A story surfaced last week about a Tesla Model X owner who accidentally drove his car into the garage with the left-hand falcon wing door open. If you thought such a thing wasn’t possible, you’re wrong. Despite a barrage of warning lights, bells, chimes, and whistles, the car can be driven with one or both falcon-wing doors open at speeds up to 30 mph according to YouTube video channel “Like Tesla.”
It is easy to dismiss this unfortunate incident with a quick reminder to “Engage brain before operating vehicle,” but all of us have done similarly idiotic things while distracted. “Let he who is without sin …” and all that. I don’t know the cost of repairing a Model X falcon-wing door, but it’s unlikely to be inexpensive.
A more serious story involving the Model X and its iconic doors is begin reported in the Norwegian press. According to NRK News, a Model X owner in that country has had the unsettling experience of the rear doors of his car opening unexpectedly while driving. The first time it happened was about a year ago and it has happened several times since. The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he notified Tesla of the problem last January, then again in February, November, and December.
“Tesla’s own employees say they are aware of the problems, but that there are no solutions,” he tells the press. “No solutions now 18 months after delivery of Model X started.” He also says he knows of other Model X owners who have experienced similar problems.
We’ve reached out to Tesla for comment. If we receive any substantive comments from the company on the claims made here, we will update the article and/or publish a new one.
The owner wrote a letter to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in December, after the door opened unexpectedly for a fourth time. He submitted a photo of the car’s dashboard showing the right rear door open as the Tesla drove along at 78 km/h (about 45 mph). “This causes noise … and … above all, fear that someone will fall out,” he wrote. He questions whether the Model X is safe to operate on Norwegian roads. Apparently, the unintended door opening is temperature related. The first time it happened — shortly after the car was purchased — the outside temperature had just fallen to 0°C.
The owner has entered into an agreement with Tesla and wishes to make no further public comment. You can draw your own conclusions about whether Tesla keeping this situation under wraps is in the best interest of Tesla owners or the general public.
Hat Tip to Leif Hansen, chairman of our Norwegian Research Bureau.