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Door opens by itself

I remember someone posted something about the door opening by itself, never happened to me until today! (more than 2200 miles on my car now)
I washed the car at home, then took it for a drive, stopped at a market, got something, came back to the car, when I got in, noticed that it says a door is open!
which one? Looked at the display, the right rear door is open. That's funny, since I mostly only open the driver door, and the left rear door to put stuff in.
Got out and walked around the car, sure enough, the right rear door is ajar for about 1 inch. Closed it. Drove home. Tried to finish drying the car, then got in the driver seat again, same story, the right rear door popped open again. Basically when I open the driver's door or tap the door handle, the right rear door also opens.

This repeated about 4 times total. Told my husband, went to the garage with a video camera in hand, but then of course, it did not do it again. He said he did not know the door can open by itself (not unlock, but physically open!) I guess it is a feature that may be added someday?

I wonder if it was due to some water getting somewhere it shouldn't? Anyone else seen this?

I believe the handles work by detecting you pulling on it and releasing the latch (while also rolling down the window slightly), so it is plausible a software bug or a faulty sensor could make it release the latch at other times.

Are the handles attached to physical (micro) switches or are they capacitive? If it's the latter, then water on the inside of the handle (where you touch to actuate the motor/servo to unlatch & open the door) might be causing this.

I remember when the (web based) "Towers of Hanoi" game came out for the iPhone, this guy smashed all the fastest time records by attaching paper clips to servos and a controller, then putting a drop of water on the capacitive screen over the 'buttons'. Paper clip + water = enough capacitance.

Several owners have reported this behavior. Tesla fixed the problem by replacing the offending door handle mechanism.

Oh, that was an awesome trip blog you posted last year!

well it has not done it again, I have gone back to the car several times, so I suppose it is just temporary water elated.

@TeslaTech thanks for comment on the blog. in case anyone is interested, it is here

Portia - you may have just provided TM the critical data needed to kill this bug.

This problem is ephemeral but has been seen by others.

The salient clue is that it happened right after washing. Rain water was present in the other case I read about too.

By the time you tried to video it, perhaps the affected area had dried enough to stop it.

If you are adventurous, you can try spraying just that handle with the hose for a couple minutes and then checking.

It's important to try the water test in a single localized area first, in order to find where the water might be penetrating.

If it is a water problem, it might enter at the handle, or the jamb, or the window seal area. All are possibilies - even possible that it happened at another door and brings this one down with it, but much less likely based on what you observed.

The sensor is not a capacitive touch sensor - I've played with it in the showroom a few times. It requires a firm press, and will operate on pressure from other sources other than contact with skin. This suggests it's a form of strain gauge (or FSR). If it's a high impedance sensor, water in the wrong place can screw up its quiescent reading.

I think your post will help TM.


Indeed you should send an email with the details to TM so that they understand that it is water related.

Thank you for bringing it up, this is very good to know.

ok, sent to ownership@tesla will see if they have anything to say or add.

I've had this door popping out problem happen two times within 5 minutes (left rear door).

The first instance was when I was trying to demonstrate to a friend how the charge port door opens up. I could only get the plug with about 5 feet of the car (the cable would not reach). The charging door did open up and after my friend closed it, the left rear door popped open about 10 seconds later. I was standing about 5 feet from the car with the key in my pocket.

The second time the door popped open was a few minutes later when we were trying to figure out what had happened. We had closed the left passenger door and I was standing 5 feet away and waiving the power plug around trying to get the charge port to open again. It wouldn't open and as I was walking away, the left rear door popped open again.

This hasn't happened again.

Well, my water theory may not hold... I am sure it's all dry by now.

when I got in the car the first time today, no problem, but the second time, it opened again!
I called Tesla, logged a service call, they said they will call me back today or more likely tomorrow.

This is one bug I find severe. Doors should not open without human interaction ever. If that would be your home door what would you do?

Portia, any feed back from Tesla on your request?

I've had this happen to me with my Model S. The first time, I was walking up to the car and the door handles extended AND the driver's door opened an inch. The 2nd time, I arrived at my destination and when I put the car in Park the driver's door opened on it's own. Both times it wasn't inconvenience because I was about to open the door myself anyway, but I am worried about doors opening spontaneously in other situations. I'm trying to make a service appointment to get it looked at

Does everyone with the door handle problem have the tech package?

Tesla emailed me back the next day and we exchanged several email, they think it is something wrong with the handle hardware and ordered a new one, I am scheduled to get it replaced this week. The problem has happened a few times since though not everyday. I had to make sure it is closed whem I walk away from tne car or it would not auto lock. The lights would stay on the tail lights, and I walked back to close the door!

The door handle was replaced today at the service center in Menlo Park, and the problem looks to be gone! It was getting pretty annoying every time I get in or out of the car, so I am glad it is now fixed.

Can't find the old thread that discusses this, but I had my first occurrence of a door opening on its own today. I was washing the car and when I walked round to the driver's side, the driver's door was unlatched and open about two inches. I've emailed ownership.

My problem also happened after a car wash, so, maybe something to do with water.

Take your car to a touchless carwash with a robotic power washing arm. When you get home open all four doors and look along the base (sill) of the door frame. I think there is too much water making it into the car, but would appreciate the observations of others who have used a touchless car wash.

I washed the car at home, and I am pretty sure I did not spray excessively into the door.

Imagine it's pouring rain and door handles got wet. Kinda scary to think the door might pop open while driving in the rain. This could be a serious issue.

we had driven it in pouring rain from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles , and many rainy days this winter, no problem. although the problem started after a car wash, I had washed it several times before, also no problem, I just don't know if it could be related to that wash, since I did not do anything different and it had been a lot wetter before.

I just had my right rear door pop open as well. I noticed it as I was backing down my driveway.

Interestingly, the door would not open for the past week. The handles popped out but no light and unable to open from the outside. I reset the screens and pulled the fuses and it would still not work. Tesla service has ordered a new handle assembly for me to replace it. Even more interesting is that the handle now works properly!

Not very happy about any of this. How can I trust my car will stay secure while I'm away or that it will stay safe while I'm driving with my small children in the back?!?!?

BTW - no water involved.

Wow. If memory serves me right one of the major contributors to the original production delay was the door handles - allegedly the chrome finish, but maybe it was more than that, and it still isn't fixed?

Hm. TM was warned the extra complexity would generated extra glitches. Requires thorough debugging and robust engineering to avoid that. Bear down hard on this, Tesla!

I had this happen with the rear left door while buffing the car after a hand wash. That was in the 4.0 days, not seen it since. Delivered 12/22/12, 1200 miles on her.

mine had been replaced Jan 31 and has been working since.

I've had a door pop open once. I was parking and as soon as I hit the button to put the car in 'park', the left rear door popped open. It just opened 1/2 inch, but it was obvious the motor that unlatches it went active just as I put it in park.

I'm curious about your production and delivery dates. I'm wondering if there was a "batch" problem. Those of you who have this problem, would you please tell us both your reservation # and delivery timeframe. I think we might also see a pattern here. As was said above, it would be interesting to see if you all have the tech package as well. Thanks in advance.

P2698, VIN2298, Left the factory Dec 18(ish)