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Tesla Recalls 2,700 Model X Crossovers

Tesla Recalls 2,700 Model X Crossovers

This afternoon car company Tesla announced that it is voluntarily recalling a small number of Model X crossovers that were produced before March 26th, about 2,700 in all, over concerns that the third-row seats could fold forward in the event of a crash. The company said the seats passed 15 previous tests, but failed the 16th which was a slightly different test for the seats. Most vehicles labeled for the recall are already in customer’s hands. No injuries or other complaints have been reported, and Tesla is calling the issue a manufacturing defect, not a design problem.

Tesla designed the first and second row of seats in the cross over, however the third row is manufactured by an outside supplier. Tesla is blaming the issue on the recliner in the third row, and says that the supplier will pick up the cost, thus not affecting the company’s latest earnings from Model 3 reservations.

This is definitely not Tesla’s first recall, but Model X’s first major issue. The car itself is being produced in small numbers and a fix to the issue has already been implemented into production. Tesla also comments that there will be no impact on future Model X manufacturing volume. The company hopes to have all 2,700 cars fixed within five weeks. Customers can take their Model X into a service center for an appointment that will last approximately two hours. The company also recommends not using the third row of seats until the fix has been made to a customer’s vehicle.

Below is the email sent to Model X owners today:

We are emailing to inform you of a proactive action Tesla is taking to ensure your safety as a Model X owner. Tesla’s internally conducted crash testing demonstrates that Model X will be the first SUV to receive the highest safety rating in every category, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains the safest SUV in the world.

Recently, during an internal seat strength test that was conducted prior to the start of Model X deliveries in Europe, the recliner in a third row Model X seat unexpectedly slipped. The recliner, which is provided to us by an outside supplier, is the locking hinge that allows the third row seat back to fold forward, and if a recliner were to slip during a crash, the seat back could move forward. Similar testing was conducted before the start of deliveries in North America, with 15 confirmation tests having been conducted without a single recliner failure. Despite these prior successful tests and no reports of a third row seat slipping in any customer vehicles, we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a precautionary measure and will be replacing all affected third row seat backs.
Our records show that you own a Model X affected by this voluntary recall. We will shortly send you an official recall notice by mail, but we wanted to alert you to this action as soon as possible.

A fix to this issue is already in place. We have worked with our supplier to develop a new recliner design with improved quality that resolved the issue. We are now constructing new third row seat backs to match all affected vehicles. Your service center will contact you to schedule the installation of your replacement seat backs as soon as they are available. Based on current production rates, we expect all replacements to be completed on a rolling basis over the next five weeks. We will accelerate this timing if possible.

Until the recall is performed, you may make full use of your Model X, although we ask that you temporarily not have anyone sit in the third row seats while the car is in use. We recognize that not having the use of your third row seats for the next few weeks will be an inconvenience, but your safety is our primary concern. We assure you that we are building your new seat backs as fast as we can.
— Tesla
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