Tesla drivers now have another possible safety problem to worry about.
The company recently announced it is recalling some 3,500 Model Y sport utility vehicles, Reuters reports. A loose seat frame bolt may reduce seatbelt system performance, increasing injury risks during a crash, the automaker recently told federal regulators.
“The second-row seat belt system loads go through the lower seat frame,” Tesla said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “If the bolts that secure the frame to the seat backs are not torqued to specifications, the seat belt system may not perform as designed in a collision, which may increase the risk of an injury for occupants seated in affected second-row seating positions.”
The recall covers certain 2023 Model Y vehicles produced in the United States.
Tesla said it planned to alert owners of recalled vehicles by the end of April. The company will ask owners to bring their vehicles to a local dealer, who will inspect bolts securing second-row driver-side and passenger-side seat back frames to the lower seat frames and tighten them to specifications as needed.
Tesla told NHTSA it is aware of at least five warranty claims by owners of recalled cars, citing the defect. It was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem.
This is the latest in a string of safety issues for the luxury electric vehicle manufacturer, not to mention people who drive Tesla’s cars.
Earlier this year, the company said it was recalling some 40,000 Model S and Model X vehicles around the globe. The vehicles are at risk of losing the power steering assist function without warning.
Meanwhile, Tesla continues to be embroiled in at least two federal investigations over its Autopilot driver-assist technology. The probes stem from more than a dozen accidents involving cars in which the Autopilot system was reportedly engaged.
The Justice Department is also looking into whether the company has been misleading the public into thinking that the technology allows Tesla vehicles to drive themselves, according to a recent report.
California Tesla Owners: Know Your Rights
California Tesla owners have some valuable rights when it comes to defective and malfunctioning vehicles. The state’s lemon law requires car manufacturers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty.
Also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law forces carmakers to buy back vehicles that they are unable or just refuse to fix. That means compensating the owner for the car’s purchase price, as well as financing charges, rental car costs and other related expenses.
A manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, under the law. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner or lessor stuck with a lemon or locked in a dispute with a manufacturer over repairs, the lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer today.