Tesla, the little American car company every other automaker loves to hate, recently lent a Model X to Fortune for a review. The car was not what one might expect of a $150,000 luxury car, unless something like an old Jaguar has been in your ownership history.
Fortune adored the Model X for its speed, its infotainment system, and its semi-autonomous mode. Fortune was less enamored with the seat controls that conspired to squish a baby.
“The theory is,” veteran auto tester Sue Callaway says as she places an occupied baby seat in the middle row, “the seats move together so the baby doesn’t get squished.”
“Oh! Nope,” she says, watching the baby seat immediately get pressed up against the back of the fronts. “Baby’s getting squished. That’s not good. It’s not supposed to hit the back of the driver’s seat.”
Indeed it is not.
Quality issues extended past baby-squishing, with weatherstripping peeling off one of the falcon doors that Tesla itself admitted were more ambitious than advisable. The carpet, as well, was coming off in places.
If this was an isolated issue with the Model X, one might figure that this was just a rare preproduction glitch or two. But the Model X has repeatedly been in the news for quality issues. There have been complaints about the car’s windshield, with its doors, its rear seat latches, and assorted other fit and finish problems.
Again, these issues once were the norm (decades ago) for ultra-luxury cars as expensive and as exclusive as the top-of-the-line Model X and the Model S. But this doesn’t bode well for people buying low-cost Teslas, or for the people who are expecting a mass produced product from the upcoming Model 3.
Jalopnik has reached out to Tesla for comment but has not yet heard back.