Tesla Model S

Door Handle Repair Gear Pawl

One of the signature Tesla Model S features is the presenting door handles.  Although a really cool concept, being electro-mechanical, the points of failure multiply.


The Tesla presenting door handle

The Model S door handles are sprung to close and a small motor with a geared paddle pushes the handle out to present them. The version 1 paddle gear was unfortunately cast aluminum, fairly brittle, and would fail where the retainer shaft holds the gear pawl.

Depending exactly how it fails it can sometime twist and jam leaving the door handle protruding from the bodywork, or it just falls inside the handle mechanism.


How does it work?

Comprised of a DC Motor, that drives a gear pawl, actuated by a door control module that sends LIN signals, simply touching the door handle will protract it from the flush mount position.  As series of microswitches record position and monitor handle usage.

This assembly is repairable, and parts are replaceable




The gear pawl is the most common point of failure, and this newer, improved version is less prone to failure.

If you are able to bring your car to our Phoenix Arizona Service Center, we can perform this repair/upgrade in shop. For out of state customers we are able to ship you this part.

As always, our Tech Support lines are staffed and available for assistance or installation advice – 623-433-8500