Tesla claims that its Model X crossover has the largest windshield of any production car. It’s also been a developmental nightmare that was delayed again and again for issues with suppliers and engineering those damn Falcon doors. Now it may have a problem with light ghosting in the big fancy windshield causing drivers to experience a “double vision” effect.
The light ghosting effect was first reported on the Tesla Motors Club forum in January on a forum post titled “Double vision at night through windshield?” The Model X owner was initially concerned his 6' 5" height and the curve of the massive windshield was to blame for what was described as a “double vision” effect, despite having “great vision.”
A second owner also confirmed a similar issue with delivery of their Model X on April 1st in the same forum thread. A third owner claimed to be experiencing the same issue the same day, and a fourth reported the same experience on April 3rd.
One of the owners managed to capture the issue in photos. You can see below how strong lights like streetlamps, headlights and taillights produce a light ghosting effect from the driver’s perspective through the windshield:
The user that posted the photos to the forum sent them to their local Tesla Service Center, who agreed to replace the windshield. The owner hasn’t heard an update since the April 5th confirmation.
A fifth Model X owner posted on April 3rd claiming to have experienced the effect, but remedied it by removing their high-prescription glasses. They also said their passenger wasn’t experiencing the ghosting effect. A sixth owner claimed to have the experience while driving in direct sunlight and from reflections on other vehicles.
Owners claim to have tried to remedy the “double vision” by adjusting their seating position, adding window tint, and ordering sun shades without any major effect on the issue. Factor in inclement weather and smearing from dirt on the windshield and the driver’s vision could be severely impaired.
Model S owners chimed in on both the Tesla Motors Club forum and a German forum claiming to be experiencing similar issues, suggesting it has more to do with materials or manufacturing, and not the angle of the Model X windshield specifically.
Some forum members suggested this was a relatively common issue among other automakers with similar reports of light ghosting and “double vision” with bright lights through the windshield.
So far it seems not all Model X and/or Model S models experience the light issue, but the Tesla Motors Club forum topic has become increasingly populated with complaints of similar issues this month.
A post from last Friday claims that a local Service Center manager told the owner the issue had been elevated within Tesla. We’ve reached out to the automaker and will update once we have heard back.
Update: A Tesla spokesperson has reached out to Jalopnik about the issue:
Reflections (ghosting) occurs in all laminated glass to varying degrees. This is most frequently seen at night and can affect some drivers more than others. We have received only a small number of questions from Model X customers about the windshield and have taken action to address these unique cases.
H/T to the sharp eyed @Tweetermeyer for spotting the forum post