Tesla Motors announced to owners and reporters today that it will issue a voluntary recall for all Model X SUVs built in late March and earlier over a possible safety issue with the optional third-row seats.
The automaker said that a part could “slip” in the event of a crash, causing the third row seats to move forward in the event of a crash. The recall affects about 2700 Model X-es in total, all built before March 26.
The issue was discovered in internal testing before the Model X-es were sent to Europe; in U.S. testing, no such failures occurred, and no customers have experienced the problem. The part is made by an outside supplier.
But Tesla said it’s being proactive on the safety front, and is this issuing a recall on its own. The recall will take about two hours, and as new parts are produced, will be conducted on a “rolling basis” over five weeks, the automaker said.
In the meantime, Model X owners are asked not to put anyone third row seats.
Here’s what Tesla told owners in an email:
Recently, during an internal seat strength test that was conducted prior to the start of Model X deliveries in Europe, the recliner in a third row Model X seat unexpectedly slipped. The recliner, which is provided to us by an outside supplier, is the locking hinge that allows the third row seat back to fold forward, and if a recliner were to slip during a crash, the seat back could move forward.
Similar testing was conducted before the start of deliveries in North America, with 15 confirmation tests having been conducted without a single recliner failure. Despite these prior successful tests and no reports of a third row seat slipping in any customer vehicles, we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a precautionary measure and will be replacing all affected third row seat backs.
More to come.