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On Monday, April 11, Tesla Motors issued a voluntary recall of the Model X after a European seat strength test revealed that the third-row seat back recliner had unexpectedly collapsed.

Now Tesla Motors is recalling 2,700 Model X all-electric crossovers to replace the seat backs in the third row. All vehicles in question were built prior to March 26 and are located in the United States. The European test was conducted prior to the Model X going on sale outside of the U.S.

In a letter emailed to Model X owners, Tesla said its Service Centers will replace the third-row seat backs after the new parts are manufactured in approximately five weeks. The task of replacing the seat backs is estimated to be two hours. Until repairs are completed, owners are told not to have any passengers sit in the third-row seats while the car is in use.

“The recliner, which is provided to us by an outside supplier, is the locking hinge that allows the third-row seat back to fold forward, and if a recliner were to slip during a crash, the seat back could move forward,” Tesla also said in its email. “Similar testing was conducted before the start of deliveries in North America, with 15 confirmation tests having been conducted without a single recliner failure. Despite these prior successful tests and no reports of a third-row seat slipping in any customer vehicles, we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a precautionary measure and will be replacing all affected third-row seat backs.”

The company is recalling the seats “out of an abundance of caution for our customers,” said Tesla’s president of sales and service, Jon McNeil. They also mentioned that no problems with the seats have been reported in real-world use, in a conference call with reporters.

This isn’t the first recall for Tesla that has involved seats. So far there has been two reported seat safety recalls by the EV builder.

In December 2013, the Fremont automaker recalled about 1,300 Model S electric sedans to fix a potentially weakened left-rear seat attachment striker bracket stemming from factory adjustments to the alignment of aluminum stampings that make up the car’s body side. In November 2015, 90,000 Model S sedans were recalled to check the strength of the seat belts after they discovered a single car in Europe with a front seat belt was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner.

All affected vehicles will be added to our recall database shortly after getting the VIN information of the affected vehicles from Tesla Motors.

To see if a recall notice has been issued for your car, you can search our vehicle recall database to learn more information.


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The Vehicle Identification Number is located in many different places on a car. It is very common to appear on the dashboard and/or in the drivers side door sticker. You can do a free VIN look up to check vehicle problems on the button above.