Model S - door handles

Model S - door handles

I am a Tesla fan and a big Elon Musk fan. I have much love for this endeavor by Tesla Motors. I love the car design, and while not having any experience actually driving a Model S - I have watched as many YouTube videos as I can and have read as much about the car that time allows for.

Yesterday I was at our local Denver Tech Center mall and saw the "preliminary" pre-production model in the store was replaced by a factory vehicle. Which is great, the pre-production model looked pretty from afar - but was pretty "beaten up" when inside the vehicle. But this production model was gorgeous and the store showed considerable activity (strategically across from the Apple Store experiencing MUCH foot traffic.)

After looking at the car, walking around the shop, I sat outside the store just to observe people looking at the Tesla Model S floor model. One gentleman walked up and was examining the door handles. (The previous model in the store didn't have "working" door handles that would extend, salespeople would reach thru open windows to open doors. But this production vehicle had working door handles. However, this gentlemen as he opened the front door, closed it, opened the rear door, closed it, went back to the driver door and as his hand was "in" the extended door handle he suddenly YANKED his hand out as the door handle was closing on his fingers... like avoiding a mouse trap.

So this got me wondering if owners out there have experienced this behavior? I would worry about little children and fingers...?

By the way, when I used the door handles the one thing I was surprised by was that the door handles extend mechanically but there is no mechanical movement of the handle to open the door - with a slight tug of the handle the door just unlatches and opens. And I just had a thought... say the vehicle is in an accident and the battery packs disconnect per design; does this mean emergency personel won't be able to open the vehicles doors???

Again, I love the car and could rave about so many of its positives...

jerry3 | 30. september 2012

Some of the demo cars have difficulty with the handles. See for some handle discussion from a recently delivered car.

The handles are supposed to extend automatically when certain conditions are met (such as the airbags deploying). The front doors have a mechanical linkage that engages if you pull far enough.

Volker.Berlin | 08. oktober 2012

The "finger pinch question" has also been discussed here:
("private" thread, i.e., one reservation holders or owners can see it)

Opening the doors in an emergency has been discussed here (starting on the 3rd page of the thread):