One of the Tesla Model X’s defining features is its so-called falcon-wing rear doors, which lift up and out dramatically to give access to the second row of seats. Eye-catching? Sure. Totally necessary? Perhaps not — even Elon Musk has seemed to second-guess the zany doors at times, suggesting that Tesla went a little heavy on the fancy features when developing the high-riding successor to the Model S.
Of course, calling the falcon-wing doors frivolous and accusing them of being outright hazardous are two different things entirely. Yet the latter is exactly what a Chinese Tesla Model X owner is doing following a crash and fire.
As EV specialist site electrek reported over the weekend, Model X owner Lee Tada is demanding the equivalent of $1 million after (she claims) inoperable rear doors left her and her boyfriend trapped inside a wrecked car. The accident, which happened in February in Guangzhou, China, followed a freeway spinout and collision with a Ford Focus. Tada’s chauffeur was driving, and the couple was in the back of the car.
After the incident, the pair apparently tried to open the rear doors to escape the car but was unable to do so; the doors cannot be opened in the normal manner when the vehicle loses power. Tada and her boyfriend climbed over the front seats and exited via the front doors, escaping serious physical (but not, per Tada, serious emotional) harm. Soon after, the Tesla caught fire and burned by the side of the road.