A Tesla owner with a long and well documented history of problems related to their Model X took to Reddit to share an email they sent to their local Tesla Service Manager, in hopes that it would raise awareness about safety related issues they experienced during their ownership. Using the title “My Model X 90D Driver Side Falcon door opened on Freeway driving 65mph with my 6 y.o. sitting next to it”, Redditor myteslastory solicited public feedback from a community of over 116,000 Tesla owners and enthusiasts. “any input as to how we can share our story for child safety and expedite our refund from Tesla would be appreciated.” recounts myteslastory.
The community responded in droves but arguably the most important response came by way of Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service Jon McNeill. jmc-at-tesla acknowledged the Model X owner’s public outcry for help and issued an immediate response: “I’m head of sales and service at Tesla and want to help with your situation. Please send me your VIN# — you can direct message me on Twitter (@jonmcneill), or on the Tesla Motors Club forum at JonMc.”
Tesla’s non-traditional engagement of its customers directly in online forums like the Tesla Motors Club, Reddit and Teslarati has helped the company catch issues earlier and ahead of any negative swirl that often surfaces when left unresolved. Tesla applied this very same approach after a Ludicrous Model S owner reported losing power after too many hard launches. Jon McNeill, again, stepped in to address the concerns head on. What followed was a firmware update that removed power-limiting features on affected Model S and Model X vehicles.
Though the original poster myteslastory appeared to be invoking the California Lemon Law which includes a provision for purchased vehicles to be returned in the event that the “vehicle’s problems could cause death or serious bodily injury if it is driven, and the manufacturer or dealer has made at least two unsuccessful repair attempts”, reassurance from McNeill could allow the parties to resolve the issues more amicably.
Tesla is no stranger to the Lemon Law after several Tesla owners have invoked its powers since the introduction of the Model X. CEO Elon Musk pointed to Model X as one of the contributing reasons for building the upcoming Model Y compact SUV on its own platform as opposed to building it on top of the Model 3 chassis, as originally planned. Musk noted in the 2017 Annual Shareholders Meeting that Tesla continues to make manufacturing improvements aimed at increasing build quality and accelerate turnaround times for customer service center visits. The company continues to increase the number of fleet vehicles in the Tesla Mobile Repair Service program ahead of Model 3 production ramp.