CARS.COM — Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken full responsibility for the spate of problems involving the company’s latest product, the Model X, saying he tried to put too much new technology into the vehicle at launch.
Owners have had to deal with quality issues, including trim fit and finish, and frozen touch-screens, as well as a recall in April to replace rear seats that failed a strength test in Europe. But the problems getting the most attention have been with the operation of the Model X’s signature Falcon Wing doors, gull-wing rear doors that would sometimes not open when intended, would open when not intended and would fail to sense a low ceiling or tight parking space.
“I need to fault myself for a little bit of hubris for putting too much technology all at once into a product,” said Musk, speaking at the Tesla annual shareholder meeting this week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. “In retrospect, the right thing to do with the Model X would have been to take a lot of the really awesome, cool things but kind of table them … for Version 2 and Version 3 instead of piling all of them in Version 1.”
Regarding the doors, Musk said that “getting the complex set of sensors to work well has been incredibly difficult to refine. I think we’re almost there in making the doors useful.
“It’s a software problem. It’s figuring out, how do you interpret all the information from the sensors? What should you remember? What shouldn’t you remember? How should you open the door in different circumstances, if you’re in a low ceiling or a narrow situation? If the sensor is giving erroneous feedback, when is the right time to ignore the sensor?
“… Digging ourselves out of the hole has been quite, quite hard,” he added.
Musk promised that over-the-air software updates now and “in about a month” will get the doors right.
“Finally we’ll be at the point where the doors are better than normal doors, as opposed to worse,” he said, adding, “If you order a Model X now or soon, trust me, you will love the doors because the software will actually be right.”
Musk also used the shareholder meeting at the museum for a long and detailed look at the history of Tesla Motors. For more, watch the video of Musk’s presentation, here.