Welcome to the latest episode in our “True Tales of Ridiculous Fails” series. We recently had more trouble with our long-term Tesla Model Y. For the third time since we bought the car, the rear driver’s side door refuses to open. The actuator that pops the door open (both from outside and within) doesn’t operate, creating a massive inconvenience for a rear passenger on that side as well as a serious safety issue should the car get into an accident.
Correcting an earlier mistake
In this video, Roman and Tommy document the issue, as well as corrects an error made in another recent update video. While the Tesla Model Y has a fairly obvious mechanical release for the front doors, adjacent to the window switches, should the door popper buttons at the top of each door handle fail for whatever reason. The same can’t be said for the rear, though, where the solution to overcome an actuator failure is difficult to work out unless you consult the owner’s manual. In that last video, Roman said “there is no manual override” for the rear doors. That is not the case (sorry for that mistake!).
There is, in fact, a manual door release for the rear doors, but it’s hidden away. And for good enough reason — you wouldn’t want children discovering the mechanism and open the doors while the car’s moving, for example. To access it, you remove the rubber insert lining each rear door pocket. From there, you pry up a plastic access panel, then pull on a white tab to actually open the doors, as shown in the video above.
Nevertheless, the normal means to open the rear doors is still broken, so our Model Y is currently sitting at the service center for repair. We will post an update to that soon, but you guys were right in that you can get out of the car if this same issue comes up.