Build quality, electrical system, suspension and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
There aren’t many electric SUVs on the market, which is what makes the 2019 Tesla Model X so unique. Another key feature is how the automaker claims it is “the safest SUV.” However, families across the nation are finding out that the defective electrical system, poorly-built structure, malfunctioning suspension and faulty engine are causing concerns.
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Problems with the Electrical System
A faulty electrical system can lead to a lot of problems. From the way an EV charges to the functions of the amenities, there can be a lot of headaches if this system fails.
Here’s one problem noted by an NHTSA complaint. “The driver side window doesn’t roll all the way up when trying to close it automatically with one button push. It goes partially up the side and then will automatically roll down.”
Aside from this, there are other documented electrical system issues. Service Bulletin #SB-19-44-008 talks about the High Voltage harness between the front drive unit and Front Junction Box getting disconnected, leading to alerts that tell the driver to stop, limit acceleration or stop operating the vehicle. While it doesn’t affect the actual operation of the EV, it can be scary to get these alerts while driving.
Aside from this, the NHTSA is currently investigating an electrical system issue that might turn into recalls. NHTSA Action Number DP19005 talks about a major problem with the battery system that needs further investigation. So much for being the safest SUV. Actually, this vehicle can only be deemed safe if no one drives it.
2019 Tesla Model X Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
|Vehicle Speed Control
|Electronic Stability Control
Problems with the Suspension
The ride quality with a luxury SUV should be sublime, but that’s not what Model X users are finding.
Here’s another NHTSA complaint worth looking at. “5 week old vehicle with 2200 miles had the left rear axle become disconnected spontaneously after accelerating straight ahead from a city street red light without any prior collision or accident. This wheel was tilted 30 degrees into the wheel well rendering the car undriveable. The left rear axle or control arm was visibly hanging freely underneath the car. Tesla Service has been unable to diagnose the cause for spontaneous failure and await input from the engineering department. They have suggested that it could be a control arm failure or a broken aluminum car frame.”
Again, Tesla is aware of numerous steering problems. Service Bulletin #SB-20-31-001 states that the front stabilizer bars might have the wrong vulcanized bushing, which lead to a squeaking sound when traveling over road imperfections. Considering most roads are not perfect, this must create a wonderfully beautiful harmony that owners are probably getting sick of hearing.
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Problems with the Build Quality
As a premium SUV, this vehicle needs to be made to the highest level of quality possible. Yet, there are too many reports saying otherwise.
One NHTSA complaint states, “Driving at around 20 miles an hour over flowing water on a city street, the splash from the water ripped off the right black plastic arch cover of the right wheel. Fortunately, the plastic arch cover remained attached, but most of the plastic tabs were detached. The worry is that if the speed of the vehicle had been more, the plastic piece could easily have been entirely ripped from the vehicle and flown into the air causing damage.”
This isn’t the only structure issue. Service Bulletin #SB-20-12-002 says that condensation is getting into the B-pillar, which is causing an obstruction to the camera. Because of this defect, some Autopilot features aren’t able to work correctly, putting people in danger. Maybe it is a safer SUV without the Autopilot after all.
Problems with the Electric Engine
While the driving force of an EV is different than a gas-powered car, the propulsion is just as important. With the Model X, there seem to be even more complaints about the electric engine, leading one to wonder why anyone would want to pay more for this system.
Take a look at this NHTSA complaint. “While I was parking, sudden unintended acceleration occurred, vehicle jumped the curb and the vehicle smashed into a wall. The airbags deployed. The car took a life of its own. I am a good driver with no accident history and did not press the gas. I had just pressed the Park button. I have several lacerations on my face. My left orbital has a contusion and right eye needs retina surgery. I have cracked ribs. I will need extensive rehabilitation on my back and neck. I have nonstop headaches. What is scary is I could have been with my 5 year old on a highway. I almost drove over a 4-year-old child and her mother who were playing 4 feet away. The car was only 2 weeks old. I know that Tesla keeps saying the same thing, that it is the fault of the driver and that may be the case, but I have several witnesses to see the car took off including my finance driving behind me. Come on Tesla, this is a $120k car. I loved this car for the 2 weeks I had it, now I am scared to drive it again.”
Even though Tesla says this is the fault of the driver, NHTSA has something different to say. NHTSA Action Number DP20001 is an open investigation talking about sudden acceleration. This might be a problem that eventually turns into a recall, once again proving that the word “safe” should never be used to describe this SUV.
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