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Model X 75D undrivable after alerts


New Member
Aug 12, 2020
Pennsburg, PA
Hi, first time posting here and I apologize for incoming sob story but finding myself with limited recourse to solve my situation and hoping someone knows a way to help.

I received my Model X 75D June 2018 and instantly fell in love. I stretched my budget a bit (or more) but found every bit of the money I was spending was worth it to me for the car. I believe in the mission to reduce fossil fuel use and was happy to overlook some issues with buying from a new company - a few trips to the service center in the first few months to have some sensors adjusted, up to replacing fender molding twice that doesn't seem to want to stay on (if its going to call itself an SUV it should be able to drive through some shallow standing water and not have fender molding come attached...but its cosmetic and cheap to repair, so I haven't complained.) We are at 33k miles now, and last week I picked my car up after a week and a half at service (Devon, PA) to upgrade the full self driving computer, get tires replaced and have repair the above mentioned fender molding as well as a few alerts that had been popping up (mainly steering assist reduced, but more recently parking brake messages and regenerative braking disabled - all non-responsive to vehicle resets.) From the service log it seems they never actually figured out what triggered the alerts, but after replacing the computer and multiple drives they did not get any to pop up. Not surprising as this hasn't happened on every drive, but was becoming more common. Car seemed fine when I picked it up. Two days later had the steering assist alert pop up on my way to work but didn't affect drivability and was gone next time I turned on the car.

Yesterday morning my X had what I can best describe as a seizure. I got in, turned it on and immediately alerts started to come up. No big deal I thought, just the "usual" steering assist. Put in reverse, started to back up and realized I couldn't turn the wheel. Not that it wouldn't turn, but required Herculean effort. I've lost power steering on a couple vehicles before - most notably a Ford F250 at 70mph - but this was impossible to steer. If this had happened while driving on anything but a straight road it would have resulted in a very bad accident. Put the car back into drive to get close to my garage to charge, put in park to get out and get the charger and it won't go into park. Goes to Neutral while trying, vehicle is free rolling. Luckily my driveway is pretty flat so found a place to "rest" it where it stopped. Meanwhile during all of this alert after alert continue to appear. I tried multiple resets to no avail - even while screens are coming back on from reset I can hear alerts continuing to pop up. I had an extremely important and busy day at work and could not miss it, so I decided to abandon the vehicle and borrow my girlfriend's car. When I left my X was still on - climate control on, in neutral and headlights flicking every time and alert appeared (every few seconds.)

I tried to connect through the mobile app while driving to work to at least turn the climate off but it would not connect until about 15 minutes later at which it said car was parked and acted like nothing else was wrong. I was hoping mobile service could come, so I scheduled an appointment when I got to work - for 9/3/2020, over 3 weeks later. I explained the episode in detail in the appointment notes, hoping someone would review them and see waiting 3 weeks with an undrivable 2 year old car wasn't an acceptable option. I received a text shortly after from the Tesla virtual service team acknowledging the appointment. I responded with my concerns and no response (until almost 8 hours later.) In the meantime when I had time throughout the day I tried to contact service (no way to actually talk to anyone at the department) and also sent an email to their address as well as replying to their service survey I had not completed yet. Finally at the end of the day the virtual service text responded that they could coordinate with roadside assistance to have the car picked up and get me a rental in the mean time. I replied immediately that I would take that option. No response since. Luckily I go into work later today, but I have a feeling this isn't going to get resolved in time and I will have to borrow a ride again while my beautiful $90k paperweight sits in the driveway.

Again, sorry for the long story, but feeling the need to vent this morning, and isn't that what internet forums are for?? A few questions I need help with:

1) How do I get attention of service department or someone higher up in customer service to get this resolved?

2) Anyone have anything like this happen with their Tesla, and how did it go?

3) If this is happening with a 2 year old vehicle how do I trust that I can continue to drive it safely and without eventually having to pay for these repairs later (was hoping to own this thing forever, was looking into being able to get a second Tesla after my girlfriend's lease runs out; spending an additional $5k for an extended warranty after year 4 is unappetizing for issues that have been happening early on with the vehicle)

4) I live in Pennsylvania - anyone have any issues like this and used the "Lemon Law" for a Tesla in the event this doesn't get resolved?

Thanks for reading this far those of you who had the patience to do so.


Mar 29, 2019
Sorry for the issues you are having. It sounds like you have only been in once for the alerts and after replacing the HW3, the errors went away. Sounds like they just attributed the alerts to the old HW and sent you on your way. I doubt they went any further from a diagnostic perspective. That was lazy for sure but it’s water under the bridge now. I would think of this next visit as your first visit for the alerts and likely/hopefully they will get sorted. Most past stories here indicate they will sort it promptly.

PA lemon law is for the first 12 months / 12k miles so you would be out of luck in that front. Oh, and BTW, your comments on the trim made me smile. Most the “SUVs” today are glorified jacked up station wagons. I’m like you that consider to be called a SUV, the vehicle should have off road roots with body on frame tough designs. That does not describe most of the vehicles today. Still, trim should not just fall off but it doesn’t surprise me if you are bounding through shallow water with abandon. The rear under panel of Model 3s do the same thing, and there is even stories of the TM3 rear bumper falling off while bounding through puddles.
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Reactions: MrTomP


New Member
Aug 12, 2020
Pennsburg, PA
Lol - agreed about "SUV" mainly being a term for station wagon these days. Regardless, I don't try to off road, but over the last 2 years we have had a lot of heavy rains and flash flooding (look away, no climate change here...) and have had to go through standing water fairly frequently. Actually haven't gone through anything nearly as high as I had to in my 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais S after the blizzards in spring 1996 melted and it didn't lose any trim!!

Regardless, hope you are right that this will all be resolved after the next visit, and thanks for your info on lemon law. Roadside assistance is having my car towed to the service center later this morning and they are somehow getting me a rental car in the mean time. My big concern is that I'm getting nervous this is going to be a continual thing and it won't be covered after the car is 4 years old. :-/


Nov 12, 2018
Did you contact Tesla Roadside Assistance (or another carrier you may have like auto ins or AAA) to see about towing the vehicle to the service center? Sometimes (but not always) the vehicle being on their doorstep gets immediate attention.


New Member
Apr 27, 2020
Cape Girardeau, MO
My 2020 Model X did the same thing on Tuesday, except I was at the grocery market when it happened. I muscled it home and called service. They sent a truck to pick it up. There are only 11,000 miles on the vehicle and the appointment said September 14. All good, right, my wife has a Model 3. Guess what, about an hour ago, her car had the same "seizure" and the "steering assist reduced" warning came up and now we can't drive hers.

I've made two attempts to contact the service department (which is 100 miles away). Left one message 2 1/2 hours ago with no response and they didn't answer on the second attempt either. What are the chances that BOTH of our Teslas would have the exact same problem, 2 days apart?

I think next I will tweet Elon!

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