Car manufacturers are always thinking about new technical functions. However, some innovations can also be dangerous. The ADAC is currently warning against retractable car door handles.

When modernizing their vehicles, car manufacturers don't just focus on the engine or the entertainment system. The design is also constantly being revised. But not every innovation only has advantages.

The ADAC is currently warning against fashionable door handles in an official press release. In the event of an accident, these could make it difficult for rescue workers to rescue passengers from the affected vehicles.

Security risk: ADAC warns about retractable car door handles

“In order to quickly rescue people from an accident vehicle, it is important for first responders to be able to open a vehicle from the outside quickly, easily and intuitively,” writes the ADAC. From the automobile club's point of view, particularly retractable door handles could prevent this in an emergency. The feature is installed, for example, in brands such as Tesla, BMW and Mercedes.

The handles retract flush into the side of the car when parking and driving and can sometimes be folded out by hand with pressure. However, they often only work electrically.

The experts explain, especially if the power supply is disrupted after an accident, the handle can remain retracted and prevent emergency responders from getting to the car occupants. Not only laypeople but also professional rescue workers then need longer to free the victims. This can be particularly dangerous in the event of a vehicle fire.

Mechanical solution offers more security

There have been no abnormalities in the crash tests that have been carried out so far. However, the ADAC refers to media reports about corresponding accident scenarios. For example, there was an accident in August 2022 in which two 18-year-olds died because the handles were not extended.

“From the mobility club’s perspective, a mechanical solution for extending the door handles guarantees the best chance of being able to open the doors from the outside after a crash – even if the power supply fails,” says the automobile club.

“Car owners who have a vehicle with an electric door opening from the inside (for example various models from Tesla, Nio or the 7 Series BMW and iX) should familiarize themselves with the emergency unlocking options in the vehicle manual before setting off – and ideally inform the other occupants Show.” An emergency window hammer can also be helpful in case of doubt.

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