“We have nothing to say” said Tesla when asked if it is true that the rear doors of Tesla Model 3, all-electric four-door sedan, cannot be opened manually from inside in case power is cut off due to emergencies, such as fire. It was the only answer we heard from Tesla after trying to reach the firm by phone several times since we could not believe the Owner’s Manual that said the manual door release, which allows passengers to open the door manually in case the car has no power, is located only on the front doors.
Tesla showed similar response when asked about the recent Tesla X accident occurred in Yongsan, in which the door would not open from outside after the car caught on fire. The company said a car manufacturer is not obligated to comment on an accident whose cause has not been determined. However, the company did not give a responsible answer to the problem discovered by fire authorities during the rescue process.
Tesla has become the most innovative company by commercializing electric vehicles that seemed to belong to a distant future. This reporter also thought that other car manufacturers have a lot to learn from Tesla after taking a Tesla model for a test drive this year. However, Tesla’s attitude of coping with the uncompromising issue of safety was neither innovative nor top-tier.
Cars are always exposed to danger since they travel at a fast speed while carrying passengers. Customers trust companies and pay a hefty price to buy their products. It is preposterous that Tesla models are designed to make it difficult for passengers to cope with an emergency and it is hard to understand that the company is not taking any action.
After learning about the accident, the owners of Model 3 in Korea are writing angry comments on online communities. The comments include, “I didn’t even know that the rear doors won’t open manually in case of emergency” and “My children sit in the back. It’s terrible even to think of it.” One owner wrote that he will buy a hammer to break the window in case of emergency.
The rear door problem of Tesla Model 3 started to surge in the U.S. back in 2018. A foreign YouTuber even posted a video of making an “emergency escape handle” for the Model 3. The YouTuber removed the door panel of the rear door, found a cable that releases the door, and put a hole in the door panel using a drill to connect the handle with the cable. He titled the video, “I can save your life.”
Was Tesla not aware of the situation, where the problem had already been raised and a “solution” was introduced? The owners of Model 3 are worried and anxious that they are willing to visit a repair shop to make an escape handle on the rear doors.
Tesla Model 3 has sold more than 10,000 units in Korea this year as of November. Adding the sales of Model S and Model X, Tesla’s domestic sales exceed 670 billion won. This is why Tesla should immediately provide a responsible answer to the safety issue and come up with appropriate measures.
Do-Hyong Kim email@example.com