Tesla Model X Lemon Law Suit Filed In California

Barrett Lyon lives north of Sacramento, California. He is the once proud owner of a Tesla Model X, a car he paid $162,000 for. Lyon is a firm supporter of Tesla. He owns a Roadster —  Tesla’s first production car — and a Model S sedan. Neither of them has given him any trouble. The Model X is a different story, though. “It’s parked,” he says. “We don’t drive it. It’s basically a really fancy car decoration.”

Model X self presenting front door

Lyon filed suit this week in Placer County court, claiming his Model X falls under California’s Lemon Law. His suit seeks a refund of the purchase price plus damages for breach of warranty and attorneys fees. According to Courthouse News Service, Lyon says “The doors do some weird, wicked things. If you get in and slide sideways and accidentally tap the brake, the driver’s side door slams shut on your leg. That’s not a very nice thing to have happen to you.” He is not referring to the fancy falcon wing doors which are the hallmark of the Model X. His comment pertains to the self-presenting front doors, which are designed to open and close automatically.

Some of Lyon’s other complaints are:

  • Auto Pilot in the rain is extremely dangerous, it causes the car to swerve into different lanes.
  • Powered front doors are opening into cars and other obstacles.
  • The power door slams are a feature of the Model X, and cannot be disabled.
  • The touch screen freezes repeatedly, the second row seat causes driver’s seat to fold forward, and the auto park feature does not work 90 percent of the time.

Lyon does not appear to be an agitator or a grandstander. He seems to be a fellow who thinks he bought a very pricey car that does not work as advertised. He wants his money back. Many other Model  X owners have spoken up about quality issues with their cars. Consumer Reports has been getting an earful from people about problems with the Model X as well.

The chorus of complaints has gotten so strong that Tesla made a public statement about issues with the car a month ago. “We are committed to making the world’s most reliable cars. While we have seen some issues with early Model X builds, the issues are not widespread, and we are working closely with each owner to respond quickly and proactively to address any problems. We will continue to do so until each customer is fully satisfied. This commitment is one of the reasons why 98 percent of our customers say they will buy another Tesla as their next car.”

Elon Musk told people during Tesla’s latest earnings call earlier this month that he has a desk set up at the end of the Model X production line so he can personally supervise the quality control operation. He even says he has a sleeping bag nearby so he can sleep at the factory if necessary. The flurry of complaints from unhappy customers seems to have subsided, but Barrett Lyon’s Lemon Law suit indicates all the issues are not yet resolved.

Sometimes getting one of the first cars to come of the line at the beginning of a new production run is not an advantage. Musk says the first deliveries of the upcoming Model 3 will be to people who live near the factory so Tesla can return them to the factory and fix any issues that may arise quickly. The real question now is whether the Model 3 will be beset with teething issues the way the Model X has been or whether Tesla has finally figured out how to build high quality cars from the get go.

Source and photo credit: Teslarati

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.