heard the gen 2 ones have the same issue so it appears to be inevitable with how the wire is routed in the unit.
     
  4. Neuromancer

    Neuromancer Member

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    Good luck! I appreciate your love of Tesla and optimism in the face of some annoying challenges. Keep us updated.
     
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  5. Nick B

    Nick B Member

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    I'm a little surprised by the fact that they have to replace the 2 door handles. They just changed my driver's door handle today and they did not have to change the back seat one as it was working properly. Mine still was under warranty. The back is probably used much less than the driver's one so I don't see what advantage you would have of changing both of them. Edit: I also have a pre autopilot 2014.
     
  6. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I do wonder what it would take for Tesla to do a "customer service program" (i.e. "hidden" warranty) on items like the door handles and maybe the touchscreen bubbles that are starting to appear in the older cars (if 3 years old is "old" :rolleyes:).

    Other manufacturers do these programs when a particular part is a design failure, but it doesn't rise to the level of a recall since it isn't a safety issue. For example, my VW Jetta had (3) window regulators fail, all outside of the warranty. All were covered under a hidden warranty so I never had to pay for replacements (although they ALWAYS failed in pouring rain :mad:). My Lexus had a 9-year unlimited mile customer service program on bad piston ring seals that caused me to have to have terrible carbon build up and I eventually had them replaced outside of warranty at no cost to me (a $6000 repair if I had paid out of pocket).

    Anyone know how these sorts of programs get put in place in the industry in general? Do manufacturers implement them internally out of the goodness of their hearts (doubtful) or are they driven into them to maintain customer satisfaction ratings, or because they get sued, etc?
     
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  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    There was a known issue early on with the handles. Many 2013's were all replaced. I have a 10/14 and had one odd noise with my driver's about 9 mths ago and they replaced the whole thing, no questions. But I bought new and am still under warranty. I am not surprised that they would not do a goodwill fix on a 2X used. Really not in their interest, IMO. They don't see you as one who would buy direct.

    I am SHOCKED at that cost. Really??? From a company that that says they do not want to make $$$ on service. Holy makinoly!

    Good luck with your DIY. I bet you'll be able to fix it. One hint, watch out for breaking the panel clips. I bought extra on Amazon. They are the same as Toyota clips and cheap.
     
  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I think others here have quoted in the neighborhood of $875/door handle. So $2K for (2) is in that neighborhood. And, yes, not profiting on service apparently does not equal inexpensive service.
     
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  9. blee321

    blee321 Member

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    does anyone know when 2nd gen door handles started being installed by the factory? is there anyway to tell if I have them? 2015 85D...
     
  10. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    I got the part I needed yesterday afternoon and have the door apart now this morning but in order to get to the handel assembly I will also have to disassemble the interior metal door panel, I am able to see the handel assemply through the hole in the metal panel and from that can see the weather striping part is just dangling loose and not attached so that has me rather annoyed now as the wireing was not even protected gerr working out how to take off the interior metal panel now without breaking anything 14765435364341762322784.jpg
     
  11. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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  12. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    20161015_092956.jpg
    The other side of the door handel assemply unit weather seal, clearly off hanging loose and shows wear from the window being raised and lowered
     
  13. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    Yeah the older generation door handle wire routing and water proofing is sloppy at best. If you need some help let me know I've done about 8 so far.
     
  14. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    #14 Knightowl, Oct 15, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016

    Would love some help, still trying to work out how to get at the door handel unit and how the inside metal panel may be removed, I've removed the two large bolts and the smaller nut and have been taking a flashlight to the inside of the door to try and find where other attachment points may be.

    Will have to take a break from this for now as wife if out to a massage and I need to watch the kiddos - so at minimum 3hr break and if no progress beyond that I will have to put it back together and try again tomorrow when I have more time.
     
  15. agloutney

    agloutney Member

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  16. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    First I make sure the Window is all the way up, after removing the front metal panel I remove the 4 screws that hold the door handle in place, you will likely have to pop off one of the circular stickers that cover up the nuts that hold the door handle in place. I also ended up looking at the underside of the door and removing the screws that hold the motor brackets in place, this helps in removing the door handle as it's pretty large . I'll dig up a diagram for you.

    Front door is trickier than rear.
     
  17. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    Thanks, that would be a thred I was looking for originally for this issue. Helpful info but according to it sounds like the inside metal door panel does not come off -_- bummer
     
  18. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    See attached. You don't need to remove the window but this is your first time ;)

    Hope it helps, I'm typing this from my iPhone on a hike with the family

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
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  19. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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  20. akula

    akula Member

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