Electric car door handle

Electric car door handle

Retractable door handles have become a popular trend, especially in many electric cars such as Tesla and Mercedes. It will help give the car less air resistance, lower consumption and longer range. When you touch the handle, it folds out so you can open the door.

Many have noticed that this does not happen when snow and ice settle on the car. Now it turns out that these door handles can cause bigger problems than these. Experts at NAF's sister organization in Germany, Adak, It is now issuing a warning that retractable door handles could make it difficult for first responders and rescue teams to get into a vehicle after an accident.

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Problems for first responders

Tesla Model S and X are among the cars that have received criticism for this, including in the USA. The problem also applies to other models with the same systems.

Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Ford, Hyundai and many more also have popular models with these door handles. There is a small electric servo motor that folds the handles. ADAC warns that, especially if the power supply is cut off after an accident, the system may fail and the doors may be difficult to open.

Owned by many: Many electric cars, including the Tesla Model S and  The Jaguar i-Pace and models from Mercedes and BMW feature folding door handles.  The reason is slightly lower air resistance and more precise design.  Photo: Ron Korsvoll

Owned by many: Many electric cars, including the Tesla Model S and The Jaguar i-Pace and models from Mercedes and BMW feature folding door handles. The reason is slightly lower air resistance and more precise design. Photo: Ron Korsvoll
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“When rescuing passengers from a vehicle involved in an accident, it is important that first responders are able to open the vehicle from the outside quickly and easily. Even more so if the vehicle catches fire. Retractable door handles can make this task more difficult and time consuming,” Abu Dhabi Airports Company experts say. A long time.

does not work

They believe there must be a mechanical solution that can fold the door handles in cases of power outages. This is something that the Tesla Model 3 and Y have, among other things. There, the handle can be tilted manually.

Punish this

Punish this


In the event of an accident, the door handles should fold automatically, but according to ADAC, there have been reports that this does not always happen in practice. Some vehicles also open the doors electrically from the inside by pressing a button. Here too it must be possible to open the doors quickly after an accident.

“Car owners who have a car with a power door that opens from the inside, such as Tesla, Nio, BMW 7 Series and iX models, should know how to open the doors manually. An emergency hammer, which can break windows, can be useful, In the car anyway,” advises ADAC.

Beautiful when it works: The electric motor ensures that the handles fold.  Experts say that if a car loses power after an accident or fire, the system may fail.  Photo: Ron Korsvoll

Beautiful when it works: The electric motor ensures that the handles fold. Experts say that if a car loses power after an accident or fire, the system may fail. Photo: Ron Korsvoll
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Old handles are better

Many car manufacturers choose to retain traditional door handles. In a report that traditional door handles are disappearing, such as Swedish ones We are belagar Some time ago, Martin Hube, a Volkswagen spokesman, said the following:

-We believe that door handles should remain as they are. They are easy to hold and make doors easy to open. I don't want to get into a situation where the rescue crew can't open the doors in the event of a serious accident.

We asked Tesla Norge to comment on experts calling their recessed door handles a safety risk.

We received a response that they did not wish to comment on this matter.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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