Rain Water Problem When Opening Falcon Wing Doors

Rain Water Problem When Opening Falcon Wing Doors

Not sure if this is proper place to report a design issue with the Model X.
We recently had alot of rain lately in SF Bay Area. The car was wet and the rain had stopped. My wife opened one of the falcon wing door and it was fine. When she opened both falcon wing doors, water that was sitting on the roof of the car would spill into the rear seats right. It seems that the water had no where to go but straight down into the interior of the car and onto the backseats. This doesn't seem to be a problem with only one door open, since the water would flow to the side of the door that's closed.

lilbean | March 21, 2017

The right door seal channel is pinched and needs replacing.

cica3838 | March 21, 2017

Join the club. I got my X two weeks ago and have the identical problem to you.

I don't think it has anything to do with opening both doors. When I looked carefully, my left (driver's) FWD has a channel in the seal of a few millimeters. On the right, the channel is pinched together and there is no room for the water to go when the door is opened. It makes no difference for me when both doors are opened- the right door always drops when the car is parked in the rain. If he car is moving and the door is opened when coming to a stop, there is no issue. Somehow the water doesn't collect when the car is in Motion.

I'm bringing my car in on March 28. Hope the SC can do something. My wife hates this problem.

henrychan76 | March 22, 2017

thanks for the tip. i'll ask SC to check it out.

sandeshr76 | March 24, 2017

A common problem , take it to the SC and they will fix the channels for you .I had the same problem couple of months ago. They have something called a hose test and they can reproduce this problem easily and its less than a day fix

rsmith | March 24, 2017

sounds like a common issue, I picked up my X 5 days ago and it has the same issue. It was quite a surprise since they mentioned all the falcon door issues had been resolved when I asked.

wtwoshop | March 29, 2017

We took delivery one week ago. The second day after rain I had the exact same problem with water spilling off the right falcon wing door. It happened twice. After reading about this in various posts dating back to January 2016, I contacted Tesla Service. The phone rep first called me back saying she had spoken to a service technician and that what I described was "normal." I insisted this is not normal or acceptable. After 3 more calls she finally got a service supervisor on the phone (after I declined her suggestion I drive to the service center if I had questions. I said it did not appear to me this was the only time someone had brought this problem to the attention of Tesla or that they did not know about this but he was vague in reply but conceded it should be remedied. I took the car in this Monday. They took two days "diagnosing" the problem and ordering parts. On the third day they said the car was ready. But when I received the invoice it said "No trouble found. . . When opening falcon door after rainfall it is normal for small amount of water to enter cabin." Can someone please tell me how I can get Tesla to fix this? It is not normal for water to spill onto the rear seat. What happens when someone is sitting there!

cica3838 | March 29, 2017

It is absolutely not normal. The tech at my SC just gave me a great explanation yesterday. He said that Fremont, only just yesterday, issued specific specs for installing the seal so that it is the proper distance from the adjacent seal. Prior to this, the workers had no specifications on how to install the seals, and hence some cars had this problem where others did not.

He said now that the installation guidelines for the seal have been issued, he clearly can see that mine are not installed in the correct position, therefore not leaving enough gap for a water channel. He has ordered a new seal and will call me once it comes in so he can have it done properly. He was great, and I trust his explanation.

cica3838 | March 29, 2017

I can't even use my passenger side FWD when it is parked in the rain. People need to enter through the drivers side or else I have to do a big clean up job prior to entry.

wtwoshop | March 30, 2017

Thank you cica3838! I will tell the SC in LA to do this!

wtwoshop | March 30, 2017

Cica3838 can you tell me which SC you went to. Mine insists based on my VIN that there is nothing wrong with my car but they also don't answer me directly when I asked if they checked to be sure my seals were installed per these seal installation guidelines. Thank you for your help. This has been an incredibly frustrating experience.

cica3838 | March 30, 2017

That's BS. My VIN is also very recent, and I have the same problem as you. My friend also has an X, and he has no issue with rain. It is definitely not acceptable. How can you enter the car when your seat gets soaked!

I spoke with the Vancouver Canada SC on 4th Avenue. But rather than challenge your SC and have him lose face, just ask them to contact Fremont about newly released guidelines for door seal installation. This is assuming, of course, that what I was told was genuine.

Open your leaking door, and examine it to see if there is indeed no gap between the two seals. You can compare to the door that has no issues, and you should see a several mm gap that catches rain water before it gets into the cabin. Mine clearly has no gap on the defective side only, and the tech agreed with me.

You may also notice that rain water never enters the cabin when you are driving and then open the door. It only happens when the car is parked still in the rain for a while. Hope this helps.

Leli001 | March 31, 2017

This just happened to me. It is raining here today and the wife and I had to take our daughters to see the doctor. Upon getting there, I opened both FWD's and water started pouring in from the FWD on the passenger side. A good full mugs worth of water spilled all over the child seats.

The driver side had no issue.

After leaving the doctors office, water spilled in again after opening the FWD's. Again, only on the passenger side.

Went home and checked the seals in my garage. Sure enough, the gap between the seals on the top part of the FWD opening, I can easily put my finger in between them on the drivers side. On the passenger side, the seals are almost touching and I cannot get my finger in between the seals.

@cica, is there a bulletin # or other notice # with Tesla regarding this new installation guideline you mentioned?

cica3838 | March 31, 2017

Yup. This is exactly my situation. I don't have a bulletin number, but the tech told me last Tuesday that it was just issued the day before. They are ordering a replacement seal to be installed with proper spacing in my car.

MasterT | March 31, 2017

I think this is just something we have to deal with - gauge the amount of water on the roof before opening FWDs and learn to open them one at time and stop them before fully opening.

Gary an Rachel | March 31, 2017

we had our wettest winter in 10+years and opening the FWDs on somewhat level ground has not been a problem at all. No water intrusions. This can not be said for the front doors however. opening the front passenger or drivers door while its raining has always soaked the door panels and inside glass. We just carry micro towels in the door pockets to give everything a wipe down. Funny, but never needed to use towels in backseats.

cica3838 | March 31, 2017

That's because you don't have defective seals! It's normal to have a cup of water dumped on your rear seats every time you open one side of your FWD when it's parked in the rain?

Or maybe we shouldn't drive our X's in the rain as it's only a sunny day car? I doubt it.

sandeshr76 | April 17, 2017

Its not a defective seal , its the channels , the channels needs to be opened , its like a re-placement for the seals. The job took 2 days for me at the SC at burlingame , CA. They do something called a hose test and its very easy to reproduce. Hose the doors , open the FWD , show the water dripping into the car .. look at the channels . Hope this helps. After this procedure it does not happen anymore. Also actually replacing the seal takes at least a week , too much glue and too much seal all around the door.

cica3838 | April 17, 2017

You had to leave your car at SC for a week?! That's a long time.

sandeshr76 | April 17, 2017

It did not come to that for me. I left it for 2 days , the seals were refitted correctly and they did not have to change them . In case it comes down to a seal replacement its a week at the SC.

cica3838 | April 18, 2017

How did they refit them correctly without removing and reinstalling with new glue?

sandeshr76 | April 18, 2017

They probably refitted only a section of it. The initial comment was to change the entire seal which runs along the periphery of the FWD which means removing and re-glueing the entire strip and ensuring it makes proper contact with the FWD at all the right places to make a perfect seal. When I saw the width of the channels for the seal on the upper side of the FWD , it seemed wider only that part of it. So I guessed they might have adjusted only the top part which does not involve removing the entire seal and putting in a new one. That is what I was told. Today when there is rain I can see the water running down the channel and falls by the side of the rear wheels and nothing falls into the middle seats which is what was happening before.

cica3838 | April 18, 2017

Thanks. Hope my SC can fix my problem! My wife hates it and refuses to show the car to people when it's raining.

teslas3xy | April 18, 2017

Same issue, SC ordered new seals.

teslas3xy | April 18, 2017

sorry I meant the rubber channels not seals.

BridgeCity | April 19, 2017

Have had our Model X here in Portland, Oregon for a few weeks. It rains all the time and we haven't seen this issue.

lilbean | April 19, 2017

The seals have channels.

nevanoff81 | January 8, 2019

Same problem here. Took my car in to the SC today. Service advisor said it's the 1st time she's heard of the issue. -_-

lilbean | January 8, 2019

Maybe it was her first day on the job.

sschaem | January 9, 2019

This seem a bit crazy. Brand new Model X (Well 400 miles on it) and when I open the falcon wings door it dumps water on the passenger seats.

It seem to be a design issue VS a defective factory assembly because nothing look out of place (beside the usual crazy panel gaps)

I'm having the car service in 2 weeks for countless of other problems, mainly the EAP going berserk and most often simply not working. (doesn't even show speed limits on highways)

Anyways, this is my second model X. First one was in a condition that was not deliverable. never drove it out the lot.

Tesla quality control seem to be getting worse and worse.

mbp11 | January 9, 2019

I live in the SF Bay Area and was inundated as well, but about a month ago the issue came up on the forums and one of the members had a successful solution. He went to Ebay and found:


And installed this long adhesive bumper on the upper edge of the top edge glass of the car, adjacent to the edge of the falcon wing door, (not on the door, but the flat surface of the top of the car) and ran it a little before and after the door. When the doors open, then spill water from the top of the door and the long bumper edge catches and redirects the water down the back of the car. He says that stops the water completely. I am waiting for the rains to stop so I can try it.

Yes, it is a design flaw, this aspect was not thought out well, but perhaps they will have some solution in the future. That is what we get for having fancy doors!

Mike P

jeremyrm | January 18, 2019

Thank you mbp11 for this recommendation. My Vehicle was in the SC 5 or 6 times now to try and resolve this. Unfortunately when the replaced the top glass this past visit on Wednesday failed and my headliner is soaked. Needless to say I returned the vehicle to the SC and have no idea where we go from here. Water and leather typically don’t mix well.

mbp11 | January 18, 2019

I would suggest ordering the rubber bumper right now and trying it out! Worked great this week!

mbp11 | January 18, 2019

Henry, if you live in the SF Bay Area, I could show you mine or help you install it!

Model X Guy | January 18, 2019

Here's the link to my post on this forum.
Also here with pictures of the fix. I'm Mr. Ed on that forum.

mbp11 | January 18, 2019

The Model X Guy is my hero!