Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Using Exterior Door Handles

A light press on a door handle extends it provided Model S is unlocked and detects a phone key or key fob nearby. You can set door handles to extend automatically when you approach the driver's side carrying a phone key or key fob. Touch Controls > Locks > Auto-Present Handles.


Insert your hand into the handle and pull to open the door.

Door handles retract if you do not use them within one minute after they extend. Just press a handle to extend it again. Door handles also retract a minute after the last door closes, when Model S begins moving, and when you lock Model S.

NOTE: To preserve battery life, Model S is designed to temporarily disable the Auto-Present Handles feature if the vehicle is unable to detect a phone key nearby.

In these cases, extend a door handle by pressing it, or by pressing the unlock button on the key fob. There is no need to reset the setting. The next time you approach Model S, provided the above conditions do not apply, handles automatically extend.

Opening Doors from the Interior

Model S doors are electrically powered. To open a door while sitting inside, press the button located at the top of the interior door handle and push the door open.


NOTE: To prevent children from opening the rear doors, turn on child locks.

To open a front door in the unlikely situation when Model S has no power, pull up the manual door release located in front of the window switches.


To open a rear door in the unlikely situation when Model S has no power, fold back the edge of the carpet below the rear seats to expose the mechanical release cable. Pull the mechanical release cable toward the center of the vehicle.


CAUTION: Manual door releases are designed to be used only in situations when Model S has no power. When Model S has power, use the button located at the top of the interior door handle.


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