Model X

Unintended Acceleration

edited November -1 in Model X
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.
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Comments

  • edited April 2018
    I'm glad no one was seriously hurt the Car and house can be repaired
  • edited April 2018
    Thank you, @Triggerplz. We're very relieved too that no one was hurt. It'll take quite some time but in the end, everything will be repaired.
  • edited April 2018
    I am glad to hear your Dad is ok.
  • edited April 2018
    @avesraggiana - so sorry to hear that. It is true that all the other things can be repaired, so super glad your dad is alright - but it still does not make it very much fun to deal with. Hope you get it all squared away and back to normal in a timely fashion.

    I have often thought of this, my garage is detached, but if you were to go through the back end of it (there is a lot of room though, so hopefully could catch what you did fast enough) there isn't much room before you are going down the backside of a very steep mountain!
  • edited November -1
    Sorry to hear this happened. I'm glad you guys are ok.
  • edited April 2018
    Sorry for the accident. Sounds like it’s time for “the talk.” Never easy.
  • edited April 2018
    @David N, @burdogg, @lilbean, @Bighorn

    Thank you, all, for your kind thoughts and expressions of concern. I really appreciate it. Even now, I'm still pretty shaken up by the whole thing. Especially when I think that it's my mum's habit to watch my dad from out front as he pulls the car in, guiding him closely so that he brings the car in far enough. On this occasion she just happened to be in another part of the house. I shudder to think that this could have turned out so differently.

    Thankfully for me, my dad's self-regulating as far as driving is concerned. He's been pretty good about setting his own limits as he gets older. If anything, he's the one having "the talk" with the rest of us already. Good for him.

    Thank you again, gang. I really appreciate you all.
  • edited April 2018
    Perils of aging parents. I worry constantly about my 82 year old father driving daily. Unlike yours, mine is the last thing from self-regulating.

    Good luck with everything. Many things in life can’t be remedied. Glad that didn’t apply here.

    ‘17 S75 & X75D: Uncorked AP2.5 18.10/12. Grin on!
  • edited November -1
    It’s sad to see our parents aging. They used to be young like us. My parents are in their early 70s and my mom already quit driving.
    True story: One day, I was driving on the freeway and a car was merging onto the freeway. The car cut me off and I had to slam on my brakes. I was honking at the driver. I couldn’t believe how oblivious he was. I was ready to wave my fist at the car. I managed to get around the car and who do I see in the car? My parents! They were waving and thought I was honking at them to say hi. I’m sure glad I stopped giving the bird to drivers. :)
  • edited April 2018
    @lilbean. Oh, man. That surely was one of your "moments." Great story! Thanks, lilbean. Made me smile.
  • edited November -1
    @avesraggiana, I’m glad. :) Enjoy every moment with your parents. Our time with them is precious. I’m glad they are ok. My Dad doesn’t want to test drive the Teslas.
  • edited November -1
    avesraggiana

    WOW! so sorry to hear about this, but happy to know your Dad is doing well.
  • edited November -1
    I was going to say if there were any debate about whether he had his foot on the proper pedal, you were in a prime location to see the brake lights.
  • edited April 2018
    Two words: Chill Mode.
  • edited April 2018
    @Bighorn. That's the thing Bighorn, I really can't remember that instant. All I remember was myself yelling, "Oh, God, Papa!!!" Then after the impact, the emergency warning flashers flashing, deployed airbags, and clouds of drywall dust. I really can't remember whether the brake lights were lit.

    I'm sure Tesla will be able to help determine what happened. They were completely remarkable. They called me first, twenty minutes after the accident, before I had had a chance to call anybody except a close family member.
  • edited April 2018
    @bob. That's right. Chill mode and Creep mode were not set. When the car, or its replacement, comes back from the body shop months from now, I'll definitely have those modes set.
  • edited April 2018
    Do you think it’s safer to back into the garage instead? Does it accelerate slower in reverse? I think a Model 3 may be a better car for your parents.
  • edited April 2018
    Really glad that everyone is unhurt from this. As you say, it coulda been worse.
  • edited April 2018
    Not surprised that whether the brake lights illuminated wasn't your foremost observation. I trust your mom will never wave him in again!
  • edited April 2018
    Bummer. Doesn't sound like that will buff out.
  • edited April 2018
    certainly not trying to engage in 20/20 hindsight - and I'm glad no one was seriously injured. But yes, creep mode has been set for us since about two weeks after we picked up the model X. the accelerator is so responsive and I was sure sooner or later someone's foot would twitch trying to inch it forward and launch into warp speed.

    as I sit here musing at the keyboard - in addition to chill mode, I wonder if Tesla has ever considered another setting beyond 'Drive' that would limit the car to 3-5 mph top speed. would be a useful selection in some cases. garage parking and bumper to bumper traffic in the city comes to mind.....
  • edited April 2018
    @lilbean. Thoughtful suugestions. I'm suspecting backing in is beyond my parents' abilities at this point, especially with another car already in the garage. My dad is 87, and my mum, 77. I'm thinking to suggest that they "summon" the car in, in future. They both use the summon feature to back out either of their Teslas out of the garage.

    Not too long ago, we sat in a Model 3 at our local showroom. While its compact dimensions would make it less cumbersome for daily driving, my parents were loath to give up the ease of entry and exit that mum's Model X affords them.
  • edited April 2018
    @Bighorn. Got that right. Everyone's already given her a very stern warning to stay away from the front of any vehicle being pulled into the garage.

    @jerryk. Sadly, no. I'm thinking three months before we get mum's Model X back. Superficially, the damage looked horrific but I'm hoping it's mostly cosmetic. It'll be an even more expensive repair for sure, than the $20,000 in damage and repair that my dad's Model S suffered from a low speed rear ending. Our car was in repairs for 46 days. On the other hand, a neighbor with a background in residential construction thinks that the two-storey house, even with the repair of load bearing walls, should take about a week. I'd be very happy if that turns out to be the case.
  • edited April 2018
    @avesraggiana You are right. The Model 3 is pretty low. The X would be easier for them. I back the car in for my dear hubby. He doesn’t need me to but I’m better at it, I think. https://m.imgur.com/JOB5YC0 Actually he gets mad at me for insisting I do it.
  • edited April 2018
    *Dad's car, was in repair...*
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