Tesla Motors has announced that it’s recalling every single Model S it has built since production kicked off in 2012 to inspect the front seat-belt assembly.
The company sent an email to customers around the globe that explained that an owner in Europe recently reported the S’s seat belt became disconnected when the front passenger turned around to talk to the occupants riding in the back. Tesla technicians immediately looked into the issue and found that the front seat belt wasn’t properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner.
“The seat belt is anchored to the outboard lap pretensioner through two anchor plates that are bolted together. The bolt that was supposed to tie the two anchors together wasn’t properly assembled,” said the company in a statement.
Tesla inspected 3,000 examples of the Model S and closely monitored its production process but it wasn’t able to find another car with the same issue. It stresses the affected car wasn’t involved in an accident and that no injuries have been linked to the defect, but it has nonetheless chosen to issue a voluntary recall that applies to every single Model S built over the past three years. Roughly 90,000 sedans are affected, though how many of them are in the United States isn’t known at this point.
Unlike previous issues with the Model S, the seat belt can’t be fixed by an over-the-air software update. Customers are being asked to bring their car into the nearest service center so that a technician can test the belt and replace the mechanism if necessary. Concerned owners can test them by themselves by pulling on it with at least 80 pounds of force, but every car will ultimately need to be looked over by a technician. The process only takes a few minutes.
Tesla is recalling the cars out of “an abundance of caution.” Since the issue is seemingly limited to a single car, it’s unlikely that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have asked the company to issue a recall.
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