Tesla Announces Model S Recall

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If Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) is supposed to make such a superior car, according to the press and the company’s PR, why does it have to recall some of its Model S vehicles? In an announcement apparently first made on Twitter, CEO Elon Musk said the cars had a flaw. It is another bit of information that will undermine the firm’s claims about the superiority of its cars.

The company’s announcement:

 After a careful examination, we have concluded that some Model S vehicles manufactured between May 10, 2013 and June 8, 2013 may contain a defect. Specifically, the attachment strength of the mounting bracket for the left hand latch of the second row seat could be weaker than intended. This reduces our confidence that the left hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash.

As designed, the striker bracket is both bonded and welded to the vehicle body, either one of which would be sufficient by itself. This is consistent with the primary design goal of the Model S, which is first and foremost to maximize safety. However, we discovered that, due to body side alignment adjustments in the factory, the bonded section of the joint was compromised and the welded section of the joint was weakened in some cars.

We do not wish to cause undue alarm, so it is perhaps worth clarifying that:

  • The weld has not actually detached on any car
  • There have been no customer complaints
  • We are not aware of any injuries or near injuries
  • No regulatory agency brought this to our attention

However, given the paramount importance of safety, we would like to reinforce the left striker bracket on cars produced during this period. This work has already been performed on cars that were in the factory, so the recall applies only to cars delivered in mid to late May and early June.

Affected Model S owners will be contacted in the next few days and we will arrange for their car to be picked up, the bracket reinforced and the car returned to their possession. To be clear, the Model S does not need to be brought to our service center by the owner. Tesla will pick up the car at a location of the owner’s convenience, provide a Model S loaner if needed, perform the work and bring the car back to the owner a few hours later.

Apologies for the inconvenience,
Elon

Who would not be alarmed by a joint that was compromised. It seems that joint must be an important part of the car.

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