2017 Tesla Model X Gets 5-Star Crash Rating From NHTSA
Tesla might be having issues making profits and launching the Model 3 sedan, but it’s clear the young automaker can build a safe SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just awarded the 2017 Model X with a 5-star rating in every crash test category and sub-category. That makes the Model X the first SUV to ever earn a 5-star rating across the board. What’s more, the NHTSA’s findings show occupants have the lowest probability of injury in any SUV it has ever tested, with a 93-percent likelihood of walking away without serious injuries.
NHTSA testing includes three main areas: frontal, side, and rollover crashes. Further broken down, the frontal crash testing includes a 35-mph, full-frontal crash into a solid barrier. Side impact testing includes both impacts with another vehicle and with a stationary pole like a tree or telephone post. Rollover testing includes both the likelihood of a rollover and the roof’s ability to remain structurally intact. Not only did the Model X earn 5 stars in the roof crush test, the NHTSA was unable to educe a rollover, even during its dynamic rollover test. Tesla claims the Model X’s aversion to tipping lies in its low center of gravity provided by the battery packs mounted under the floor.
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Did Tesla Disable the Door Safety Sensors on the Model X?
Tesla has been a magnet for news headlines recently and the company isn’t slowing down. Now, it’s the Model X that’s in the news, specifically the latest firmware update on the crossover that was supposed to fix a glitch on its Falcon doors. For those who don’t know, Model X owners have had a gripe with those doors, specifically a glitch in the inductive sensors. The main issue is that the sensors are falsely detecting objects that aren’t really there, thus the difficulty in closing the doors. The new firmware was supposed to fix that glitch but in doing so, it appears that Tesla simply deactivated the sensors instead of actually trying to fix them.
YouTube channel MEtv Product Reviews was one of the first to point out this development in a 10-minute video that shows numerous times how the sensors have completely stopped working. First, the owner tried to slap the area in the Falcon doors where the sensors are supposed to be. Nothing happens and the doors close immediately. Then, the owner used a cucumber to show if the sensors would be able to detect it and automatically stop the closing of the doors. The cucumber ended up getting sliced in half as the sensors fail to detect it.
Speaking with Jalopnik, the person behind the MEtv Product Reviews channel said that Tesla actually turned off the sensors in the “v 7.1 2.32.100” update because “they were deemed no longer necessary.”
For it’s part, Tesla has yet to issue a statement or explanation regarding the update, opting only to tell Jalopnik that the Falcon doors were adjusted “via a software update in order to improve closure consistency and reduce false detection of obstacles."
Hopefully, a more concrete explanation is given on the update to help raise awareness for owners of the Model X. Until then, owners and passengers should be very careful around these doors.
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Is Tesla At Fault For The First Fatal Crash Of A Model S With Autopilot Engaged?
It seems that, lately, Tesla just can’t catch a break. People are crawling out of the woodwork with frivolous lawsuits, which are piled on top of all the other negativity like the faults with the Model X. Now, it looks like a Tesla Model S has been involved in a fatal accident, and people all over the internet are debating about whether the fault lies with the driver or the autopilot system of the Model S.
According to the Levy County Journal, the 2015 Tesla Model S was driving east on U.S. 27A near Williston, Florida when a tractor-trailer that was traveling west turned left and passed in front of the car. The Model S struck the trailer, shearing off its roof before it crashed through a couple of fences, struck a light pole, and stopped 100 feet off of the highway. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a press release issued by Tesla, the company contacted the NHTSA immediately and was alerted on June 29 that the NHTSA was investigating the incident. According to Tesla, the car had autopilot engaged at the time of the accident and “neither the autopilot or the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied” This is the first known fatal crash that has occurred with autopilot engaged and, according to Tesla, it’s the first in over “130 million miles where autopilot was activated.”
Be that as it may, the general public is divided on where to place fault for the accident. Keep reading to learn more about that.
Tesla Model X Recalled To Replace Third-Row Seats
In a recent email sent out by Tesla customer service, it was announced that Tesla was issuing a voluntary safety recall related to the third seating row in the new Tesla Model X. The flaw involves the locking mechanism for the seat back, and the possibility that it could slip under extreme stress.
The recliner was supplied by an outside supplier and was found to be potentially defective during testing before the company began delivering the Model X in Europe. According to the email, Tesla claims to have conducted 15 tests for North American models prior to their delivery without any indication of failure. Despite the fact that North American models passed testing, and there have been no reported instances of failure, Tesla decided to issue the voluntary recall anyway.
It has been reported that Tesla has worked with its supplier to redesign the recliner mechanism, and is currently working on constructing new seatbacks for each affected vehicle. Service centers will contact affected parties in the near future to schedule the installation of a new seatback, and Tesla expects production of all replacement seatbacks to be done within the next five weeks, if not sooner. Tesla is advising current owners to continue using their Model X as they normally would, but to refrain from using the third row of seating until the recall can be performed.
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Hacking and cyber terrorism is a real-life possibility that threatens us on a daily basis. The world just learned how deadly the threat can be on a personal level when Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek completely took over a 2004 Jeep Cherokee as it drove down the highway. It was a demonstration that resulted in the recall of 1.4 million Chrysler-built vehicles for a major security update. Chrysler vehicles aren’t the only vehicles with the potential to be hacked or remotely manipulated. Any vehicle with a wireless data connection has the potential to be hacked from abroad if security vulnerabilities exist. The most recent manufacturer to discover this is Tesla – the leader in long-range electric vehicles.
Researchers from Lookout and CloudFlare have worked for the last two years to find security vulnerabilities that exist within the infotainment system of Tesla’s Model S. Their findings aren’t nearly as bad as the flaws found in Chrysler vehicles, but some security concerns were found. The most interesting finding was that a 2015 Tesla Model S could be easily stolen by use of a computer connected to the vehicle’s network cable. Once a laptop was connected to the S, the researchers were able to send a few command prompts to its onboard system and turn on the electric drive system.
The other major finding was that the current web browser on the Model S contained a backdoor that could allow a hacker to gain control the vehicle remotely. This vulnerability would require someone to view a specially made web page from the vehicle’s infotainment system first, but is a security threat nonetheless. This vulnerability precludes the need to have physical access to the vehicle to take control of it, and that could be dangerous to the driver or passengers of the vehicle.
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Count Tesla in among the growing number of manufacturers that have seen their car models get subjected to one form of recall or another.
The California-based electric carmaker has issued a voluntary safety recall of the Roadster 2.0 and 2.5 models over fears of a potential fire hazard with the electric vehicle’s auxiliary power cable.
According to Tesla, the problem arose after the company discovered that the auxiliary cables had the propensity to chafe against the edge of a carbon fiber panel in the car, which could potentially lead to a fire behind the right front headlamp of the car.
As a result, Tesla has issued the voluntary safety recall of 439 affected models of the Roadster while assuring the owners that the recall is purely a precautionary measure and that the company is doing just to be on the right side of any potential accidents.
Owners of affected vehicles are being instructed to make an appointment for a Tesla service staff to inspect the auxiliary cable and fix the necessary problems to avoid further complications.