A strange incident in a Tesla Model X happened in China last month when the airbags of the all-electric SUV deployed at a red light without any impact.
Tesla China said that it was its first case of airbag inflation without impact worldwide and while the company would like to investigate it, the inspection of the vehicle hasn’t been possible as the owner and the automaker are negotiating access to the Model X.
In Hangzhou, eastern China, the Hangzhou Net (Chinese) reported yesterday the owner’s version of the incident. Ms. Ma was stopped at a red light in her new Model X with her husband and three other passengers when they claim that all the airbags inside the vehicles inflated at the same time causing injuries to two of the passengers.
Tesla reportedly asked to inspect the vehicle and visit the site of the incident with the owner, who refused to give Tesla access – citing that they would require a third-party to investigate the issue. In a statement, Tesla China told Hangzhou Net that they would agree to be supervised by a third-party, which is not out of the ordinary, but it’s still in negotiation a month after the accident.
Despite not having access to the vehicle, the company offers a possible explanation for the deployment of the airbag. They cited a witness claiming that a truck near the Model X had a tire burst, which could have triggered the airbag sensors due to the pressure. Whether or not it should have deployed could potentially be verified if Tesla had access to the vehicle.
This incident is just now coming to light a few weeks after the Tesla Model X officially became the highest safety rated SUV (by a significant margin) with 5-star rating in every safety category from NHTSA.
Coincidently, Tesla recently had to push a software update to fix an issue with the airbags in 4,000 Model X vehicles. At the time, Tesla said that during internal tests, they found an issue with Bosch’s software in control of the passenger airbag, but they also said that it only affected right-hand drive Model X SUVs so it has nothing to do with this strange case since the vehicle is a left-hand drive.