Why I returned my 2019 Tesla Model X?

IMG_5933Kids and we were very excited that we bought Tesla Model X (Long range with Full Self-Driving Capability) which was delivered to our door on June 18, 2019 in our Sunnyvale, CA house. In-fact our whole extended family including our parents were excited. They have never seen a car like that with Falcon wings and self-driving capability. Following Sunday, we took the car from Sunnyvale to Sacramento to visit our parents. While driving the car, I noticed a faint high pitch sound coming from front of the car. I immediately turned to my wife sitting next seat to confirm if she can hear it as well, she nodded. We tried to ignore it first by playing some music, and it seemed to get diminished. Noise was more prominent at higher speed from 60-80 mph range, but at lower speed it was barely noticeable. On the way back from Sacramento, the constant high pitch caused me a major headache. I decided to record it using my iPhone. Later I sent the recording to our Tesla representative, Mike Dao. From the beginning Mike has been very professional, quick to response and one point contact. “That doesn’t seem normal.” he replied quickly and suggested that bring the car to have a technician look at it. 

My wife brought the car to Tesla Fremont Center; they confirmed this is normal as it is a dual motor vehicle with one motor in the front, High pitched noise is caused by the current that motor demands. 

As a working hardware engineer professional, that explanation made sense to me, but found it totally unacceptable and disturbing that high pitch sound in the cabin supposed to be “normal” and Tesla do not have any fix for it. From my working experience in audio, I knew that noise frequency seems to be in 4kHz to 5kHz range. Since I have done the recording earlier, I decided to ran some FFT (Fast Fourier Analysis) to isolate the noise frequency using a software tool called Adobe Audition.  FFT clearly show approximately 4kHz spike. Even though magnitude doesn’t seem that big but it is significant enough that if you have sensitive ears and listen to it constantly you will get annoyed pretty quickly. 

Spectrum of audio recording while driving on 1-80W toward San Francisco. Speed approximately 60 mph.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 5.50.01 PM

You can also listen to the actual audio I recorded in the cabin while driving:

In conclusion, we loved the car features and wished Tesla has some solution to fix this problem. Honestly, this car is a step forward in the entire car history, and we would strongly consider it again once all these annoying little issues gets ironed out.

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