You’re supposed to close your car doors before driving. The Tesla Model X, with its upward-opening “Falcon Wing” doors, like most cars, has visual and audible alerts that go off if a driver attempts to drive with any doors open. The Model X also has sensors that prevent the doors from opening fully if there’s an obstruction, but they do not prevent the car from actually moving.
As it happens, the electronic warnings didn’t prevent an Illinois Tesla Model X 90D owner from attempting to leave a garage without closing all the doors, according to Electrek.
A Tesla Model X with a clipped wing was spotted at an auto repair shop in Lisle, Illinois and photos were sent to Exotic Wrecks, a website that archives images of damaged vehicles. The images were accompanied by the caption, “Forgot that the door was open when driving out of own garage. Nobody hurt. Spotted at repair shop.”
It’s unknown whether car design played any part in the accident, but it’s worth noting that the Model X doors have been problematic since launch. They just didn’t work correctly. Nine months after the Model X launch, at the 2016 Tesla Annual Meeting, CEO Elon Musk said the doors “… are almost useful,” pending an upcoming software upgrade.
The Model X is Tesla’s offering in the SUV/crossover space. When carmakers render an SUV or crossover version of a popular sedan, it can often look stodgy and fail to attract many buyers. (That happened with the the Honda Crosstour and the Toyota Venza, neither of which lasted long on the market.)
Perhaps that’s why when Tesla designed the SUV-ish version of the Tesla Model S, it added doors that opened upwards. Tesla calls them Falcon Wings — sounding like something from Star Trek or Star Wars. So the Tesla Model X launched in 2015 and the novelty of the doors distracted from the X’s less sleek design, compared to the Model S, which was necessitated by adding enough interior capacity for SUV classification.
In this case, it looks like the doors were too distracting.
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