Tesla Owner Claims Falcon Wing Door Opened While Driving, Tesla Exec Responds

Tesla Model X


Tesla Model X Falcon Wing Doors

Of course, when someone has a problem and shares it on social media, Tesla is super quick to respond, but this particular response came directly from Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service.

This is not the first time that Jon McNeill took care of a customer issue himself. Tesla is still comparatively small, and that means that the automaker’s CEO and top execs can keep an eye on social media and take care of issues before they blow up. Let’s hope that as Tesla grows, the company is still able to provide this type of exclusive “mom and pop shop” service, at least on some level.


Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, John McNeill. (via CCTV News)

A Tesla Model X owner posting on Reddit as myteslastory, has not been very happy with his Model X. In fact, he has been so bothered by the numerous issues that he hoped to invoke the California Lemon Law to return the vehicle. The final straw occurred recently, when one of the Falcon wing doors opened on the freeway. Even worse, his child was in the seat next to the open door. He posted:

“My Model X 90D Driver Side Falcon door opened on Freeway driving 65mph with my 6 y.o. sitting next to it.”

He asked the Reddit community for advice on how he should appropriately handle the situation. Keep in mind that this is a vast network of more than 100,000 Tesla owners. He was hoping for opinions on the best way to share the story so that the automaker would fix the safety issue, and accept his vehicle as a return.

Many people responded to the myteslastory post, but only one could truly help. Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, Jon McNeill, replied promptly:

“I’m head of sales and service at Tesla and want to help with your situation. Please send me your VIN# — you can direct message me on Twitter (@jonmcneill), or on the Tesla Motors Club forum at JonMc.”

McNeill was touted in the media on another occasion when he helped a customer with a problem related to power loss on a Model S. It’s not uncommon to see Tesla execs chiming in on the Tesla Motors Club forum and Reddit, even in more casual conversations, and you can almost bet money that if you bring up an honest and verifiable problem on Twitter, CEO Elon Musk will address it firsthand.

Due to McNeill’s fast interaction, and other similar communications in the past, Tesla has been able to avoid negative press, and has at times received compliments for acting so rapidly. If McNeill had overlooked the post, the myteslastory poster would have likely gone to greater lengths to use the lemon law to return his Model X.

Source: Teslarati

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42 Comments on "Tesla Owner Claims Falcon Wing Door Opened While Driving, Tesla Exec Responds"

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No Bueno

Bueno , realmente , si eso es lo que ha ocurrido , Elon deberia plantearse el revisar las puertas de halcón , del model X.Imaginate que el niño , no llevase puesto el cinturón de seguridad…

The 6-year-old would have had to be in a car seat. While the ordeal isn’t what you want in a car, having the child strapped into a car seat, which is in turn strapped to the vehicle’s seat, is a little less harrowing.

It’s probably a little less harrowing for the child, but it is a major, major safety risk. Not necessarily for the passenger by the door, but because the doors popping open could create a moment of confusion and distraction for the driver. I fly small aircraft and I know of numerous incidents of doors popping open on takeoff and crashes resulting because a new or student pilot becomes startled or distracted due to the unexpected event. A car is a little different, but the analogy largely holds – the second the doors pop up, I guarantee most drivers are going to immediately glance back to see what’s going on and a lot can happen a highway speed in that time, particularly if they react in a startled manner.

Ya, ya me está gustando más de lo normal
Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más
Esto hay que tomarlo sin ningún apuro

Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo

Que asco! , estoy muy cansado de esa canción.

The story is not that John McNeill got involved personally, although it is good that he did. The story is why did the door open unexpectedly and what is Tesla doing to make sure this does not happen to other owners in the future?

Yeah, THAT is the story. The Tesla exec reaching out on reddit should be secondary.

Car doors opening by themselves while driving on the highway is a serious safety issue.


And to think, people buy Million Dollar planes, so they can take the door off, climb to 12,500 feet above the ground, and jump out while someone else flies! it! I am guessing for this Model X owner, skydiving was not his plan for the day!

Also – Jeep owners drive around with doors off too, but usually they do wear seat belts, so as long as this child was hooked up right, this should not be any life threatening event.

Next, did anyone bump a FW Door Open button anywhere? Or did he hit an unusually large poyhole, just before the event? (Inquiring minds want to know!)

Are you attempting to downplay the fact a CAR DOOR OPENED BY ITSELF at highway speeds?

What, it’s not a real issue unless someone dies?

“OMG, that guy on the street got stabbed right in the neck and was murdered!”
“Well, you know how many people in prison get stabbed in the neck? So what?!”


Ahem. The car door *allegedly* opened on its own. Many things would have to fail to allow that to happen.

1. The car’s computer would have to lose information about how fast it’s going. For safety reasons, the computer won’t allow the doors to open if the car is moving.

2. Someone would have to push a button to open the doors, or the computer would have to think that someone is pushing the button. Along with #1, that’s two sensor failures to make this happen.

Those two things combined are very unlikely. Possible? Yes, but Occam’s Razor applies here. It’s probably someone who can no longer afford their vehicle and wants Tesla to take it back.

Concur; the owner has his view of an event (we will assume it actually happened for now) and the data log will have another.

Remember that Prius “runaway” event that made huge press and Toyota turned over all it’s data to NASA and no one could replicate the event? This could be another disgruntled owner or an ‘agent provocateur’ trying to muddle the Tesla name (as was the case for the Prius).

I would tend to believe the owner. I own a car that all of a sudden the headlights, turn signals, hazard lights, dash lights and air conditioning all failed at the same time. Turns out it was a defective instrument cluster. The way the signals are routed through buses and modules and all of the software in today’s vehicles leads to stranger problems than in the past when everything was connected independently.

Are you attempting to take someone’s alleged claim, who happened to *already* be unhappy with the car and looking for a way out, at face value?

Finally, someone exhibiting proper healthy skepticism.

The first time that anyone has reported a Model X door opening by itself when the car was in motion, and it “just happened” to be reported by a guy who already said he’s trying to return the car under a “lemon law”?

Yes, this is quite reminiscent of all those fake claims that Toyota cars were accelerating uncontrollably. Occam’s Razor suggests it’s most likely this is a fraudulent claim.

Note I didn’t claim that as fact; just that given the available facts, that’s the most reasonable conclusion, requiring the fewest number of assumptions. The fewest assumptions is, of course, what the principle of Occam’s Razor indicates is most likely to be true.

Given the serious quality issues with this model, and the fact that this particular car was already a found to be a lemon, and the fact that Tesla went to the great lengths to resolve the issue, the simplest explanation is that this was yet another malfunction; and Tesla has logs to prove it. Always take into account your priors.

I myself recently had an issue where my child had to be extracted through the FWD window because the doors on my X *wouldn’t* open. Recently my neighbor switched P90D for a 100D because of bugs. The model has problems.

Our local chronic liar is at it again I see…

Four Electrics continued to test us for naivety and credulity:

“I myself recently had an issue where my child had to be extracted through the FWD window because the doors on my X *wouldn’t* open.”

😀 😀 😀

So now you’ve put an imaginary child into the back seat of your imaginary Model X, just so you can post another Tesla bashing lie!

Hey “Four Electrics”: I just had an imaginary tow truck haul your imaginary Model X off to an imaginary car crusher. Say goodbye to your “car”, FUDster! 😛

* * * * *

But seriously, here’s a Tesla Motors Club forum discussion about an unintentional falcon wing door opening. After some discussion, the most probable sequence was accidentally opening the door before the car was put into Drive. As at least one Model X owner noted, it’s impossible to activate the falcon wing “open door” function while the car is in Drive… which of course is what we would expect from Tesla’s very able, and by now much-experienced, software engineers.


Of course, again this isn’t proof it didn’t happen, but as I said, Occam’s Razor points rather strongly in the direction of it being a made-up story.

No, he’s helping to debug the issue, not flame hysteria like you.

Bingo! The sales VP jumping into each customer issue shows Tesla process is not tight and robust for mass market.
He doesn’t solve anything. Just like Elon, he tweets/responds/lies to appease for a moment, but the problems remain.
– Think countergate for launch mode. Jon Mc jumped in, but nothing got fixed. Now he has turned into a silent rock on that.
– Think Model X. Elon jumped in, slept on factory floor. Model X still so bad in quality, Tesla refused customer information to JD Power & Associates for initial quality survey.

Six-year-olds are energetic and don’t think things through very well. My guess is that a flailing shoe hit the button. There is a child safety lock for those doors, which are actuated by buttons not levers. I think the only lemon is the kid.

You are nuts.

You are too kind with your reply …

To call another persons child a Lemon is not just nuts but pathetic.

I agree with OP on this thread. Kid is probably a lemon and opened the door. That’s what child safety locks are for people…

Tesla fanboy in its true colors. People like you do more disservice to EV’s than anything else.


This type of situation Tesla is correct to put a high priority on its resolution. The Gull wing door could have been clipped by a large truck in the other lane and spun the car around, or flipping it over – not good at highway speeds. A car with simpler doors may not need this, but powered operation is dangerous since a human would realize not to open the door very far – once it was realized it was opened accidentally. But the power operator I assume just completed its cycle to the point where the thing was fully in the upright position. Therefore extra safeties are needed to make sure this doesn’t happen again, or at least, request double confirmation from the driver that the door is to be opened. The question the article doesn’t precisely answer, is Did the Door just open? Or was some button pushed before hand? If it just spontaneously opened with no driver or passenger input, it seems like some program went insane, and Tesla needs to have their control programs debugged better. Any function of the car involving safe operation (such as accelerator pedal interpretation, axle speed interpretation), needs Master-Slave Dual computer systems… Read more »

Falcon Wing Not Gull Wing ‼️


This is horrible libel by Big Oil Shills, probably hired by evil GM and Toyota, in conspiracy with Big Oil! It should be obvious to every true believer in holy Elon and his mission on this planet.
I require to censor this article immediately!!!! Everything Tesla related is always perfect, because it comes from Elon himself!

Tru that!

Are you posting and relying to yourself now?

She probably pressed the flight button by mistake and the car was trying to take off. Definitely operator error.

Not to downplay the safety issue, but if both falcon wing doors opened at highway speed, how much lift would you get – could you get off the ground? Then they would truly be falcon wing doors.

I’ll believe that a door opened itself on the highway when I see the logs or video or if another party reports the same.

Until then, the facts of the case is there there was and owner who was clearly already disgruntled. That owner clearly wanted to trigger the lemon law. That owner clearly wanted to get the attention of Tesla.

Whether a door opened itself for this same owner is certainly open to question.

I seriously doubt it happened and I’m with Nix that without real evidence like the logs or video/credible 3rd party witness accounts it didn’t happen.

But, meanwhile we continue to get constant trolling here in the Tesla threads by new usernames like Tru Believer, NameWithheld, etc that are pushing ridiculous anti-Tesla FUD.

Again, I wonder which existing anti-Tesla usernames these people are who are cowardly using new usernames to post their FUD under?

Aside from the story, you would think Tesla would have had a model upgrade that simply got rid of the falcon doors. You still have to open the front doors so it really doesn’t gain anything. They must add thousands of dollars to the cost of the car and future maintenance issues. They make using the roof for ski or cargo holders impossible. They likely add weight and cost range.

FISHEV said:

“You still have to open the front doors so it really doesn’t gain anything.”

Actually, the front doors are power doors, too; they just open in the normal direction.

But I agree, if Tesla would offer an alternative to the Model X that had more utility, replacing the pigeon-wing doors 😉 with mininvan-style sliding doors, they’d get a lot of customers who are put off by the overly complex PW doors and the lack of ability to put a roof rack on the car.

This would be a major refit/redesign of the Model X, and would require new crash testing, new EPA range ratings, etc. Obviously some expense would be involved in that. But perhaps it would be no more of a redesign than American auto makers used to do frequently when they offered a wagon version of their sedans. That used to be pretty common.

Hey, a Tesla fan can hope, can’t he? 🙂