Owners Of Tesla’s New Model X Report Doors Won’t Close, Other Quality Issues

Earlier this month, Tesla recalled 2,700 of its newly released Model X SUVs because third-row seats may not properly latch into the vehicles. Now, owners of the early-build models say they’ve encountered several other issues including doors that won’t close and a windshield that gives drivers double vision. 

Consumers who received their Model X SUVs after the initial rollout was delayed shared their disappointment with the quality of the electric vehicle with our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports, citing issues that also included malfunctioning second-row seats and sheet-metal panel gaps.

A New York man says he had high hopes for the Model X, which comes with a 200-plus mile battery range, when he flew to California to pick it up from the company’s factory.

His dreams of driving the car across the country were quickly delayed when he discovered a string of problems.

For starters, he tells Consumer Reports that the “falcon wing” rear doors failed to close properly, and later failed to sense an overhang crashing into it, dinging the door. Next, the driver’s door failed to open from the outside, and that door’s window wouldn’t motor down properly because of a piece of stripping blocking it.

Each of the issues, which occurred at different times, required the man to visit the Tesla factory or a service center in Santa Monica on multiple occasions.

Other issues the man said he later encountered included the car’s curved windshield creating a double vision distortion of oncoming headlights and streetlamp, distracting him and making it difficult to gauge distances.

Finally, the car’s large infotainment system froze several times and the AutoPilot feature became confused on certain roads, requiring the man to take control of the vehicle.

The man’s issues with the car aren’t one-offs. Other owners, who received the first thousand Model Xs, have shared similar complaints on Tesla message boards, including problems with interior trim-piece tolerances, paint-spray quality, malfunctioning second-row seats, sheet-metal panel gaps, and climate control issues.

Consumer Reports says that issues with a new model, especially one created from the ground up and as technologically complicated as the Tesal, aren’t unusual. In fact, the publication recommends against buying any new vehicle in its first year of production.

A spokesperson for Telsa tells CR that the company is aware of some issues with the Model X.

“We are committed to making the world’s most reliable cars. 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. This commitment is one of the reasons why 98 percent of our customers say they will buy another Tesla as their next car.”

The New York Model X owner says that while the quality issues with the vehicle have been frustrating, Tesla has been helpful and quick to fix the problems.

“This thing is beautiful,” he tells CR. “The car’s power is incredible. It handles fantastic. It’s hard to believe it’s almost three tons. I’m rather impressed with the car overall.”

Early-Build Tesla Model X SUVs Face Quality Issues [Consumer Reports]