Tesla is taking a "proactive measure" out of an "abundance of caution," the company says, in handling an issue with a cable used in the adjusting second row seating in a small percent of Model X vehicles. The automaker has issued a voluntary recall, which will apply to 11,000 Model X vehicles it would like to inspect – though it believes only 3 percent of those cars actually exhibit the issue.
The problem was discovered via internal testing, per Tesla, and basically involves the cable that controls the reclining of the two rear seats being too tight in some vehicles, which means that when the seats are folded back up from a lay flat position, they might not fully lock in place again. This could theoretically result in problems if adults are in the seats in case of an accident, though Tesla says that they haven't seen anything related to this issue in the field, or in any customer car as of yet.
Tesla will be emailing customers with affected models today, and will be arranging service appointments. Both 2016 and 2017 Model X vehicles were affected, but the good news is that Tesla says that even if it finds a vehicle has the problem, no additional parts are required and the fix takes only about 10 minutes.
The carmaker also says it can actually address the recall entirely using its global mobile service fleet, meaning that no one should have to technically go into a service location to get it fixed. Tesla says that it's currently managing as much as 30 percent of its repairs in some markets using the mobile service option, and that it has done 40 percent of the Takata airbag recall servicing it handled in the last month via this method.
A Tesla spokesperson provided the following statement to TechCrunch regarding the Model X recall:
Tesla is taking a proactive action to ensure the safety of some of Model X owners who may need an adjustment to their second row seat. Model X has received the highest rating in every category and subcategory in independent safety tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and we continue to conduct our own internal testing to ensure that Model X remains the safest SUV in the world. During recent internal testing, Tesla determined that a small number of cables in the second row fold-flat seats in some 2016 and 2017 Model X vehicles may need to be adjusted. Although Tesla has not received reports of any issues or accidents relating to this condition, we will be conducting a voluntary recall to inspect the affected vehicles and confirm whether any adjustment is needed. Although we have never seen any incidence of it in the field, internal testing has indicated that if the cable is not properly adjusted, the seat back on the left side of the second row seats could move forward during a crash. Tesla will be utilizing its mobile repair service to conduct repairs as a part of this recall – we can address 100% of these repairs via mobile service, and customers will have the choice to do that or to bring their car into a Service Center. In the past two months, we have conducted roughly 40% of the Takata airbag recall repairs via mobile service, and customer satisfaction results for our mobile service offering are consistently above 97%.