What is the Lexus e-Latch system?

Lexus e-latch

Lexus’ leadership in safety goes hand in hand with its commitment to making technologies accessible to more motorists. With this aim in view, it is providing Lexus Safety System + as standard on all new NX models across all its European markets including the innovative e-Latch system.

The all-new Lexus NX is the first model to be fitted with the e-Latch electronic door release system. This electronic system replaces the familiar internal door handle with a push-button switch positioned next to the arm rest in the door panel. The ease of use with one smooth and simple motion is inspired by the traditional fusuma sliding paper screen room dividers in Japanese homes.

The all-new RZ is also equipped with Lexus’s e-Latch, a smooth, one-touch electronic door release system. Its operation is linked to the car’s Blind Spot Monitor to provide Safe Exit Assist, which automatically cancels the door opening if vehicles or cyclists are detected approaching from the rear. Developed as a world-first, it is expected to help prevent 95 per cent of accidents caused by the door opening. 

A digital rear-view mirror is also available, giving the driver a clearer view with no obstruction from headrests or luggage, and improved vision at night and in poor weather conditions.

The doors use an e-Latch system. When the driver or a passenger approaches the car carrying a key, the retractable door handle automatically presents itself; the door can then be unlocked and opened smoothly simply by touching a sensor inside the handle. To exit the car, the door can be opened by pressing the door opening switch. Sensors on the vehicle monitor the surrounding area and warn of an approaching vehicle or cyclist, reducing the risk of an accident when getting out of the car. 

Laura Kenny praises Lexus e-Latch innovation

Dame Laura Kenny, five-time Olympic cycling gold medal winner, has welcomed a new Lexus safety system designed to help prevent accidents caused by car doors being opened into the path of cyclists and other vehicles. The risks from “dooring” are in focus this week with World Bicycle Day being celebrated on Friday, 3 June. 

“Dooring” is a common hazard, where a vehicle driver or passenger opens a door into the path of a cyclist approaching from behind.   

28/01/22Olympic cycling multiple gold-medalist, Laura Kenny takes delivery of of her new Toyota Yaris Cross.All Rights Reserved: F Stop Press Ltd. +44 (0)7765 242650 www.fstoppress.com www.rkpphotography.co.uk

Lexus has helped address the issue with a world-first technology that can prevent a door being opened, if there is the risk of an accident. Its new e-Latch is an electronic door release system that is linked to sensors mounted on the rear of the vehicle. These will detect a cyclist – or other road user – and provide a Safe Exit Assist function, alerting the driver or passengers with warning lights in the door mirror glass and instrument display, and disabling the e-Latch operation. If the driver tries to release the door, a further, audible warning message will be sounded. 

All-new Lexus NX: How does Safe Exit Assist work?

Dame Laura Kenny, the UK’s most successful female Olympian and a Team Toyota GB athlete, welcomed Lexus’s safety initiative, commenting: “I welcome all innovations that help keep cyclists safe on the roads, and I think the e-Latch is a great idea as I’ve had a few narrow escapes from car doors myself when out on my bike.” 

The technology made its debut on the all-new Lexus NX mid-size SUV and has the potential to be featured on other future Lexus models.  

It is just one element in the wide-ranging safety provisions Lexus is fitting to its cars that safeguard against accidents involving cyclists – and other road users and pedestrians – in its drive towards the ultimate goal of zero road accidents, injuries and fatalities. 

For example, the Lexus Safety Sense package of systems fitted to all new Lexus models includes a Pre-Collision System that can detect the risk of a collision with a cyclist on the road ahead**. The new Intersection Turn Assist function can also warn if a crossing cyclist is in the car’s path as it makes a left or right turn at a junction. 

* Department for Transport Official Statistics, Walking and Cycling 2020. **In daylight driving. 

Read more: Lexus RZ 450e: your questions answered


  1. The new e-latch system is great until the recent temperatures have dropped below zero. When the car freezes outside the door does not open as the e-latch freezes leaving you trying to open the door even though you can hear the lock operating. I have seen advice ranging from pouring warm water over the door handle (great when you away from home) to leaving your hand on the handle for a minute plus to unfreeze the mechanism. It seems that these devices are designed for cold weather – do you sell any cars with the e-latch in Canada or US States like Montana where temperatures are much colder than the UK? If so how do people manage to get in their car?

    1. Hello David, thanks for your question.

      We are sorry to hear about this issue.

      We cannot comment on other markets. However, there is a manual release feature which is highlighted in your Owner’s Manual.


  2. Couldn’t open two doors on my NX 450H+ this morning second time it’s happened in this cold weather, rang my dealer and he was well aware of the problem being the sensor freezes up in cold weather and should just hold it for a minute and it’ll open, which it does, come on guys this is a £63k plus car they didn’t mention that I would have to warm the handles to get in it in cold weather when I took delivery in February this year

    1. Hi Ian, thanks for getting in touch.

      We are sorry that you are experiencing difficulties with your NX in the cold weather. This is something that we are aware on and have implemented a fix for.
      Your local Lexus Centre can obtain all the information they need for this via ‘TSB BE-00971L-TME’.

      Let us know if you need any further assistance,

      Lexus UK

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