Tesla Model X Falcon Doors Can Impact Front Doors On Slope When Closing – Video

SEP 18 2016 BY JAY COLE 45

Mel Herbert, via the Talking Tesla podcast has encountered a problem with his Model X when it comes to parking his Tesla on his driveway, which has some slope to it.

Video demonstrats that it is a good idea to watch your Falcon Wing door carefully while parking on a hill

Video demonstrats that it is a good idea to watch your Falcon Wing door carefully while parking on a hill

The issue comes in actually closing the Model X’s Falcon Wing doors (which don’t always close all the way), and the front doors.

After first having both the front driver’s side door and Falcon Wing door open, Mel attempted to close the Falcon Wing door, but as sometimes happens…it glitched before forming a tight seal.  Not a big deal, close the front door, fix the Falcon Wing as per the norm right?

However, while closing the front door, Mel noticed it would no longer clear the Falcon door.. Had he not noticed, there likely would have been some damage caused to the Falcon Wing door on impact.

Maybe not a big thing, but just as a PSA if you are a Tesla Model X owner, something to definitely look out for.

Hat tip to George K!

Categories: Tesla


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45 Comments on "Tesla Model X Falcon Doors Can Impact Front Doors On Slope When Closing – Video"

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I remember reading some claims this could happen in very early posts to the Tesla Motors Club forum, but I thought that was just speculation.

I’m glad it’s a rare event, but it looks like a truly surprising failure on the part of Tesla’s engineers to design the doors in such a way that this is possible, however unlikely. 🙁

“I’m glad it’s a rare event, but it looks like a truly surprising failure on the part of Tesla’s engineers to design the doors in such a way that this is possible, however unlikely. ?

I can tell u don’t own a Tesla.

They have a million quirks. On my 2012 if you leave the rear lift gate open too long, when u push the button it won’t close.

Simple solution: Close the trunk by hand.They just do that.

I would think in this article Model X case there would be some way to stop auto open and deal with it manually….or something else.

It would be nice to hear from someone with a Model X as to how they handle it.

georgeS said:

“I can tell u don’t own a Tesla.”

You (or should I say “U”?) can tell just from that one comment that I own neither a Model S nor a Tesla Roadster?

You must be the Great Carnak reincarnated! 😀

I’ve seen this reported on the forums. It’s never happened to me, but does reconfirm that, if pressed, Tesla will ship half-assed, sloppy features. Tesla is a strange combination of perfectionism mixed with “whatever, minimum viable product!”

The cognitive dissonance must be a daily struggle for Tesla owners.

Pretty Flimsy Design I say if this is true . That does Not Sound Right . I better take a good hard look at this before I Pluck Down all that cash.

If you’re buying a BEV out of concern for global warming, your money is probably better spent on LED lights for your home, new windows and sealing, and a more energy efficient water heater. Those sorts of upgrades can make a real difference. If you need a new car, buy a Plug in Prius. Tesla’s are for flash and glamour and the Model X is a foolish design.

That’s just not true. A lot depends on your driving cycle. If you want to optimize for carbon footprint and your driving cycle is short, a Leaf class car would be far better than a Prius. A Bolt is also a great choice.

For a longer cycle and road trips, a lower end Model S would also do very well. A Volt would also do much better than a Prius, as would an i3.

The higher end Teslas don’t get you as much benefit per dollar and have heavier footprints due to the larger batteries. However, you are throwing money at Tesla and that is a contribution in itself, since it helps make the Model III possible. Plus if you are a luxury car buyer you would not be caught dead with a Prius anyway.

Alonzo, U R Rite On !

If you (generic you, not personal) really cares about carbon footprint, you should minimize energy usage. If you have a short (5-10mi) driving cycle, you aren’t saving much by using an EV car rather than an ICE one — you shouldn’t be driving a car at all, but an e-bicycle or e-scooter instead.

They use 1x less energy per mile, and the energy to produce a Tesla battery pack (just produce, not including charging) is enough to propel an e-bicycle a million miles…

True in theory, but:

1. Not everybody can ride a bike.

2. Not every place has bike lanes or reasonable bike access.

3. Not all weather conditions are suitable for bike riding.

4. Some jobs involve driving with others (i.e. Real Estate).

5. Some trips are for carrying other people, such as infants or old people.

Cars exist for many reasons, and some of these reasons are not so simple to just brush off.

If you skip on vacation and air travel, that would do far more for CO2 reduction. 747 gets roughly 35 MPG per passenger. Travel 5,000 miles each way on vacation means 10,000 miles of CO2 emissions of driving alone in Hyundai Elantra.

Now if you were to skip that vacation travel and stay home that will do far more. If you skip eating meat (especially beef), that will do far more. Basically, there’s lot more you can do for CO2 reduction, and EV driving makes tiny fraction.

One of these days, I’ll write a blog post highlight this. Drive your EV, because it’s a great car, not to “sacrifice” oneself to make tiny fraction of CO2 reduction when there are far bigger and cheaper ways to reduce CO2. That is, if you believe that will make a difference (it won’t).


Another serial Tesla-Hater spreading anti-Tesla FUD.

If your concerned about global warming, which I doubt you are Zim as an anti-Tesla troll, then you should know that transportation is now the number #1 source of carbon emissions in the US:


Therefore buying a BEV can do more then any other single purchase you can make, not to say that energy efficiency or even putting in solar pv wouldn’t also be a great help.

He’s not saying Teslas don’t make a difference.

He’s saying there are more effective ways to spend $35,000. Wouldn’t vacationing locally reduce that big transportation number you’re concerned about?

Of course… and that’s why thousands of them have been sold purely for use as taxis…

You can’t buy a plug in Prius at the moment. Apparently Toyota only sold 2 in the US last month. (You have to wait for the Prius Prime!)

Nothing can compete with the lack of cognitive thinking from you or other trolls.

Another Euro point of view

This could be a very good idea for a new TV show.

First world tragedies, starting with:

My Model X falcon doors hit its front doors on a slope.

To be followed by:

I misplaced my favorite carbon-fiber golf club on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

This all could become very emotional. Good business.

nothing to do with the slope.


Yes, please explain.

Exactly, it’s a simple interference between the FWDs, when open a little, and the front doors. I thought (maybe just hoped) this was common knowledge among Model X owners so I’m surprised this is getting any attention.

Well, the slope is causing the closing failure, for one thing.

But, for another, this interference is bad design. With a regular car you never care what the state of one door is when opening or closing any other door is, nor should you.

What happens, for example if you are open the FWDs and immediately open the driver’s door, as you can be expected to?

With the i3 you have to close the doors in a certain order. You certainly don’t want to close the front door first and then slam the coach door in the back.

Multiple times I’ve had to shout at someone who was unfamiliar with this from the driver’s seat before they accidentally closed them this way. Happens a lot when picking up my child in carpool when helpers try to close the doors for you.

But I guess the i3 isn’t a normal car either.

The i3 is not a true four door car; it is impossible to open the rear doors without the front doors open, so if the reverse is true, this is reasonable, given the design.

However, with an X the doors can be opened independently, so there is no evident ordering to the user, and a collision is just not expected.

When I was a kid, we had a Ford van with two rear swing-open doors. You had to close the doors in the correct order, otherwise the giant locking post sticking out of one of the doors would bash the outside of the door you (incorrectly) closed first.

I remember my dad shouting at me once or twice when I was about to do it wrong.

I have wondered about the very negative comments on the i8’s rear “suicide doors”. If you can actually cause damage by trying to close the rear door while the front door is closed, then that would certainly help explain the negative reactions.

Oops, I mean the i3.

There’s no evidence *at all* in the video that the slope of his driveway has anything to do with the FWDs not closing properly.

If the FWDs are open and you try to close the front doors there’s an impact.

This is obviously because of simple geometry resulting from the seam between the two doors being tilted backwards from the vertical. Nothing more.

Oh, and for those of you who are about to say “the seam should have been vertical”, I’ll respond with : If it was you’d complain about the “lines of the car being bad and can’t Tesla design a good looking SUV?”.

If his FWDs don’t reliably close then that’s definitely a service issue which he should be taking to Tesla.

You’re completely right. Interesting that this isn’t one of the first things they ran into during design phase.

Blaine said:

“If the FWDs are open and you try to close the front doors there’s an impact.”

Hmmm, I think you mean “incompletely closed”, rather than “open”. If the FW doors are fully or even mostly open, there’s no problem.

Looks like chassis flex. Those huge doors are supported by a weak structure and move out of alignment when the structure is stressed. This kind of thing used to happen in old convertibles.

I’ve seen that they are close when closing, but they don’t collide on my X. Maybe this is an adjustment problem.

I would think a fix for this unfortunate issue would be relatively simple. Perhaps some sort of ‘leading edge’ guide for the last inch or 2 of travel… But the simpler fix is that if you are parked on a hill, just make sure the GW doors are closed properly before trying to (open or?) close the front door.

Falcon wing doors, the trouble that keeps on giving.


Probably biggest regret Elon wishes he could take back.

Junk why complicate it, regular or sliding doors.

So, remember when some of us doubters pointed out that there is probably a good reason why most automakers use gull wing doors for show cars but not in mass production?

Hey Jay, what’s up with this article? http://insideevs.com/maryland-now-home-6000-plus-plug-electric-cars/

Saw it a couple of days ago, then it vanished. I found it again, but comments are disabled?

Love the idea, company and the S but the X was a bridge too far. Why oh why, if the objective was to get EVs into the mainstream did they spend so dang much time and expense on those stupid winged doors. One word…Ego. Very disappointing.

Another reason why “falcon wing” doors were an idiotic feature of the Model X. Why did Bjorn Nyland not discover this first?

I hope the slope doesn’t cause the FWDs to bend/stretch the mounting frame. That can possibly explain why they don’t close perfectly or interfere with the front doors…

*sigh*, the hubris just keeps hurting the Model X.

I wonder if there will be a mid generation redesign to get rid of those doors. Then again, that will be admitting “defeat” and Elon might not want to give in ever.

Reason #11257 why normal-sized electric doors (let alone something convoluted like the falcon doors) are a bad design.