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Tesla settles court case with supplier over the development of the Model X’s Falcon Wing doors

model x doors shot

After suffering from several delays during its development, the Model X, which Tesla first unveiled in 2012 and planned to start deliveries in early 2014, started going into low volume production only in September 2015 and production didn’t pick up to high volume for another 6 months.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed to several difficulties in the design like the second-row seats, but the Falcon Wing doors were always the main recurring suspects for the cause of the delays, and it was all but confirmed to be the cause when Tesla sued the company behind the original design of the mechanism of the Falcon Wing doors, Swiss-based auto supplier Hoerbiger, for delays in January 2016.

Now we learn that Tesla and Hoerbiger settled the case, but the terms of the settlement have not yet been disclosed.

Reuters reports that Tesla and Hoerbiger “have delayed filing for a dismissal because certain conditions of the settlement will not be fulfilled until Oct. 4, according to an Aug. 18 filing by the companies.”

In the original lawsuit, Tesla claimed that it contracted and paid Hoerbiger to develop a hydraulic system for Falcon Wing doors of the Model X, but between February 2014 and May 2015, the German auto part supplier couldn’t produce a prototype that passed Tesla’s engineering standards because it “leaked oil and sagged or produced excessive heat”.

The automaker claimed to have then cut ties with Hoerbiger in May last year. It claimed to have designed and built its own electromechanical door system to replace Hoerbiger’s hydraulic system and hired a new supplier at a premium to rush the production of the new system.

The company says it also incurred “millions of dollars in damages, including, but not limited to costs of re-tooling the entire vehicle in order to support a different engineering solution.”

But Tesla only filed a lawsuit after Hoerbiger demanded to be paid “a large sum of money” as per the contract, which Tesla believed had been breached. The automaker was seeking for Hoerbiger to pay damages and attorney fees as well as punitive damages for negligence, but it later dropped the claim.

Now it’s apparently settled and we will know the terms next week.

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