Tesla announced Friday it was recalling all 90,000 of its Model S luxury electric cars sold worldwide since 2012 after discovering a security problem with seatbelts.
In a blow to its stellar reputation, Tesla said that the front seatbelts failed to correctly fasten, though no accidents or injuries had been reported as a result. The automaker released the news in an email to customers, in which it said was ordering the recall as a “proactive” step after learning of a Model S in Europe with a front seatbelt “that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner.”
“This vehicle was not involved in a crash and there were no injuries,” Tesla said. “However, in the event of a crash, a seatbelt in this condition would not provide full protection.”
The notice said the company had inspected 3,000 vehicles and found no issues, but had “decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a proactive and precautionary measure to inspect all front Model S seatbelts and make absolutely sure that they are properly connected.”
Tesla’s cars have been in high demand, despite a price tag of $70,000 and up, and the vehicles had won much praise — until a recent Consumer Reports review that highlighted problems with the Model S.
Some analysts see Tesla’s innovations as driving a new model for the auto sector, and predict it can grow from its small base into a major producer.
Tesla plans to unveil its Model 3 electric car aimed at less affluent buyers in March 2016. Its price is estimated at $35,000 — half the cost of other Teslas — and is seen as key to expansion for the carmaker, which has a loyal following among well-heeled buyers.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015