Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Chris Davies - Jun 19, 2013
Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Tesla has announced a partial recall of the Model S electric car, after the discovery of a shortcoming in how the rear seats are fixed to the EV’s body. The issue – which Tesla is at pains to point out has not actually resulted in any reported problems or injuries – could leave the left-hand rear seat back less than adequately retained should the Model S driver have a crash, and needs to be reinforced.

According to Tesla, body side alignment adjustments in the Model S factory are actually to blame for the problem. The striker bracket for the left hand side latch is bonded and welded to the vehicle’s body, but the bonded section can be compromised while adjustments later in the manufacturing process are made.

“We do not wish to cause undue alarm” Tesla says, pointing out that it’s only down to a particular surfeit of caution that it is recalling the cars for a fix. “No regulatory agency brought this to our attention” the company says, “we are not aware of any injuries or near injuries”, and “the weld has not actually detached on any car.”

The fix itself apparently takes a few hours to reinforce the striker bracket. Tesla says the affected Model S vehicles date from between May 10, 2013 and June 8, 2013 in their manufacture; any others have already been fixed.

Tesla will be contacting any owners of cars potentially at risk of the bracket flaw, and arranging to pick up their Model S and repair it (with the promise of a loaner Model S for the time in-between).

All eyes – or at least those belonging to EV enthusiasts – are on Tesla this week, as the company prepares to demonstrate its much-rumored battery swap technology. Set to be shown in a live demo for the first time on Thursday, the system is expected to augment Tesla’s growing SuperCharger network of high-speed recharging points increasingly strung across the US.

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