Faulty Parking Brakes Lead Tesla to Recall 53,000 Vehicles

Print Email

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced Wednesday afternoon that it is recalling 53,000 Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles to resolve a problem with the vehicles’ electric parking brakes. The company posted a voluntary recall notice on its support website announcing the recall.

The recall affects vehicles built between February and October 2016. A defective third-party supplied part could have been “manufactured improperly” and, if the part were to break, the brake would still work but would be stuck in place. The company said it did not believe the issue “could ever lead to a safety concern” and that Tesla has not seen an accident or injury due to the defective part.

Of the 53,000 vehicles involved in the recall, Tesla expects less than 5% of those to be affected by the defective part.

In a study earlier this year of safety complaints against automakers, auto data and research company iSeeCars.com reported that Tesla ranked third, behind only Jeep and Chrysler, as receiving the most safety complaints of any auto brand.

From the iSeeCars report posted in February of this year:

Even though it’s only a year old, the Tesla Model X actually has the highest complaint rate of all the models we studied that are currently in production, at 27.9 complaints per 1,000 cars. Eighteen percent of the Model X’s complaints involve vehicle speed control. And while it’s very high rate of complaints drags down the brand’s average, the Model S also had a high rate of safety complaints at 42.2 complaints per 10,000 cars. Thirty one percent of all complaints reported by Model S owners are about suspension problems.

The Tesla recall applies to cars sold anywhere in the world, and the company will send owners an official recall notice by mail. The company said the cars are safe to drive until the parking brake is replaced.

Tesla’s stock lost about 1% in Thursday’s trading session, closing at $302.51 in a 52-week range of $178.19 to $313.73. Shares traded down about 0.1% in Friday’s premarket session at $302.12.