Tesla recalls nearly 820,000 EVs over seat belt chime problem – Roadshow

2021 and 2022 Tesla Model X electric crossover SUVs are part of this new recall.

Tesla

Tesla is recalling select examples of all four of its current model lines due to a potential seat belt chime malfunction. The second recall for the electric car company in as many days, this new campaign covers 817,143 Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y EVs.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcement on Thursday, a warning chime may not sound when a vehicle is started and the driver has not buckled their safety belt. That means those vehicles fail to adhere to federal vehicle safety standards for occupant crash protection. NHTSA says that without a functioning chime, drivers may not know they are unbuckled, which increases the risk of injury or death in a crash. Tesla says it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the issue.

NHTSA Campaign 22V045000 covers select electric vehicles from Model 3 (2017 to 2022), Model S and Model X (both 2021 and 2022) and Model Y (2020 to 2022).

While owners of affected vehicles are not expected to be notified of the safety action until an April 1 mailer, it’s likely that the over-the-air update, or OTA fix, will be available sooner. The free repair is not expected to require owners bringing in their vehicle for service. Concerned owners can call Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 for more information.

On Wednesday, NHTSA announced Tesla plans to voluntarily recall over 54,000 of its EVs due to controversial “rolling-stop” programming, part of a recent software update to its Full Self Driving option package. The Department of Transportation took exception to Tesla’s decision to program vehicles to illegally roll through stop signs at speeds of up to 5.6 mph when certain conditions were met. The government safety regulator met to discuss the issue with the automaker, leading to the recall. Despite its name, Tesla’s Full Self Driving advanced driver-assist technology is not capable of autonomous operation.

In the case of the “rolling-stop” recall, Tesla initiated an OTA software update remedy almost immediately, far ahead of when legally required owner notices were sent out in the mail.

The rise of OTA update fixes to such problems suggests that new, clarifying terminology for these types of virtual, software-based actions might be in order — at least in cases where there’s no need to service a vehicle in person and no actual mechanical fixes are required.

Tesla did not respond to Roadshow’s request for comment. The automaker no longer operates a public relations department that would typically field such requests.

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