Tesla’s Model S Recall Now Includes 100,000 Cars on Three Continents


Car driving fast in tunnelIn November, Tesla Motors announced that it would voluntarily recall about 90,000 Model S sedans in Europe and the U.S., over concerns of a faulty seat belt mechanism in the front seats. Now, that recall notice has spread to China, where more than 7,000 additional Model S sedans are being recalled.

The vehicles in question were manufactured between May 2010 and November 2012, and contain front seat belts that might not provide full protection in the event of a crash.

At a time when companies like Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen are issuing historic recalls, Tesla’s preventative measure was seen as a model for automotive safety. So far, no injuries, crashes, or deaths have occurred because of the faulty seat belts, but the automaker nevertheless issued a recall after a single driver in Europe discovered the issue.

“This is the only customer vehicle we know of with this condition,” the company said in a statement to drivers. “This vehicle was not involved in a crash and there were no injuries. However, in the event of a crash, a seat belt in this condition would not provide full protection.”

The new Model S was given the highest possible safety rating by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this year. Even so, this is the second Model S recall in recent years. In 2014, the company received reports that the plug-in vehicle’s charging adapter was overheating in drivers’ garages.

To fix that issue, the company provided software updates and new chargers fitted with thermal fuses. Thermal cutoff fuses are a single-use fuse that interrupts electricity when temperatures rise above a pre-set limit, thus preventing overheating.

Compared to other recent recalls, the latest Model S issue is a relatively minor automotive recall. For instance, shortly after Tesla announced the seat belt issue in November, Hyundai recalled 304,900 Sonatas over faulty brake lights, and Toyota recalled 30,000 vehicles after discovering the collision avoidance system can accidentally slam the cars’ brakes.


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