Model X Pre-Delivery Inspection Amplified, Parts Changed… + Video Of Autopilot Saving The Day

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

There’s been some criticism of Tesla as of late, owing to the problems that have accompanied the launch of the Model X. Most of these have seemingly related to longer-than-expected wait times for delivery — apparently, this is mostly owing to issues with suppliers (quality control, shortages, etc).

In particular, some Model X reservation holders have been publicly venting recently about not receiving their Model Xs as quickly as expected (the delay is owing to the effort to deliver the best SUV in the world, it should be remembered…). Anyways… Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently responded to a request for an explanation from a Model X reservation holder on Twitter who was unhappy about the wait. The tweet was notable as it revealed that were several supplier parts now being replaced as a result of an “amplified” pre-delivery inspection. Here’s the tweet:

Following that tweet, the Tesla CEO also retweeted this message below, from an obviously very satisfied Model X buyer, seemingly as a further rebuttal of Model X launch criticism:

And… While we’re on the subject, Musk also made a number of other interesting tweets recently, including the one below linking to an owner-shot video showing Autopilot maneuvering out of the way of a truck, thereby preventing a collision. Enjoy the video…

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

17 thoughts on “Model X Pre-Delivery Inspection Amplified, Parts Changed… + Video Of Autopilot Saving The Day

  • That first tweet sums up why Tesla is going to get away with the falcon wing doors.

    I hope Tesla does that second layer of QA at the beginning of the Mod3 launch. That is going to be a simpler car, but a very new one. Want to nail those problems before shipping hundreds of thousands of copies of it.

    • I see the “above the car” space being an issue for the doors. Without quite a few more sensors, it seems like they’ll just keep getting dinged on one thing or another overhead or at awkward angles…and people expect them to never hit anything.

      • I believe they already have sensors to avoid hitting things above the car.

        • Correct. Are there cases where the sensors are missing something? A fire sprinkler head perhaps?

          • I’ve heard that the sensors have been inaccurate when deciding if something is in the door’s path and erring on the side of caution, frequently. It was resulting in not opening the door because the car thinks there is something in the way, when there is not actually.

        • How accurate are those sensors?
          What is the smallest object they are able to detect?

        • I’ve seen several incidents (online) recently about breaking glass, hitting pipes in the ceiling, etc. I was under the impression that it was dialed in as well but it looks like there are either bugs or gaps…

      • *sigh*
        This is one of those instances where mundane real life gets in the way of radical new design. On paper, or as a designworks animation, the falcon doors were a breathtaking marvel of 21st century engineering, a quantum leap in vehicle design, a… (pick your favourite hyperbole).
        In my garage, less so. Or parked on the sloping driveway at the school. Or reversing slowly with doors open, unable to see that overhanging branch. Or when the doors can’t open due to some software glitch, or an overly sensitive sensor, and we’re unable to lift grandma out of the car and into her wheelchair. Or the doors can’t close, for whatever reason, when it’s raining and I just want to get the family home ASAP. Or when the seals start leaking. Or generating lots of wind noise. Or when I need to wait six months for some replacement parts – for the third time. Or when it takes ten seconds to open (and another ten seconds to close) the rear door when all I wanted to do was toss a gym bag onto the back seat. Or when the hinges start wearing excessively and the alignment goes out. Or when I get the quote for the repairs after the wife’s little oops in the mall parking lot. Or when I want to sell the car eventually and I’m expected to take a knock of 20 or 30 grand because by then everybody knows to avoid those damn problematic doors. Or… well, I’ll let your imagination run with this…

        The falcon doors are an expensive, difficult to build, overly complex solution to a “problem” that very few people have. You can get five people in and out of the vehicle just fine with regular doors. Or six, with the central aisle on the 2+2 rear seat configuration.
        If you happen to have exactly seven souls on board, and some of them are kids, they can get in the back by squeezing in behind the second row seats just fine, also through a “normal” back door.

        Admittedly, if you regularly carry exactly seven grown adults in the vehicle, the falcon doors are an interesting option. And in that case, all the trade-offs might indeed make sense. Or, maybe you could just buy two Model 3s instead? that might work two. As long as you can find at least two of the adults who are licensed drivers.

        The various different seating configurations are already options on the X. It makes sense to option the “dooring configurations” as well. Normal doors probably make sense for those who regularly carry 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 adults. (Or various combinations of adults and kids, up to a maximum of 7.)
        For those who regularly carry EXACTLY seven adults, the falcon wing doors are probably the only way to get an electric minivan to look cool. I concede this, ever so humbly.
        According to google, the sport of “Ultimate Frisbee” requires a team of exactly seven. As does Rugby sevens. As long as you’re not taking a coach, scorer, or mascot (and nobody is hoping to bring a wife, girlfriend or gran along for good luck) the Model X is perfect. About five times the price of a good minivan, of course, but you get to intimidate the opposing team by flapping your wings. and that’s priceless. And you save the world with your electricness.

      • People tend to hang all sort of crap from the rafters of a garage. One
        might well find parts of these things protruding down into the danger
        zone of the flying car. Chair legs, garden tools, etc.
        And people
        slide long thing up into the rafters too, things that might have smaller
        hard bits that dangle down. Pitchfork, anyone? Pool Brush? The tripod
        leg of a fake Christmas tree.
        Garage roofs are also frequently
        required to accommodate things like garage door tracks and sensors,
        security cameras, fire sprinklers, electrical cable trays, emergency
        lighting, etc etc.
        Why even go there?
        We know that we need clearance on either side of the car, because PEOPLE need to walk there, to get in and out of the car. Let the doors open sideways. About a hundred million vehicles get sold every year with this perfectly workable solution. And garages (and parking spaces and road architecture everywhere) is designed to accommodate it.

  • Hopefully these efforts improve reliability. Tesla is currently the worst ranked car brand on TrueDelta…

  • Whilst the winged doors provide some degree of differentiation in the market, I personally would have much preferred the doors to be just electric sliding, which would have been a lot less hassle technically and they would have released and delivered well ahead of where they are today. Also, I think there will longer term problems in terms of maintenance, as I see those doors leaking at some point. Using sliders would have also allowed for better utility with such things as roof racks.

    • Sliding doors are a very sensible option for minivans, etc. Three problems:
      1) For an electric, especially with the current constraints of battery tech, you need to get the drag coefficient REALLY low. You cant do much about the frontal area, so you need to make the car supper slippery, or else you’re going to need too big of a battery. Those recessed rails on the side of the car are wind traps. Really bad for reducing drag.
      2) (See above relating to drag). The back of the car needs to have some sort of teardrop or bullet shape. Minivans generally have a flat rear end, to accommodate the sliding door once it’s opened. There needs to be a space, as large as the door itself, behind the door.
      3) Elon wanted to make a sexier version of a minivan. To impress the ladies. A minivan that nobody would dare to call a minivan. And he has substantially succeeded.
      Except it’s STILL kinda a girl’s car. And the ladies are going to be a lot less forgiving once the doors start to fail. Because they have an actual real-world requirement for those rear doors. aka children. Just wait till your wife starts telling you about how you screwed up by wasting 2 years and 150k on this thing, and she can’t even get the kids in and out the back. Especially if she’s been bragging about it beforehand to her PTA friends. the humiliation!
      You’ll take that $40k knock on the resale rather than listen to THAT particular refrain every single day.

      A much simpler solution would have been to put regular doors on the vehicle, as an SUV version, and then have the falcon doors as an add-on option for those who really needed a 24-7 7-seater.
      I think those gimmicky doors are the worst thing that ever happened to Tesla, and will kill the company if they persist with them. I hope I’m wrong. but mostly I hope that they just wake up and fix the problem. Not try to fix the falcon doors themselves.They’re substantially unfixable. Fix the problem by ditching them for all but the most determined (and rich) potential customers.

      • i’m thinking thee same thing – if they cannot get it right after 6 months of releasing the car, there’s a problem

        • I think the problem is that there have been ~10 problems… or maybe more.

      • My sentiments exactly Rob and thanks for the notes on drag, which are an interesting perspective. I must say that I am rather surprised that the side rails for the sliding doors would make such a difference on drag. That might explain why my old Town and Country was such a gas guzzler. I retired that beast for a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which has proven very economical indeed. 🙂 Cheers Peter

        • Agree they need to have an option for regular Suv rear side doors.

      • If a vehicle needs to let people into a third row of seats, why not just have a third hinged door on one or both sides serving that row? Or is that too simple? Or too complicated? It’s gotta be easier than falcon wings.

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