A few hours ago my dad was pulling my mum's Model X100D into the garage. I was standing in the driveway behind the car, watching him slowly inch into the garage and then momentarily stop. I had the flash of a thought while I was standing there, "Oh my gosh, wouldn't it be awful if he crashed into the garage?"
In a split second, it happened. I watched in horror as I saw the Model X lurch forward, hitting the inside door leading to the laundry room and knocking it off its hinges onto the ground. The car bashed into the inside wall of the garage knocking down drywall and stucco. Later closer inspection revealed that some of the supporting framing of the house had been knocked out of place in the garage wall, the inside laundry room and an adjacent ground floor bedroom. The impact was violent. Curiously, the car didn't stay impaled into the house structure, but rather it seemed to bounce back by almost two feet, almost to the point where car would normally be stopped.
My 87-year old dad must have meant to press the brake pedal but pressed the accelerator pedal instead, with severely damaging results.
All the front and side airbags deployed. There was a lot of drywall dust, some fluid leaking, probably from the Model X cooling system, and the entire front bumper and right front fender were heavily damaged.
I couldn't see my dad because he was covered up by the airbags. In a panic I couldn't open the front passenger door, so I opened the rear falcon wing door instead. I found him inside, dazed and struck dumb, but otherwise unhurt. We brought my dad to Urgent Care and apart from being very shaken, he's physically okay.
Tesla Roadside Assistance were completely wonderful in contacting me within a half hour of this accident because they were notified that the Model X had been involved in a crash. One tow truck company came to attempt to take the car away but couldn't move it because by the time they arrived, the electrical system had shut down completely and there was no way of getting the car into Tow Mode, or Neutral.
Tesla Roadside have sent another tow truck company to transport the vehicle to my chosen auto body shop which doesn't open until Monday. I'm hoping my USAA will cover both tow companies showing up, even though only one will be successful in moving the car, storing it over the weekend and transporting it yet again to the auto body shop on Monday morning. Otherwise all of this will be on my own dime.
Without at all meaning to be snarky, a neighbour asked, "Aren't these cars supposed to brake and stop on their own?" I gave some lame, mumbled reply about Automatic
Emergency Braking being available, but not working in this instance of unintended acceleration.
I still don’t have the answer to that question. All I know is that Automatic Emergency Braking does not work, and is not designed to work, when you’re already pretty much stopped, and then inadvertently step on the accelerator.
Please take note, everyone, so as to avoid this expensive disaster to both my parents’ car and house.