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2017 MX Shuts Down dangerously on Expressway–I'm losing faith in Tesla and my car

tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
So I was driving home today in my Model X on Lawrence Expressway in Santa Clara, CA and stopped at the red light. When the light turned green, I pushed on the gas and noticed that the car did not move and put itself into park and threw up a bunch of warnings on the dash and on the main screen.

I put on the blinkers, called Tesla Roadside and they asked that I restart the vehicle by holding the 2 control buttons on the Steering Wheel, however by doing so, would stop the blinkers from blinking. I felt that would've been unsafe because I was in Lane 2 heading southbound on an 8-lane expressway, and cars were coming from behind me pretty fast.

Roadside asked that I call 911, which I did, and they then sent a tow truck to get me out of my situation. Luckily this whole ordeal took an hour from when the car failed, to the tow truck arriving. I captured a video of what happened:


With this happening, I'm beginning to lose faith in my Model X and in Tesla. I counted my Service Records, and my car has been in the shop 7 times, 8 counting this one. That's about a visit to the Service Center every 1.5 months in my ownership. The last major visit to the Service Center was because my Driver's Door WOULD NOT OPEN when I arrived home from work. Pushing on the exterior door and pulling the interior door did nothing, and was on the phone with Roadside for an hour until we found a way to forcibly pry the door open so I could get out.

Sorry had to vent, just very frustrated.
 

tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
Here are some photos of the main screen showing the warnings
 

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cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,639
2,548
SF Bay Area, CA
Sorry to hear about your troubles.
So I was driving home today in my Model X on Lawrence Expressway in Santa Clara, CA and stopped at the red light. When the light turned green, I pushed on the gas and noticed that the car did not move and put itself into park and threw up a bunch of warnings on the dash and on the main screen.

I put on the blinkers, called Tesla Roadside and they asked that I restart the vehicle by holding the 2 control buttons on the Steering Wheel, however by doing so, would stop the blinkers from blinking. I felt that would've been unsafe because I was in Lane 2 heading southbound on an 8-lane expressway, and cars were coming from behind me pretty fast.
After Tesla has attempted to resolve this latest issue, I recommend filing a safety complaint w/NHTSA at Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
With this happening, I'm beginning to lose faith in my Model X and in Tesla. I counted my Service Records, and my car has been in the shop 7 times, 8 counting this one. That's about a visit to the Service Center every 1.5 months in my ownership. The last major visit to the Service Center was because my Driver's Door WOULD NOT OPEN when I arrived home from work. Pushing on the exterior door and pulling the interior door did nothing, and was on the phone with Roadside for an hour until we found a way to forcibly pry the door open so I could get out.
FWIW, the Model X is dead last at 10 Least Reliable Cars. The year before, it was in the middle of the bottom 10: https://web.archive.org/web/2016120...s.org/car-reliability/10-least-reliable-cars/. Edmunds's Model X was pretty problematic, as well: 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up. Look under "Maintenance & Repairs". None of my cars have ever had that many issues even after passing the 12 year mark.

Unless I have a very good reason to, I avoid cars with below average reliability ratings and would definitely avoid something in the bottom 10. Given the above, I've always suggested folks avoid the Model X, unless they have time for the possibility of a new "hobby".

Judging by all the posts here on TMC, the doors have been problematic on the X, but usually more the "FWDs" than the front doors.

Side note: Years ago, often whenever someone lost propulsion on their Teslas not due to user error (like running out of battery), whenever I suggested reporting to NHTSA, some moderators would move my posts out of the thread (to the one below) and various folks would belittle me, claim such issues aren't safety issues, shouldn't be reported because they're "random", etc. along other criteria they've invented (contradicting the verbiage in the owner' manual).

If curious, see some of the replies starting at When to report NHTSA issues? and When to report NHTSA issues?.

NO OTHER car forum I'm on has this sort of behavior when a clear safety defect has occurred.

You may want to look into whether your vehicle might qualify as a "lemon" per CA lemon law: Buying and Maintaining a Car. See page 7 of http://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/englemn.pdf.

Anyway, keep us in the loop.
 
Last edited:

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 4 CT reservations and counting
Supporting Member
Dec 25, 2011
3,708
6,320
My mountain
Sorry to hear that you have had this and other issues. Hope you'll keep us updated on the fix and how things go. It's an adventure, that's for sure, we all take the good with the bad. I was stranded in my S about 3 years ago, but it happened once and 60k miles later, no issues. And now I have an X and a 3.
 
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tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
FWIW, the Model X is dead last at 10 Least Reliable Cars. The year before, it was in the middle of the bottom 10: https://web.archive.org/web/2016120...s.org/car-reliability/10-least-reliable-cars/. Edmunds's Model X was pretty problematic, as well: 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up. Look under "Maintenance & Repairs". None of my cars have ever had that many issues even after passing the 12 year mark.

Unless I have a very good reason to, I avoid cars with below average reliability ratings and would definitely avoid something in the bottom 10. Given the above, I've always suggested folks avoid the Model X, unless they have time for the possibility of a new "hobby".

Judging by all the posts here on TMC, the doors have been problematic on the X, but usually more the "FWDs" than the front doors.

Really great advice going forward for me. I knew going in that Consumer Reports rated the Model X not high in their reliability testing, but hoped for the best because the Tesla salesman assured me that a lot of problems are addressed weekly, and re-engineered and designed in the weekly reviews, so the newer cars are "better"–could be true, probably isn't. I bit the bait.
 
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tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
Sorry to hear that you have had this and other issues. Hope you'll keep us updated on the fix and how things go. It's an adventure, that's for sure, we all take the good with the bad. I was stranded in my S about 3 years ago, but it happened once and 60k miles later, no issues. And now I have an X and a 3.

Thanks @Discoducky . Its comforting to hear that from you. I'm hoping this is the first and last (only-time) that this happens. Crossing fingers for the 60 miles mark!
 

mattack4000

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
2,439
955
CA
With this many times in service, I think you probably have something close to 30 days out of commission. You might be eligible for lemon law, please read up on it and yes you should file a NHTSA complaint. My RAV4 EV did it, my B class did it, my Tesla hasn't done it yet. When my RAV4 last did it, my car popped into neutral at 30mph with all the lights going. I immediately cut across 3 lanes of traffic as fast as I could as I knew the car might not be drive-able. Luckily I coasted all the way to the side safely. My B last did it on 101 in slow moving traffic. I immediately knew what was happening, I immediately stopped the car, put it in park and restarted it. It worked fine after. A few months after, a recall took place to fix them.

I have a feeling you have an isolated issue, not a company wide problem as everyone would be experiencing random stalling if that's the case
 

J1mbo

Active Member
Aug 20, 2013
1,607
1,403
UK
Literrally no other brand of car breaks down ever. That is why breakdown and recovery services are all going bankrupt. Thank goodness Tesla arrived just in time to save their businesses.

Definitely needs a higher profile. I suggest you mention that the car was on Autopilot at the time.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,079
1,615
NJ
Your post title is extremely misleading. It implies that it just shutdown while driving along in the middle of the highway. Not restarting from a red light sucks for sure, but is hardly the same thing that your click-baity title implies.
 

alcibiades

Member
Apr 27, 2017
821
1,271
IL
Your post title is extremely misleading. It implies that it just shutdown while driving along in the middle of the highway. Not restarting from a red light sucks for sure, but is hardly the same thing that your click-baity title implies.
The thread title accurately states that it shut down on an EXPRESSWAY. In his post the OP identifies by name the EXPRESSWAY. You could even look it up on the google.

It is not his fault that you read "interstate highway" where he didn't write it. Nice deflection and attempt to minimize the danger of being rear-ended at 50mph or so.
 

mxnym

Active Member
Mar 9, 2018
1,005
372
Bloomington, IN
I doubt it's consoling, but at first glance, it sounds like you encountered a brake problem to this layman. While stopping in the middle of a highway isn't ideal (vs a limp mode, for instance), it is probably better than getting up to highway speed after losing brakes without knowing about it. If I'm right about that group of errors indicating a brake issue, it may even be that the brakes were stuck in the braking position and moving could have caused significant damage (possibly even preventing you from stopping again afterwards). If that is the case, I think I'd rather refrain from discussing whether something could/should have been done differently from the software, but I'd be interested in hearing the diagnosis from the repair order when you get it back.
 
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P85_DA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,219
2,950
CA
...brake problem ??.., I doubt it ...brakes don’t shut down the massive computer that the car is ..
 
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saniflash

Member
Sep 5, 2017
376
3,589
Zurich, Switzerland
I don’t think flashers turn off when you reboot the center screen. That’s why it has a physical button.

Agreed. I think it is even prohibited by law that these turn off in such a situation. They must blink even when the rest of the car does not have any power anymore.

When you reboot, you stop hearing their sound however until the MCU/IC is up again. So you might think they're turned off.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,079
1,615
NJ
The thread title accurately states that it shut down on an EXPRESSWAY. In his post the OP identifies by name the EXPRESSWAY. You could even look it up on the google.

It is not his fault that you read "interstate highway" where he didn't write it. Nice deflection and attempt to minimize the danger of being rear-ended at 50mph or so.
If you're going to complain about reading different words than were written, you shouldn't go do the same thing and add "interstate" to what I said. Are you really going to argue the difference between a highway and an expressway? Come on...

Its still a very different situation to be stopped at a lighted intersection where drivers should be aware than having a car shutdown while driving. I see ICE's stuck at lights from time to time too, its a shitty situation but not uncommon.
 

mxnym

Active Member
Mar 9, 2018
1,005
372
Bloomington, IN
...brake problem ??.., I doubt it ...brakes don’t shut down the massive computer that the car is ..
While I did not watch the video, I am under the impression that the computers were on and preventing the vehicle from switching to drive. The pictures posted show that the MCU and IC were on and do not show any errors indicating that any other computer is shut down at the very least. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the car could prevent you from switching to drive because the brakes were stuck or otherwise might not work again, and most of the errors involve systems that use the brakes.
 

tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
With this many times in service, I think you probably have something close to 30 days out of commission. You might be eligible for lemon law, please read up on it and yes you should file a NHTSA complaint. My RAV4 EV did it, my B class did it, my Tesla hasn't done it yet. When my RAV4 last did it, my car popped into neutral at 30mph with all the lights going. I immediately cut across 3 lanes of traffic as fast as I could as I knew the car might not be drive-able. Luckily I coasted all the way to the side safely. My B last did it on 101 in slow moving traffic. I immediately knew what was happening, I immediately stopped the car, put it in park and restarted it. It worked fine after. A few months after, a recall took place to fix them.

I have a feeling you have an isolated issue, not a company wide problem as everyone would be experiencing random stalling if that's the case

Thanks I’m hoping it’s just an isolated issue. Something I’d hate for someone else to be in.
I just filed the NHTSA complaint per another member’s suggestion (first time I’ve ever done this), and would need to look into the lemon law. Thanks for the suggestion
 

tangerine

Member
May 6, 2017
76
49
SF Bay Area
OP what year model do you have ?
@P85_DA 2017

I doubt it's consoling, but at first glance, it sounds like you encountered a brake problem to this layman. While stopping in the middle of a highway isn't ideal (vs a limp mode, for instance), it is probably better than getting up to highway speed after losing brakes without knowing about it. If I'm right about that group of errors indicating a brake issue, it may even be that the brakes were stuck in the braking position and moving could have caused significant damage (possibly even preventing you from stopping again afterwards). If that is the case, I think I'd rather refrain from discussing whether something could/should have been done differently from the software, but I'd be interested in hearing the diagnosis from the repair order when you get it back.
@mxnym It wasn’t a brake problem, my brakes were operating fine. The car would not put itself into gear when in parked so i couldn’t put it into Neutral or Drive to get out of the middle lane. The safety concern for me was that I wasn’t able to move out of a dangerous spot.


Agreed. I think it is even prohibited by law that these turn off in such a situation. They must blink even when the rest of the car does not have any power anymore.

When you reboot, you stop hearing their sound however until the MCU/IC is up again. So you might think they're turned off.

Probably true, I wasn’t sure to be honest and didn’t want to risk trying it. It did cross my mind to do so however but Tesla Roadside Service told me they would turn off if I rebooted the MCU/IC so to air on the side of caution, i neglected to reboot so I could keep the blinkers on for safety.
 
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