Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Haunted By Falcon Wing Door Ghosts

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Autopilot

Tesla Motors Inc Model X’s most impressive feature – the Falcon Doors – are creating trouble for some owners lately. When the automaker first showed its Falcon Wing rear doors for the Model X, many auto experts expected that they would create some trouble for owners, and it appears they were right.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model X Founders Edition Presentation

Issues with Tesla’s Model X Falcon doors

Gull wing doors, as used in the old Bricklin, are built in one piece, unlike the falcon doors that have an extra hinge and are more complicated. Gull wing doors were trouble for Bricklin owners too, says a report from Treehugger. The doors proved useless during rain, did not open in winter, and also they did not fit in most garages because when fully opened they were just too high, the report says.

As for Tesla’s Falcon doors, they are not much better. They are creating serious hindrances for a lot of owners like the Carters, reported the WSJ.

In an interview while waiting for the Model X to be picked up for the repairs, Mrs. Carter said that Tesla’s falcon-wing doors wouldn’t open on one morning when she was preparing to drive her children to school. “It’s a bummer; you spent all this money…and the doors won’t open,” the owner said.

Though she expected some issues initially, but said it felt awkward what her friends might think – “Look at the Carters—they spent all this money and the doors don’t work.”

History never lies

The history of gull-wing doors might have made Tesla Motors Inc avoid the Falcon doors, the report says. In 1956, Mercedes invented the doors as the car design required very high sills that one had to jump up to get over and out of the car. The doors were hard to engineer and very heavy making opening difficult.

Another example is the Bricklin, where the doors can be said to be the biggest flaw. And, as per a Bricklin mechanic, they “overpowered hydraulic door openers that actually bent the doors during usage.”

Gull wing doors are heavy and need some help to open. The Delorean had gull wing doors too. They used a clever torsion bar system (but the torsion bars are difficult to set precisely), and they actually warped the door, in some cases, to the point that it no longer fit, the report says.

Doors must be designed in a manner that they can be opened if the car flips, but with these doors, there was an issue of safety as well. The Mercedes AMG is quite safe; it actually has explosive bolts to blow the door off in emergencies. As for the Delorean, there is a window through which you could push out. For people who are short, the Falcon door might not be for them as sometimes they might not reach them when they are open, the report says.

Ultimately, this is the reason why gull wing doors and doors like them aren’t more commonly used. Though they offer a few benefits and a style statement, they do come with more problems as well as being very expensive.

What is Tesla doing?

As per Jalopnik, the doors had a problem for a while, and Tesla even sued the original door manufacturer as it was unable to engineer the unique and complex “falcon” passenger doors on the Model X. Hoerbiger’s design prototypes were filled with the problems, including the oil leaks and overheating, claims the lawsuit by the EV firm.

In the lawsuit, Tesla says the doors “did not open with the speed or symmetry” that it requested and “sagged beyond Tesla’s specified tolerance levels”.

Tesla Motors Inc CEO – Elon Musk certainly did face troubles in making the “Falcon doors,” and now, he may face even more troubles in repairing these doors.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.


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