Published on November 21st, 2015 | by James Ayre


Tesla Seatbelt Recall Specifics, & Video On How To Check Your Seatbelt Yourself

November 21st, 2015 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Tesla has issued a voluntary recall for essentially all of the Model S electric sedans that it has sold over the last few years. The reason for the recall is a single report of a Model S in Europe with a seatbelt that wasn’t properly attached to the outboard lap pretensioner. No one has been injured, and there haven’t been any other reports — the recall is simply the result of the company being rather proactive with regards to potential safety matters.

The company noted, in an email sent to owners, that in the event of a crash, a seatbelt that wasn’t attached properly wouldn’t provide full protection — so those who might be affected would probably benefit by getting their vehicle checked out. Going by reports on the Tesla Motors Club forum, this only takes a couple of minutes, and is quite easy to schedule online.

Here’s the letter sent to owners (courtesy of “AmpedRealtor,” but several others shared the letter there as well):

Tesla recall letter

As noted above, most reports seem to be that the process of booking an inspection is rather fast and easy — and that many/most vehicles don’t seem to be affected at all. So, some of the mainstream media coverage does seem to be a bit exaggerated to my eyes.

One of the posters on the Tesla Motors Club forum, “InternetDude,” put together a pretty good video showing how you can check to see if you’re affected yourself. Possibly worth a watch. Here it is:

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Larry

    Bravo Tesla! It would be a cold day in hell when one of the ICE manufacturers did something like this on a voluntary basis


    Kudos to Tesla for being the only HONEST and PROACTIVE car maker out there ! There was ONE single problem with ONE seatbelt and Tesla issued a self-imposed recall to make sure all its owners were safe. Unlike General Motors or Toyota which waits for a specific number of drivers to DIE and even THEN fights a recall, measuring how much each life is worth against its bottom line !!! That’s why Tesla will OWN the auto industry in 10 years….

    • GCO

      Tesla is handling this one right, but it really doesn’t have much of a choice, because the safety implications of a unattached seatbelt (unlike e.g. a flaky ignition switch) are downright obvious.

      I’d also point out that most other manufacturers act just as diligently in other instances, e.g. Nissan recalling Leafs missing welds, Fiat recalling 500e over separating shafts, etc. We simply don’t hear about all those cases, because they don’t make any victim either and they are handled smoothly.

      This recall reveals two problems though.
      – Tesla’s own QA didn’t catch the defect. Luckily, it was reported by an owner.
      – Tesla apparently lacks data allowing it to narrow down the list of possibly-affected vehicles.

      Let’s also remember how Tesla dealt with its previous recall, about the flawed 14-50 adapter which overheated badly enough to start a few garage fires. First, warnings about adapters melting went ignored. After the first fire or two, Elon Musk blamed the owners’ house wiring and whatnot. He then claimed that the problem could be solved via firmware upgrade (it can’t, at least not reliably). Even after the NHTSA issued a recall, he insisted it wasn’t a recall.
      A saint he isn’t either.

      • Bob_Wallace

        ” a few garage fires”

        Where’s the list? How many is “a few”?

        • GCO

          Please don’t expect me to do research for you for free. This should get you started:

          And adapters melting should have been a clear sign that something wasn’t right…

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you don’t have the facts at hand then your claim is worthless.

            It’s not about you doing my homework. It’s about you doning your homework before you post.

            Now, did you know what you were talking about when you posted? Do you now? Supply facts and back them up with links. Don’t expect us to play Go Fish with you.

          • Bob_Wallace

            BTW, using the search link you posted I see exactly one garage fire. Not caused by the Tesla adaptor.

            Am I missing something or were you posting crap?

          • GCO

            Ok, let’s take this case:

            “The fire occurred as a result of an electrical failure in the charging system for an electric vehicle,” said a report by the fire authority

            If you insist I back up every bit of what I write, surely you would be honest enough to do this yourself. Care to prove your claim that the fire dpt was wrong, and this fire was not caused by Tesla’s hardware?

            In the past, you also asked other commenters to keep discussions civil. I trust that this includes refraining from harassing, “sea-lioning” [link] and disparaging people or comments you disagree with, correct? Thanks.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s who gets booted off this site –

            Climate change deniers
            People who cannot refrain from making personal attacks on others People who repeatedly post lies (FUD)
            People who violate other site rules such as thread hijacking

            I’ve never booted anyone simply because I disagreed with them.

            I don’t instist that anyone back up everything they post. But I do expect that when someone makes a claim and someone else questions it they will either backup their claim with facts or retract it.

            If I post something that you question just ask and I will support my claim or retract.

            Now back to your claim. I’m having connection problems at the time. Pages are not opening, so I’m doing this from memory.

            You made a claim of “a few” garage fires. Standard use of the word few generally runs like this – one, two, “a couple”, a few, several.

            Best I can tell you found one garage fire in December 2013 which was initially blamed on the Tesla adaptor. Then once the fire department released its report blame was laid on garage wiring, not on any Tesla relatd hardware.

            I can’t open any of the web pages you linked. Lacking a list of any other fires I’m left suspecting that in this case you used “few” when you should have used “zero’.

            Why am I making an issue of this?

            Myth stomping.

            If you have a list of any Tesla caused fires then lay it out, place and time.

          • GCO

            There. 2nd link on Google.

            Also note that the exact number of adapters melting and/or catching fire isn’t relevant to this topic. You’re welcome to compile the list you were requesting from me on your own.

            What I was pointing out is how Tesla handled those incidents, and how it reacted to the eventual formal NHTSA recall notice. Far from the rosy picture @JIMMYLIMO:disqus was painting.

            Oh, did you ask this guy to support his claims? Why not?

          • Joe Viocoe

            The burden of evidence gathering always lies with the person making the positive claim. Denying your claim, isn’t a claim in itself.

          • GCO

            @Bob_Wallace:disqus was merely “sea-lioning” [link], asking questions and requesting proof about unimportant details in bad faith, to pull the discussion away from how Tesla handled the previous recall and the incidents which preceded it.

            Anyway, unlike him, I backed up my claims. See links in my other messages. I won’t be compiling a list or tally of all previous incidents like he requested however; it’s neither relevant nor useful to this discussion, so he’ll have to spend his own time if he wants such details.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s an alternative explanation.

            You appear to either making an attack on Tesla or just spouting off on something when you don’t know the facts.

            Posting pictures of melted connectors does not support your claims that Tesla has caused “a few” garage fires.

            So far you have not backed up your claim. None of your links back up your claim. What we are left with is suspicions concerning your credibility. As I see it you have two options, present a list of the garage fires caused by Tesla or retract your claim.

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