7 Year Olds Hand pinned by Falcon Wing Door

7 Year Olds Hand pinned by Falcon Wing Door

All the talk about how safe the Tesla is, and the complains of silly things like water coming into the doors or Autopilot woes this is major safety feature that is missing. I am a long time Owner. We have a 2017 MX and MS after previously owning a 2015 MS. Yesterday my wife was driving my girls home from camp and my 7 year old shifted in her seat right as door close button had been hit and she braced herself on the door frame. Her right hand became pinned in the door for about 5 seconds until my wife could get the door open again. After several hours in the ER and X-rays that showed no fractures fortunately just soft tissue injury. I have to say I am shocked there are not better sensors to prevent this. Seems like even something as simple as optical sensor (like a garage door) could have been used during R and D. After all the engineering of these doors and the fact they pause to avoid external things while opening yet a basic safely feature like this was excluded. At this point, there may be a nicely equipped used MX for resale soon which is unfortunate since the rest of the car is great but my wife and daughter now have PTSD from the previously cool doors.

mzero | 25 July 2017

Sorry to hear this. Good thing no bones broken. My son got hit in the head once or twice when I accidentally pressed the key fob. So whenever he hears that 'ding' sounds he stays away. So I learned the hard way not to trust the doors (especially from inside).

Ninefiveone | 25 July 2017

Kids (and adults) get their hands caught in car doors of all kinds. I've seen tons of identical threads on minivan forums now that they have power doors. MX does have sensors for this kind of thing but nothing is 100%.

This sounds harsh but this is a lucky lesson. No permanent damage to your daughter's hand, which is the most important thing, and you've all learned a lesson about the doors. It would be better if the door sensors were 100% reliable but it takes time to get things right. Optical sensors won't work on an opening as complex as the FWD. Ultrasonic sensors won't work inside a door/door jamb opening. Force sensors don't work because it's hard to discern between the force needed to seal the door effectively and the force of something relatively small (like a hand) being in the way.

If that risk and timeframe doesn't work for your family, better to let the car go. While it's unlikely, it's possible that there is a next time and the damage is more severe.

That said, what are your plans for avoiding this on other cars?

AlMc | 25 July 2017

Sorry to hear about your daughter's injury. In addition to posting here I hope you have sent in an email to Tesla. You can't fix something if you don't know you have a problem or even if this one might not be common.

Glad she sounds like she is doing OK.

Tropopause | 25 July 2017

Lmk. I'm interested in buying a Model X. It's the safest SUV on the planet! Any other vehicle puts you and your family at even greater risk. You have to look at the big picture. Machines are machines and nothing is perfect so we just pick the best of what is available.

Model_D | 25 July 2017

When I was a kid, my brother closed a door on me. I had to go get stitches at the hospital. I would have gladly only had soft tissue damage. Motorized FWD's would have been awesome. I would have heard a beep and then had plenty of time to get out of the way.

Mcochrane | 25 July 2017

I broke 2 fingers as a teenager when my hand got caught in a car door. I can attest to the fact that 'normal' car doors don't stop for hands! While the sensors on the FWD's aren't perfect they are MUCH better than most car doors. I would love to see Tesla make this perfect, but I don't think you'll reduce potential hand injuries by changing cars. Either way, glad your daughter's hand wasn't worse for wear.

lilbean | 25 July 2017

Sorry to hear this happened. I agree with @Mcochrane. My son closed the door on his little brother's hand in the Jag. The door was latched and we had to open the door to release his hand. I feel the FWD door is a little safer because of the loud warning beep and the time delay in closure. The Jag gave zero warning and smashed his hand. I trained my children on the first day to steer clear of the doors when they hear that beep.

Uncle Paul | 25 July 2017

While having your daughters hand injured is horrible, it is a danger inherent in almost all doors. It was a right of passage us as kids to share with each other having the same experience 40 years ago with our parents doors. Most all of us had fingers or thumbs smashed in Dad's Pontiac. Hurt like hell, and throbbed for hours.

Same with all doors, even in our houses. The leverage on that small pinch area can inflect a mighty squeeze for those who do not take great care. Same with escalators, manual windows, manholes, and even those nasty hinges on car tables.

Do not believe that there is a production car in the world that is imune from having a finger pinched when someone else, or something else slamming the door shut.

The Tesla's have state of the art pinch protection in their doors, but they are far from foolproof.

When people are riding in my X I always say...door coming down, or closing the door before pushing the button for them. I also take a quick look to see that they are ready to have the door closed for them. Works pretty well. | 25 July 2017

The FW doors have a pressure sensitive strip switch that runs around the inside edge of the door. They also have pressure sensors that detect when a closing door encounters an obstacle to closing. Despite these measures, as you and others have found out, these designed safety measures do not prevent impact. They just mitigate the damage. Here's what the owner's manual has to say:

"Warning: Model X falcon wing doors have several sensors to detect the presence of an object in the door's path. In most cases, when an object is detected, the door stops moving. However, the sensors are unable to detect all areas under all circumstances, particularly when closing, Therefore, you must monitor the movement of falcon wing doors to ensure the door's path of movement is free of obstacles, staying prepared at all times to proactively intervene to stop the door from contacting an object (including a person). Failure to do so can cause serious damage or bodily injury."

Forewarned is forearmed, in case your forearm gets in the way...

MSSouthBay | 25 July 2017

I am glad your daughter is ok. I can share your sentiments and emotions as I am always telling my 8 and 3 year old to keep their hands away and be careful. In all fairness whether it's the X or regular doors, the concept of doors and fingers damage is an all too familiar one, either directly having done it or hearing of somebody who has. I hope she gets better soon and hopefully you reconsider.

EternalChampion | 25 July 2017

I understand the horrible emotion of seeing your kids hurt in any way.

I'm very sorry about your daughter's hand. I'm glad there are no serious injuries here. Most things mechanical have the ability to injure a human if certain conditions are met. I bet she never again gets her hand near a closing automobile door of any type. Think of it as an experience "win."

Had a conversation with an adult woman today that broke multiple fingers and subsequently had 2 surgeries to repair them. She did this while shutting a good old fashioned car door on her own hand. I don't think she remotely blamed the vehicle.

patswin | 25 July 2017

I must say I am glad the title of your post is very misleading and that your daughter only hurt her hand and not crushed it. Little bit of a difference there. You do know you can smash your hand in a household doors maybe you should consider selling your house as well :-0

IgnoranceBliss | 25 July 2017

Sorry about the alleged injury to your child, but is it really worth posting a thread with such a dramatic and misleading title?

lilbean | 25 July 2017

I agree. The title is dramatic.

procrastin8r | 25 July 2017

Sorry to hear about this accident. Hope she has a rapid and complete recovery.

I think the microphone in the car should be used as an additional sensor when the doors are in motion. If the microphone were to detect a loud "ouch", or any other abrupt sound in the 2-5 kHz range, it could stop and back off.

RCorsa | 25 July 2017

The incident WAS dramatic. Her hand was literally trapped in the door for several seconds until my wife was able to navigate th door section and reopen the door the whole time my daughter was screaming. While it was likely only a few seconds she said it felt like an eternity. Quite a different emotional experience than a quick slam in a regular door. As a neurosurgeon who deals with hand and nerve injuries frequently these type of crush injuries can be quite serious even without broken bones.

For those of you without any compassion for a small child who have smarmy comments I doubt you would ever say this stuff to my face, but I understand it's easy to act tough and callous behind a computer screen.

lilbean | 25 July 2017

RCorsa, Again, I'm sorry to hear that happened to your daughter and I'm very glad that she is ok. I'm sorry if I came across as callous. I love children and have great respect for neurosurgeons. My child had his hand stuck in a door too. It does feel like an eternity. I worked in a trauma center, emergency room and occupational medicine and have seen crush injuries. I know they can be life threatening. Again, I'm sorry if I came across as callous and uncaring. When I read that the hand was crushed, my mind painted a far worse picture. Again, I'm glad she is ok,

Ninefiveone | 25 July 2017

Oh geez... there are plenty of parents on this forum (and minivan forums) who have experienced their kid getting a finger/hand/whatever caught in a door (automobile or otherwise).

It's always dramatic. Your job as a parent is to not go running to the nearest internet forum to post a dramatic story, blame the car, and look for empathy. Your job is to teach your daughter to not put her hand in the way of closing doors. This may come as a shock to you but the world is full of closing doors.

Triggerplz | 25 July 2017

I would never want anything to happen to any ones child and I never made a comment on this thread but any comment Ive ever made on any computer I would gladly say it to any ones face, trust me on that

Tropopause | 25 July 2017

#1 & #2 safest vehicles tested by NHTSA are Model S & X. If you truly care about your family's safety you would stop and realize that driving any other car is risking your families lives while still having the possibility of pinching a hand in a door.

Starlifter | 27 July 2017

Lot's of drama in this thread. No one is insensitive to a child being injured - and I'm sure everyone who reads it is glad the injury isn't permanent. I am also a parent and sympathetic for the need to vent and the frustration that goes when a child suffers an accident.

But I have to agree with most of the posts above. This is new technology. The car is chock full of safety features - but no car is 100% foolproof. Moreover, as time goes by there will be other accidents and incidents that result in injury from these technologies and features such as auto parking, lane changing, or even sitting on a tray of lithium ion batteries. It would be great if someone right now could tell me absolutely every possible scenario that could result from this car and what Tesla has done to prevent it - but that is not realistic.

I appreciate the warning on the FWD's.

Which just reminded me. 3 months ago we were unloading the back of my Model X. I thought it was empty and i hit the trunk close button while my daughter was still leaning in. That door comes down pretty fast and hard and she took a good bonk on the head from the lip of the trunk. fortunately no stitches required. Not to compare this incident with the OP as my situation was user error - but I was surprised at the force of the trunk closing. I think the over-arching theme is this. Whenever we activate a switch that causes a piece of equipment to begin motion - we should all have a heightened sense of the possibility of injury and hopefully between that and the safety features installed in any vehicle, that should mitigate risk and for the times we screw up like me or simple accidents happen as above, hopefully result in minor injuries that can be recovered from.

patswin | 27 July 2017

@starlifter I completely agree. There are no posts here being insensitive to the child getting hurt. I think it was all directed at the excessive drama.

Anyway interesting about trunk closing on daughter. First, glad it wasn't serious. Second it seems to me they may have addressed this recently. Since last update the sensitivity of trunk sensors seems to have increased quite a bit. I can have my hand between the trunk and car but outside the car itself but it picks that up and reverses trunk. I find I have to stand farther away from side and back now when closing it.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this? I assume it had to be an update because the difference is pretty dramatic. It goes to show you that if Tesla can make something safer with the hardware on the car they will. It just has to be possible with what the car is capable of.

RCorsa | 27 July 2017

First I find it Interesting that someone (from tesla PR I assume) changed the title of my thread to "pinned" from "crushed". As a physician/neurosurgeon who deals with such injuries it was a "crush" injury rather than a "sheer" or "tear" or "cut" Injury. Her hand was swollen and numb for a day emphasizing the 35lbs of pressure (noted in another forum) that the door exerts. The soft tissue pressure leads to nerve compression (neuropraxia) why here hand was numb but the short duration (5 to 6 seconds) leads to recovery (in her case quickly)

The issue I have it that I think it's important to be aware of this. Some are and some aren't. After all, these are not ordinary doors like old cars but supposedly a technological advancement that was one of the hardest things for tesla to develop. They seam to stop with almost anything in the way to protect the car so many assume they would also stop to protect the occupants?.

I have spent $400,000 in the last two years on 3 cars and made at least a half dozen referrals leading to new owners so I believe in the mission but it seams like with all this effort in safety and new technology like automatic driving, additional engineering would have been done to prevent this. Saying that "all cars do this" misses the point. We are paying them do do amazing and unheard of things in the auto industry. I do so happily. Telling people about the incident on an enthusiasts forum is not mutually exclusive to being a good parent. To say this as @ninefiveone implies is ludicrous and underscores how obtuse he is. @lilbean - I appreciate your comment. All good parents are protective and can get emotional about injuries to their kids - Myself included.

I will say I find it slightly amusing how so many on the forum get all bent out of shape and complain about things like the AP2 delays and "ping pong" behavior but when someone posts in a injury (to a child no less) they are seamed being overly dramatic. Oh well that's the internet I guess. Good luck folks.

Tropopause | 27 July 2017

I find it interesting that you didn't change the title yourself.

lilbean | 27 July 2017

@RCorsa, As a medical professional, I know that when my child is hurt, I'm in parent mode. It's truly frightening, especially when you have the knowledge of what can go wrong and what complications may occur. I know we have seen some of the worst medical emergencies, but when your child is hurt, it's traumatic. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. I wish for continued healing for your daughter and family.

lilbean | 27 July 2017

I also understand why you would want to get rid of the car. I had a traumatic experience in my previous car and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. It was just an awful reminder.

inconel | 27 July 2017

Why the need to mention $400k spent?

Triggerplz | 27 July 2017

@inconel + 1

inconel | 27 July 2017

Well I applauded the fact that the OP was able to go so far in this thread without telling us about his Porsche and Ferrari. I thought the seriousness of the thread made it so but alas.

RCorsa | 27 July 2017

Here come the green trolls!! @inconel with @triggerplz following along and adding zero to the conversation as usual.

Uncle Paul | 27 July 2017

When we were kids, and something like this happen, Mom would kiss it and make it all better....but that was before the internet : >)

If you are indeed a physician, you know that parents always tend to over react to their kids being injured, but the professionals at the hospital always remain calm, and concentrate on repairing the effected injury. They do not run around blaming what ever it is that caused the damage.

I know parents that go into a rage if their child gets a poor report card grade. They tend to blame the school, the teacher, the administration. Parents used to just tell their kids that life is full of dangers, and is not fair. That they need to be more careful and study harder.

Normal for a kid to squirm around in their seat, but they learn quickly to control themselves.

Triggerplz | 27 July 2017

@RCorsa so you got 400K worth of cars I have 350K worth of cars who gives a fuk.. We all said no ones wants a child to be injured thankfully your daughter wasnt seriously hurt, but what does what you spent on cars have to do with it... and from your other post where you tried to intimidate others with your Say it to my face comment, I'd gladly say it to your face.. Behind a computer, in public, down a dark alley you gonna get the same from me

Triggerplz | 27 July 2017

Oops "No One"

Ninefiveone | 27 July 2017

If taking the time to teach you what you should already know is obtuse, by all means I'm obtuse.

Sadly it also means you don't know what obtuse means despite being a surgeon.

Look, it's valuable to share information about an incident on an enthusiast forum.

It's childish and dramatic to share it the way you did. responsibility for your incident falls on several players here, including Tesla. You want it to be solely on Tesla because the product costs a lot of money. That's your projection of expectations, not what you were sold, nor is it realistic if you have an understanding of how things are designed, built, and updated. If Tesla had set out to build childproof doors, then I would agree with you. Tesla didn't and no one does because it's simply not a realistic goal.

Dropping how much you've spent and this attitude about "we pay them to do amazing things" is just laughable. Is that the person you want to be? At best it's unintentional and at worst it's "more money than brains."

You're already starting to backtrack on your comments and getting increasingly defensive. You had a dramatic reaction to your child being injured. That's normal. You think the doors could work better We probably all agree. But blaming the car like this is a human rights violation? Talking about how much money you've spent? Just own it. You had a strong readtion and you think thing could be better. Don't lash out and insist the rest of the world protect you and yours from yourselves. If you can't handle th feedback don't think you can try to weasel your way out of it with a few big words or play the victim.

I'm frequently harsh on people. I own it and accept the consequences when people call me out on it. I'm also just as effusive with empathy and praise when it's called for.

You're being called out appropriately. If you can't own it, don't get yourself in over your head like this.

Triggerplz | 27 July 2017

@ninefiveone +100 you are a lot more diplomatic than me, I need to be more like you but sometimes the wrong side of me comes out :-) but I'm gonna work on it and try to do better,

RCorsa | 28 July 2017

Here you go with your definition of obtuse. I know what it means and used it as intended. Thanks for proving my point that this applies soundly to you. Best.

a : lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect : insensitive, stupid (i.e. He is too obtuse to take a hint)

iriemd66 | 29 July 2017

My take on the original post by RCorsa is that he/she was just venting after a scary situation and trying to bring awareness to a potential safety issue. I appreciate that. I have a X100 as does my brother who has a 3 year old daughter with long limbs and lots of energy. He always says "arms up in the air...door closing" before shutting the FWDs. They make a game of it like a Rollercoaster rider sitting up front. Now I understand why. From now on, whenever I have kids in the back, I will do the same..Thanks for the heads up...

lilbean | 29 July 2017

Since I'm a medical professional, I have the children trained. I say, "clear", they say, "clear", and I say, "all clear" just like we are defibrillating someone.

evlnte | 1 August 2017

This happened to my cousin when she reached over to grab the seat belt. She reached over too far and the FWD door closed on her hand and pinned it against the seat. The other day I pressed the close door button and it slammed on one of the legs of my passenger. The doors need pressure sensors where they can pin any body part. Simple as that! Stop excusing Tesla for failing to provide safe automation.

Silver2K | 1 August 2017

A little girl got hurt here people!! Glad her little hand is ok. I would have freaked out if my little girl (If I had one) got hurt. If I had a boy then whatever, just run some dirt on it! BUT NEVER A LITTLE GIRLIE!


Silver2K | 1 August 2017


lilbean | 1 August 2017

Aww, that's sweet, Silver. :-)

macd1995 | 2 August 2017

My wife would have been traumatized. She is still traumatized from AP1 jumping lanes for no reason, even though it happened once in countless of hours driving on Autopilot (is return leg from Miami to Brooklyn). I will now put the child safety locks on so my young girls will not have any mishaps. Informative thread IMHO.

lilbean | 3 August 2017

macd, you missed the drama. This thread used to have a dramatic title that even Tesla had to modify it. In the two years I've been on the forum, I've never seen Tesla do that, even for the megatroll threads.

macd1995 | 4 August 2017

I also recon the PR hit from using the word "Crushed" was probably too risky for Tesla. I did think we were going to see a virtual battle Royal between Trigger & Corsa...

IgnoranceBliss | 4 August 2017

As far as the OP just trying to point out a safety risk, I can appreciate that, but I am now wondering if the OP is actually telling the truth about anything....

A neurosurgeon??? As an Anesthesiologist for over 25 years, I have worked with many arrogant and egotistical surgeons, but by far Neurosurgeons seem to be the most "out there", but after 7-9 years of training after Med School, you might have to be, especially to cut past the pia mater (just trying to prove I am really a doc)
But I can't imagine one of them that would behave this way, debating with others on petty issues, re-announcing that they are indeed a neurosurgeon, boasting the amount of money spent on a car, but then again having the keyboard, computer and the internet to hide behind, we can be anything we want...

Maybe I am not a Tesla owner or even a physician... Only The Shadow knows... (U of Az - Tucson, Class of '89 if anybody really cares)

By the way, as pathetic as it is that Tesla changed the thread title, I am really glad they did.

IgnoranceBliss | 4 August 2017

In addition, Neuropraxia does not mean traumatic nerve compression...but it is the temporary dysfunction of a nerve that can be the result of such an injury

"Neuropraxia is a type of peripheral nerve injury, and is known as the mildest form of nerve injury. It is classified as a transient conduction block of motor or sensory function without nerve degeneration, although loss of motor function is the most common finding."

Me thinks a Board Certified Neurosurgeon would never use a big word like that so incorrectly in a public forum, but then again, what do I know... I just pass gas for a living...

lilbean | 4 August 2017

Totally agree, IgnoranceBliss. I'm a PA. I've worked with neurosurgeons. They are so chill. They have to be to handle the cases they see. C1-C2 fractures, that is what they deal with.

Hot_Rod | 4 August 2017

@lilbean. I'm an ED physician, so I love the "clear, we're all clear" warning! Except how does that work with a two year old. Guess he'll just have to get "buzzed" (or pinned) before he fully understands.

As far as neurosurgeons and their demeanor experience is that 90% of them are *icks! They typically have a God complex. I guess that is expected when they do great things mucking around in people's brains and then get sued so much for their heroic efforts? I can't say much for the OP, but the back and forth on this forum is telling.

patswin | 4 August 2017

@hot_rod Just to add to how does it work with 2 year olds. At that age they are very unpredictable so that's where parenting comes in. You have to keep an an on them the best you can. Doesn't always work work and accidents happen as we all know. It's how as a parent you handle it that counts.
I was at a store this weekend and saw 2ish year old fall into a store display and cut his head pretty bad. The parents naturally freaked out for a second but then held him calmly and soothed him and he quickly settled down. They did not accuse store of having dangerous displays and they were not negligent as parents. The boy was just doing what a small child does at times and started running and not listening to his parents calls to stop.