2021 Tesla Model X Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain and electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Tesla has been at the cutting edge of electric cars for decades. Five years after founding the company in 2003, the group of engineers at the helm launched the Roadster. In 2012, they designed the Model S from the ground up, calling it the first premium all-electric sedan.

The Model X followed in 2015. Since then there have been design changes and upgrades, as well as new models.

Now, Tesla refers to its Model X as “the safest, quickest, most capable sport utility vehicle in history.” It adds that it holds 5-star safety ratings across every category from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

They don’t mention that there are records of numerous official NHTSA investigations, two of which are still open. They also don’t mention the many complaints made to NHTSA by Tesla Model X owners over the past seven years.

There are currently 6 recalls for the 2021 Tesla Model X and a total of 14 complaints. We’re going to look at the most common problems owners complain about.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

The most common problems relate to the electrical system, forward-collision avoidance, vehicle speed control, and some that seem to be software issues. Some of these issues are connected. For instance, two electrical system complaints also mention vehicle speed control. One mentions forward-collision avoidance.

There are 2 suspension and 2 powertrain complaints, and 1 each that relate to exterior lighting, lane departure issues, and visibility/wiper.

2021 Tesla Model X Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Lane Departure: Warning
Exterior Lighting

Electrical System Problems

It goes without saying that the electrical system of an electric car is paramount. But electrical system problems recur annually, and not just with the Model X. For example, a recent Lemberg Law article shows that complaints to the NHTSA about the Model S electrical system are more common than other complaints.

We also highlighted electrical problems about the 2020 Model X in another article that you can read here.

There are at least 7 complaints about the 2021 Model X electrical system, some of which are listed in the category Unknown or Other. They range from the computer MCU shutting down multiple times to the instrument cluster screen blanking or blacking out. The latter is also a problem with the 2021 Model S.

One complaint is about the 2 screens on a Model X blacking out while driving on an interstate highway at 75 mph. “Tesla seems to believe this is a non-issue and a minor inconvenience that ‘just happens from time to time – nothing to worry about’. I, on the other hand, consider this a safety issue.”

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Forward-Collision Avoidance & Vehicle Speed Control

A complaint that highlights forward-collision avoidance, vehicle speed control, and electrical system problems describes an accident with one injury.

The instrument cluster screen and driver’s instrument panel went dark. When the lights came back on, the driver could see there was only 30 miles of range left. Ironically, the nearest charging station was at the Fremont Tesla factory.

After slowing down the car, the driver was about to change gears to reverse “when the car suddenly accelerated without warning and ended up hitting one of the charging stations. The car finally came to a halt after striking the charging station.” The complaint continues, “We were all shocked to see that none of the airbags were deployed, even though the collision was pretty nasty.”

Three of the occupants of the car, including the driver, were badly shaken and their backs were strained. A woman in the back of the car, who was taking off her seatbelt, was thrown off the seat and suffered facial injuries.

“Tesla refuses to acknowledge any vehicle issue and has not shared any accident investigation report,” the complainant says.

Problems with the Powertrain

One driver reports front half-shafts failing 3 times, and says it is a safety hazard. Another, reporting a rattling/grinding sound when accelerating, complains that “Tesla says it’s normal. It’s an ongoing issue and Tesla refuses to repair (it).”

What to do if your 2021 Tesla Model X is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Tesla is well aware of lemon law issues and acknowledges owners’ rights in a document on their website. It describes how to make a claim. But instead of tackling the system on your own, you can reach out to Lemberg Law and our lemon law team will help you negotiate a settlement.

We have helped many car owners get replacement vehicles and have negotiated buy-back agreements or cash settlements from manufacturers. Call our Helpline and we will evaluate your case. The law requires that Tesla pays legal costs for lemon law cases, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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