Tesla Recalls 2,700 Model X SUVs for Seat-Back Issue
Tesla Motors said on Monday that it was recalling its Model X sports utility vehicles after testing revealed that the backs of the electric car’s third-row seats could give way in a crash.
The voluntary action affects the 2,700 Model Xs built before March 26. Tesla said it discovered the problem while performingtestsrequiredbyEuropean safety regulators. The company said that it had no reports of accidents related to the problem and added that the vehicle had passed US crash tests.
The recall comes in the face of an extraordinary response to the March 31 announcement of Tesla’s latest and most affordable electric car, the Model 3. With a starting price of $35,000, the Model 3 is intended to reach a larger range of car buyers than Tesla’s top seller, the Model S sedan, which costs around $75,000.
The Model X, which can seat up to seven passengers, starts at about $80,000.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has received more than 325,000 $1,000 deposits for Model 3s, even though the car is not supposed to be available until the end of 2017.
In a conference call on Monday, Jon McNeill, Tesla’s president for sales, service and delivery, said the Model X’s seat-back problem stemmed from a manufacturing defect in a part known as a recliner. While preparing to export the car to Europe, Tesla found that the weight of a belted passenger thrown forward in a frontal crash could cause the seat back to break loose.
Model X customers can keep driving their cars, but passengers should not sit in the third-row seats until they have been repaired at a Tesla service centre, he said. Last year, Tesla recalled 90,000 Model S sedans to have their seat belts checked for a defect.