A recently publicized event involving a Tesla Model X and a passenger that was allegedly trapped behind the vehicle’s electronically actuated Falcon Wing door, after it was involved in an accident and lost power, had us wondering: how does one escape from a Falcon Wing door if there’s no power?
Luckily, Tesla had already provided an answer to the question through the company’s Emergency Response Guide (ERG) for Model X. The guide is akin to the emergency evacuation sheet that no one reads and found on the backseats of aircrafts.
According to page 24 of the ERG, every Model X has a mechanical latch override cable that’s purpose-built for manual release of the Falcon Wing door from its latches. A pull cable is located just behind the speaker cover in the front lower corner of each Falcon Wing Door. When looking directly at the speaker cover, Tesla’s guide indicates that there’s a lip in the upper rear corner of the cover. Removing the cover will expose the speaker itself and an adjacent thin metal wire. A firm tug on the metal wire towards the front of the vehicle will unlatch the door.
YouTuber Xiaomage documented the process of popping off the rear speaker cover and showing how one can manually open the Model X Falcon Wing door. However, the YouTuber notes that the door can be difficult to manually open because of its weight. Translated from Mandarin using YouTube subtitles, Xioamage notes “as a man, it is even difficult for me to push it away, let alone women.” Gender bias aside, it is clear from the video that the dual-hinged door is dead weight and requires some strength to open manually. Xioamage makes the recommendation that owners should attempt the process as a way to prepare for an actual emergency.
Walking through a process just one time in advance can be enough to save a life when a real emergency strikes. For families with small children, it would also be a worthwhile exercise to determine a vehicle escape outside of a manually opened Falcon Wing door.
The video below documents the entire process for escaping from the Model X second row seating area.