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Tesla recalls nearly 820,000 EVs over seat belt chime problem

All four of the electric car manufacturer's current model lines are impacted.

2021-2022 Tesla Model X electric crossover SUVs are part of this new recall.


Tesla is recalling select examples of all four of its current model lines due to a potential seat belt chime malfunction. The second recall for the electric car company in as many days, this new campaign covers 817,143 Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y EVs.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcement on Thursday, a warning chime may not sound when a vehicle is started and the driver has not buckled their safety belt. Affected vehicles fail to adhere to federal vehicle safety standards for occupant crash protection. NHTSA says that without a functioning chime, drivers may not know they are unbuckled, increasing the risk of injury or death in a crash. Tesla says it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the issue.

NHTSA Campaign 22V045000 covers select 2017-2022 Model 3, 2021-22 Model S, 2021-2022 Model X and 2020-2022 Model Y electric vehicles.

While owners of affected vehicles are not expected to be notified of the safety action until an April 1 mailer, it's likely that the over-the-air (OTA) update fix will be available sooner. The free repair is not expected to require owners bringing in their vehicle for service. Concerned owners can call Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 for more information.

On Wednesday, NHTSA announced Tesla plans to voluntarily recall over 54,000 of its EVs due to controversial "rolling-stop" programming, part of a recent software update to its Full Self Driving option package. The Department of Transportation agency took exception to Tesla's deliberate decision to program vehicles to illegally roll through stop signs at speeds of up to 5.6 mph when certain conditions were met. The government safety regulator met to discuss the issue with the automaker and a recall was agreed upon. Despite its name, Tesla's Full Self Driving advanced driver-assist technology is not capable of autonomous operation.

In the case of the "rolling-stop" recall, Tesla began rolling out a software update remedy over the air almost immediately, far ahead of legally required owner notices sent via mail.

The rise of OTA update fixes to such recall problems suggests that new, clarifying terminology for these types of virtual, software-based actions might be in order, at least in cases where there's no need to bring a vehicle in for service and no actual mechanical fixes necessarily required.

Tesla did not respond to Roadshow's request for comment on this story. The automaker no longer operates a public relations department that traditionally fields such requests at other automakers.

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