Warning: some NSFW language.
All of the doors on the Tesla Model X are motorized. As such, they have anti-crush sensors that are supposed to stop the door short of squashing any limbs or heads that have not been pulled in quickly enough.
But how effective are those sensors? A couple of Scandinavian Model X owners and their buddies conducted an experiment to find out.
Fortunately, they are more sensible than to put their own anatomies in a vulnerable position, instead sacrificing sausages and fruit in the name of thorough consumer testing.
And the results are… patchy. Worryingly, none of the sensors on any of the doors detect the sausage, which is quite a bit bigger than the average finger. And they are hardly failsafe with the larger banana and cucumber. A rear door even traps a foot.
Our testers have fun with it, but there is a serious point here. All of the doors on a Model X are huge and heavy. Especially the rear “falcon wing” doors, so they require powerful motors to move them, and pick up quite a lot of momentum as they swing open or closed, which translates to a significant amount of crushing force.
Imagine a kid stood on the back seat with their hands on the roof as the door starts to close. On this evidence, would you trust it to stop?
There have been some well-publicized problems with the doors on the Model X. Tesla’s v8.0 software update rectified some of them, making the doors open and close more quickly. If, indeed, there are problems with the sensors, Tesla is no doubt working on a fix.
Developing radical, bleeding edge tech like this will always be problematic. But there are certain things you really should get right first time. Especially when it comes to safety.
Still, the falcon wings will never be less than show stopping. Just double check that nothing is in the way before you hit the close button.