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[UPDATED] 2 die in Tesla crash - NHTSA reports driver seat occupied

Dan D.

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Dec 7, 2020
855
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Vancouver, BC
This may have been discussed, but the timing of the latest news release from CNBC was about one day after earnings, and about 6 months after the accident, which was reported about two weeks before Q1 earnings. At first glance, the original report had inferences that Tesla may have been "at fault", no driver in the seat, autopilot on, etc. Then, 6 months later, the day after an earnings blowout despite daily upward revisions to earnings estimates, CNBC reports driver in the seat (according to "officials") and someone in the car was over the legal BAC limit. Way to come clean CNBC, 6 months after the fact. Phil, their EV expert has zero credibility with me.
So the driver had the accident on purpose to coincide with Tesla's financial details, then CNBC dared to report findings from the NTSB on the day they were released, closely timed to another Tesla financial report. The NTSB must be in on it too.

/s

Conspiracies aside, it hasn't hurt Tesla's stock price. CNBC didn't invent the story, details came from the scene, and initial reports were flawed.
 

MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
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596
Florida
I assume you got this from some skidpad test, but that's a bad application of that value. Skidpad numbers are only valuable for direct comparison with other vehicles. They in no way give you the max controllable lateral acceleration for arbitrary curves. I'm not saying your conclusion is necessarily wrong (too fast for the curve), but your reasoning is based on a completely arbitrary number in regards to this specific scenario.

I had done a similar calculation back in April:


Skidpad numbers are no crystal ball, I agree, but they can give you an idea of what a "maximum possible" speed would be on a given curve in certain weather/road conditions. For example, if a given car's skidpad number is .9G and the physics of the curve dictate that you'd be pulling 1.2G (even if you "cheat the apex's), it's logical to conclude that one would likely not make that turn.

Mike
 
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EVNow

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Sep 5, 2009
11,677
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Seattle, WA
And when corrections are made, they should declare them with the same level of broadcast as their initial report. Having a correction posted down on their website vs the initial broadcast on TV, is not right.
This is the old NYT trick of posting a bad story with big headlines first page above the fold and then mention a correction on page 16 a few days later. They have managed to get millions killed with this little trick over the years.
 
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Mar 18, 2016
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150
SF Bay Area
So the driver had the accident on purpose to coincide with Tesla's financial details, then CNBC dared to report findings from the NTSB on the day they were released, closely timed to another Tesla financial report. The NTSB must be in on it too.

/s

Conspiracies aside, it hasn't hurt Tesla's stock price. CNBC didn't invent the story, details came from the scene, and initial reports were flawed.
No, I don’t wear a tinfoil hat, lol. I was merely pointing out the timing and degree of the media coverage, and when it comes to stocks, CNBC can move the market. Put another way, before earnings, the short money, and other interested parties were still on the FUD bandwagon. 6 months later, a day after earnings, with two more production plants coming online and an order backlog, I sense an “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. Even Cramer‘s on the Tesla train. He kind of does that when all time highs are reached. I added a lot to my position when the stock went down 14 points after hours, and it paid off. the smart money came in the next day. 30 percent margins ? They killed earnings. Just in time to predict success Cramer. I’m sorry there was a fatal accident involved, but you didn’t see ME on TV blabbing about it. There were other less publicized fatal accidents that day In April, and pretty much sure they weren’t on purpose.
 
Mar 18, 2016
177
150
SF Bay Area
Huh ? Down $41.
In what market ? 434A56F8-F35C-463B-92CF-0732EF128CD5.jpeg
 
Mar 18, 2016
177
150
SF Bay Area
The reason this story is wide and tall in the news is because it is interesting to many because:
  1. People don't understand autopilot and FSD and want to learn more.
  2. The media doesn't understand it either.
  3. Rich people getting roasted makes for an interesting story.
  4. People don't understand the risk associated with battery fires and want to learn more.
Tesla is blazing the trail of autopilot and FSD and it is natural that Tesla will receive increased scrutiny.
This post was linked to today, and it was interesting that the local news in the SF Bay Area ran a story several times of cars with driver assist systems crashing into a white car in the rain, which is becoming a "thing" here.. Several brands of cars were shown crashing, and not one was a Tesla. Hmmmm... maybe they couldn't get it to crash. No mention at all. Sort of seems like anything good about them is excluded, but no drama, no news. Who want's to see a car not crash on the news, except..... everybody. I think all car crashes should be on a dedicated channel, called, say, Rubberneck. Such a channel might improve traffic flow.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,132
6,267
This post was linked to today, and it was interesting that the local news in the SF Bay Area ran a story several times of cars with driver assist systems crashing into a white car in the rain, which is becoming a "thing" here.. Several brands of cars were shown crashing, and not one was a Tesla. Hmmmm... maybe they couldn't get it to crash. No mention at all. Sort of seems like anything good about them is excluded, but no drama, no news. Who want's to see a car not crash on the news, except..... everybody. I think all car crashes should be on a dedicated channel, called, say, Rubberneck. Such a channel might improve traffic flow.
Link to story about other driver assist systems? I haven't seen that or a similar story.
 
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gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
Whether he was trying to open a door, or even knew about the hidden safety release has not been said
I think the word "hidden" says it all. I drive an X and I'm pretty sure it would be very easy to never find your way out of the car in a serious accident. I was in a serious accident once where I had a concussion. I was trying to release my seat belt on the left. The seat belt buckle was on the right. There's no way I would be able to find or even remember the process of releasing Tesla door latches in a serious accident. Sooner or later this stuff is going to catch up with Tesla and it is going to cost them big bucks! Does anyone here remember the Pinto gas tank issue? It was the watershed case for accident liability.

No one in their right mind is going to compare the issues of getting out of a Tesla in an accident to spilling McDonald's coffee in your lap. That case was decided for the plaintiff as I recall. It's just going to take one accident where someone is visibly trapped in the car and no one can get them out while it burns. People already think Teslas are firebombs. If the idea gets out that they are also fiery coffins, it will be a done deal and Tesla sales and stock will plummet.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,132
6,267
I think the word "hidden" says it all. I drive an X and I'm pretty sure it would be very easy to never find your way out of the car in a serious accident. I was in a serious accident once where I had a concussion. I was trying to release my seat belt on the left. The seat belt buckle was on the right. There's no way I would be able to find or even remember the process of releasing Tesla door latches in a serious accident. Sooner or later this stuff is going to catch up with Tesla and it is going to cost them big bucks! Does anyone here remember the Pinto gas tank issue? It was the watershed case for accident liability.

No one in their right mind is going to compare the issues of getting out of a Tesla in an accident to spilling McDonald's coffee in your lap. That case was decided for the plaintiff as I recall. It's just going to take one accident where someone is visibly trapped in the car and no one can get them out while it burns. People already think Teslas are firebombs. If the idea gets out that they are also fiery coffins, it will be a done deal and Tesla sales and stock will plummet.

In an X (and any Tesla really) there is a manually actuated latch on the front door, so that is always a backup exit option to the rear doors even if you can't figure out the hidden release.

There are other similar electronically actuated door latches in other cars with hidden manual release, including ones that have led to death (there was someone killed in a Corvette who couldn't find the manual release), but there is was no pressure to change the design.

There are also plenty of cars where you can't exit from the back directly (like coupes) and some cars with rear doors that can't open without opening the fronts. Many trucks are like this, Mazda likes to use this also (RX8 had it, now the MX30 has it). I believe the i3 doors are like that also. Then there's the whole thing with child locks (which necessitates teaching your child to exit from front anyways in an emergency). So if rear exit is such a big concern, there are a lot of cars that would need to be eliminated from the market.
 
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Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
855
1,061
Vancouver, BC
In an X (and any Tesla really) there is a manually actuated latch on the front door, so that is always a backup exit option to the rear doors even if you can't figure out the hidden release.

There are other similar electronically actuated door latches in other cars with hidden manual release, including ones that have led to death (there was someone killed in a Corvette who couldn't find the manual release), but there is was no pressure to change the design.

There are also plenty of cars where you can't exit from the back directly (like coupes) and some cars with rear doors that can't open without opening the fronts. Many trucks are like this, Mazda likes to use this also (RX8 had it, now the MX30 has it). I believe the i3 doors are like that also. Then there's the whole thing with child locks (which necessitates teaching your child to exit from front anyways in an emergency). So if rear exit is such a big concern, there are a lot of cars that would need to be eliminated from the market.
If you're going to install a safety release mechanism - at some cost - why hide it? What's the point then?

The Model S has pull-tabs that are hidden but accessible. They went to the bother of designing them, why? Ok, they decided it might be nice to allow rear passengers to have a way to open the rear doors. Why don't all Model 3 and Y have them then? The Model X is perhaps too hidden, so why is it even there? It could easily have been a pull tab that was accessible.

I'm sure you could put a red-handle "break and pull in case of emergency", even on a child door. Generally people don't 'break' red emergency things.

Well, they don't put red-handled mechanisms in cars because they don't have to. If they were forced to by regulations then they would. They could also put pull-strips to remove laminated side windows - if they were forced to.

Sure, design your car to meet regulations, if you want to exceed regulations even better. So why hide them? Why make them obscure (Corvette C6)? Just a little extra effort by the designers would make a big difference.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,132
6,267
If you're going to install a safety release mechanism - at some cost - why hide it? What's the point then?

The Model S has pull-tabs that are hidden but accessible. They went to the bother of designing them, why? Ok, they decided it might be nice to allow rear passengers to have a way to open the rear doors. Why don't all Model 3 and Y have them then? The Model X is perhaps too hidden, so why is it even there? It could easily have been a pull tab that was accessible.

I'm sure you could put a red-handle "break and pull in case of emergency", even on a child door. Generally people don't 'break' red emergency things.
You mentioned the number one reason to keep it hidden, especially for the rear: kids. Kids would be attracted to a red handle that was easy to pull and they don't care what is written on it.

As a side note, the old Model Y manual mentions on page 15 that under the door pockets there is a manual release tab for the rear doors.
https://tesla-info.com/doc/model_y_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf
This is gone from the latest manual, so not sure if they removed it in the 2021 models:
https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_y_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf
Also not in the html manual (which looks new? I just found it on google, didn't know a html manual existed):
Model Y Owner's Manual | Tesla
Well, they don't put red-handled mechanisms in cars because they don't have to. If they were forced to by regulations then they would. They could also put pull-strips to remove laminated side windows - if they were forced to.
Sure, regulators can force it, but given there are a bunch of vehicle types where it's difficult, if not impossible, to exit the rear seats in an emergency (without somehow reaching the front), regulators obviously have not seen it as something to address or mandate.
Sure, design your car to meet regulations, if you want to exceed regulations even better. So why hide them? Why make them obscure (Corvette C6)? Just a little extra effort by the designers would make a big difference.
For cars where kids are not a concern, the reason is likely to prevent possible damage to the door trim when using the emergency release. Many of the cars using electronic releases have frameless windows (one of primary reasons for using an electronic release in the first place) and the manual release will not drop the window down to clear the trim. So you have to be extra careful when using the manual release. The Corvette C6 is no exception:
Emergency/Trunk Door Release Doesn't Drop Window - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

This had been a common complaint of the Model 3 front manual releases actually, that it's too easy for people to pull (many times the first thing they intuitively want to pull given they can't figure out the button). Of course, Tesla have long updated the software to use the door ajar sensor to drop the windows, but there is still some delay involved. An electronic latch ensures the window always drops before the door opens.

Designers have a bunch of different concerns to balance before they consider emergencies. For most people. keeping a emergency window smasher or two in the car probably would be much more useful than stressing out over the rear doors, as plenty of accidents would have the doors deformed such that you can't open them anyways regardless of a manual latch.
 
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Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
855
1,061
Vancouver, BC
You mentioned the number one reason to keep it hidden, especially for the rear: kids. Kids would be attracted to a red handle that was easy to pull and they don't care what is written on it.

As a side note, the old Model Y manual mentions on page 15 that under the door pockets there is a manual release tab for the rear doors.
https://tesla-info.com/doc/model_y_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf
This is gone from the latest manual, so not sure if they removed it in the 2021 models:
https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_y_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf
Also not in the html manual (which looks new? I just found it on google, didn't know a html manual existed):
Model Y Owner's Manual | Tesla

Sure, regulators can force it, but given there are a bunch of vehicle types where it's difficult, if not impossible, to exit the rear seats in an emergency (without somehow reaching the front), regulators obviously have not seen it as something to address or mandate.

For cars where kids are not a concern, the reason is likely to prevent possible damage to the door trim when using the emergency release. Many of the cars using electronic releases have frameless windows (one of primary reasons for using an electronic release in the first place) and the manual release will not drop the window down to clear the trim. So you have to be extra careful when using the manual release. The Corvette C6 is no exception:
Emergency/Trunk Door Release Doesn't Drop Window - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

This had been a common complaint of the Model 3 front manual releases actually, that it's too easy for people to pull (many times the first thing they intuitively want to pull given they can't figure out the button). Of course, Tesla have long updated the software to use the door ajar sensor to drop the windows, but there is still some delay involved. An electronic latch ensures the window always drops before the door opens.

Designers have a bunch of different concerns to balance before they consider emergencies. For most people. keeping a emergency window smasher or two in the car probably would be much more useful than stressing out over the rear doors, as plenty of accidents would have the doors deformed such that you can't open them anyways regardless of a manual latch.
The old Model Y manual says you can open a rear door manually but also that you cannot. Odd.

To open a rear door when Model Y has no power:
1. Remove the mat from the map pocket in the door panel.
2. Use your fingernail or a small flat-bladed tool to open the plastic flap.
3. Pull the mechanical release cable (foam block) to release the door latch.
Note: Only the front doors are equipped with a manual door release.

I wonder if the 2021 model still has the manual method but it's just not documented? Perhaps someone can look in their car and update us.


I didn't say they should hide the manual method because of kids. Why hide it where a kid can find it then? Are you suggesting that if a kid is sitting on the floor and finds the release behind the carpet they will not pull it?

If anything, I was suggesting that they don't hide a manual release method but make it plainly obvious but protected from goofing around. I didn't say make it easy to pull, I said 'break and pull in case of emergency'. That is difficult to do, and implies damage. Kids won't break a safety cover, or at least I hope they don't break things just for fun. I just don't get why Tesla bothers to hide the rear release mechanisms where nobody knows (except the occasional RTFM owner).

The only reason the manual release method isn't advised on the front doors is because the designers couldn't be bothered to make it NOT damage the windows. They could have made a better design if they wanted.


Also, as mentioned before on other threads, the new cars are coming with unbreakable side windows too. Good luck getting out with the useless emergency window smashers that won't work on them.
 
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MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
417
596
Florida
The old Model Y manual says you can open a rear door manually but also that you cannot. Odd.

To open a rear door when Model Y has no power:
1. Remove the mat from the map pocket in the door panel.
2. Use your fingernail or a small flat-bladed tool to open the plastic flap.
3. Pull the mechanical release cable (foam block) to release the door latch.
Note: Only the front doors are equipped with a manual door release.

Yeah, that's pretty poorly worded but in their wording, perhaps technically correct. The instructions are for pulling the mechanical release cable which they appear to distinguish from a manual door release. So I guess they are saying the front has a manual door release as opposed to this hidden "mechanical release cable".

I might have led with that note such as "Note: only the front doors are equipped with readily accessible manual door releases; the rear doors are equipped with hidden manual release cables"... and then give the instructions for the rear doors.

P.S. I've thought for years Tesla needs better manual releases in the rear. If you're worried about kids, make them "childproof" like medicine bottles: squeeze and pull, squeeze and turn, etc. but do SOMETHING to allow people to exit easily without power!

Mike
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,132
6,267
The old Model Y manual says you can open a rear door manually but also that you cannot. Odd.

To open a rear door when Model Y has no power:
1. Remove the mat from the map pocket in the door panel.
2. Use your fingernail or a small flat-bladed tool to open the plastic flap.
3. Pull the mechanical release cable (foam block) to release the door latch.
Note: Only the front doors are equipped with a manual door release.

I wonder if the 2021 model still has the manual method but it's just not documented? Perhaps someone can look in their car and update us.


I didn't say they should hide the manual method because of kids. Why hide it where a kid can find it then? Are you suggesting that if a kid is sitting on the floor and finds the release behind the carpet they will not pull it?
If they are sitting on the floor, the car's not likely moving, so that eliminates the major concern child locks are intended to address, which is kids opening the door while the vehicle is moving. The main thing is they won't be easy to find and pull when seated.
If anything, I was suggesting that they don't hide a manual release method but make it plainly obvious but protected from goofing around. I didn't say make it easy to pull, I said 'break and pull in case of emergency'. That is difficult to do, and implies damage. Kids won't break a safety cover, or at least I hope they don't break things just for fun. I just don't get why Tesla bothers to hide the rear release mechanisms where nobody knows (except the occasional RTFM owner).
But for an emergency release, you don't want to have something that requires that much effort. All of the Tesla hidden release methods are easy to accomplish as long as you know about it and it does not require breaking anything. See above again for why they hide it.
The only reason the manual release method isn't advised on the front doors is because the designers couldn't be bothered to make it NOT damage the windows. They could have made a better design if they wanted.
Sure, they could add another sensor to the mechanical latches and then tie that into the window dropping, but that adds another layer of complexity to the design to something that may never be used in the life of the car and increases the chance of failures (like how a lot of German cars have all kinds of complex switches that break as the car ages).
Also, as mentioned before on other threads, the new cars are coming with unbreakable side windows too. Good luck getting out with the useless emergency window smashers that won't work on them.
AFAIK, even when they use laminated glass, they typically leave one or more windows standard tempered. I know in my 2021 Model 3 only the two front side windows are laminated (and it was more for noise mitigation), while the rear glass is tempered. It's easy to check which windows are laminated by looking at the markings in the corner.
 

Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
855
1,061
Vancouver, BC
If they are sitting on the floor, the car's not likely moving, so that eliminates the major concern child locks are intended to address, which is kids opening the door while the vehicle is moving. The main thing is they won't be easy to find and pull when seated.
Nothing to stop a kid from pulling the manual release while in motion, kids ride unbuckled all the time. Sure it's bad parenting...


But for an emergency release, you don't want to have something that requires that much effort. All of the Tesla hidden release methods are easy to accomplish as long as you know about it and it does not require breaking anything. See above again for why they hide it.
I didn't say Tesla's hidden releases are hard to pull, I said they could consider unhiding them and making them secure. Secure does not mean hard to pull. Think of a fire pull in a building or a handle behind a cover. Easy to pull but secured from unintentional pulling. Again I'm not suggesting any particular style, just a concept of having an emergency release that is secured but easy to use. This does not exist in cars, but maybe it could.

I don't like hidden releases that only exist as escape methods if you've fully read the manual, not that your passengers would know about them.

Sure, they could add another sensor to the mechanical latches and then tie that into the window dropping, but that adds another layer of complexity to the design to something that may never be used in the life of the car and increases the chance of failures (like how a lot of German cars have all kinds of complex switches that break as the car ages).
I didn't say add an electrical sensor did I? I said design a mechanical release that doesn't cause damage.

AFAIK, even when they use laminated glass, they typically leave one or more windows standard tempered. I know in my 2021 Model 3 only the two front side windows are laminated (and it was more for noise mitigation), while the rear glass is tempered. It's easy to check which windows are laminated by looking at the markings in the corner.
Good to know some rear windows may still be tempered, for now. I expect that to change as laminated offer many advantages and will probably be fitted to rear windows soon to give rear passengers the same level of protection and sound comfort. They have but one drawback - risk of entrapment in rare cases of fire and water, well also risk from fine glass shards.

No reason not to use laminated, just enable windows to be more easily removed after crashing and loss of power - again that's up to car designers to find a way
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,132
6,267
Nothing to stop a kid from pulling the manual release while in motion, kids ride unbuckled all the time. Sure it's bad parenting...
If you are letting your kids ride on the floor while the vehicle is moving, you have safety concerns much worse than an emergency release being pulled.
I didn't say Tesla's hidden releases are hard to pull, I said they could consider unhiding them and making them secure. Secure does not mean hard to pull. Think of a fire pull in a building or a handle behind a cover. Easy to pull but secured from unintentional pulling. Again I'm not suggesting any particular style, just a concept of having an emergency release that is secured but easy to use. This does not exist in cars, but maybe it could.

I don't like hidden releases that only exist as escape methods if you've fully read the manual, not that your passengers would know about them.
Sorry, maybe I'm not making it clear, but I'm talking exactly about a handle behind a cover you have to break (like building fire pulls) being too much effort in a car, given the confined space, versus the methods Tesla have.
I didn't say add an electrical sensor did I? I said design a mechanical release that doesn't cause damage.
Pretty much not possible as long as the windows are frameless and rely on the window dropping for sealing (which is a very common frameless design). I'm not sure if it's possible to design a mechanical way to drop the window, but that sounds like something that may interfere with the latch working in an emergency (easy to have a sensor not interfere with that, but much harder if there is extra mechanical linkage). For an emergency mechanical release, you want it as simple as possible to ensure it always works, that's why all of them pretty much just pull a release cable.
Good to know some rear windows may still be tempered, for now. I expect that to change as laminated offer many advantages and will probably be fitted to rear windows soon to give rear passengers the same level of protection and sound comfort. They have but one drawback - risk of entrapment in rare cases of fire and water, well also risk from fine glass shards.

No reason not to use laminated, just enable windows to be more easily removed after crashing and loss of power - again that's up to car designers to find a way
The move to laminate is to satisfy FVMSS 226 (which all cars after 2020 pretty much have to meet) which requires preventing people from being ejected from the sides of the vehicles in an accident where the windows may break. However, it can also be met with other means, like side curtain air bags that block the windows. Tesla appears to have met that requirement with the air bags, given they still use tempered glass on the rear side windows in their 2021 models.

Automakers don't seem to have made any effort to design the laminated windows different for escape. The first responders do have a new tool available however that can break through laminated glass:
https://rescue42.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/The-Ripper-White-Paper.pdf

As for noise reduction, practically all reviews say the impact is very minimal from the laminated glass. I think there will be diminishing returns.
 

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
In an X (and any Tesla really) there is a manually actuated latch on the front door, so that is always a backup exit option to the rear doors even if you can't figure out the hidden release.

How does the manual handle in the front doors of an X open the window as required to open the door? Even if that's true, it's still a very poor way to exit a burning car. Many passengers would not be able to do that. Don't think everyone in the world is the same as you. Then there is the issue of education. I don't relish having to tell everyone who rides in the back seat of my model X to pull off the speaker cover and pull the tiny ball on the wire to open the door after a crash and they are trying to get out.

Did I mention that my rear doors failed to open for a passenger once? I had not owned the car long and the inside open button didn't work. I got out and tried the outside button which didn't work. Finally I used the touch screen which did work. Yeah, that didn't leave a favorable impression.

There are other similar electronically actuated door latches in other cars with hidden manual release, including ones that have led to death (there was someone killed in a Corvette who couldn't find the manual release), but there is was no pressure to change the design.

There are also plenty of cars where you can't exit from the back directly (like coupes) and some cars with rear doors that can't open without opening the fronts. Many trucks are like this, Mazda likes to use this also (RX8 had it, now the MX30 has it). I believe the i3 doors are like that also. Then there's the whole thing with child locks (which necessitates teaching your child to exit from front anyways in an emergency). So if rear exit is such a big concern, there are a lot of cars that would need to be eliminated from the market.

What they do in other cars has no bearing on the issue. We are discussing Teslas. If you go down that road we'll end up with a V8 and a 5 speed in my model X. At least it would be lighter.
 
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