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Falcon Wing Door fault with heat

Discussion in 'Model X' started by outie, Oct 10, 2017.

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  1. outie

    outie Active Member

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    #1 outie, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    Hi, I would like to seek opinion on how to proceed with my FWD issue.

    Background information: I took delivery in late September 2016. On my delivery day the driver side FWD failed (it scraped the quarter glass trim), so the DC took it back and gave me loaner. It was repaired and driven back to me. Not a good delivery experience but that's that.

    Around February 2017, my driver side FWD started to detect phantom object in extremely close proximity (red line next to the door). Obviously when this occurs my driver side door will only open few inches only. It has progressively gotten worse since then. For example, I can't even open the driver side FWD with the FOB, it would just "beep beep beep". I cannot open it via the touchscreen either. The only way to open it is to physically push on the door handle, and then it would open few inches requiring an override if I want it to open more. I've finally attributed to high heat under the sun because every time it occurred the driver side FWD was facing the sun directly.

    Service center information: In April I've finally got enough of this so I took it in local SC to fix this and other issues. They've replaced the sensors and that was it.

    Corrections: Door Trim General Diagnosis
    Perform inspection of vehicle logs for diagnostic trouble codes or alerts. Inspection
    revealed ultrasonic sensors required insulation for proper operation.
    Corrections: Replace Rear Door Ultrasonic Sensors

    I continued to have the same issue so I took it again.

    Corrections: Sensor - Ultrasonic - Rear Door - LH
    Perform removal and replacement of ultrasonic sensor assembly for drivers rear door.
    Tested and is now operating as designed.

    Ok so I went to pick up the car. I had to transfer the stuff from loaner back to my car and guess what, the FWD faulted right there. I couldn't even open it. I called the tech over and have them witness it. He said it could be from reflection of the wall. Bring it in again if it happens again and will get engineering involved.

    So 3rd time's a chime?

    Corrections: Sensor - Ultrasonic - Rear Door - LH
    Perform review of vehicle logs for diagnostic trouble codes or alerts. Inspect ultrasonic
    sensors for proper reading and communication. Performed removal and replacement of 2
    ultrasonic sensors along with installation of foam tape. Tested after repairs and is now
    operating as designed.

    Nope, still happened. What happened to getting engineering involved?

    Finally, 4th attempt:

    Corrections: Door Trim General Diagnosis
    Performed inspection on rear door ultrasonic sensor. Inspection revealed ultrasonic sensor
    and tripod replacement recommended.
    Corrections: Sensor - Ultrasonic - Rear Door - LH
    Perform removal and replacement of ultrasonic sensor on drivers rear falcon door along
    with tripod assembly. Per engineering department replace all pads for falcon door
    assembly. Updated firmware for vehicle.
    Left vehicle out in heat for 2 consecutive days under various temperature conditions with
    no faults in detecting false objects.
    Vehicle falcon door is operating as designed.

    They kept the car for 2 weeks this time. They finally got engineering involved. The advisor was saying they might need to get the whole door replaced but need approval. Instead of replacing the door engineering told them to replace tripod assembly and all the seals etc. They kept the car for more days since it's not always replicable as it needs sunny day and high temperature. It doesn't happen on cloudy day. They know my issue alright.

    Finally SC called to say it no longer produces fault and they checked the temperature on the door (120F or so?). I took the car back and it has worked much better. I think there were still once or twice where a less severe fault happened (gray line next to door, not red, with nothing on the side, parked under the sun). I didn't pay much attention to that as it wasn't severe.

    Current state: Fast forward to October 2017. I took my kids to the library with a roof top parking. It was 10AM and the outside temperature was about 90F. There was no car next to the driver side at the time. The FWD fully opened at this point. When I returned to the car, I opened the driver FWD with the FOB. There was no car on the side and it only opened half way. I said to myself, oh no not again... needless to say the dreaded phantom object detection came back. The line is there on the screen. It didn't go away until I drove for 5 minutes. I immediately sent an email to SC, the advisor, and Tesla support asking for next step of action. I have not heard back from anyone. Today my wife took the kids to the same library and she told me the driver FWD only opened half way again when they got off the car, again with no car on the side.

    Question: Do I ask Tesla for a replacement? Do I file the lemon law? I've given them 4 tries and according to California Lemon law, it's already a lemon with 4 attempts on the same issue. Besides this dreaded FWD fault I am happy with the car, but I can't live with this fault for the next X years as it could potentially be dangerous if I need to unload my kids in an emergency situation. Not to mention the inconvenience this is causing me whenever I use the FWD. I am also worried as the weather is getting cooler in the coming months they will just tell me there's no issue. I don't know if I will put myself in a disadvantageous position if I wait til next year where I imagine the problem is more easily replicable in summer. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. outie

    outie Active Member

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    Forgot to mention the 4th attempt was done in June. So it’s been ok for 4 months. I suspect the parts they replaced are starting to deteriorate again.

    On the 3rd and 4th the advisor told me they’ve basically replaced everything they can think of, other than the door itself.
     
  3. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    For the sake of science, engineer might want you to keep the old door so they can do a process of elimination.

    I think the whole door needs to be replaced.
     
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  4. outie

    outie Active Member

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    I don’t disagree with you, but they did not get the approval. On the door replacement, the advisor told me they don’t do the replacement, instead the car is sent to a body shop to do it. While I am not against that idea (if it is what needs to be done), I am concerned with a whole bunch of onset FWD issues after such complicated replacement like misalignment, noise, mechanical issue, etc.

    At that point I might lose my position to file the lemon law. I don't want to keep going back to the SC for new issues on the FWD for the next X years. Is this not a valid concern?
     
  5. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    This was an early 2016 issue. Mine was fixed by the installation of a spacer between the sensor and the door. If they can't fix it, either a new vehicle or another model may be the best solution. The work around was to park the vehicle in the shade or with the door to be opened facing away from the sun.
     
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  6. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I am not good about law but I don't see why your lemon protection would disappear if Tesla fixes it for a 5th time instead of just 4 times.

    Of course your technician ranking is not as high as an engineer so their suggestion would be denied.

    That's why you might want to escalate to executive level to override engineer's conventional and time consuming protocol.

    About the body shop potential new door problems. There's also a chance of no new problems. But at least you would give Tesla another chance.

    To summarize, I would do:

    1) Go to my Tesla page to escalate and communicate the plan of either new door or lemon law.

    2) New door

    3) Activate lemon law: I would do this if there's no cooperation from Tesla.
     
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  7. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    The problem is with the sensors, so I don't see the point of replacing the whole door. The only advantage of replacing the whole door is that the sensors are installed at factory by the automation process rather than after-the-fact by the SC. However, Tesla may opt to replace the whole door at this point, but it's totally up to their discretion. I would think that installing new sensors isn't rocket-science and any SC should be able to do a competent job. If you have options where you can take your X, a different SC may have better technicians.

    IMHO, Lemon Law should always be a last resort.
     
  8. rallykeeper

    rallykeeper Member

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    First off, let me give my condolences... We've had more than our fair share of FWD problems -- so much so that the SC knows our kids and pets names. ;)

    At some point when you get overly frustrated, feel free to ask for a new car. But, please be aware that new MXs have FWD bugs too. It's kind of the crappy trade-off of owning a MX. FWIW, if your door still opens and closes and only has false object detection, I'd stick with it.

    That being said, one thing struck me about your story. Have you ever parked in that library on a lower floor? (Or, did you mean that the parking is on top of the library?) Is it at all possible that the GPS memory of obstacles is screwing up the current sensing?

    Stated another way, have you been able to replicate the problem again at a different location?

    If not, it may be Tesla's buggy software and not their buggy sensors.

    Please don't take the comment the wrong way. You should absolutely complain to service. However, if you can't replicate the problem elsewhere, perhaps you should focus their attention on their software instead of their hardware. Sometimes, I think they need a better nudge.
     
  9. rallykeeper

    rallykeeper Member

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    Should have added, don't go through the lemon law process, first. If you decide you want a new car or a buy-back, firmly ask your SC manager in writing (email is fine).
     
  10. outie

    outie Active Member

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    All comments are welcomed. It is not location specific. I just pointed out I was at the roof of the library with direct sunlight that day. I actually never parked at the lower covered level because it is accessed via another road. We also live on the hill, same as the library. So, it’s possible at this point it’s more prominent where we live. I have not seen the issue arising again below the hill yet, but it has a lot to do with temperature, time, and where I park (door must be facing the sun). It won’t get hot again until this Sunday, so if I get a chance I will park my car on the driveway to replicate and document. When I had the issue earlier this year it was easily replicable on my driveway. Like I said it’s not as severe as before (gray obstacle line vs red), so the sensors might just started to deteriorate and it will take more time to reach the same severity.

    I am not sure if you have encountered this issue, but when I am holding 1 baby on my arm and walking along my toddler to the car, I want the doors to be opened via the fob before I get there. One selling point of this car is the FWD making these tasks a breeze and convenient. When this fault occurs, you can’t open the FWD with fob, only physically pressing on handle, and the driver door would also only open few inches that I would need to force it opened. It’s frustrating. If I had to deal with these inconveniences on hotter days, I just simply can’t live with it. I go out with my kids all the time. While I understand the newer builds have their own bugs, I have yet to see this specific issue happening reported on the forum for newer builds.
     
  11. outie

    outie Active Member

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    They have replaced the sensors 4 times. They finally replaced every single component on the fourth. After the fourth it’s actually worked quite well for the last 4 months. I don’t think it has anything to do with their skill replacing them. It’s starting to fail again which indicates something is wearing down or deteriorating. I forgot to point out I have a midnight silver which does trap more heat. I don’t know if the door missed a coat of paint or what, but the door is definitely part of it. No issue on passenger side. I was told they even opened the passenger side to see what’s different but I can’t confirm.

    I have contacted the executive escalation team and got a reply back that their team will look into it internally to see what they can do (to fix my FWD).
     
  12. outie

    outie Active Member

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    Update: I just got a call from my SC manager. Looks like executive team has reached out to them about my issue. They've talked to engineering and they got approval this time to replace the whole door. He asked engineering why the door would cause the sensors to fail and was told it could be the paint or metal thickness is out of spec (even by a hairline thinness). So the current resolution is that SC is ordering a FWD with everything already installed/assembled at the factory (or so I was told) and send it off to the body shop for replacement.

    He asked if I am ok with that and I just told them can I say no? It's a pretty complicated process and the replacement could lead to more issues down the road. He then said it's non-negotiable and has to be done that way. The shop will make sure all issues are addressed before releasing the car back to me. So, that's that and we'll see how things go from here.
     
  13. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    FYI: The sensors themselves may not be deteriorating, but rather the adhesive they use. I know that the original issues with the sensors was they detached from the doors and hence were always reporting an obstacle, which was the inside of the door. If they're loose, they could randomly report false obstacles, depending on their current position to the door. I don't know if that's the issue you're having, but I thought Tesla resolved this issue with a better way of attaching the sensors.

    I feel your frustration. I hope they resolve this soon for you.
     
  14. outie

    outie Active Member

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    Yes something is deteriorating and I don't know what. The sensors don't randomly detect false obstacles, but only under intense heat. As mentioned it's worked fine for the past 4 months when it's been very hot here in SoCal without issue. It just started to happen more frequently now.
     
  15. rallykeeper

    rallykeeper Member

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    Oh well -- thought I'd noticed something that might help.

    Good luck on the new door. Luck is probably needed to some degree; unfortunately, we had similar issues on our June-built 2017 MX. Knock on wood, but they have been thus far resolved.
     

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