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Trunk latch problems

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by vfx, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #1 vfx, Aug 10, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
    It's getting to a point where the pictures with owners and their new Production cars have them fiddling with the trunk latches.

    At the end of this video the owner is clearly having problems with the trunk latching.
    YouTube - 2008 Gumball Rally 3000 racing in San Francisco, CA

    And there is Sergy in an "unatural trunk closing position"
    2732937355_3cfb188839_o.jpg
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    There was other video of the trunk lid issue as well.

    Here is my perspective. The carbon fiber lid is very lightweight so it lacks heft and dimensional stability.

    When I have closed the trunk it's not only the lack of weight pushing down on the latch but it's lateral integrity (spongeness) that makes it not connect with the receiver.

    So when you push down on the trunk lid to try to make the striker interlatch with the reciever, the problem is the trunk lid flexes so it's kind of like trying to turn on a light switch through a pillow
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #3 TEG, Aug 10, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
    Child safety release triggered?

    attachment.php?attachmentid=331&stc=1&d=1249682290.jpg
    [​IMG](example)

    Items shifting around in the trunk could possibly bump this and release the latches.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the latch is also mounted on CF.
     
  5. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Just a guess here, but it might be the latch bolts are loose and the latch gets knocked out of alignment more and more with each increasingly forceful attempt to close it.
     
  6. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Ah, that's right....the latch is sourced from Ford.

    At first I was going to say that the problem can't tbe that bad because quoteth Cathy Saxton,

    "The trunk latch was a bit finicky. There's a latch on each side and one side didn't release the first few tries. Closing the trunk requires applying pressure evenly to both sides but, in fairness, the trunk on the NSX is also a bit touchy."

    That's not so bad, right? Well, as mentioned above, just watch the end of the video. It looks pretty bad. Then again, if this really was such a problem don't you think the relentlessly critical car magazines would've said something about it?
     
  7. deenko

    deenko Member

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    The latch is just something to get used to. The recommended method is to just apply pressure on both sides of the lid. So, just slam it down, the put pressure on both sides. there will be an audible click when the latch engages. No click sound, then the latch is already engaged.

    Nothing much here. After a little time, the trunk will become second nature.
     
  8. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Closing the trunk shouldn't have to become second nature. I'd bet this isn't the last we hear of this.
     
  9. Tim M

    Tim M Member

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    I've opened and closed the trunk on several of the VP's. It really isn't that difficult to do and "slamming it down" is exactly what Tesla will tell you not to do. The CF trunk lid does have a lot of flex in it. You should be able to simply close the lid from it's extended position and just press on the two corners. You don't even have to apply that pressure at the same time.

    I would guess the guy in the Gumball Rally video may have an obstruction to the catch. Too many items stuffed in to the small trunk for their little trip??
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they need some sort of magnetic latch.

    An Electric car might use a solenoid.

    Some high-end cars have a feature that has you close the trunk lightly and then it slowly pulls the lid down for you.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Most cars already use a solenoid for the trunk release.
    I know the feature you're talking about. It might be a lot for a vehicle like the Roadster which is trying to save on weight. But if closing the trunk becomes a big issue, it might be a good idea.
     
  12. Chris H.

    Chris H. Member

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  13. deenko

    deenko Member

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    "Closing the trunk shouldn't have to become second nature. I'd bet this isn't the last we hear of this."

    Like any other car, especially exotic, there are little things that may be different than what qualifies as the norm. The trunk functions. There is no need to dwell on it.

    As for slamming the trunk, I guess that was a bad way to put it. At least slamming the trunk should not hurt it.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #14 TEG, Aug 24, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009

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  15. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    I was at Tesla LA store back in May, & in between some obsessive photo/video shooting I decided to get a feel for the Roadster.

    I was shocked to find, when I tried to close the rear trunk from the left side..it wouldn't close! The sales girl said, I had to press on both sides. This is a "gremlin" that will certainly annoy a high-end buyer, since after paying $100K they would certainly expect a lot better!

    I did rent out a Ford Probe earlier this year (2008 Rose Bowl, Illinois vs USC). A feather touch one finger push on one side of trunk..CLOSED.

    I think Roadster needs some work on "polish" & "fine tuning". There was apparently a TM insider, who posted this on a recent article:

    "the fit is terrible, in car noise on hiway is intolerable"

    I'd like to hear reports about people driving with the top, engaged. I personally drive a noisy/boxy 4x4 van, believe me, noisy hi way travel destroys any stereophonic experience! (even when I turn about the collective 1000W amps to full).
     
  16. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    TEG had it right.

    The Tesla team visiting us here in Seattle includes a technician that "knows the Roadster from top to bottom" according to the other people on the team. I make a terrible reporter; I don't recall his name. Anyway, I asked him about this problem. He was familiar with it, and said that in all the cases he was aware of, it was due to the internal child release handle being inadvertantly pulled. He said changes were being made to reduce the possibility of this happening.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    TEG and the rest of us at the Bay Area meet-up got the explanation from Jeremy at the Menlo Park store. I'd think that that would be one of the company's talking points by now.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I would have just tried it...


    Perhaps today.
     
  19. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    I didn't have to. I observed them opening and closing the trunk lid many times, and I never saw the slightest problem with it latching. But, that still left the times where a problem was seen by others, so there was nothing left to do but ask them about it. TEG's answer didn't come with an explanation like what doug provided, so I thought the issue was unresolved.
     

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