Tesla Recalls Certain Model S Vehicles as Part of Takata Air Bag Recall

 

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 27, 2019 – Tesla is recalling close to 14,000 Model S vehicles as part of the global Takata air bag recall. Affected vehicles are part of a worldwide recall that impacted millions of vehicles from different manufacturers. The recall involves Model S cars manufactured between February 2014 and December 2016, according to TechCrunch, but does not affect the Roadster, Model X, Model 3, or later Model S vehicles.

The Defect

The Takata air bag inflators in question contain a propellant material that can decompose over time, leading to risk of explosion on impact and flying shards of debris. The explosion of an air bag and resulting impact of debris could cause serious injury or death to a driver or passenger. The recall has been ongoing and is taking place worldwide.

Timeline of Events

According to Tesla, the company has been adhering to a schedule previously determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recall of the front passenger air bags in 2012 Model S vehicles, which began in January 2017, has now been extended to 2013 Model S vehicles in January 2018, and is also being extended to 2014-2016 Model S vehicles in January 2019.

Tesla remedied nearly 90 percent of all affected 2012 and 2013 Model S vehicles within one year after announcing its recall, and is now moving on to address the 2014-2016 models. Tesla has stated that owners do not need to be concerned if they have not been contacted yet: There is a schedule set in place for notifications to keep repairs moving smoothly, and most vehicles are not in the range of danger yet, as the air bags only become dangerous after a certain amount of time has passed since their manufacture.

The Solution

Tesla is currently continuing to contact customers to complete their air bag replacements. Owners of 2012-2013 Model S vehicles who have not yet received this replacement should schedule a service appointment. For 2014-2016 Model S, replacement parts are expected to be available by the spring of 2019, and Tesla will contact owners when the parts are ready.

Tesla is encouraging the use of their Mobile Service for customers to have the airbag replaced in the convenience of their home, office or other location. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesTesla Recalls Certain Model S Vehicles as Part of Takata Air Bag Recall

Tesla recalls SUVs with defective rear seats

 

Palo Alto, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2017 – Tesla Inc. has recalled approximately 11,000 vehicles with defective backseat assemblies, The Associated Press reported. The campaign affects 2017 Tesla Model X sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Oct. 28, 2016 to Aug. 16, 2017. The automaker suspects 3 percent of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected models are equipped with backseat assemblies with improperly installed seat cables. These fixtures prevent the left seat from locking when upright, which poses a serious safety hazard, as the seat may move forward suddenly during a collision. However, Tesla has yet to receive field reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

The automaker discovered the defect during recent internal testing, TechCrunch reported. Tesla launched a voluntary safety recall as a result.

The Solution

The car company has directed dealers to replace the seat cables in affected models free of charge. Owners received notification via email Oct. 12. Those with vehicles included in the recall will be able to schedule service via the Tesla mobile application, which the automaker has employed to great effect recently.

“In the past two months, we have conducted roughly 40 percent of the Takata air bag recall repairs via mobile service, and customer satisfaction results for our mobile service offering are consistently above 97 percent,” a Tesla spokesperson told TechCrunch.

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Will Tesla Change How the NHTSA Conducts Future Recalls?

Palo Alto, Calif. – Feb. 01, 2017 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ended its six-month investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system last week, finding no specific flaw in the technology that would spur action, according to Forbes.

This, in itself, was not a surprising story. The NHTSA will regularly close investigations without ordering a recall, depending on the specific nature of the defect, the risks associated with it and the possibility of repair. What was surprising, however, was what Tesla did in response.

Business Insider reported that in the middle of the investigation, Tesla released a software update that made some important changes to the Autopilot system – and which some say may have been enough to prevent the entire ordeal in the first place. While this may be reassuring to Tesla owners, some government officials think that there might be potential to build these kids of fixes into the recall process down the line.

Background

In May 2016, a Tesla Model S driver in Florida was killed while using the Autopilot feature. Reports of the incident released in July revealed that the driver had collided with a truck that made a left turn in front of the Tesla. The Model S passed under the truck before driving off the road.

The car’s Autopilot feature, which had been introduced in October 2015, was supposed to keep the car on the road and avoid vehicles and other obstacles. However, the program was still quite new, and had been in a public beta phase. In a blog post released after the incident, Tesla noted that the system requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times, and to be prepared to take full control at any time. In addition, Business Insider reported that the system is not cross-traffic aware and is primarily built to avoid rear-end collisions.

The problem in the May accident, Tesla found, was that the Autopilot system failed to sense the truck’s white tractor trailer due to the bright light conditions during the clear day. Even so, the company insisted that it was only the particular height of the trailer and the angle of impact that led to the driver’s death. Tesla argued that if the collision had occurred at the front or rear of the trailer, the vehicle’s safety features could have been more effective.

The Future of Recalls

The software update that Tesla provided to its Autopilot system makes an important changes. Drivers will no longer be able to ignore messages to keep their hands on the wheel at all times – the system will lock them out if they don’t comply. Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Autoblog that he thinks this change could have prevented the accident.

While the NHTSA does not consider this update to be a full remedy, it does believe that some of its concerns have been addressed, according to Business Insider. In addition, NHTSA spokesperson Bryan Thomas told the news source that over-the-air updates may one day change the recall process if simple software changes are quicker and more cost-effective than physical recalls.

“These are questions the agency will have to deal with in the future, but we would very much like to move quickly toward that future,” Thomas said. He added that there may come a day when automakers no longer have to mail notifications to owners.

As the agency works on developing the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, Thomas added that these questions will have to be answered.

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NHTSA Closes Tesla Autopilot Investigation

Palo Alto, Calif. – Jan. 25, 2017 – Following the death of a Tesla Model S driver who collided with a truck in Florida last May while using the car’s autopilot feature, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot program to evaluate its safety. Now, in a recent announcement, the NHTSA has said that it will close the probe and not demand a recall.

Reuters reported that the driver of the Tesla had set his cruise control at 74 miles per hour two minutes before the fatal crash, and did not apply the brakes during the accident. Further investigation of the incident indicated that the Tesla had indeed been in autopilot mode at the time, but the system did not indicate that a crash was imminent. This was the first known death that occurred during the operation of a self-driving vehicle system.

In its report, the NHTSA concluded that it “did not identify any defects” with the autopilot system, which Tesla has always maintained is still in its experimental phase. The agency added that the system was not designed to react to every possible collision scenario.

In the months following the incident, Tesla introduced a number of safety updates to the Model S, according to Autoblog. For instance, it created a lockout feature that disables autopilot if drivers don’t keep their hands on the wheel for a period of time. The purpose is to encourage drivers to remain alert, even when they are letting their cars do most of the driving.

The NHTSA report added that Tesla’s vehicle crash rate dropped by 40 percent after these updates were installed.

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Tesla Recalls Charging Adapters

Palo Alto, Calif. – Dec. 13, 2016 – In response to an overheating issue, Tesla has announced the recall of a small number of charging adapter connectors commonly used by owners of the Model S or X.

The Defect

Tesla announced on its website that the recall will affect about 2,000 NEMA 14-30, 10-30 and 6-50 adapters due to the possibility of overheating. This was in response to two separate customer complaints of overheating, which Tesla claimed did not result in injury or property damage. The recall was taken “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the post on the company website.

The company noted that the affected adapters are not standard pieces of equipment that come with every vehicle, but are instead sold separately to those who want to connect their charging cables to 240-volt outlets.

Timeline of Events

January 2015 – Tesla stopped selling NEMA 14-30 adapters.

August 2016 – Tesla re-released the NEMA 14-30 adapter due to increased demand.

November 2016 – Two customers reported NEMA 14-30 adapters overheating during use, prompting the recall. The recall also affected the 10-30 and 6-50 adapters, as they share some elements with the 14-30. No incidents involving those two models have been reported, according to Tesla.

Resolution

Users of the NEMA 14-30 can expect to receive a replacement from Tesla within the next few weeks. Users of the 10-30 and 6-50 may have to wait about three months for the company to develop and manufacture alternatives. However, Tesla told customers that since these two models have not exhibited any problems, they may be used to charge vehicles if no other option is available.

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NHTSA Investigation into Tesla Accident Ongoing

Washington, D.C. — Oct. 12, 2016 — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a crash centering around the Tesla Model S and its autopilot feature. Business Insider recently included updates on the effort.

The accident took place May 7, and involved 40-year old Tesla driver Joshua Brown, who reportedly collided with a nearby fence when a trailer truck passed in front of him. The autopilot reportedly failed to recognize the oncoming trailer and therefore didn’t press on the brakes. The incident has not prompted a recall as of yet, but an investigation could theoretically lead to further action.

However, a June blog post from Tesla that appeared in the source stated that the NHTSA’s looking into this issue is “simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.” The blog also explained that autopilot can only be used with acknowledgement from the user, and is initially not activated in vehicles.

Aside from this, the Tesla Model S has also appeared in recall news due to seat belt problems. A November 2015 recall saw a specific range of vehicles included because seat belts were not connected to the outboard lap pretensioner correctly. The recall included 58,773 vehicles that were potentially subject to the condition.

The fix for this problem required possible reassembly if the front belts in the vehicle aren’t connected. Affected models included Model S units with model years from between 2012 and 2015, with production rates ranging from May 31, 2012, to Nov. 12, 2015. An improperly bolted seat belt anchor could leave passengers insufficiently restrained during an accident, the Part 573 Safety Recall Report said.

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Could Tesla Autopilot Fault Lead to New Recall?

Washington, D.C. — August 15, 2016 — Tesla’s future-facing features have been part of the company’s brand. However, a recent accident has led to a government investigation into one of those prominent features, as part of an action that might eventually trigger a recall.

In a recent blog post, the NTSB described the original accident that launched this investigation, which dates back to May 7, 2016. According to this source, the case involved a 2015 Tesla Model S. The driver was reportedly using multiple automated systems in the vehicle while it was in motion, including automatic breaks and “Traffic-Aware Cruise Control.”

It was traveling on US-27A in Florida and going approximately 74 miles per hour where the speed limit was 65 miles per hour. This vehicle struck a truck with a 53-foot trailer, with the driver of the Tesla perishing in the accident. The rear of the Tesla was greatly affected, with the back window being crushed in the process.

USA Today quoted AutoTrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs on the action the car company can take with this investigation in motion.

“Tesla might want to consider a voluntary recall or stop sale on its vehicles equipped with the Autopilot feature,” Krebs said. “Self-driving vehicles hold much promise for improving road safety, but more work is needed with the technology, regulations and consumer confidence, which could be shaken by accidents like this.”

Last year, a recall involving the 2015 Model S affected 58,773 vehicles. The NHTSA Recall Acknowledgement letter said it involved incorrectly secured front seat belts, one that could potentially fail to keep an occupant restrained during a crash. The source said the connection would require a dealer inspection to ensure performance and fix the outboard lap pretensioner as needed.

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Tesla Recalls Model X Vehicles

Palo Alto, CA — May 12, 2016 — Weak seating in around 2,700 Model X vehicles have led to a Tesla recall. According to Forbes, the affected vehicles contain lackluster seats that could fold in on themselves in the event of a crash.

This represents a possible safety risk, so the company is conducting a voluntary action to address the problem quickly. The source adds that Tesla hopes to complete the recall-related repairs within five weeks, during which time vehicle owners should avoid using their third row seats. The recall will address Model X vehicles that were specifically built before March 26.

The Los Angeles Times published part of the email sent to Model X owners regarding the issue and what the manufacturer has done about it so far.

“We are emailing to inform you of a proactive action Tesla is taking to ensure your safety as a Model X owner,” the message reportedly says. “Tesla’s internally conducted crash testing demonstrates that Model X will be the first SUV to receive the highest safety rating in every category, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains the safest SUV in the world.”

The Times also quoted Tesla’s sales head John McNeil, who said that there were no reported issues connected to his company’s vehicles. He stressed the voluntary nature of the recalls, intended to show the business’ interest in better safety.

A pair of complaints listed with the National Highway Traffic safety Administration noted other issues related to the 2016 Model X, particularly claims of “faulty latches” that allow the doors to spring open unexpectedly. One complaint filed on March 17 lists “rear seats not in place” as one of many problems, such as a depression in the rear seat.

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Tesla Motors issues comprehensive Model S recall [Video]

Although no related injuries have yet been reported, Tesla Motors is spearheading an all-encompassing recall for every Model S sedan due to a faulty seat belt. Owners will be able to schedule a repair appointment to fix possible seat belt problems.

This voluntary action concerns 90,000 vehicles and is the largest Tesla Motors recall so far, according to USA Today. As of November 20, Tesla’s investigations had only discovered one vehicle with seat belt issues, the model in Europe that sparked concerns over these systems in the first place. Owners were notified via email earlier this month.

Owners could also test for the problem themselves by pulling lap portions of seatbelts with at least 80 pounds of force, although this isn’t a substitute for an official inspection, the source said. This inspection is expected to only take six minutes.

Thanks for watching!

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