It’s common for a new car model to have problems – call them teething troubles, bugs, glitches, or more colorful epithets. Tesla’s Model X is not only a new model, but an entirely new type of vehicle, so it would be strange if some substantial snags didn’t come up. In fact, the company has already recalled 2,700 units to fix a safety issue with the rear seats.
Now X buyers around the country are reporting a variety of minor and major issues, having to do with doors, sensors, screens, brakes and quality control.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, several buyers have had problems with the X’s Falcon Wing doors, a super-high-tech feature that has already cost Tesla much time and aggravation. Both Consumer Reports and the Wall Street Journal have reported stories about Falcon Wing woes.
Byron Deeter, whose Model X was one of the first off the production line, told Fortune that the car has had so many problems that he’s had to stop driving it. “It had a handful of what I’d call acceptable tech glitches early on, like the Falcon Wing doors not always detecting that I was ready for them to open. But in the past couple of days it’s gotten to where I think there are safety and usability issues.”
First the driver’s door wouldn’t open from the outside, then it wouldn’t close. “Yesterday, I literally drove to a meeting holding the door closed.”
Posters on several Tesla forums have also complained of front doors that refused to open.
“My car has been back into the shop twice, and the bugs are still everywhere,” complained a Tesla forum user called Shelmire. “The P door does not open, the D door opens to different positions, no parking feature, sometimes doors won’t close unless you force it and when you close it sounds like metal to metal. I could go on and on.”
According to Green Car Reports, when the Model X production date rolled around, Tesla was still finalizing deals with suppliers. Some components may not have been available, forcing Tesla to hand-fabricate substitutes.
Tesla may be regretting its admitted “hubris” in adding so many complex features to its ESUV, but now it has no choice but to make things right.
A Tesla spokesperson said, “While we have seen some issues with early Model X builds, the issues are not widespread, and we are working closely with each owner to respond quickly and proactively to address any problems. We will continue to do so until each customer is fully satisfied.”
@MacTechGenius @SacEV Have been reviewing end of line production quality personally. Slowed things down temporarily, but it’s for the best.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2016
Sources: The Guardian, Fortune, Green Car Reports
Image: Arnie Pappf (CC BY 2.0)