Tesla To Voluntarily Recall 11,000 Model X Vehicles Over Seat Issue

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Tesla announced Thursday afternoon that it’s voluntarily recalling 11,000 Model X SUVs worldwide because the rear row of seats might not lock into place in the event of a crash.


The recall involves vehicles built with fold-flat second row seats, and only affects vehicles made between Oct. 28, 2016 to Aug. 16, 2017. Tesla said it believes only 3 percent of the recalled vehicles are affected by the issue, and a company spokesperson said it hasn’t received any reports of accidents or injuries.


The issue was discovered through internal testing, the spokesperson said. If the cables don’t lock properly, the row of seats could move forward in the event of a crash.

Any affected owner can take their vehicle to a dealer or contact Tesla’s mobile repair unit. The spokesperson said 100 percent of the repair can be conducted by the mobile unit, and the fix should only take about 10 minutes to address.

In the meantime, Tesla said that impacted owners could still drive their Model X, but the company asks them to “temporarily” avoid having two adults sit in the second row left and center seats at the same time.

The Model X has suffered quality issues in the past, but the voluntary recall reiterates a notable habit of Tesla to act quickly on even minor issues, even after just a single incident. As it has in the past, the company says the voluntarily recall is being “out of an abundance of caution.”


Here’s the email Tesla’s sending out to affected customers today:

Subject: Safety Notice

We are emailing to inform you of a proactive action Tesla is taking to ensure your safety as a Model X owner. During recent internal testing, Tesla determined that a small number of cables in the second row fold-flat seats in some 2016 and 2017 Model X vehicles may need to be adjusted. Although Tesla has not received reports of any issues or accidents relating to this condition, we will be inspecting the affected customers’ cars so that we can confirm whether any adjustment is needed. We are doing this out of an abundance of caution, because even though we have never seen it happen, if the cable is not properly adjusted, the seat back on the left side of the second row seats could move forward during a crash.

Our records show that you own a Model X affected by this voluntary recall. There are no parts required for this inspection, and the adjustment will take only about 10 minutes to complete. We can address 100% of these repairs via mobile service, and you will have the choice to do that or to bring in your car to a Service Center. We will be contacting you soon to schedule this according to your preference.

Until then, there is no issue with continuing to drive your Model X. We just ask that you temporarily avoid having two adults sit in the second row left and center seating positions at the same time. (Even with this issue, the seat is strong enough for a single adult or two children.) You may also continue to use child seats using the LATCH anchors, as these anchors are attached to the seat base and not the seat back. Note that this issue only affects Model X with fold-flat second row seats built between October 28, 2016 and August 16, 2017 and does not affect any vehicles with monopost seats.

Thank you for being a Tesla customer and we apologize for this inconvenience. Model X has received the highest rating in every category and subcategory in independent crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and we are committed to ensuring that Model X remains the safest SUV in the world.

If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 844-248-3752 or by email at ServiceHelpNA@tesla.com.


Correction: A previous version of this headline misstated the potential risk with the seat cables. If the cable in the seat is too tight, it could prevent the left seatback from fully latching into the upright position, and, in the event of the crash, could cause the seat to move forward. We regret for the error.