Car lurching forward when switching from Reverse to Drive

Car lurching forward when switching from Reverse to Drive

So I know this will sound bad and everyone will flame me. But has anyone else noticed any issues over the past year when switching from REVERSE to DRIVE while the car comes to a (H) Hold position on the center display and the car lurches/jerks/twitches forward even without pressing any pedals?

My use case:

I have a 2 car garage where I park the P3D+ in the center of this garage (no other car in that garage). When I park my car, I back into my garage space. I REVERSE slowly into the center of the garage and then use homelink to close the garage door. While waiting for the garage door to close I have both my feet flat on the ground because the car is in HOLD and the back up camera is still displaying on the screen. When I tap and hold the right hand stalk downward, to switch to DRIVE, I recently felt the car jerk forward once. Since my car is usually 2+ ft away from the garage door when I close it, I like to gently roll it forward to be about 1 ft from the closed garage door (this is my routine).

This issue happened on Wednesday March 18th, 2020 @ almost 1pm PT (2020.8.1 firmware). I opened a service request at my service center thru the app about this right away when it happened. The next morning I get a template response text from my local service center saying they cancelled my appt after doing a remote diag and everything seems fine. Kinda annoyed at that response, but hey with all this Corona Virus stuff I don’t want to meet up anyways. So I opened up an issue with NHTSA about it since it doesn’t seem like Tesla cares (They have bigger stuff to worry about at the moment).

In the past when I had parked two cars in the 2 car garage, I would park them both backed into the garage and the P3D+ on the right hand side as you face the garage door. I would park both cars to the outside more, so I could have more space in the center to walk between them. In that setup I would generally need to reverse and then turn the wheel as I drove forward to exit the garage upon departure. A couple of times while doing this maneuver, I had felt something off as well like a jerk forward but just thought it was my imagination (it was such a minor thing that I thought to myself... nahhh it couldn’t have been).

Mileage on my car when it happened on March 18th was 7,076.

I hope this is just me and maybe I did something dumb myself. Just curious if anyone else has noticed anything like this when switching from Reverse —> Hold —> Drive then you get a jerk/lurch/push/twitch of the car moving forward on its own? I have seen all the news by experts on how robust the system is and everyone who makes this claim is full of it... Don’t need tesla to own up to it, just be aware that it happened.

lbowroom | 24 March 2020

Any chance you are clicking down twice engaging AP?

Magic 8 Ball | 24 March 2020

@lbowroom +1

fazman | 24 March 2020

@ibowroom I have done that in the past while stationary in the garage, the car gives me an error saying it can’t allow me to do that function (cruise or AP). But no, that wasn’t the issue when the car jerked forward.

Imagine if you were at a red light in front of a car and you set the AP, the car would stay stationary until the car moves forward (If this issue happens again I will take extra care to see if I get the steering wheel AP option when I park my car in the garage or it jerks forward).

wiboater4 | 25 March 2020

Wouldn't it be smart to be safe and have your foot on the brake when you shift the car into drive anyway?

hokiegir1 | 25 March 2020

Are you set to Creep, Roll or Hold (I know the car was indicating hold, but I mean the actual setting)?

jmda61 | 25 March 2020

Like a gas car..... U should be using brake pedal when shifting directions.... especially in confined space, I would not rely on hold

fazman | 25 March 2020

@hokiegir1 Creep / Roll / Hold setting = Hold in my car.

@jmda61 Yes, that would make sense, in the past when i had my moments where i second guessed that it actually happened I was on the brake before switching from Reverse —> Drive and maybe thats what contributed to a lesser jerk/push/lurch but it still did something i could feel (but i dismissed it because it was so tiny and not something i could consistently replicate). This also became part of the reason i park one car outside in the driveway and leave the tesla to enjoy the large parking space inside.

Magic 8 Ball | 25 March 2020

So are you going to withdraw your NHSTA complaint?

fazman | 25 March 2020

@magic 8 Ball

Why? the car should not have jerked/lurched/pushed/twitched forward. When I do this routine a couple times a day I never experience that negative action.

But on the rare occurrence, the car reacts in this inconsistent way. This is not an ICE car, it should not move in either direction unless my foot presses a pedal.

Magic 8 Ball | 25 March 2020

Let us know how the NHTSA handles it, have you heard back?

andy.connor.e | 25 March 2020

switching transmission without your foot on the brake is highly illogical.

fazman | 25 March 2020

To make an ICE car comparison, in german cars they require you to when at low speed/stationary at least tap on the brake to release the shift lock on an automatic transmission.

Japanese cars do not require this when switching between R/N/D.

I have no idea how legacy american badge cars work, never owned one (don’t ever plan to use one).

I consider Tesla a tech company, not a legacy american badge player with issues of poor quality just yet.

andy.connor.e | 25 March 2020


If you switch transmission with your foot on the brake, there are no problems. Stop being stubborn.

fazman | 25 March 2020


Yes Spock, it is illogical... but it is allowed.

Please look up on the tesla owners manual how the HOLD feature is suppose to work? If you understand that the HOLD feature is what presses the brakes for you so you don’t have to keep doing it, you will understand that even ICE cars have had it for many years too.

andy.connor.e | 25 March 2020

Here i just looked it up. Show me where it indicates how the HOLD feature operates when switching from reverse to drive.

"When Model 3 is stopped, Vehicle Hold can continue to apply the brakes even after you remove your foot from the brake pedal. When driving on a hill or on a flat surface, brake as you normally would. After coming to a complete stop, simply press the brake pedal again (until the touchscreen displays the Vehicle Hold indicator light) to enable Vehicle Hold. You can then release the brake pedal and remain stopped, even on a hill.

To disengage Vehicle Hold, press the accelerator pedal or press and release the brake pedal.

Note: Shifting into Neutral also disengages Vehicle Hold.

Note: After actively braking Model 3 for approximately ten minutes, Model 3 shifts into Park and Vehicle Hold cancels. Model 3 also shifts into Park if it detects that the driver has left the vehicel.

Note: When Stopping Mode is set to Hold (see Stopping Mode on page 66), Vehicle Hold engages automatically whenever Model 3 stops while in a driving gear. There is no need to press the brake to engage it."

See page 72 and 66 of the owners manual. Not sure why you tell me to read the manual when it clearly does not have functionality indicated for switching from Reverse to Drive or vice versa. Probably because thats not what it was intended for. So stop being stubborn, and use the brake pedal.

fazman | 25 March 2020

“ If you switch transmission with your foot on the brake, there are no problems. Stop being stubborn”


Please read the parts where I have had issues in the past but dismissed it because it was so slight and I thought it was just my imagination that it did this while using the brake between gear changes.

Its not about being stubborn... its point out several facts:

1) Tesla will dismiss anything with a simple text saying they remote diag’ed and everything seems fine.
2) Its not a consistently reproduced issue
3) Happens more dramatically with using the HOLD feature and no pedals are pressed
4) Happens less dramatically when pressing the brake pedal (but still happens).

I’m not here to get a solution, Tesla has already dismissed it. Its more of a warning to others about something I personally noticed which is a concern on my car. You cars may be perfect but i would expect a car manufacturer to want to see this car if something like that happened. Put an eye ball on it to see what happened. Was it actual user error, was it something else? Remote diag can only take you so far. Having a human look at the vehicle can possible tell you a different story.

In the BMW world a lot of techs go by, if it has no code there is nothing wrong. But not everything has a sensor on those cars. Somethings have to physically be viewed to see that a part malfunctioned/failed.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 25 March 2020

Unlike Park, Hold does allow you to change gears without manual brake input. The behavior of your vehicle seems weird, but not unsafe, so were it me I'd just stop shifting gears without holding the brakes and ask them about it next time I have to get service.

andy.connor.e | 25 March 2020

Please read the above response.

fazman | 25 March 2020


When I go to the Service center in Monterey, CA they are pretty clueless.

When I took it to Kato Road in Fremont, Ca... they are a little better to take care of stuff but don’t actually answer or address a question. All they say they can do is put in a note saying “Customer states... blah blah blah” and it will go into a giant black hole. I had a trivial issue which I never brought up here because its a first world problem... my auto headlights won’t stay off. Service Advisor looked up the owner manual in the car and asked me how I interpreted how it described the Auto headlight feature. It said that after each trip it will switch back to “automatic” (Can’t make “off” stick). My answer to the guy on the spot was, “How do you define a trip? Is it every time I get in and out of the seat even if I go no where after changing the setting”? I also tried making a sticky in my profile AND the easy entry profile... no go. So in the end I just provided my feedback for the black hole...

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 25 March 2020

Now that I see you get forward motion even with the brakes engaged, I'd try to document it (video) and raise the issue that way. Something isn't right.

andy.connor.e | 25 March 2020

Do you realize that reverse to drive is not mentioned in the manual? You asked me to read it, i read it, and linked it.

fazman | 25 March 2020

@MAB yea, i didn’t want to have to go to them with a smoking gun to be taken seriously on this matter. It would have just been nice to make them aware of it and have them just look at the car physically (not just remote diag).

Even with a video, i’m sure I will be blamed as photochopped or some other nonsense. Its a lot of work to just say “Hey guys, be careful when doing this... something i noticed”.

wiscy67 | 25 March 2020

I would adjust the OP's process to know how far from back wall you want your rear bumper. Instead of backing in and then pulling forward to be a certain distance from the garage door, you should know how far that desired position is from back wall. Back in until that distance shows on car's screen and put it in Park. Does that work?

Regarding the car lurching forward when shifting gears - make sure you aren't holding the drive stalk down as you wrote. Just a quick tap down and release will do it. Yes, use the brakes when changing gears in tight quarters.

fazman | 25 March 2020

I am worried about my tow hook plate or front bumper getting clipped by the garage door if I am off. Thats why I do the extra step.

Why do you feel that holding down the gear vs tapping the selector stalk would make a difference? I have tried both combinations and get the genera same behavior in the car. The reason I hold it down until the center screen changes the state is because it doesn’t always change on first press.

When my car is in Park and I want to switch to Drive, if I tap the stalk it stays in Park until I press it again. But if I hold it down I can see the display change from a (P) —> (D)

I have had my gear selector stalk replaced once because it was delaminating/separating. That was an interesting service day as well since my car after the fix was making steering wheel squeaks when i got it back. After a long test drive the tech figure out that they didn’t place the horn cover all the way in and that is what was rubbing when the steering wheel was turning. So who knows, maybe that is a related issue but tesla won’t physically look at my care because they just cancel my appts after a remote diag saying all is fine.

SpeedyEV | 25 March 2020

Seriously, I think you folks are being too hard on @fazman :). I don't think @fazman is doing anything unreasonable. I do this all the time and it never jerks, even on inclines. When the car is stationary in HOLD mode, switching from D -> R or vice versa doesn't move the car until I press the accelerator. Why would anybody expect it jerk or move? I don't think we should be thinking of the M3 in terms of ancient ICE cars. This is a high-tech car HOLDing the brake for you! If Tesla really wanted us to hold the brake while switching directions, the software would have enforced it. I highly doubt this is an oversight on their part.

fazman | 25 March 2020

@SpeedyEV I don’t mind listening to all the work around ideas and blaming me for the way I do stuff that this forums has to offer. Sometimes I come across some interesting ideas from the random thoughts of others.

I do appreciate your vote of confidence that what I am experiencing is not a desired outcome from the car or tesla. Just want others to be aware of what i personally experienced in case others might notice a trend too.

walnotr | 26 March 2020

When I back into my parking spot, the car goes into hold before I shift into reverse. If I try shifting into reverse while hold is being displayed, a message pops up telling me to put my foot on the brake before shifting. Also, if I shift into reverse without going into hold, the car will go into reverse as long as I’m traveling between 1 and 5 mph.

If you truly have an issue, go to a service center and talk directly with someone there.

Honestly, this sounds like the debunked “unintended acceleration” thread from awhile back.

andy.connor.e | 26 March 2020


Dont know why yours goes from D -> R with no problems but @fazman goes from R -> D it jerks.


With all due respect, you called me out on telling me to read the manual. Now you're ignoring me like the problem you have can be sustained in the form in which you want it to be simply by ignoring the fact that you wanted to use the manual as an example and it in fact doesnt support your claim.

You know, i hate to be 'that guy', but this is why people get the responses that they do. Because they come in here saying something is the car's fault, but really its the car operator. There is nothing in the manual which you sited and called me out on, that has any indication of functionality when switching from D -> R or R -> D.

So unfortunately as you may not want to hear it, try using your brakes when switching transmission and then there are no problems. Alternatively, keep ignoring me. Because i love it when people call me out and then when i fact check it come to find that you're wrong and then ignore that aspect. Very respectable.

WW_spb | 26 March 2020

Also OP went to other threads and continued his crusade of negative narrative from FSD to other topics. Sounds like maBuck in making and Fish stick apprentice.

lbowroom | 26 March 2020

I shift from R to D and back while rolling all the time. Always smooth as silk. However, if I come to a complete stop, i guess it’s a habit for me to put my foot on the brake. Never had an abrupt anything happen. Faz, noticed your in a lot of troubled topics, starting to wonder....

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 26 March 2020

“ I shift from R to D and back while rolling all the time. Always smooth as silk. ”

Me too.

Magic 8 Ball | 26 March 2020

Shoot first ask questions later is usually a tell.