Tesla’s Model X SUV has a sweeping front windshield that extends up much further than on regular cars. It looks amazing, but as it turns out, regular cars have regular-sized windshields for a very good reason.
As Model X owners have been discovering, the overly-large windshield can mean blinding sun coming directly into the car all day long. The sunshades, which are attached to the side pillar, only have limited coverage.
Tesla has acknowledged the problem, and gone with the most low-tech fix. It’s shipping removable sunshades to all Model X owners, which will cover the gap between the rearview mirror and the start of the roof. According to Tesla, the sunshade, which is made from removable mesh, blocks two thirds of the light and heat that would otherwise come through.
It also makes the very celebrated, very expensive oversize windshield pointless.
This isn’t the first issue Tesla has seen with the over-complicated features on the Model X. The gull-wing doors have failed, pieces of trim seem to routinely fall off, and the angled windshield causes some drivers to experience “double vision.”
Tesla blamed “hubris” for the laundry-list of problems, and has promised that the Model 3 won’t suffer from the same kind of problems. That’s likely to be true — the Model 3 has far fewer flashy components, so there should be fewer things to go wrong.
But even with a simpler design, Tesla might still face problems. The company has pre-orders way beyond what it imagined, and it’s going to be manufacturing far more cars than it has in the past. That sudden ramp-up in production is exactly what creates critical problems for companies, and Tesla is already skating on thin ice when it comes to reliability.