Tesla recalls 16,000 Model S and X cars over seat belt issue

Tesla has issued a recall for some of its Model S and Model X issues. Unlike some of the company’s previous recalls, which were easily fixed with a software update, this is a hardware issue that requires going to a Tesla service center.

According to NHTSA’s safety recall report (via Teslarati), the recall includes 15,869 model year 2021-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles. For Model S, the affected vehicles were produced between Feb. 18, 2021, and June 22, 2023; for Model S affected vehicles, the production dates are between Sep. 08, 2021, and June 24, 2023. The estimated percentage of vehicles with the defect is one percent.

According to the report, “If a first-row seat belt is not connected to its pretensioner anchor to specification, the belt may disconnect from the anchor when the belt is pulled up and away from the anchor during normal operation to latch the belt to the buckle.” The safety risk is that the “seat belt may not perform as designed in a collision, which may increase the risk of injury.”

The report also states that, as of June 19, 2023, Tesla has identified 12 warranty claims and zero field reports that may be related to this issue, and is “not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths that may be related to this condition.”

Affected customers should take their car to a Tesla service center. There, the company will “inspect and, where necessary, connect both first-row seat belts to their pretensioner anchors to specification. If the seat belt cannot be connected to its pretensioner anchor to specification, the seat belt assembly will be replaced at no cost to the customer.”

This is not the first seat belt-related recall for Tesla; in Feb. 2022, the company issued a recall for a seat belt chime issue on 817,000 of its cars, though that issue was remedied with a software fix.

Tesla also opened another recall affecting some of its 2023 Model S, Model X, and Model Y cars. In this instance, the issue is with the forward-facing camera, which may be misaligned and potentially cause certain active safety features, including ” emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane assist,” to become unavailable without alerting the driver. The total number of affected vehicles is 1,337, but the estimated percentage of vehicles with defect is very high, at 80 percent.

As of July 14, 2023, Tesla has identified 83 warranty claims and 2 field reports related to this condition; the company isn’t aware of “any crashes, injuries or deaths that may be related to this condition.”

Owners of the affected vehicles should take them to service, where Tesla will inspect “inspect the pitch angle of the forward-facing cameras on affected vehicles and, where necessary, adjust the angle to specification.