According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla issued a recall notice on October 27th, applying for the recall of 24,064 Model 3s with production dates from 2017 to 2022, a “physical” recall and not an OTA update.
Tesla said it has decided to voluntarily recall some Model 3 vehicles produced between 2017 and 2022 to check the assembly of the second-row left seat belt buckle and center seat belt anchor to ensure the parts are fastened to specification.
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Repairs to certain components in Tesla Model 3 vehicles require the removal of the second-row left seat belt buckle and the center seat belt retainer, both of which are fastened with the same bolt, NHTSA documents show. After disassembly during maintenance operations, the two components may have been incorrectly reassembled.
Tesla describes the chronology of the events that led to the voluntary recall:
In August 2022, Tesla investigated an incident in which a customer or service technician discovered that the second-row center seat belt firmware was not secured following a service repair that required the disassembly and reassembly of components.
From August 15 to September 30, 2022, Tesla investigated repair orders and correction codes specific to service procedures that require the disassembly and reassembly of related joints. According to this review, 105 incorrect assemblies were confirmed to have occurred in the United States.
From October 3 to October 13, 2022, Tesla Services and engineers jointly analyzed the acquired dataset, affected service centers, and associated correction codes.
On October 14, 2022, Tesla completed its investigation, confirming the suspected root cause, risk assessment, and the number of affected vehicles. The recall decision was made the same day.
As of October 19, 2022, Tesla identified 105 service repairs, including warranty claims, and there were no field reports for U.S. vehicles that were or could be related to this condition.
Moreover, Tesla will inspect the reassembly of the second-row left seat belt buckle and middle seat belt anchor of the recalled vehicles free of charge, and fasten the parts to the correct specifications if necessary.