11,000 Model X SUVs are being recalled worldwide because of issues with the car seats. Those in the rear do not lock into place and are at risk of moving forward during a crash.
This is not the first time that Tesla Inc. made voluntary recalls, but it is the second one for this year. The recall was issued for Model X units that were built with second-row seats. They were released on the market last year.
The second-row fold-flat seats were built between 28 October 2016 and 16 August 2017. The automaker estimates that 3% of the vehicles sold experienced the seat issue.
The culprit is poorly-adjusted cables that connect the second-row seat to the driver’s side. Because they were improperly tightened, the seat fails to lock in an upright position. During a crash, this can cause the seats to move forward as the cable will be yanked forward to the driver’s side.
The problem was detected during internal testing. As of this writing, there are no reported incident or injuries caused by the issue, but Tesla Inc. is issuing the recall based on its research.
Owners of the Model X SUVs with second-row seats can take their vehicles for repair to a dealer or service center. They can also contact Tesla’s mobile repair units.
The fix is quick, taking only 10 minutes. A technician only needs to adjust the cables correctly and the Model X SUV is good to go.
Until repairs are made, however, the automaker suggests against adults sitting in the second-row seat, especially in the center and behind the driver’s seat. It is best for car owners to have their units repaired right away.
In 2015, Tesla Inc. issued notices regarding possible seatbelt defects to 90,000 Model S sedan. In 2016, the company also issued a notice about a third-row seat problem for 2,700 Model X SUVs and, early this year, a notice over potential parking brake issues for 53,000 S and Model X SUV.
Tesla’s reputation may get a hit with recall issues, but it is better to do a voluntary recall than face a legally-mandated following a tragedy.