Tesla And Supplier Hoerbiger Settles Lawsuit Over Falcon Wing Doors

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Tesla and the U.S. subsidiary of Swiss auto supplier Hoerbiger have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the automaker over problems with a proposed hydraulics system for the Model X’s “falcon wing” doors, according to court records. Both parties can file a joint statement regarding the status of the settlement until October 13. The terms of the settlement have not been revealed yet, reports Reuters.

Tesla Model X falcon wing door to blame

Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Model X luxury SUV was the most difficult electric car to build. The electric car was released in September 2015 with a revised door design that used electromechanical parts instead of hydraulic ones from a new supplier. Several early owners of the car complained that the sensors malfunctioned or the doors did not latch properly, says Reuters.

Tesla filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California claiming that the hydraulic system developed by Hoerbiger for use in the Model X doors in 2014-15 was riddled with deficiencies. This made it an “unworkable engineering solution” that added “more than a year of wasted efforts” and costs, the automaker said.

None of the falcon wing door prototypes submitted by the supplier met Tesla’s engineering standards, and they would sag, leak oil and produce excessive heat that caused them to malfunction, according to the lawsuit. The electric car maker sued the supplier in January.

What led to the lawsuit?

In January, the Swiss parts supplier dismissed Tesla’s claims, saying it fulfilled the company’s specifications and was not responsible for the overheating problems and electronic controls related to the doors’ symmetry, as was claimed by the EV firm in its complaint. The supplier added that it was negotiating reasonable compensation with the automaker. Originally, the electric car maker sought punitive damages from the supplier.

“We were forced to file this lawsuit after Hoerbiger decided to ignore their contracts with us and instead demanded a large sum of money to which they are not entitled,” a Tesla spokesperson commented.

According to Reuters, a filing by both parties on August 18 indicated that both Tesla and Hoerbiger have delayed the filing for a dismissal of the suit to a date prior to October 13.

On Monday, Tesla shares closed up 0.74% at $208.99. Year to date, the stock is down more than 12%, while in the last year, it is down almost 17%.

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