Tesla Motors has issued the first recall on its full-sized luxury sedan, the Model S. It’s a partial recall on Model S vehicles manufactured between May 10th and June 8th of this year. According to Tesla, “the attachment strength of the mounting bracket for the left hand latch of the second row seat could be weaker than intended.” Apparently, this recall affects around 1,300 Model S.
This defect “reduces [their] confidence that the left hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash,” according to Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk. He announced the recall with a tweet:
Partial recall of Model S http://t.co/uDZ1f3RnjV
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2013
Here’s what Musk has to say in a blog post:
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…
Affected Model S owners will be contacted in the next few days and we will arrange for their car to be picked up, the bracket reinforced and the car returned to their possession. To be clear, the Model S does not need to be brought to our service center by the owner. Tesla will pick up the car at a location of the owner’s convenience, provide a Model S loaner if needed, perform the work and bring the car back to the owner a few hours later.
Musk assures Tesla customers that the faulty weld has not actually caused any problems yet, and that there have been no customer complaints. He also says that no regulatory agency brought it to their attention. This proactive recall has garnered praise from many blog commenters.
“Much praise to those that admit and tackle the tiniest of defects — even the defects that do not pose risk. It is consistent only with a company like Tesla that I would expect this,” says one commenter.
“This proactive recall increases the confidence that Elon Musk and his team are committed to the safety and quality of its products. It makes a big difference when management is passionate about its products and has the talent to come up with excellent products that will make positive contributions worldwide,” says another.
The Tesla Model S has won quite a few awards since its launch back in 2012, including Motor Trend Car of the Year, Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Car of the Year, and the 2013 World Green Car of the Year.