Tesla has bought a faulty Model X back from customer after its smart Falcon-wing doors turns 'weird and wicked'. The car was repurchased to settle a lawsuit raised by the man under California's 'lemon law'.
The electric car company, which received a number of complaints regarding the fit and finish of the first Model Xs to roll off the production line, described buying back the car as a "rare event", while the claimant, 38-year-old Barrett Lyon, said he could not comment.
A Tesla fan for many years, Lyon still owns a Model S saloon car and Tesla's first car, the Roadster two-seater convertible. Lyon's lawsuit centered on claims Tesla had "rushed" the Model X to market, resulting in self-powered doors which opened and closed unpredictably, damaging other cars parked nearby.
Lyon also claimed the car's self-driving Autopilot feature was dangerous to use in the rain, and the car's self-parking feature did not work properly.
California's lemon law requires car makers to replace or repurchase vehicles from their buyers if they cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of time. The law is applicable during the car's warranty period, or the first 18 months after delivery, if a warranty was not originally offered.
'Some weird, wicked things'
"The doors do some weird, wicked things," Lyon told US law news site Courthouse News Service. "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."
It is not known how much Lyon and Tesla settled for, but the original lawsuit, filed in early May, asked for Tesla to buy the car back for its original price (in the region of £60,000 to £100,000), plus offer reimbursement for the cost of the lawsuit and the car's registration fee.
A Tesla spokesperson told Fortune that the Model X had been bought back, adding: "We are committed to providing an outstanding customer experience throughout ownership. As a principle, we are always willing to buy back a car in the rare event that a customer isn't completely happy. Today, the majority of Model X owners are loving their cars."
Complaints made by other Model X early adopters centre on the car's unique 'Falcon-wing' doors, which lift up and outwards to give access to the second row of seats. The doors are smart and open with motors, but have occasionally struck nearby objects, despite including sensors designed to prevent this. At the European launch of the Model X in June, Tesla said all problems concerning the doors will have been fixed before the first deliveries arrive on the continent and in the UK.