Door handle problems

Door handle problems

Two weeks ago my right rear door handle assembly was replaced by the Tesla Ranger. He also replaced the 12v battery as a separate issue. This week, my driver door handle has the same problem and they are coming this week to replace it. The handle "presents" itself when I approach the car, but the light to that handle doesn't go on and the door won't open. I have rebooted the system, to no avail. Has anyone else had this problem? Model S Sig 213

jaq1 | February 21, 2013

Yes I had this exact same problem sunday night. I took it to the Rockville service center on Monday morning and had the problem fixed in roughly 10 minutes. I was told they "resynched" the door handles. Hope you get your situation straightened out.

rbgil770 | February 21, 2013

Had the same issue just yesterday with my driver door (handle presented but would not open & the light did not come on). Called the Rockville Service Center and they walked me through pulling the fuse for 15 seconds and it fixed the problem. Hopefully, it'll stay fixed.

svisichio | February 21, 2013

I had a similar problem with my rear passenger door. The handle was stuck out with the light on and would not go back in even when I tried locking the doors with th eFOB. I called Philly Service Center and they also told me to pull the fuse. It solved the problem and so far has not happened again.

Brian H | February 21, 2013

Figgers. Popping the fuse fixes handle re-fuse-al.

prints-r | February 23, 2013

How do you reboot the system ?? My back door handle doesn't come out at all !

prints-r | February 23, 2013

I called Telsa a couple of days ago about my door handle that doesn't open. they said someone would be calling. How long do I need to wait ?? unfortunately I am not anywhere near a service center (in New Mexico).
Any ideas to get my rear door handle to pop out ??

mw | February 23, 2013

I'm Sig 211 and haven't had that issue. I'll be on the look out tho.

dschulner | February 23, 2013

As I mentioned in another thread I rebooted the steering computer screen and it worked for me. Rear passenger door presented with no light and wouldn't open. Now it does.

David Trushin | February 23, 2013

No door handle problems so far. It's been a month. From what I've seen, if they last another month I'm good to go.

rbgliny | February 23, 2013

Took delivery on Feb 21st. Problems on the driver side doors (front and back). Reset the fuses with the DS - 3x waiting about 4 minutes before replacing them each time. No Go. Tesla sent out a tech (nice guy) teh next day and he reset the fuses....and they work..until about 10 mins after he left. He did have 2 door handles with him in case the reset didn't work - it did for as long as he was here. I am sure they will come out this week and take care of it when I call it in on Monday. I will try rebooting the steering column - have not done that.

Brian H | February 23, 2013

Reboot involves pressing wheel buttons scroll wheels. Check the Manual.

Anthony H | February 24, 2013

Ugh. I'ed now got one that fails to present.
Still love the car; just something new to add to the "fix" list.

It's not a "non-starter" (heh-heh)

portia | February 24, 2013

I am having the same problem with right front door like the original post, they are ordering a new handle and will replace it. Problem only started Feb 12, and I have had the car since Oct.

anthonytesla | February 24, 2013

same problem here. I took it to the service center in Costa Mesa. As I understand the "issue" there is potentially two issues with the handles. One is mechanical requiring a new handle and the other is "software" related. A software related solution can be solved by the re-boot. Not certain about the fuse solution. My problem is a hardware issue. I was told on last week that a part was ordered and should be available some time this week.

For the record, my issue is door presents itself, but no light and can't open. Vin 2949 delivered mid January.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

someone else had that situation, and reboot (twice) fixed it. Had already ordered the part when he discovered this.

ColonyGolfer | March 7, 2013

Fixed by ranger Leo. There were a few problems with the Sig version handles and new production has supposedly eliminated the problem. 2 of my 4 handles had to be replaced. vin 213.

Joules II | March 7, 2013

My front right door handle presented, but no light and no ability to open the door.
Booked a service appointment. In the intervening week, my husband wanted to be able to get back into the car,so just gently pushed the door against the frame without engaging the mechanism. Something changed and we were able to open the door, but still no light. By the time I got the car to its appointment, They phoned to say that they couldn't replicate the problem. In stages the door had fixed itself. The light started working spontaneously and despite repeated opening and locking the handle always worked. Service has noted the problem, so it remains to be seen how long it stays fixed. It seems to be a problem with some mystery attached.

Paulreiche | March 7, 2013

VIN 6069. Picked up car at factory last weekend. Front right door handle doesn't present itself about 50% of the time. San Rafael service center said their first appointment was in mid-April, so... I don't know. I guess I'll call down to Menlo park tomorrow.

Note, this does not harshen my buzz at all. Just a wrinkle.

lhaase | March 8, 2013

My issue is similar but not exactly the same. My Model S will not lock. The handles present and recede fine, but I cannot lock my car, from the fob or the app. Techs tried via phone to troubleshoot, but nothing. It's been 36 hours. I need to lock the car! Any similar issues or suggestions? We tried reboot, etc...but haven't tried fuse(s)? Thanks

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

When you try to lock the car do any of the exterior lights flash after several seconds?

One flash means that it locked. Three flashes means that it tried to lock but failed. Often this is due to a door that did not close completely.

Some front passenger doors on earlier cars needed adjustment because a little more effort was needed when pulling the door closed.

FLsportscarenth... | March 8, 2013

Can they lock it so it is always out? Retracting them is less important than basic access to the car...

Watching with interest...

dpglennon | March 8, 2013

Second day of driving model S and rear passenger door handle will present but no light and door will not open. Emailed service tech and waiting to hear back. Really dampens the excitement of getting the car.

mark_g | March 8, 2013

Similar issue, rear passenger door will occasionally open itself, today the handle presents itself but no light...guess its time to replace.....

rockyb | March 9, 2013

Issue fixed with fuse reset. Front passenger handle started to act up yesterday, presents but no light and unable to open door. Did the soft reset with the steering wheel but no go. Went to page 27 of owners manual. It instructs you to go to fuse box 2, fuse #32 (for right side of car; left side would have a different fuse). Removed fuse for 30 secs, reinserted, and problem resolved.
Any owners with this problem, I recommend doing a soft console reset by pressing the buttons on the steering wheel. If no resolution, then do a hard reset by unplugging and plugging the fuse. If that doesn't work, then it's most likely a hardware problem.

mark_g | March 9, 2013

rockyb: thanks for the tip, I was having problems with rear driver door (no light, would not open) and thought it was time for replacement. Pulled fuse 42 for 30 seconds and now the door works like a charm.

vicgundotra | March 23, 2013

rockyb - I had same problem and your suggestion fixed it for me. Thank you.

Lou in SoCal | May 7, 2013

Just got hit with the same problem as everyone here on my front passenger door handle...extends but no light and can't open. I tried the soft reset (i.e. screen) and the hard reset (i.e. pull fuse) and neither worked.

Called Costa Mesa service center and was told that the next available appointment is almost three weeks out. It's extremely frustrating to have to deal with this for three weeks. Tesla needs to ramp up their service centers fast.

kalel65 | May 7, 2013

Similar problem with driver's door handle - no light and won't open

I was told to turn off the automatic presentation of the door handle and reboot the system and that worked. TM said it would be solved with next firmware update.

Nobody said anything about a fuse.

Thumper | May 7, 2013

My handle problem is slightly different and less severe. Since 4.4, the handles don't present reliably. Sometimes they work fine and present as I approach the car. Mostly though they only present after I stand near the car for a while and/or take the fob out of my pocket and wave it around. Even then it takes a while. I have put in new Duracells and so has the service center. Even pressing the top of the fob does not give reliable immediate entry. It is difficult to go back to fiddling to get in the car. I am so spoiled since Jan. 2. I hope 4.5 can address this.

rbgliny | May 7, 2013

delivery on my 85 was Feb 21st. Had some problems all around with the handles - all doors except for 1 had to be replaced....since replacement no problems so far. I was at the service center over the weekend and found out (and tried) new door handles. They present just like they do now....but when you open the door the handles have about 3/8" play on them before they engage opening the door. It feels just like a opening a door on any other car now. The door opens with a lot less pull than the handles that have been in production so far. Nice change and nice feel.

bp | May 7, 2013

I've had several cases where if I touch the door handle while it is protruding - the handle is unresponsive. The other handles work - and if I use the remote to lock the car - and then unlock, allowing the handle to protrude without touching it - the handle works again.

Thumper | May 13, 2013

My door handle problems are solved! It is not a problem with 4.4. Coincidentally, just as I got 4.4, I changed my key and fob arrangement. I used a small split ring directly to the fob and my house key went on this and lay against the fob in my pocket. A fellow MS owner here in town suggested that the unreliability of fob action could be a result of interaction with the key. I removed the key and presto, the fob functions perfectly. As my friend said " RF can act strange sometimes".

sk1656 | May 13, 2013

Yeah. I'm not a Model S owner yet, but when I went to a Tesla showroom I thought the door handles were a little bit irking.

richard_grenier | August 1, 2013

New MS owner (5 weeks). My symptoms not seen in this thread. Used FOB for lock and right-side handles receded, lights out ... driver-side handles stayed open, lit. Tried several times to re-lock with FOB with no success. Then the dreaded "3-flashes" appeared about 10 seconds later. Re-opened/closed driver doors and re-locked, one flash ... presumably "locked" now? I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and what corrective action may be needed (user "fuse", handle-replacement, or service-center).

David Trushin | August 1, 2013

Service center.

richard_grenier | August 1, 2013

Thanks, David. You've experienced this symptom? (Or you work for Tesla?). Do you know what corrective action they take? Smells like hardware. I'll follow-up, lest I continue to look over my shoulder (forever) to validate a secure 1-flash (new "trust-but-verify mode").

Will_A | April 29, 2014

Just got my 85 on 4/24. This afternoon, rear driver door handle would not open door, would not retract, and no light. Called the Denver Service Center and was instructed to remove and re-seat a couple of 10A fuses. That did not work. Now I have to come in to get this fixed on 5/10 (That is the earliest!). Argh... kinda dampens my excitement... Anybody else experience this lately?

Keith72 | April 29, 2014

I've had both door handles replaced over 13 months. In both cases the handles would present, but I could not open the door. Tesla picked up the car in the morning, replaced the handle and had the car back to me by the end of the day. The passenger side went two days before my annual service, so I just had it replaced then (could still open it from the inside). The only two issues that I've had in 13 months.

Rocky_H | April 30, 2014

Those troublesome retracting handles seem like a prime candidate as a feature to not include in the GenIII in order to save both cost and problems.

michael1800 | April 30, 2014

I can agree with cutting that cost for the Model Es, but the flipside of this is that when those handles do work properly, it's seriously awesome and the source of much pleasure.

J.T. | April 30, 2014

@michael1800 +1

Rocky_H | May 1, 2014

I don't know about seriously awesome. It's neat, but my new Model S being delivered with them not working possibly created a little bias against that feature for me.

Captain_Zap | May 1, 2014

Those door handles are attention grabbers and they sold a lot of cars!

hcwhy | May 1, 2014

I agree with both Captain-Zap/Michael 1800 and Rocky-H. How about a compromise....keep the look of the door handles but have them pivot manually (push on front or back of the handle). I have 4500 miles on my car and the only problem I've had is with the door handles. The whole handle/fob design would benefit from a thorough study for new Tesla models.

AmpedRealtor | May 1, 2014

I don't want to jinx myself, but I may be the only person in these forums who has not had any issues whatsoever with my door handles. None.

amitb00 | May 1, 2014

Apart from looking cool, fact that they retract causes less air resistance and so more range. Hence they are needed for reasons beyond aesthetic.

gwstephens | May 1, 2014

They replaced all of my door handles due too sticking and some green grease coming out of the drivers side and corroding the chrome.

DO NOT lean against the door with the keys in your pocket or touch the handle with your butt. if you move your butt against the door while it is opening you will wedge the mechanism. then you need to open the door from the inside and try to clear the jam.

hcwhy | May 1, 2014


The handles I'm suggesting would still be flush...they would pivot horizontally and manually, instead of extending with a motor.

J.T. | May 1, 2014

After we get rid of the retractable door handles we can design a more normal key fob. After that, we can make that 17" screen a little less obvious, add a few buttons and gizmos to the dash and then get those grab handles and coat hooks we always wanted. :-)

Brian H | May 2, 2014

Or not.