Tesla Motors Recalls 90K Model S Vehicles After Single Report Of Seat Belt Issue

Tesla Motors Recalls 90K Model S Vehicles
Tesla Motors on Friday announced a voluntary recall of its Model S electric vehicles due to a single report of a potential seat belt defect. The recall affects all 90,000 Model S vehicles sold since 2012. Photo by Jarretera/Shutterstock

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 20 (UPI) ─ Tesla Motors issued a voluntary recall Friday of its Model S vehicles after a customer in Europe reported a problem with a front seat belt, officials said.

The California-based electric car manufacturer said it’s recalling about 90,000 of the vehicles after a European owner reported two weeks ago that a front seat belt in their vehicle was not connected.

“Tesla recently found a Model S in Europe with a front seat belt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner,” the automaker said Friday in an email to customers. “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.”

Tesla has received no other reports of problems involving a seat belt, despite checking thousands of other Model S vehicles. The recall affects all Model S vehicles manufactured by Tesla since 2012.

Even though there is only one report of the seat belt defect, the company said it issued the voluntary recall as a “proactive” and “precautionary” measure to ensure safety. It asked customers to make an appointment to have their vehicles’ seat belts checked, just in case there’s a problem.

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Tesla said there have been no reports of potential defects involving the rear seat belts.

The Model S, which sells for about $70,000, is one of three models manufactured by Tesla, in addition to the Roadster and new Model X crossover. The automaker expects to begin selling its Model 3, a sedan starting at about $35,000, sometime next year.

Earlier this year, consumer advocacy magazine Consumer Reports gave the Model S its highest reliability rating ─ only to abruptly reverse course last month and pull the recommendation and give the vehicle a “worse than average” reliability rating in its new annual report.

Just two months earlier, the magazine had raved about the top-of-the-line Model S, with a P85D designation, by giving it a total score of 103 out of a possible 100 ─ the highest score ever given by Consumer Reports to any automobile.

In January 2014, Tesla recalled about 30,000 Model S vehicles over a potential fire hazard in the auto’s charging adapter.

Shares of Tesla Inc. fell by 1.7 percent at the end of trading on the Nasdaq Friday, to $220.06.

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