Doors

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.

arrows pointing to the door handles sliding in and out

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.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
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.

an arrow pointing to the open door button
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Note
To prevent children from opening the rear doors, turn on child locks (see 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.

an arrow motioning to pull up on the door release switch

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.

Mechanical release cable shown with arrow showing to pull it.
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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.

Interior Locking and Unlocking

While sitting inside Model S, you can lock and unlock all doors and trunks by touching the lock icon in Controls.

an unlocked lock
The icon changes to indicate whether doors are locked or unlocked.

Driver Door Unlock Mode

Enabling Controls > Locks > Driver Door Unlock Mode only unlocks the driver door when you first unlock Model S.

Walk-Away Door Lock

Doors and trunks can automatically lock when you walk away carrying your phone key or paired key fob. To turn this feature on or off, touch Controls > Locks > Walk-Away Door Lock.

When the doors lock, the exterior lights flash once and the mirrors fold (if Fold Mirrors is on). To also hear a confirmation sound when Model S locks, touch Controls > Locks > Lock Confirmation Sound.

Model S does not automatically lock if:

  • You check the Exclude Home checkbox and Model S is parked at the location you have designated as Home. For details on how to designate a location as Home, see Home, Work, and Favorite Destinations.
  • A phone key or paired key fob is detected inside Model S.
  • A door or trunk is not fully closed.
  • The phone key's Bluetooth setting is turned off.
  • Key fob or phone key remains within range for five minutes after all doors have been closed.

Drive Away Locking

Model S automatically locks all doors (including the trunks) when your driving speed exceeds 5 mph (8 km/h).

Child Locks

Model S has child locks on the rear doors to prevent them from being opened using the interior release buttons. On the touchscreen, touch Controls > Locks > Child Lock. You can choose Both to engage the child lock on both rear doors, or you can choose Left or Right to engage it on just a specific door.

Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
It is recommended that you turn on child locks when children are seated in the rear seats.

Unlock on Park

When you stop Model S and engage Park, you can choose to unlock all doors. To turn this feature on or off, touch Controls > Locks > Unlock on Park.