Door opens by itself

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?

jat | 13 janvier 2013

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.

rlpm | 13 janvier 2013

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.

TeslaTech | 13 janvier 2013

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!

portia | 13 janvier 2013

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

Mark K | 13 janvier 2013

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.

aa012a | 13 janvier 2013


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.

portia | 13 janvier 2013

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

Alex K | 14 janvier 2013

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.

portia | 14 janvier 2013

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.

Timo | 14 janvier 2013

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?

toto_48313 | 24 janvier 2013

Portia, any feed back from Tesla on your request?

dbourne | 27 janvier 2013

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

schoendp | 27 janvier 2013

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

portia | 28 janvier 2013

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!

portia | 31 janvier 2013

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.

nickjhowe | 3 février 2013

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.

portia | 3 février 2013

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

Robert22 | 3 février 2013

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.

portia | 3 février 2013

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

christine_orita | 3 février 2013

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.

portia | 4 février 2013

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.

bushman | 28 février 2013

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?!?!?

bushman | 28 février 2013

BTW - no water involved.

nickjhowe | 28 février 2013

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?

Brian H | 28 février 2013

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!

NKYTA | 28 février 2013

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.

portia | 28 février 2013

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

EcLectric | 1 mars 2013

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.

bsimoes | 1 mars 2013

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.

nickjhowe | 1 mars 2013

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

gracehm | 20 mars 2013

I picked up my car about a month ago and today my rear driver side door opened by itself TWICE.

Luckily I noticed my car did not lock when it happened the first time as I was walking away from my car. It took me awhile to figure out that my door was ajar.

The second time it happened was when I walked toward my car, where it unlocked automatically. The back door then opened by itself again.

If it makes any difference, it sprinkled/drizzled today in the Silicon Valley.

This is a serious issue from a safety and security perspective.

brickayola | 21 avril 2013

Happened to me first night I got it (60+tech. Noticed on app after I had parked at restaurant - driver's side rear door. Noticed same door ajar when leaving from work a week later. Been raining a lot since I got the car. But it has been dry the last few days and had a nice long sunny drive yesterday. After charging in the garage checked the app after about 4 hours to see that charge had completed, but driver's door was ajar. Tesla Chicago wants me to "swing by" service center, but I'm hoping Rangers can fix.

portia | 21 avril 2013

mine is still working properly after the replacement in January.

EPGLCG | 13 juin 2013

Just happened to me. Passenger side front door. No rain and not wet outside. I parallel parked in front of my driveway and walked around to other side of car and noticed door open. I thought - this can't be? I am only person in car....

Tâm | 13 juin 2013

Please call Tesla so they can download the log and see what happened.

bsimoes | 13 juin 2013

It happened to me yesterday. It was fine while turning around in the driveway, and then, when I got out to check the mailbox and got back in to drive to work, the message came on to proceed with caution because a door was open. At first, I thought I hadn't shut the front door correctly, so I opened and closed it. The message persisted, so I got out, and sure enough, the back driver's side door was ajar. I'm not aware of any updates, so I will be keeping a close eye on it. I have to park outside, and it has rained every day for seemingly weeks now.

brickayola | 13 juin 2013

As Portia mentioned, door handles may need to be replaced. No issues since I had my replacements done 1 month ago. You should notify nearest SC.

Tâm | 13 juin 2013

Tesla drivers:

It may be helpful if you could share what Software Version your car is at.

You can touch the "T" icon on the upper center of 17" console for vX.X (X.XX.XX).

portia | 13 juin 2013

I think this is a hardware problem, call Tesla and get yourself a new handle.
mine has worked since replacement!

TeslaOwnerBlog | 14 juin 2013

This problem is a hardware problem. The handles have been a challenge for them to get right. Here some details on my saga as I have had several replaced.

T3SLA | 28 septembre 2013

It happened to me twice. The first time I was in the car with my wife and we thought we hit a button. Then we realized there is no button to open the door. Next it happened when I unlocked the doors in the garage. Got into the drivers seat to use the computer, got out and tried to lock the car with the fob. Car wouldn't lock. Went to look at the screen and noticed the front passenger door was ajar.

Time to contact tesla.

ziggy | 28 septembre 2013

I had this happen with a 60KW loaner while my P85 was in the shop. When I put it in park the right passenger door would open. Not every time but often.. I let the Tesla service center know when I got my P85 back.. but not sure whatever happened after that.

gdivyesh | 3 octobre 2013

Same thing happened at 5800 miles. The front passenger door opens every time we park the car. Fortunately it has not occurred while driving the car.

For us, it was not an issue of water. We have not washed our car nor has it rained on the car.

Turning off the proximity function does not resolve the problem.

Is is OK to wait for 2 weeks to fix the problem. I can not get an earlier appointment with Tesla.

sloritz | 30 octobre 2013

I just bought my car . I have had it for 3 weeks and the front passenger door opens when I put the car in park. It does this 90% of the time. Water is not the issue since my car has not seen water yet.

Rheumboy | 30 octobre 2013

Wow! You must have the latest firmware 8.0! Can't wait. :-)

gold | 16 mai 2014

Just found this thread. My passenger door popped open last night in a parking lot. I had some valuables in the car and nothing was missing, but I'm a bit freaked out by this. No water was involved - it was dry and hot last night. I reported it to Tesla this morning and am awaiting a reply.

I've had the car since late February 2013.

mdtaylor69 | 16 mai 2014

Luckily for me, the doors popped open at the SC when they picked it up for annual service and I got 4 new door handles out of the deal. It is a sign of a malfunctioning door handle mechanism and will need to be replaced. It would be desirable to have this not happen, or at least buzz the phone app to let you know the car is unsecured. Similar effect when the 12V battery is about to die and the driver window rolls down on its own. This has not happened in over a year now. I too have had the car since late Feb 2013.

NKYTA | 16 mai 2014

@gold, this is a problem with an older version of the door handles. Get thee to a service center and have them replace it under warranty.

kirkcartozian | 29 juin 2014

Mine Model S's right rear door just starting doing this today. Already happened 3 times and my car wasn't recently washed. Water is definitely not the cause here. Any suggestions on how to stop this?

Downey, CA

NKYTA | 29 juin 2014

Schedule a service visit, handle likely needs replacement. My rear left was replaced around a year ago, IIRC.