Tesla to recall 11,000 Model X SUVs

It’s been a bad few weeks for Tesla. After bottleneck issues slowed down the production of the Tesla Model 3, Elon Musk revealed that the company would be delaying the launch of its electric lorry. And now Tesla has announced it’ll need to recall 11,000 Model X SUVs, too.

According to Tesla, the issue concerns cars built between 28 October, 2016, and 16 August, 2017, and effects the second row of seats. The fault appears to be to do with cables in the seats’ fold-flat mechanism, and although it hasn’t happened to any customers, Tesla engineers noticed the problem during internal testing.

Here’s the Tesla statement in full:

“Tesla is taking a proactive action to ensure the safety of some of Model X owners who may need an adjustment to their second row seat. Model X has received the highest rating in every category and subcategory in independent safety tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and we continue to conduct our own internal testing to ensure that Model X remains the safest SUV in the world.

During recent internal testing, Tesla determined that a small number of cables in the second row fold-flat seats in some 2016 and 2017 Model X vehicles may need to be adjusted. Although Tesla has not received reports of any issues or accidents relating to this condition, we will be conducting a voluntary recall to inspect the affected vehicles and confirm whether any adjustment is needed. Although we have never seen any incidence of it in the field, internal testing has indicated that if the cable is not properly adjusted, the seat back on the left side of the second row seats could move forward during a crash.

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Tesla will be utilising its mobile repair service to conduct repairs as a part of this recall – we can address 100% of these repairs via mobile service, and customers will have the choice to do that or to bring their car into a Service Center. In the past two months, we have conducted roughly 40% of the Takata airbag recall repairs via mobile service, and customer satisfaction results for our mobile service offering are consistently above 97%.”

Just how bad is this?

It’s important to stress that this recall is voluntary, and that means it can’t be too serious. Tesla has had larger, more important recalls in the past, with some to do with seatbelt defects, and they’ve affected far larger numbers, too.

Recalls aren’t that uncommon, either. Earlier this year, Nissan announced a recall of some 12.1 million cars in Japan due to “unauthorised technicians,” checking their vehicles. That’s far worse than the latest Tesla recall.

However, since the release of the Model S, Tesla has been cricitised for issues with build quality and general quality control. This latest recall will sadly only serve to reinforce that reputation.

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