Tesla, the California-based electric car manufacturer, today announced a recall for its Model S vehicle. The company is voluntarily recalling Model S cars manufactured between May 10 and June 8 of this year due to a defect in the strength of a mounting bracket. This is the first recall issued for the Model S, for which production only began one year ago.
Tesla Co-Founder and Chairman Elon Musk announced the recall on Tesla's blog. From the post:
After a careful examination, we have concluded that some Model S vehicles manufactured between May 10, 2013 and June 8, 2013 may contain a defect. Specifically, the attachment strength of the mounting bracket for the left hand latch of the second row seat could be weaker than intended. This reduces our confidence that the left hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash.
As designed, the striker bracket is both bonded and welded to the vehicle body, either one of which would be sufficient by itself. This is consistent with the primary design goal of the Model S, which is first and foremost to maximize safety. However, we discovered that, due to body side alignment adjustments in the factory, the bonded section of the joint was compromised and the welded section of the joint was weakened in some cars.
Musk went on to emphasize that the defect is only dangerous in theory. The weld referred to has not detached from any known Model S, and no customer complaints have been filed about the issue. He also emphasized that no government or other regulatory brought the defect to the company's attention.
Tesla will be contacting the affected Model S owners this week to arrange for their vehicle to be picked up. The cars will then have their left striker bracket reinforced and be returned to their owners. Musk stated that loaner Model S vehicles will be provided to customers if needed.
Back in May, the Tesla One received the highest-ever rating for a vehicle in Consumer Reports history. Last month Tesla and Musk made headlines by paying off a $465 million government loan years early after being criticized by conservatives as an example of wasteful government spending.