The 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 compact electric sedan is being recalled for rear seat belt anchors that may have been improperly reattached after service, the NHTSA disclosed Friday.
The issue applies to the rear seat belt buckle on the driver’s side, and the rear center seat belt anchor. The loose anchor can increase the risk of injury to rear seat occupants in the event of a crash. The anchor may have been disassembled for service to other areas of the car, then reassembled improperly.
More than 24,000 Model 3 cars from the 2017-2022 model year are included in the recall. Tesla cited 105 service repairs and warranty claims related to the issue, but the U.S. automaker said it wasn’t aware of any crashes or injuries related to the issue.
Tesla has faced increased scrutiny from safety regulators and federal agencies for a host of concerns, but the technology company’s claims of self-driving features have been foremost in the eyes of U.S. regulators. The company is facing Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC scrutiny over self-driving claims; the DOJ has launched a criminal investigation over the functionality and marketing of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system in the wake of several high-profile crashes that occurred while the system was active. Autopilot has moved closer to a safety recall since June, having been put under a safety probe and engineering analysis, for vehicles across Tesla’s model lineup.
The scrutiny comes as Tesla continues to promise upgraded versions of its Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software that claims to enable point-to-point autonomous driving.
The seat belt recall is the eighth recall of the Tesla Model 3 this year, though most of the issues have been minor tech compliance concerns remedied by over-the-air updates. This fix requires a trip to a Tesla store or service center.
Tesla technicians will inspect the reassembly of the rear seat belt anchor and fasten the bolt to the correct specification, if necessary. The work will be done free of charge and owners who have had the work done previously should be eligible for reimbursement.
Owners can expect notification by mail as early as Dec. 20. For more information, contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 or visit the company’s recall site.
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