For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
claustrophobic can mean both:
Let's start here.
So, with that definition in mind. It's not grammatically correct to say that an elevator is claustrophobic.
But, I had heard it used that way, so I looked it up.
So, in light of that definition, yes, you can use it that way.