Here’s How To Permanently Fix Tesla’s Door Handle Design Flaw


Learn about some issues with Tesla door handles and how they can be fixed.

Back in February, Car Guru from Rich Rebuilds shared a video about how to fix common problems with Tesla’s door handles. He repaired the issue in an attempt to appease his wife. However, the repair may need to be done repeatedly. Fortunately, Chris from EV Tuning Solutions noticed the video and has been working on a permanent solution.

The good news is … the fix has arrived. The above video explains the situation and shares the new permanent repair. Below, you can check out EV Tuning Solution’s webpage related to the video.

Video Description via Rich Rebuilds on YouTube:

In this episode, we discuss the common failures of the Tesla door handles and the permanent fix for them…

Also, watch Rich Rebuilds’ previous video on the topic below. Included at the bottom of the page is another link to the EV Tuning Solutions site if you’d like to purchase the Tesla Model S door handle repair kit:

You can view and purchase the Tesla Model S door handle repair kit by clicking here.

Categories: Tesla, Videos

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26 Comments on "Here’s How To Permanently Fix Tesla’s Door Handle Design Flaw"

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Maybe Tesla should license that repair kit so they can make and install it in their cars themselves. O_o

And I’m only half-kidding. It’s ridiculous that Tesla has let this problem (or these problems) go on for so long without finding a real solution.

Expect an OTA update soon!

Thanks for a good laugh this morning

This isn’t a full fix of the issue. The guy in the video says it himself, the wiring harness will break again. You will have to repair it multiple times, that’s why he drilled the holes.

What Tesla should do is bring out a revised more durable wiring harness. But I agree, it’s ridiculous that they won’t fix this problem.

Since it is business as usual, right now they charge $1200 / door to fix the continually recurring problem on 4 doors, especially in colder climates. A continuing $4800 repair seems like a good profit center to me, especially if people continually accept that “the Tesla Experience” is worth it.

Why would Tesla change what they’re doing since they make the most money by doing exactly what they are doing?

This is old news: as I’ve reported for months there is a German guy who is providing stainless steel racking gears for 50 euros. Unfortunately , no pricing was mentioned for this American fix. As far as the wiring goes, a simple solution for Tesla or anyone would be to have a slightly longer wire that was looped which would prevent ‘work-hardening’ the wire; apparently even these guys amazingly didn’t know that. After the video finished, there were more vids that popped up on the screen, a few by GUR814 listing his problems with the car, on average one service center visit every thousand miles. A year ago, this person would have been attacked by you and other Tesla groupies as a ‘Tesla hater’ which is easy for you to say since you have no car payments. But I notice the attacks against me have dwindled, seeing as many of us are now all saying the same thing. To my surprise – whereas in the past all Tesla Groupies would say stop talking about that OLD FASHIONED Roadster and go buy a MODERN S without any problems. Except, the one thing the guy said kinda sums it up: “You’re not… Read more »

Aren’t door handles a solved problem? Why the need to reinvent them? Sure, you can have electronically-actuated locks so the car unlocks as you approach it, but is it really worth all this trouble when the over-engineered hardware craps out after a few years? I’d happily unlock my own car door rather than have to deal with replacement well before the vehicle’s expected lifetime ends.

In terms of looks (and a bit of aerodynamics), the door handles are pretty cool. Other than that they are a big PITA.

Model 3 solution seems to be more reliable, but they still seem somewhat impractical.

I think the best compromise is the one Nissan settled on for various models, including the Leaf and Rogue (and everything else, I’m guessing): Key fob in your pocket lets you unlock/lock the doors by pushing a button on the door handle. This worked very well for my first Leaf (2013-2018), my new Leaf, and my wife’s Rogue (bought late 2015). Nothing has broken or failed to work, even once, and combined with a keyless ignition it’s incredibly convenient, especially in winter. Put your keys in your pocket, and in two button presses you’re in the car and have turned it on.

Gm uses the same solution. Works great. Just walk up to the car, push the button get in, push start. Then when you exit the car it locks after 8 seconds. No phone needed.

Yeah I always thought what GM is using on its cars for the past few years was a great solution: Walk up to the car with the KEY FOB in your pocket, and push the small button on the car door handle. The car immediately ‘wakes up’ , negotiates with the FOB in your pocket to see if you are YOU, and then unlocks the door – happening in a few ticks of a watch.

Since the first thing that happens is YOU pushing the button, very little electricity is needed since there is no constant scanning for the key fob using this method. Works the same way with the push button trunk release.

My Pacifica Hybrid, you Just walk up and pull the handle. Wrapping your fingers around the door handle unlocks it. Still getting used to it, as a lifetime of digging out my keys from pocket has built in some muscle memory. But I like the convenience. It’s not something that would be a showstopper for me if a car didn’t have it, but it is nice to have.

My 2009 Prius had this as well, but it was even more sophisticated– when you have the fob in your pocket, just grabbing the door handle unlocks the car, and the button/contact patch on the Prius’ door handle LOCKS the door without having to fish out your keys.

Trying to be different when differences create problems is not a good idea, i.e., complicated door handles, falcon doors, overdriving motors to accelerate a heavy car, etc. These are not only a PITA but expensive for the owner to repair. I would like to see Elon become more practical in his design approach which I think would result in a more reliable car and would push the car industry even harder to transition to EVs. Don’t give them any reason to be critical.

This kind of idea is VERY BAD in an area like mine, since the area regularly SLEETS in the wintertime. There used to be an article here showing the “S” breaking through an onion-skinned thickness of ice, but it wont break through 1/4-1/2″ of the stuff. So this will cause an INSTANT STRIPPING of ALL 4 DOORS ($4800 to repair in total), besides stranding the driver.

It would be almost tolerable if the thing would just stall and refuse to work. But then they’d have to build the thing to be beefier than what San Diego requires.

But to have the thing self-destruct in any cold-climate area apparently is only tolerated if it happens within the warranty, and Tesla buyers plan on trading the car in before the thing is 3 years old. Many of my Canadian friends do this. Unfortunately, I’m not well-heeled enough to buy a car once every 3 years.

Yes this is a totally solved problem everywhere else. Tesla managed to create a very costly, complicated, heavy, and unreliable DOOR LATCH. . The gull wing doors have even more inherent flaws and a large number potential points of failure due to the sheer number of moving parts. They literally picked a fight with gravity!

Stuff like this will make aging Tesla vehicles really annoying, and very expensive to own. YouTube Is filled with videos of Tesla door issues. They must be getting eaten alive with warranty costs are the doors of the first generation cars.

My door handles are doing great. 71k on one and 90k miles on the other.

Tesla recommends you periodically rotate the handles to even out the mileage.

Haha, that last one is so funny.
Doing great.. after it failed..

Door handle. What an overengineered solution by Tesla waiting for a problem.
Plain ol’ door handles would’ve been easier and less expensive.

The best description: “Answering questions no one is asking.”

Next up: reinventing air vents that were perfect to begin with.

Overengineered is definitely the wrong term here. Much too cheaply made. Hey what do you expect for a $1200 repair per door. I could never afford a car like this that has $4800 of worth of doors that will constantly break.

It will turn everyone into a backyard mechanic since I suspect many “S” owners cannot afford the additional unexpected expenses once the car is out of warranty.

Man, that’s not a job for most people.

Compared to pulling an exhaust, or even an O2 sensor, this is pretty simple. Most people today would rather doubling time and expense, to have their oil changed. So, I guess its relative.

Thanks for posting, SL.

Four Tesla models and four different type of door handles… It is really not necessary.

Wow just found myself on the internet in this article and video! Here is a link to ALL the rebuild parts. The metal Paddle gear, The metal motor gear, completely redesign microswitch harness and a complete rebuild kit with all hardware needed.