Vandal breaks Tesla Model 3 door handle.

Vandal breaks Tesla Model 3 door handle, leaves it on the trunk as a token of his resentment

As soon as we thought Tesla vandalism has hit the breaks for a while, thanks to Sentry Mode — a unique case has been reported where a vandal broke the Tesla Model 3 door handle and left it on the car’s trunk to teach the owner a lesson.

The event took place at the owner’s office parking which is shared by a nearby shopping mall, the broken handle’s photo and the story were posted by u/FlyingSpaghettiMon on the Tesla subreddit.

Unfortunately the Tesla car security feature ‘Sentry Mode‘ was turned off when the incident took place, the perpetrator left the scene with a clean chit — the only hope is looking at nearby CCTV camera footage to catch the culprit.

The affected Model 3 owner commented the reason for de-activating the Sentry Mode as:

When you leave sentry mode running for too long, it fills up the USB then you lose dashcam functionality which is what I prefer. Never considered this parking lot to be unsafe. Been parking here for over a year. Gonna talk to security and see if they have any cameras pointing nearby.

Actually with the recent Tesla firmware updates, the number of incidents triggered has significantly been reduced, also with the V10 early access release notes indicate new improvements to the Sentry Mode that will efficiently use the storage space on the USB drive.

Coming back to the scene, Tesla Model 3 door handles have a unique lever and pivot point opening mechanism that might have helped the offender in breaking it with a jerk of force but as we can see in the following high-res photo of the broken handle, it takes a considerable amount of strength to do so.

Tesla Model 3 door handle pulled with enough force to be shattered into pieces.
Tesla Model 3 door handle pulled with enough force to be shattered into pieces. Tap/Click for high-res version. Photo by u/FlyingSpaghettiMo via Tesla Subreddit

Cost of Replacing the Model 3 Door Handle

We can see the damage done to the Model 3 door handle is irreversible, so the owner had to call Tesla to get it replaced, initially Tesla quoted him $300 for installing a new door handle and fixing any additional mechanism that might have been damaged in this act of vandalism.

But according to the owner, Tesla sent a final invoice of $243 after taking care of the whole repair, Sentry Mode footage would have been much help in negotiating with the insurance company and identifying the suspect.

The owner hasn’t confirmed yet if the insurance provider covered the cost of repair or he had to pay this himself, $243 is still a lot for a door handle although the Model 3 door handles are much simpler than the Model S and X’s self-presenting door handles.

This is another weird case of vandalism of a Tesla Model 3 but not weirder than the last month’s video that showed a teen vandal jumping on the Model 3 windscreen to smash it, but his video was caught by the car’s front dashcam.

Let us know what you think of these kind of incidents in the comments section below, Tesla hate or jealousy?

Ligthed 'T' for Tesla Model 3 by EVANNEX
Iqtidar Ali
[email protected]

Iqtidar Ali reports on the latest happenings at Tesla and Electric Vehicle forefront. With over 1 decade of experience in website development, he's our IT resource as well.

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  • Acevolt
    Posted at 14:39h, 06 October Reply

    Labor is probably the biggest cost. My Model S handle stopped extending and I bought the gear and fixed it myself. They sold it for $1.85.

    • Iqtidar Ali
      Posted at 14:52h, 06 October Reply

      Your technical skills and courage saved you a big bunch of $, otherwise, Model S handles would be much more expensive!

  • Van Marten
    Posted at 14:50h, 21 December Reply

    I think you used a very poor choice of wording by say they broke the handle to “teach them a lesson”. Really, what lesson was it they needed to be taught? Not to buy a non ICE car? This was clearly just an asshole being true to themselves!

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