Tom Exton runs the YouTube channel TGE TV, which has more than 242,000 subscribers. A quick glance at Exton’s channel is all it takes to understand he’s quite the collector, and though he tends to lean toward sleek sports cars, he also owns a Tesla Model Y. The SUV has been the topic of discussion regarding Tesla’s overarching safety issues ever since an incident Exton experienced in the Model Y on Thursday.
“Safe to say horror stories of Tesla cars being appalling seem true,” Exton tweeted Thursday morning. “Brand new fully charged car just cut out on the motorway. Had to use emergency door release to get out, which somehow broke the driver window.”
Exton says he’d been driving for about 15 minutes when the Tesla’s center touchscreen suddenly read, “Pull over safely: vehicle shutting down.” Exton followed the screen’s instructions and then realized he wouldn’t be able to exit the vehicle normally, as Teslas’ doors (and windows) require power to open. He ended up using the door’s emergency mechanical release handle to exit, which presented its own problem: Because the window couldn’t drop to accommodate the door frame, the driver’s window broke.
According to Exton, the Model Y claimed to have a 216-mile range left on its battery at the time of the incident. He also says the vehicle was only three days old. Though Tesla reportedly offered Exton a hotel room for the night after waiting more than two hours for roadside assistance, he wasn’t offered a courtesy vehicle while the Model Y was repaired.
This is merely the latest in a series of functional blunders on Tesla’s part. This year alone, Tesla has been slammed for its cars’ faulty windows and dubious “full self-driving” system. Tesla owners have been coming out in droves to reveal their vehicles’ quality and safety issues, including shoddy trim, battery problems, and weird bubbles in the upholstery. This isn’t new; Consumer Reports’ 2020 vehicle reliability study found that Tesla’s reliability score steadily declined after drivers became vocal about poorly-fitted body panels and human hair stuck in their vehicles’ paint.