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Seat safety: Tesla recalls 2,600 Model X crossovers to fix a seat hinge

In the past, Tesla Motors has managed to fix many problems and glitches with over-the-air software updates. However, the California-based company is asking at least 2,600 Model X owners to bring their crossover into the nearest service center in order to repair a problem with a locking seat hinge.

The issue lies with the recliner, a small part that Tesla describes as “a locking hinge that allows the third-row seat back to fold forward.” The recliner could slip in the event of an accident, which would cause the seat back to move forward and consequently injure the rear passengers. Tesla mentions that the recliner is manufactured by an Australia-based supplier named Futuris.

The problem affects crossovers built between the start of production and March 26 of this year, meaning it’s found in a vast majority of the Xs on the road today. All of the affected models are located in the United States, and most of them are already in customer hands, though a small fraction are still at Tesla stores. The company is contacting owners of affected vehicles via email to notify them of the issue.

Interestingly, Tesla became aware of the problem when it tested seat strength ahead of the Model X’s European launch. The third row seats were tested 15 times in North America and found to be perfectly safe. Additionally, there have been no injuries or fatalities associated with the defect, and the recall campaign is voluntary.

Tesla worked with Futuris to develop a new recliner that meets safety regulations. The newly-designed part was immediately implemented into the Model X’s production line, and the 2,600 defective cars will be fixed in the next five weeks. Until then, Tesla is urging Model X owners to avoid using the third-row seat.

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