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Tesla issues Model S seatbelt recall

Just in case: Tesla has recalled its Model S after discovering a European model with a faulty seatbelt connection.

Faulty seatbelt in European Model S prompts a worldwide recall from Tesla

Tesla logo23 Nov 2015

By ROBBIE WALLIS

UPDATED: 24/11/2015AMERICAN electric car company Tesla has issued a voluntary worldwide recall on its landmark Model S sedan, following the discovery of a faulty seatbelt in European models.

The fault relates to the front seatbelts which were not properly connected to the outboard lap pre-tensioner. The fault was discovered by chance, not as a result of a crash.

Following the discovery Tesla has since inspected the seatbelts of over 3000 Model S vehicles spanning the duration of Model S production, but have found no further issues.

Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, Tesla will conduct the recall to inspect the front seatbelts of every Model S, with the company explaining in an email to customers that a potentially faulty seatbelt “would not provide full protection”.

Tesla says it has no concerns as to the functionality of its rear seatbelts, and the problem only affects seatbelts in the front row.

According to Bloomberg, as many as 90,000 examples worldwide will be recalled to check for faults, which has caused a slight drop in Tesla's share price.

Tesla has urged owners to check the functionality of the seatbelts themselves, which can be done by yanking the belt with a force of at least 80 pounds (36kg).

The pre-tensioner is at the base of the seatbelt buckle that pulls the seatbelt tight in case of an accident, and is connected by two metal plates.

In this instance the plates were installed incorrectly, causing the seatbelt to detach.

Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker said Model S owners have been contacted to bring their cars in to be checked.

“We suggest all vehicles in Australia come in for a check and this started on Saturday,” he said. “Each car should take less than ten minutes. We have emailed all customers and also shown how to do a preliminary check at home, although this does not replace the need to have a service check.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has since issued a statement on its product recall website that says “If the seatbelt is not properly connected to the outboard lap pre-tensioner and a crash were to occur, the seatbelt might be unable to properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury”.

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