Aside from its alarmingly fast acceleration, Tesla vehicles might be best known for their futuristic door handles that sit flush with the doors. Unfortunately, those very same door handles are now being cited as a major factor that led to a fatal crash.
In early 2019 a 48 year old Tesla owner lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a palm tree. The man survived the initial impact and police were able to quickly respond to the scene. However, the Tesla Model S that the victim was driving sports the classic Telsa door handles. Those handles retract into the door unless they sense the car’s key FOB nearby.
When the officers approached the vehicle, the handles were retracted and they were unable to open the car to rescue the man.
“Fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition — all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk,” according to the wrongful death suit. The complaint lists the cause of death as smoke inhalation and states that Awan had sustained no internal injuries or broken bones in the crash.
These Tesla door handles have been scrutinized before. In fact, Consumer Reports list the handles as one of the most common issues with the Model S in 2015.
This isn’t good news for Tesla given that the Model S also has had numerous problems with its lithium-ion batteries. Those same batteries are also suspected for the fire that killed the 48 year old man.
Electric cars are undoubtedly the future of transportation in the United States. Tesla will go down in history as the company that first brought widespread use of electric-powered vehicles to the average consumer in the United States. But new technology always comes with some issues, and electric-vehicles are no different. Don’t expect Tesla to run out of any roadblocks in the near future.