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Tesla power shutdown and fire. How to get kids out of back seats?

This news is a wake up call. Since MS door release is motorized, in case of a situation like described in this news (link below), even the driver could open the door by using the manual release, how can one open the rear doors if the door handles do not release? This is a scary thought when two kids are strapped in car seats and fire is starting to engulf the car. Any thoughts?

Tesla driver said he broke a window to escape electric-car fire — Business Insider
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,573
10,623
Visalia, CA
This news is a wake up call. Since MS door release is motorized, in case of a situation like described in this news (link below), even the driver could open the door by using the manual release, how can one open the rear doors if the door handles do not release? This is a scary thought when two kids are strapped in car seats and fire is starting to engulf the car. Any thoughts?

Tesla driver said he broke a window to escape electric-car fire — Business Insider
The manual shows how to open doors with power failures.

For 2012-2020 S/X productions front doors;

The same interior door handles work with and without power: It just feels a little more effort but not very noticeable without power.

For post 2020, powered and manual opening are separated in 2 separate locations just like the 3/Y. 99% of my passengers would pull up the manual mechanical lever to open front door because it is at their hand level and at the hand rest at the door. I have to train them to look up higher and press the power button instead.

For manual rear doors, there are strings hidden under kids feet for the S and inside the speaker grille for the X.

If they can climb up to front doors, that might be easier to train them.

Please see

 
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glide

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Jun 6, 2018
5,362
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This news is a wake up call. Since MS door release is motorized, in case of a situation like described in this news (link below), even the driver could open the door by using the manual release, how can one open the rear doors if the door handles do not release? This is a scary thought when two kids are strapped in car seats and fire is starting to engulf the car. Any thoughts?

Tesla driver said he broke a window to escape electric-car fire — Business Insider
If the backseat passengers are children, your only real hope is to get them into the front seat.

Most adults are not going to be able to handle the exit procedure from the rear of the vehicle in an emergency situation.

And this design is brought to you by a company that “cares about your safety”.
 
If the backseat passengers are children, your only real hope is to get them into the front seat.

Most adults are not going to be able to handle the exit procedure from the rear of the vehicle in an emergency situation.

And this design is brought to you by a company that “cares about your safety”.
The children are required to be in car seats by law. Of course, the incidents of a crash is much higher than a car fire. So, the car seats in the back is safer per se in protecting them. I am going to carry a window breaker/seat belt cutter in my MS and M3 from now on.
 
The manual shows how to open doors with power failures.

For 2012-2020 S/X productions front doors;

The same interior door handles work with and without power: It just feels a little more effort but not very noticeable without power.

For post 2020, powered and manual opening are separated in 2 separate locations just like the 3/Y. 99% of my passengers would pull up the manual mechanical lever to open front door because it is at their hand level and at the hand rest at the door. I have to train them to look up higher and press the power button instead.

For manual rear doors, there are strings hidden under kids feet for the S and inside the speaker grille for the X.

If they can climb up to front doors, that might be easier to train them.

Please see

Sighs. The issue is when the kids are strapped in the car seats, the power is down. How do you open the door from the outside when the door handle of a MS is motorized. Even when someone can knock out the window, how can one reach the strings. At one time I heard the power to the door handle has a different power source. Can that be validated?
 
I agree that it is utter stupidity for Tesla to provide a separate floor pull to manually open the rear doors. Nobody will remember this in a panic unless they have been repeatedly emergency trained. I’m surprised it meets NHTSA. That said, I added plastic cable ties to the floor pulls so that they are easier to grasp. Otherwise you need a lot of finger strength. Even with the cable ties, I doubt a child under ten would have the strength to pull anyway.
 

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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,573
10,623
Visalia, CA
...how...
Agreed. If I were Tesla, I would design easy to use mechanical door opening for all doors and not just the front doors. My guess is it's about cutting costs.

In the meantime, breaking windows is the fastest that I could think of if I want to get the kids out from the back. You might want to invest in car window breakers. They are cheap and can be small to be in the same key ring.


...power to the door handle has a different power source.


Can that be validated?

Elon Musk is an engineer so just because he said so, could it be true?

The way he's been so optimistic about Robotaxi has made me question his other statements as well.

So in theory, "There is both primary & backup power to doors..." but I would not trust that statement until someone can ask Consumer Reports to test that out.

What I do know is, that when my 12V battery was dead, reaching into my Model 3 through the open window and pushing the door button, it would not electronically open.
 
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glide

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Jun 6, 2018
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The children are required to be in car seats by law. Of course, the incidents of a crash is much higher than a car fire. So, the car seats in the back is safer per se in protecting them. I am going to carry a window breaker/seat belt cutter in my MS and M3 from now on.
Good luck. They don’t work on dual pane glass. Check out some of the YouTube vids.
 
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glide

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Jun 6, 2018
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Agreed. If I were Tesla, I would design easy to use mechanical door opening for all doors and not just the front doors. My guess is it's about cutting costs.

In the meantime, breaking windows is the fastest that I could think of if I want to get the kids out from the back. You might want to invest in car window breakers. They are cheap and can be small to be in the same key ring.







Elon Musk is an engineer so just because he said so, could it be true?

The way he's been so optimistic about Robotaxi has made me question his other statements as well.

So in theory, "There is both primary & backup power to doors..." but I would not trust that statement until someone can ask Consumer Reports to test that out.

What I do know is, that when my 12V battery was dead, reaching into my Model 3 through the open window and pushing the door button, it would not electronically open.
I wouldn’t trust my life to any claim Elon has made that you have not seen in practice.
 
I wouldn’t trust my life to any claim Elon has made that you have not seen in practice.
Besides we are talking about all power out and car is on fire. He was talking about a crash probably trigger the unlock by airbag deployment. May be Elon can post a show how he escapes from a burning Tesla sitting in the back sit with power out. The may change his design for better safety.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,573
10,623
Visalia, CA
...How do you open the door from the outside when the door handle of a MS is motorized...
When a Tesla senses a crash (like airbag deployment...), all doors should automatically be unlocked. They are still closed but the locks will be unlocked so outsiders can open the doors.

The problem with Model S handles is that it needs 12V in order to extend out. In a crash, most likely the 12V battery might be compromised that making the extending action of door handles impossible IF there's no backup, independent power for the sole purpose of saving a life.

Now, there's a lawsuit that the 2016 Model S because first responders and good Samaritans couldn't open the door to rescue Dr. Omar Awan as the handles were all tucked in. The biopsy shows that he did not die because of the impact of the crash but because of the burning Tesla.


Tesla defended its technology by citing the toxicology report that the doctor's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit.

We have learned how to escape from the interior but this lawsuit now adds to our worries about unlocking for exterior rescuers.
 

glide

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Jun 6, 2018
5,362
7,518
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When a Tesla senses a crash (like airbag deployment...), all doors should automatically be unlocked. They are still closed but the locks will be unlocked so outsiders can open the doors.

The problem with Model S handles is that it needs 12V in order to extend out. In a crash, most likely the 12V battery might be compromised that making the extending action of door handles impossible IF there's no backup, independent power for the sole purpose of saving a life.

Now, there's a lawsuit that the 2016 Model S because first responders and good Samaritans couldn't open the door to rescue Dr. Omar Awan as the handles were all tucked in. The biopsy shows that he did not die because of the impact of the crash but because of the burning Tesla.


Tesla defended its technology by citing the toxicology report that the doctor's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit.

We have learned how to escape from the interior but this lawsuit now adds to our worries about unlocking for exterior rescuers.
This is such an Elon thing to do.

Calls a press conference to tell everyone how how safe his car is and how all doors automatically unlock if a crash is detected.

Neglects to mention doors cannot be opened from the outside due to their stupid design.

Blames victim.
 
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This is such an Elon thing to do.

Calls a press conference to tell everyone how how safe his car is and how all doors automatically unlock if a crash is detected.

Neglects to mention doors cannot be opened from the outside due to their stupid design.

Blames victim.
I put a window breaker in the center console. If I can open the door by pulling the manual release, at least I can go around and knock out the rear window and safe the strapped kid. My original description of the scenario was the car lost power (not in crash) and caught on fire with kids strapped in the back seats.
 
How are the other manufacturers who are doing the same thing handling this? Mach-E, etc.
Pretty sure it's the same situation for the Mach-E. Opening the rear doors manually from inside sounds easier, via a lever in the arm rest, but still not a good solution with small kids in there and no power

Odds of encountering this situation are obviously pretty low but begs asking why even have a design with risks like this
 
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glide

Well-Known Member
Jun 6, 2018
5,362
7,518
USA
I put a window breaker in the center console. If I can open the door by pulling the manual release, at least I can go around and knock out the rear window and safe the strapped kid. My original description of the scenario was the car lost power (not in crash) and caught on fire with kids strapped in the back seats.
No you can’t. Google how those hammers work on dual pane windows.

Spoiler (they don’t)
 
Seriously, no sarcasm intended, I’m glad some automakers are pushing us into the future. Manual handles have been around for decades and it’s about time we push for something new. I’ll also add that vehicles should meet your use case. Hatchbacks don’t make good furniture delivery vehicles, and Nissan Leafs don’t make for good rock crawlers. Maybe if you have kids in car seats, Telsla’s aren’t for you.

(This from a guy who is sad the world is moving backwards. I.E. the Concorde no longer flies, the Space Shuttle was retired, and next generation spacecraft look like capsules from 60 years ago. Starship excluded.)
 
Seriously, no sarcasm intended, I’m glad some automakers are pushing us into the future. Manual handles have been around for decades and it’s about time we push for something new. I’ll also add that vehicles should meet your use case. Hatchbacks don’t make good furniture delivery vehicles, and Nissan Leafs don’t make for good rock crawlers. Maybe if you have kids in car seats, Telsla’s aren’t for you.

(This from a guy who is sad the world is moving backwards. I.E. the Concorde no longer flies, the Space Shuttle was retired, and next generation spacecraft look like capsules from 60 years ago. Starship excluded.)
Shaved door handles + door poppers and similar setups have also been around for decades really, just mostly as aftermarket custom mods and not from the factory
 
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rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
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NJ
I had a rear door panel in my 2021 MY replaced by a Tesla service call at my house, and while the panel was off the technician showed me there is a fully functional mechanical door latch with cable connected to it, but the cable end is just hanging there not attached to an interior handle. He explained that to pull this hidden cable and open the door you are supposed to dig into the side door pocket, take off the bottom, grab the exposed cable end and pull on it for dear life.

Who in the world is going to think of that in an emergency? The mechanical opening system is already in place, I'd like to see Tesla add an actual handle to use it.
 
Manufacturers have been doing this for over a decade, possible two.

The stories about corvette drivers calling 911 because they couldn’t get out of their car while parked at home have been amusing, for example.

Intellectually the concerns being voiced here make sense but it would seem the real-world scenario isn’t playing out as we are imagining here.
 

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