One of Tesla's latest software updates for theclaimed to improve the functionality of its trick Falcon Wing rear doors. But that "improvement" could have created a more serious safety issue.
Update version 7.1 2.32.100 was sent to Model X vehicles over the air to address complaints that its rear doors were opening or closing incorrectly. While one might assume that such a fix would include tweaking some software, YouTube page MEtv Product Reviews posted two videos showing that Tesla could have just deactivated the sensors that were causing the doors to act up.
If the sensors aren't working right all the time, what's the harm in disabling them, then? Well, MEtv's videos show that the doors no longer stop closing when objects are placed in their path. MEtv used produce to prove the dangers of leaving digits too close to the door, and the doors chopped straight through a cucumber. Replace that cucumber with a hand, and you can see why it might be an issue.
Tesla's official response to the issue is...disconcerting, to say the least. Tesla provided statements to both Jalopnik and Automotive News, saying that the update in question was deployed "to improve closure consistency and reduce false detection of obstacles."
Tesla has not yet responded to my request, which asked for a yes-or-no answer as to whether or not this update involved disabling any sensors present in the doors. It's not a question of whether or not Tesla improved door functionality. It's a question of whether or not the company did so by disabling the door sensors.
If sensors were disabled, that needs to be explained to owners, so they can (at the least) ensure that passengers keep their hands far away from the doors when closing. There's no shame in admitting that sensors needed to be deactivated while Tesla works on a better fix, but when serious safety concerns are involved, it can't stick to vague boilerplate responses.