Fingers Stuck in the Door Handle - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Fingers Stuck in the Door Handle

July 30, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

This 11-second video I made of the Tesla Model S door handles got lots of comments and questions on YouTube and Reddit.

The Reddit community mostly asked about their operation in icy weather conditions (which I can't test at the moment) and also wanted to know what happens if you get your fingers stuck in there when it closes.

So, I tested it. I can tell you this before you watch the video. The door handles do not detect an "intruder" and pop back out automatically. They continue to close.

Click through for the video...

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @donnaderosa


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Well the fancy door handles will probably make a kid or two cry, but that's about it. You were brave to test it though!

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    For the love of safety, please refrain from placing digits among start-up company's motorized parts.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    "chicken" fingers

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    Wow. That's weird. I guess if you sitck a metal fork in an electrical outlet and keep it there you can get an electrical shock. Not really saying anything about that, it's just kind of interesting.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Except that there is no normal-use scenario for an electrical socket that involves sticking a fork into it. Having a hand grab a car door handle is ...well, that's why they call them HANDles. This is kind of a silly video - no one is really going to leave his hand in there for that long...but from what I gather, even Tesla owners mostly think these trick handles were a waste of resources and are a gimmick.

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    Sure there is a normal-use scenario for an electrical socket that involves sitcking a fork in it - it's called curiosity and that's why it's happened millions of times to children everywhere there is electricity. Same thing here - if the door handles present themselves and I stick my hand in there and wait for 10 seconds I wonder what happens. Oh my! They actually close on my hand! There's a video on YouTube of a guy with his three or four year-old daughter with her hand caught in the door handle and she's laughing. I've never felt it so I can't comment from a direct perspective.

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    I bet a personal injury lawyer somewhere is already dreaming up a class-action lawsuit for this "defect".

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I'm apparently engaged in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. dunning15, if you get a shock from that, it's not considered a design flaw, because you're not supposed to do it. Find me something in the product data/docs for an electrical receptacle - show me where it points out the correct way to stick a fork into it. You ARE supposed to stick your hand into a door handle. It's different. No, it's not going to hurt anyone. Could someone else point this out to dunning15? Thanks.

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    "unarmed" - I don't think that word means what you think it means.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    (Gets popcorn)

  • great, now they will have to update all the cars so that they have a big yellow sticker below the handle warning of pinch danger and have sensors that will reverse if there is something in the way and it will have to make a beeping sound for 3 seconds before it closes.-- My door handles don't retract but I can't remember ever standing there with my hand in the handle of any longer than it takes to open the door. --- I guess if I stood there for awhile thinking "do I really want to open the door? I'm just not sure. I could pull on the handle and open the door but then I'm committing to opening the door and I'm just not sure if I really want to open the door. Honey! Do I want to open the car door?"

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    quadricycle: I'd get the small size if I were you - this will be over quick. "unarmed - lacking weapons or armor; defenseless." Thanks for playing. @zimtheinvader: LOL...

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Gee, I wonder if Tesla ever thought of this. Look folks, this has been independently tested many times. Nothing to see here.

  • zhangrenhou zhangrenhou Posts:

    Donna, I had wondered about that, too. Thanks for finding out. Although, I would have put a glove there instead of my own hand! ;)

  • The handle does continue to close, but the handle is attached to the motor with a spring that limits the retraction force. Notice how the handle pops in after she lets go? There is no danger of injury.

  • rock2155 rock2155 Posts:

    Be careful too, if you slam the door on your hand it might hurt too... come on...

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